Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Food: Ril's Steakhouse @ Jalan Tun H S Lee, Kuala Lumpur

Of all the steak places in KL, Ril's Steakhouse has been on our radar for some time. Located in an unconventional place that is Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, you'd be forgiven for walking past this area everyday without ever noticing there was a classy steak joint just one floor above! We've always given this a miss because the cost was always a bit steep for us. But then we very luckily found a deal on LivingSocial that gave us 50% off on food here, so off we went! 

(Subsequent to that visit, we visited one more time with my parents, so some pictures in this post are from that second visit. =)



Ril's Steakhouse occupies the floor above an street-esque art gallery called The Warehouse, just a few doors down from the temple. While the ground floor looks like a typical gallery, walk up a set of extremelyh steep stairs (ladies be warned, stilettos might provide quite a struggle with those stairs) and you're greeted with charming decor, hidden lighting along the walls, but a rustic warehouse roof that gives off a sort of throwback feel to olden Western days. Wine glasses on every table adds a touch of class too. =D

No matter what you order, a meal here will always begin with a small, warm bread roll, with 4 different butter spreads! One of my favourites is the dark orange one, which is a cheese spread, not unlike those packets of yummy Cheezels! =D

With more than enough value from our vouchers, we had to make sure we ordered enough to finish it! I started with a Lobster Bisque (RM 28). Doesn't look much from the outside, but the taste was nice, with a mild, creamy sense of lobster. Slightly textured, but not too thick or too diluted. A very nice start to the dinner! 

Wendy went for a weightier starter, the Prawn Cocktail (RM 28). This here is billed as a "classic 1970s with a twist, served chilled in a martini glass on a bed of peppery watercress with a revamped marie-rose sauce." We thoroughly enjoyed this! And if you're wondering whether there are just 4 prawns, there's actually one more hidden under all that sauce! The sauce had a pleasant spicy kick to it, while the prawns were very juicy, fresh and springy. Another great start to the meal. 

On a separate visit with my parents, we gave some of the other appetizers a try. One such appetizer was the Sweet Potato and Corn Croquette (RM 24), which came topped with two sunny side up quail egg, some beetroot compote, lemon crème fraiche, and a hedge of alfafa sprouts. The croquette had a nice crispy crust and a rich creamy, slightly sweet, centre. It went very well with the crème fraiche and a dash of compote.

Next came the Ril’s Tiga Rasa Scallops (RM 28) that we saw a lot of others having as well. This was their signature scallop trio, seared and served in three unique ways, in three different profiles - sweet, sour & salty. 

We thought the scallops would be a little larger than what we were served, but at least still plump and fresh enough. Wendy didn't care much for the "tiga rasa" (three tastes), as two of them were salty, with one bordering on excessively salty and one a tad too oily. The sweet one was more pleasant. We would have much rather preferred a simpler preparation of scallops, to enjoy its natural subtle sweetness. 

Coming to Ril's, meat is a must-have of course. We chose to share a rib and a steak, so we picked this Sticky Beef Short-Rib (RM 72). Don't expect Western-style glazed ribs, because this leans closer towards an Asian-style of preparation in our opinion, with hints of soy, star anise and ginger. I suppose you could already tell from the sides - bok choy, radish and a chinese mushroom.

As expected, the meat was tender, while the portion of beef was huge! It was a bit too stringy for our liking though, and got a bit dry towards the end, where we needed some of the accompanying sauce. In the end, we couldn't even finish the whole portion because it was far too much. 

But one of the true highlights at Ril's has to be the Rib-eye, divided into 2 sizes - 450g "normal" portion and a ladies portion that weighs 300g (RM 98/76)! In fact 300gm of steak is usually considered a big portion already, so 450gm should be only be chosen by select few! Since I'm obviously no lady, I had to order the 450gm portion. =D

Of course, being greedy doesn't always pay off! I thought having a 450gm piece of meat done medium was a bit of a mistake, as the slab of meat is so thick, it becomes difficult and almost a chore to slice in certain parts. But still, the steak was very juicy & succulent for the most part, with just the minimum marinade to bring out the flavours. 

A more sensible option would be the Australian Angus Rib-eye 300g (RM 128). This one was ordered Medium Well, and it came out looking... this! Lightly pinkish in the middle with a nicely seared surface. This Australian Angus was excellent; full of juice interspersed with a fair amount of rich fat. The cut was a good one, and this turned out to be the best piece of our two visits.

If you'd noticed, the steaks at Ril's don't come with any sides, except for some garlic. Every side order is charged separately, in its own portion. With the parents, we managed to try quite a lot between us.

As everything has to come in individual portions, there are some that will be definitely too big to finish! Take the Roasted Red Onions (RM 10) for instance; no sane man or woman would want to eat / allow someone to eat that many whole onions, unless they have no fear of turning into / going home with a walking stinkbomb! The Creamed Spinach (RM 14) was enjoyable, but again, pace yourself because too much of that won't leave space for the weightier matters!

The Chunky Skin-on Steak Fries (RM 14) were excellent on our first visit; lightly salted, crisp on the edges and hot and fluffy inside. They were so addictive that we told ourselves that we had to order them again on the second time, but unfortunately they weren't as good. A shame.

On the other hand, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sauteed Mushrooms in Butter (RM 16) finishing them down to the last button both times. These are the perfect sides to go with a main meal; either have them with steak, or eat them on it's own. Either way, this is a must-have when coming to Ril's. =D

Loading up our steaks with the many sides :D

When the meal is over, treat yourself to some delectable desserts, like this Chocolate Fondant (RM 26); artfully positioned in a "yin/yang" setting, together with a scoop of top-notch Salted Gula Melaka ice-cream from The Last Polka.

We won't say it's the best we've ever had, but it does round up a good meal rather well. Of course, the scoop of ice cream could always be bigger...but I have that gripe for every place I've been to so far =P The Salted Gula Melaka ice-cream tends to be too sweet, but thankfully the fondant is made out of dark chocolate to make this a thoughtful pairing.

And if you're just looking for some simple ice cream on it's own with no whims or fancies, Ril's also serves individual servings of The Last Polka for RM 16 a pop. The above flavour is Strawberry Cream Cheese, presented in a cute little cup. We have no doubts about the quality of The Last Polka ice-cream, but to be honest, we felt like RM 16 for a tiny serving of The Last Polka is rather exorbitant, so it'd probably be wiser to target the other dessert choices on the menu. =)

So the next time there's a special occasion to celebrate, whether it's with the family or a loved one, why not take them to Ril's? We hear that they do struggle with inconsistencies from time to time, but thankfully we had two visits with two mostly satisfying experiences. The ambiance is cozy and quite romantic, while the quality of food would impress any guest. Pop open a bottle of red or just have a glass of house pour, and you're all set for a good evening at Ril's. (Just like us!)

Ril's Steakhouse @ The Warehouse | Site
No. 198, Jalan Tun H S Lee
50000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 2022 0528
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-1am (Closed on Mondays)
Only halal-certified beef used, serves wine

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