If you’re seeking somewhere to enjoy a stunning view with your meal, this is not the place. You’re paying a high but not unreasonable price for a top-quality steak – nothing more, nothing less.
Do you even need an excuse to eat here? If you’re still researching this place then you’re probably a bit budget-conscious and wondering if a visit to The Steakhouse in Bukit Bintang is worth the steep price tag. One of the city’s top restaurants and widely touted as the best steakhouse in KL, it’s easy to think that this establishment lives off of its prime location and hype. In the case of The Steakhouse KL, there is actual merit behind the buzz.
Ambience & Amenities
The interior is in the style of a cosy cellar with domed ceilings and red brick archways. The only natural light is by the doors, but Victorian chandeliers and sconces make up for it. In the evenings, a small table lantern will be set on the table, giving off a warm glow. On the walls are paintings of bovines, which is quite grim considering the menu.
Most of the tables were couples celebrating an occasion (us included!). Don’t expect it to be too rowdy in the main dining room unless a birthday cake comes out and the staff start singing. Atypical of upscale date spots such as this, The Steakhouse does not have tables with breathtaking views of the city. The only thing to look at while eating is your dinner companion, so hopefully, they’re pretty to look at. If they’re not, there is the small patio out front to watch the comings and goings of the busy Changkat road where you might spot something more attractive than the person sitting at the table with you. Lastly, guests have the option of sitting in the adjacent Whisky Bar. This area has more sumptuous leather armchairs, but it will be much noisier in here. Your romantic conversation will be competing with the multiple televisions broadcasting sports… and guys drunk on whisky.
The washrooms are in The Whisky Bar portion of the restaurant. If you’re in the main dining room, walk through the archway towards the bar and turn right. Once inside, three private rooms make up the stalls (men’s, women’s and unisex). Each room is spacious and has a sitting toilet, a sink, soap and paper towels. Although everything was super clean and in working order, these washrooms are pretty ugly for a five-star restaurant. The walls are an unappealing concrete grey and there are unsightly gouges in the wall from where toilet paper dispensers used to be.
The Steakhouse KL menu is small at only one page of food. Although, if you’ve decided to come here, you’re after one thing only. There are seven different cuts of steak in the third column, separated into top quality Black Angus beef and chilled grain-fed. Take note of the grammage next to the prices. 200g doesn’t sound like much, but with all the other food that comes with your steak, this should be enough. Don’t forget to choose your preferred doneness, sauce and how you want your potatoes before calling the waiter over. If all this steak business is overwhelming, there are a couple of “pre-assembled” steaks under “The Classics.” If beef isn’t to your taste, The Steakhouse offers other luxury meats like lamb, lobster, salmon and duck. Vegetarians are definitely out of luck, though.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
The Steakhouse appears to have a rather meagre selection of alcohol on its main menu. There is an additional wine list booklet that should be on your table when you sit down. Everything on this wine list is by the bottle and the cheapest option is RM175. Even regular people who are splurging will have their eyes pop out of their head before they solemnly close this wine list. If you want to keep the bill low, or you simply can’t finish an entire bottle of wine (amateur!), you’ll have to order the house varieties on the main menu. The liqueurs and cocktails from The Whisky Bar are available to diners at The Steakhouse as well.
Drinks & Appetizers
Shortly after we ordered, a complimentary bread basket was brought to our table. This was accompanied by pots of whipped butter and an adorable espresso cup of soup. This is a cream-based soup. I’m pretty sure it’s cream of mushroom since that is what’s on the menu. The soft buttered bread dipped in the soup is a tasty appetizer.
We ordered two different glasses of the house red wines, Le Pigole Montepulciano D’abruzzo (RM31/glass) and the Churchview Shiraz (RM31/glass). These house reds were unfortunately not that good. I have my favourite red wines that I like to drink at home, and these lacked boldness. Both on the dry side, they tasted a touch too acidic for my liking. The Churchview had more dark fruit notes, whereas the D’abruzzo had earthy undertones. Between the two, I preferred the Shiraz.
The Crab Cakes (RM58) are a little bit bigger than a jumbo-sized egg and served on a bed of sauteed onions, garlic and peppers. These are accompanied by a simple red coral lettuce salad tossed in a tangy red wine vinaigrette. The crispy fried outer shell was crunchy yet easy to cut through without squishing the shape and fried bits flying everywhere. Inside, the crab cakes are juicy yet firm, holding together even when split open. At no point did we have to use our forks to sweep up stray bits of crab that fell off. The crab is nicely seasoned with herbs, and under the cake is a smear of lightly lemony tarator aioli that lends a freshness to the savoury flavours.
Before the main event arrived, a rack with five different kinds of salt was placed on our table. The website claims that three different kinds of mustard would be served with each dish but we never received any. I’m not sure if this was an oversight or there was some sort of mustard shortage in the kitchen.
Both steaks came with tomato salsa, batter-fried onions, and garden vegetables like carrots, squash, cauliflower and beans expertly hiding under the beef. My steak was a Tenderloin (RM149, 200g), rare doneness, with a baked potato and Bearnaise sauce. The sour cream, bacon bits and chives were in a separate pot so I could customise how loaded I wanted my baked potato to be. True to its name, the tenderloin is an incredibly tender cut. Slicing through it was so effortless and did not require any sawing. The meat was lean and gorgeously deep pink on the inside without any blood leaking out onto the plate. The Bearnaise sauce was mouthwateringly rich and buttery, with a hint of acidity from the vinegar. I tried to use a light hand with the salt on the meat since the steak was heavenly with just the sauce.
Mark opted for a Ribeye (RM139, 300g), rare doneness, with potato wedges and lamb jus. Disregard the mashed potatoes on the plate – that was a mistake and the kitchen gave us our potato wedges in a separate bowl. The wedges must have been double-fried, because they were the crispiest I have ever had. They didn’t come with ketchup but I didn’t even mind, they were so good as is. The wedges were one of the few items that we completely finished. The ribeye, without any salt or sauces, has more flavour than the tenderloin since this cut has more fat. This steak had succulent fatty bites that were explosively flavourful. Although the ribeye is a cheaper cut, we could still practically pull it apart with just two forks. Though it was not as tender as the tenderloin. The lamb jus was not a thick gravy-like goop, but a fine consistency that was viscous enough to not completely drip off when the meat was dipped. A subtler option than the Bearnaise, the jus added an extra layer of delicious umami.
It’s been weeks since our visit, but I’m still reliving the amazing food we had at The Steakhouse KL. I’m hoping that we can eat here more often than once a year on my birthday. Even for people with regular salaries, the steak prices are actually reasonable for the quality and amount you get. I’ve seen steaks being served in shittier restaurants that cost way more. However, there is no way to eat at The Steakhouse inexpensively. Unless you’re a walking moneybag, you have to be fine with spending at least RM300 for two. One cannot really “cheap out” when coming here. I’m sure everything on the menu is worthwhile, but it would be a crime to come here and order the chicken or spaghetti just to save money. Indulge a little at The Steakhouse KL if you can, and you are guaranteed an expertly prepared steak and a generous portion of food.
Perhaps aware that they are a classy jewel in the heart of trashy Changkat, the service at The Steakhouse is polite and unpretentious. Some other upscale restaurants make their preference for their wealthy regulars very apparent, but I didn’t get that sense here. At other popular date spots like Cielo or Luce, you’ll have to grease some palms or buy some exorbitant dinner package just to get the best table. Since there’s no real best seat in the house here, the focus is on the food as opposed to the view or vibe. The restaurant isn’t much to look at but this is a place to eat, not an observation deck, no? If you want to be wowed with your tastebuds instead of your eyes, choose The Steakhouse KL. This restaurant is a top choice for an occasion like an anniversary, birthday or promotion at work.
Price for 2 Pax: RM473.30
Crab Cakes: RM58.00
Le Pigole Montepulciano D’abruzzo: RM31.00
Churchview Shiraz: RM31.00
10% Service: RM40.80
6% SST: RM24.48
The Steakhouse KL
Address: 48, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Daily, 5pm – 11pm
Alcohol Served: Yes