Mandarin Grill is back, with a renewed burst of vim and vigour: After 88 days of hosting 2015’s Aziamendi88 pop-up sensation, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur’s flagship restaurant has now reopened, returning to its roots as a classical steakhouse, looking more ravishing than ever, spruced up with splashes of elegant contemporary artwork that’ll evolve every two or three months.

2. Mandarin Grill 3. Mandarin Grill

With the grill helmed by German-born Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Halat, this tops our recommendations if you’re seeking a steak meal to splurge on, one that succeeds in consistently satisfying, from a sumptuous start to a polished finish.

1. Mandarin Grill

Salads and starters

Mandarin Grill takes traditionally beloved steakhouse recipes, refining and reinventing them for a 21st-century clientele, putting its own sophisticated spin on starters like the prawn cocktail, partnered with rock melon powder, thousand island dressing and mustard greens in a colourful and compelling presentation with fresh, sprightly flavours (RM88 nett).

4. Mandarin Grill - prawn cocktail 6. Mandarin Grill - prawn cocktail 7. Mandarin Grill - prawn cocktail

The house salad is also ideal for rousing the appetite, light but confidently nuanced in taste and textures, formed with layers of quinoa, cress, sprouts, heirloom tomatoes, vegetable chips, butter head lettuce, mango caviar and lemon dressing that furnish crisp, perky bites (RM74).

5. Mandarin Grill - house salad8. Mandarin Grill

Tomahawk

Beef is where the thrills and action are at – key temptations include cuts of Sher Wagyu produced by the award-winning Sher family in Victoria, Australia, prepared on Mandarin Grill’s Josper charcoal grill; choose a 400-day grain-fed tenderloin, rib-eye or sirloin (BMS 8) or – if you’re sharing among two to four heavy eaters – the colossal Tomahawk bone-in rib steak (BMS 6-7).

9. Mandarin Grill - Sher Wagyu 10. Mandarin Grill - Sher Wagyu 11. Mandarin Grill - Sher Wagyu

Each steak is typically served a choice of side dish and sauce; there are 12 possibilities among the former, with highlights like Alsace-style French fries topped with crispy beef, gruyere cheese and onions; lovely lovely tempura fries or onion rings; creamy spinach; green asparagus with butter; or wild mushroom ragout with garlic and parsley, plus 10 of the latter, including bearnaise, calamansi butter, tamarind-coriander butter, fresh horseradish cream, green peppercorn, red wine or lemon gremolata. For our Tomahawk, an additional surprise was a side plate of fried beef trimmings from the gigantic cut, a robust and smoky indulgence.

12. Mandarin Grill Sher Wagyu 14. Mandarin Grill - Sher Wagyu 15. Mandarin Grill - Sher Wagyu grill platter 16. Mandarin Grill 17. Mandarin Grill - side dish and sauces for steak

Steak

The Tomahawk is RM928, but If you’re looking for a more regular-sized steak, no worries – there’s a 150-gramme tenderloin (RM338), 200-gramme sirloin (RM388) and 300-gramme rib-eye (RM398), which we enjoyed mightily – immaculately tender, complete with the coveted char.

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Steaks are also accompanied by a box packed with intriguing condiments – nora peppers, truffle salt, raisin mustard, smoked fleur de sel and more – showcasing how Mandarin Grill takes everything to serious heights.

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Dramatic desserts

Be sure to save space for desserts, which illustrate a dramatic, sensuous flair with fire and smoke – Mandarin Grill’s rendition of the Baked Alaska is one of KL’s finest, with smooth yoghurt ice cream blanketed in soft Italian meringue, set alight with whiskey (RM42).

21. Mandarin Grill - baked alaska 22. Mandarin Grill - baked alaska 23. Mandarin Grill - baked alaska 24. Mandarin Grill - baked alaska 25. Mandarin Grill - baked alaska

But for an especially unique creation twinned with top-drawer liquor, the smoked dark chocolate cigar with single-malt whiskey on the rocks makes us swoon, swirling with intoxicating aromas that foreshadow pure, melt-in-the-mouth bliss (RM78). And if all that still isn’t enough, chocolate petit fours will send you soaring into the night on a giddy, genuine high.

26. Mandarin Grill - smoked dark chocolate cigar 27. Mandarin Grill - smoked dark chocolate cigar 28. Mandarin Grill - smoked dark chocolate cigar 29. Mandarin Grill - chocolate petit fours

Drinks

For Martini fans, Mandarin Grill is now also the place to be – you’ll find 12 variations of the cocktail (RM42 each), from the Classic, Perfect, Gibson, Manhattan and Aviation to newer versions that include ingredients like house-infused pepper vodka (it works effectively and memorably), ginger or fresh chilli and bay leaves. Each Martini is customisable; choose Gordon’s gin or Smirnoff vodka for your base, or opt for a RM10 upgrade to Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Belvedere, Grey Goose or Ketel One.

30. Mandarin Grill - Martini 31. Mandarin Grill - martini 32. Mandarin Grill - martini

Enjoy before your steak, then pair the main meal with a house-pour wine – our favourite’s the Esprit de Pavie 2009, Bordeaux, plush and bright (RM78 a glass). In the six long years since we first stepped into Mandarin Grill KL on its opening evening in February 2010, we’ve always had terrific meals here; thanks to the Mandarin Oriental team for having us back.

33. Mandarin Grill - wines 34. Mandarin Grill 35. Mandarin Grill 36. Mandarin Grill

Location & Details

Mandarin Grill

Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur.

Daily for lunch and dinner, 12pm-230pm, 630pm-1030pm.

Tel: +603-2380-8888

Find: View Mandarin Grill’s directory here

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