Written with passion by Caleb Ho
I walk into the restaurant and all around me I see warm colours of red and brown, and lots of natural wood spread across, merged with hues of black. It looks as if a piece of Ayers Rock found its way here.
I’m soon greeted by the Marketing and Communications Manager, the lovely Ms Pugenes (so lovely I wanted to take her out for a date right then) who satisfied my curiosity of the restaurant and its origins. My photographer friend, the excellently talented Joshua Paul, was already snapping away by the time I was done impressing Ms Pugenes with my life story.
Straight to the dinner table then. We asked Restaurant Manager, Iskandar to recommend some of Grill 582’s signature dishes and went with them. From our table, we could see sous chef, Arini Darsom - a picture of serenity in the open kitchen preparing our dishes.
Soon, we were presented with some starter bread which had a nice crispy crust. Accompanying that was the chef’s special of Buckwheat Balls. It had a deep-fried crispy exterior with a subtle moist rice filling. Paired with mustard and lemon, it was a good start indeed.
Our Lobster Bisque Rouille (Saffron Mayonnaise) (RM25) was a huge plate of creamy decadence. Joshua was surprised how it comes in so nicely. It wasn’t too heavy or too sharp, which usually isn’t the case with lobster bisque. I liked how smooth, creamy and thick it was and it had a nice touch of solid bits of cheese which melt into the soup. Feeling already satisfied, I had no idea how good the next one was going to be. Pan Seared Scallops (RM52) – I can’t ever remember scallops tasting this good. Just imagine five succulent whole U.S. scallops, pan seared and each topped differently with tomato salsa, mango salsa and chili salsas sitting on your plate and you’ll imagine the look on my face. The juicy, springy texture of the scallops simply teases your tongue. Chef Arini is clever to allow the pure sweetness of the scallops to shine through, letting the sour, sweet, spicy touch of the different salsa toppings create a delicate and flavourful balance. With each bite, I was so focused on the taste in my mouth; the previous bite was almost forgotten. They were THAT good!
Naturally, with such high expectations set early on, the next dish was always going to be hard to top. Our Black Angus Beef Sirloin Steak (RM93) disappointed a little. This was in no way the fault of the chef. Joshua and I felt the meat wasn’t as sweet as it should be. Certainly, it was the fault of our accustomed taste to Wagyu beef, which Grill 582 also serves. Rest assured though, the meat was good quality grass-fed beef air-flown from Australia. Aside from the small disappointment, the chef did a wonderful job with the chunky chips (and I do mean ‘CHUNKY’!) neatly stacked in a square “Jenga” sculpture. The chips are cut straight out of a potato. The Broccoli with Almond Butter was a nice touch too.
Our last dish, Pan Fried Ocean Trout (RM73) was served with Citrus and Hollandaise Sauce, accompanied by a side of Orange Salad which was a lovely intricate garnish of rocket and orange slices. The slight crisp of the skin blankets the flaky flesh of the trout beneath. It’s not too dry and the creaminess of the sauce gives it a smooth finish. Certainly one for those who are fans of cheese as the sauce mirrors the richness and taste of it. Chef Arini was nice enough to visit our table after our meal and it was my honour to meet her and thank her for the wonderful dishes.
Rather reluctantly, Joshua started packing up his equipment and I put down the final notes of my review. We were very tempted to stay on and sample more of Chef Arini’s creations but we really had more than enough of Australian heaven for one night. Now, I just wonder if Ms Pugenes has a boyfriend.
Best Western Premier Dua Sentral
Level 2, Jalan Tun Sambanthan
Tel: 03-2272 8888
Open from 6:30pm – 10:30pm daily
Price Range: RM101 – RM200
Drinks: N/A (Well, their warm water was warm)
Ambience: What can I say? They took a piece of Ayers Rock and transformed it into a wonderful romantic setting.
Pros: Some of Chef Arini’s creations are worth multiple samplings and some are just simply beautiful enough to stare at. It’s a good place to take that special someone for a quiet romantic dinner.
Cons: Best Western Premier Dua Sentral is one of the most easily spotted hotels, standing tall in KL’s landscape but getting there can be a bit tricky. Be sure to follow the road signs or have your GPS ready.
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