I believe that many of us living in the Klang Valley welcomed the recent announcement to move into Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan, where we have long dreamt of spending a nice evening at a restaurant.
Having long cast my eyes at Arthur’s Bar & Grill, I finally decided to celebrate the fact that we can now cross districts by tucking into a nice, juicy burger. After all, burgers are comfort food, regardless of whether they are whipped up by the roadside, dripping with all kinds of sauces from all sides, or served in a pan accompanied by a basket of fries.
Arthur’s Bar & Grill is located on Level 1 at Shangri-la KL, where it touts to be a “…Manhattan-style bar & grill, serving potently delicious cocktails.” When you step through the doors, you are greeted by a breathtaking backdrop of liquor bottles on lit up shelves that go all the way to the ceiling.
There is a large screen that showcases nothing else but sporting events. Being a weekend, the Premier League naturally took precedence. The bar area has a fair number of stools for you to lounge in if you want to remain close to your poison of choice.
Basically, the main bar area is a smoking area. I found that to be rather strange as I thought that air-conditioned eateries had banned smoking for a long time now, with even non-air conditioned venues subject to that ruling not too long ago. I decided to quicken my pace to be showed to my table that was tucked away at a cozy corner, sinking my derriere into a cozy leather chair. I could still smell a whiff of cigarette smoke from there, but I decided not to get bogged down by it and do what I set out for: have a hearty meal in an intimate setting.
Food, glorious food!
Browsing through the menu, you will find the usual suspects here, from bar bites to appetizers, salads, steaks, pasta, local hawker fare, and dessert, of course! Placing my order, I waited and enjoyed the general quiet ambience.
To get my appetite going, I decided to settle for a plate of Salt & Pepper Squid (RM16 nett). It arrived promptly enough, and where the squid was not too chewy (which is a good thing), although I wish that they would be more generous with the pepper as I could hardly taste any of it.
Behold, the Monster Mayhem! At RM46 nett a pop, this monstrous burger comprises of two halves of a well toasted bun that sandwiches a couple of quarter pounder beef patties, topped with a slice of beef brisket and replete with melted aged cheddar, with a smattering of spicy tarragon mustard to provide an extra kick. The standard fare of confit onion slices, lettuce, tomato, and dill pickle complete this masterpiece.
I was pleased to note that my order was cooked according to how I like it – medium. Not too dry yet juicy, it was a joy to bite down and let the wide range of flavours engulf my taste buds as I chewed on perfect bovine bliss. After my initial bite, I decided to deconstruct the Monster Mayhem, otherwise I would most probably end up with a sore jaw at the end of the meal.
The next dish that I decided to try out was good ol’ fish and chips. This is simple comfort food that can be difficult to execute correctly, and it reflects on the chef’s skill in getting the batter just right.
The Fish and Chips (RM58 nett) did not disappoint. Far from it. The batter was thin and crisp enough on the outer part of the barramundi fillet, while the insides were properly cooked (very important when it comes to seafood) while retaining the fish’s natural sweetness. It was pure ecstasy sinking my teeth into the soft, white flesh while having a dash of tartar sauce with each mouthful.
Both dishes were accompanied by their own basket of french fries, where the portions are more than generous.
Service is the heart of hospitality
Service was prompt and courteous, while I did not have to wait too long before my dinner arrived. Being a weekend evening, it was fully booked, although the premises were still half-full when I left. Perhaps other diners prefer to have their dinner at a later time. Props to Jonah, Lisa, Anna, Dinnie, and crew for your service. It was nice to see everyone move around with professionalism, doing their utmost best to serve everyone equally.
I could not help but to overhear conversations between the service crew and guests. Many of them were greeted by, “Oh, it has been so long since we last saw you!” with “Yes, we absolutely missed your food!” as a response.
Certainly, Arthur’s Bar & Grill is back in business with their regulars returning. That’s nice, and hopefully this is a microcosm of what Malaysia will experience as a nation in the days to come, where everyone comes together as a family.
What about drinks?
Arthur’s Bar & Grill does have a wide selection of drinks with a special Happy Hour menu. During my visit, you could get a “Buy 1 Free 1” offer for their house wines, while two pints of Guinness will set you back by RM88 nett.
I did not try out any of their drinks during Happy Hour as there are far better deals around town. However, if you are going to bring your date for a meal there, now is not the time to cringe at the price of its wine and beverage menu – just go for broke and have a good time. Otherwise, you can always take a nice post-dinner walk to a nearby watering hole and get your alcohol fix there.
Would I return?
Absolutely. The prices are nett, while those who are Golden Circle members will receive an additional 20 to 25% off their total food bill. If you happen to hold selected credit cards, diners can also make the most of their time there by enjoying up to 50% off their food bill! Manatau, your credit card might finally be put to good use for dining after a long hiatus.
Do take note that this is not a paid advertorial or review, as I paid for my meal in its entirety. Manatau? This could very well be your next pit stop when you’re famished in the middle of KL.