Bringing comfort food to those without the budget for steak, Me’Nate has tasty but misleading menu items.
Standing its ground against an impenetrable wall of Nasi Kandars and hawker-esque casual restaurants, Me’Nate Steak Hub is the only venue on this short street offering a purely Western menu. Its outsider status is amplified by its location: it is the sole restaurant on the North side of the road, while the local Malaysian joints glare at it from the opposite side – evocative of a young interviewee, sitting across from a line of stony-faced senior managers.
Ambience & Amenities
The Westernized food brings appropriately Westernized prices, but the extra cost buys you other things that may not be present at the nearby competitors: a clean and inviting interior, food that hasn’t been sitting in a heating tray for hours, and a serviced toilet with real soap and paper towels.
The WC is a single stall with a proper, Western toilet. There is a sink next to the stall, as well as an additional sink just outside the door. Both have real soap, but only the outer sink had paper towels.
Covered in mud and brambles from our Bukit Kembara misadventure, we were looking for simple food to match our raggedy veneers. Me’Nate Steak Hub has a host of more casual options for those of us whose bellies (and wallet) are not quite up for steak at the moment.
We ordered their BBQ Roast Beef (RM17.90) and Gravlax of Salmon (RM17.90) sandwiches. Though it doesn’t mention it on the menu, both meals came with a small helping of fries. A welcome accompaniment, but both sandwiches came with their share of technical errors. First, the BBQ Roast beef.
Any Westerners or Europeans dining here should be warned that Me’Nate’s definition of “roast beef” isn’t what we think of as roast beef. Whereas you’re likely picturing a gorgeously pink-in-the-middle, succulent slice of serendipity, what arrived instead was slightly fatty, thinly sliced beef. It looked and tasted a lot like beef bacon that was just barely cooked so it was still stringy instead of crispy. It’s entirely possible that it is actually beef bacon that was roasted. So in a way, “roast beef.”
It was all tossed in their BBQ sauce and served on top of coleslaw in between their bun. Your trousers better take note: this roast beef sandwich is messy as fuck. There’s a bit too much BBQ sauce, and with a surprise layer of cheese, it makes everything slippery and clumsy. With the beef being a fattier cut, you’ll inevitably get those bites where your teeth don’t entirely pierce through the fat, and when you pull the sandwich away from your BBQ sauce smothered face, a flop of meat comes tumbling out.
As for the Gravlax of Salmon, the name of the sandwich is only half accurate. Gravlax is supposed to be raw salmon cured with salt and dill. As you can see, what I got instead was a salmon fillet, cooked to well doneness, and put into a bun with coleslaw and cheese like above. In this instance, Me’Nate can’t justify the name with technicalities. There was certainly nothing gravlaxxy about it, it was just a salmon sandwich. It’s almost like the restaurant insisted on including the word “gravlax” because it sounded fancy, but actually had no idea what gravlax was. I can relate – I had to look up what the difference between gravlax and smoked salmon was in preparation to write this.
It was little disappointing to be misled by cultural misinterpretations of roast beef and gravlax, but the overall flavour is still there. In the roast beef, the BBQ sauce is sweet, tangy and palatable, while the salmon is fresh and appetizing. The coleslaw in both instances added a pleasing crunch to the sandwiches. The warm buns were soft and added a touch of garlic flavour. However, I can’t really vouch for the freshness of their buns, as they did start frozen in the same manner as their cuts of take-home meat.
These two sandwiches stuffed us to a surprising amount to leave no room for dessert. The cabinet up front has a small variety of cakes and little macarons. There is also a mini freezer by the drink station of Hadji brand ice cream in mini cups (100ml).
Useful to Know
Me’Nate Steak Hub is also a butcher and along the left wall are freezers with all different cuts of meat for sale. These are presumably the same that you could order in-house: ribeyes, Tomahawks, sirloins and the others you find on their steak menu. The prices are a bit of a shock: about RM60 to almost RM100 for individual sized portions. One of the cheapest things you can buy is a quarter chicken (drumstick and thigh) for RM18.90.
Typical of many Malaysian restaurants, napkins were a luxury. A little surprising for a Western place, but no napkins were provided when our meals arrived. Bring your own packet of tissues, or use the sink at the back to wash up.
There are four “cold drinks” options listed on the menu. My original choice of blackcurrant was unavailable today, but upon seeing the self-service station, there was only room for two different flavours. If you visit, have a backup as there is a 50% chance that the flavour of juice you want will not be on offer that day.
Although the menu states that it’s free refills with the order of a steak (who drinks sugary juice with steak?), the waiter offered us free refills even with our sandwich orders. It could’ve been the timing – 3pm on a quiet Sunday – that made our waiter indifferent to this rule. Considering that I saw the restaurant’s own staff generously helping themselves to this juice, I don’t think Me’Nate are resting any hopes on juice profits and are lackadaisical on policing the juice. Do heed the menu though, and don’t be a wasteful dick.
I’m not completely discounting Me’Nate Steak Hub since there is nothing really to complain about when it comes to the taste. Most importantly, we did not order what is presumably their specialty: steak. Both sandwiches were acceptably tasty and we were both nicely full for what we paid, but in the end, this will be an unmemorable meal.
Cost for 2 Pax: RM50.45
BBQ Roast Beef: RM17.90
Gravlax of Salmon: RM17.90
Lemon Tea x 2: RM11.80
6% SST: RM2.85
Me’Nate Steak Hub
16 Jalan Kerja Air Lama 1, Taman Shuet Liang (Between the 7-Eleven and the pharmacy)
68000 Ampang, Selangor
Saturday to Thursday: 11am – 11pm
Friday: 3pm – 11pm
Alcohol Served: No