Kuala Lumpur - Best Mac & Cheese ever ... in Chinatown!
After an abortive attempt to find a rustic Cantonese restaurant in KL’s Chinatown to dine in, I ducked into this unlikeliest of all eateries to be found in the neighborhood just as the angry storm clouds burst open and unleashed Noah’s flood on the city. Oh boy, you’ve never truly experienced a real rainstorm until you’ve encountered *the* monsoon downpour in KL. Um, how to describe it? Imagine the South China Sea inverting itself on top of the city.
Ril’s Steakhouse is located on the 2nd floor of The Warehouse, an art gallery housed in a century-old Chinatown shop-house. The restaurant’s named after the owner-cum-executive chef, Tunku Khairil Ibrahim – a member of the Johore royal family household, no less?
One note of warning – to get to the restaurant, one needs to ascend a formidable-looking steep, steel staircase. It’s the *only* way to get to the restaurant – which pretty much rules out anyone with a fear of heights, with difficulties climbing steep stairs, anyone wearing tight, short skirts, or 6-inch stiletto heels, small children, babies (who brings a toddler to a fine dining restaurant anyway?), perhaps the infirm and elderly, folks with a poor sense of balance, etc, etc. Probably ruled out 80% of my usual dining companions.
Once you get past this though, the dining space upstairs was pleasant, with high ceilings and beautiful portraits of old KL on the wall on one side, and mirrors on the other. The large windows looked out to Jalan Tun H S Lee below.
What I tried this evening:
- Lobster bisque, which tasted great, but did not have a single morsel of lobster meat in it. Pretty expensive (RM28++) for what amount to a portion half of what I’d usually get in a restaurant back in Singapore.
- Truffled Mac & Cheese with lobster tails: this one fared better – perfectly put together, and perhaps the best M&C I’d had in a restaurant, anywhere. The truffle scent was just right, the creamy, cheesy sauce was perfectly balanced & nicely flavored, the pasta was cooked perfectly. The lobster tails were also cooked till just done – moist, delicate and absolutely scrumptious..
- A side of steamed French beans with melted butter was also very well-done.
- Dessert: Cheesecake with mango & ginger was nice, but not groundbreaking and, at RM26++, was pretty expensive by KL standards.
Overall, very pleasant dinner, albeit the high prices and the daunting way to access/exit the dining space.
The Warehouse Gallery & Cafe
198 Jalan Tun H S Lee
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Heh. Very...interesting...about the usual dining companions you have. :-) Interesting, too, about the provenance of the place and the owner. I am glad he retained the traditional spellings for his name while opening a Western-themed restaurant. ;-P
I must say the lobster bisque doesn't *look* good. Mac n cheese? w/ lobster? You need to come back to the USA for that. :-)
BTW, was this after that walk you took on Davidson Rd? ;-)
Indeed - it was after that abortive failure to find an old interesting tin-roofed eatery. Chinatown's changing so quickly. Anyway, I think I have to go back again & look for this place - Sang Kee, that was also recommended by TV food critic, Axian: