Succulent steaks with distinctive flavours

The Grade A5 Japanese Miyazaki Picanha’s marbling and texture offers silky melt-in-the-mouth tenderness. — Photos: ART CHEN/The Star

PERHAPS the best way to savour good steak is by turning a blind eye to sauces that may be served alongside it.

Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur executive chef Antoine Rodrigues recommends reaching out for the salt and pepper shaker when in need of extra seasoning.

“There isn’t a need to drench sauce all over a good cut of meat. Only then can you taste the meat without overpowering its natural flavour,” said Rodriguez.

In spite of this, sauces are still served at the upscale steakhouse to cater to diners.Rodriguez grilling meat over hot flames in Prime’s kitchen.Rodriguez grilling meat over hot flames in Prime’s kitchen.

“Luckily, no one has asked me for chilli sauce!” the chef quipped.

This is Prime, the award-winning restaurant known for its array of dry-aged beef.

Hung in a dry-ageing cellar for a minimum of 21 days, meat is left to mature, rest and reach its potential as it gradually darkens on the outside.

The dry-ageing process makes it possible for the flavour to concentrate while softening the meat, according to Rodriguez.

The texture of dry-aged beef is soft and buttery, while the meat requires very little help for it to shine.

“Just season the beef with salt and pepper,” the chef reiterated.

While it does not promote itself as a fine-dining restaurant, Prime exudes elegance and style that is easily mistaken for one.

With clean lines, soft lighting and sophistication obvious in its interior, diners can take in the open kitchen’s vastness as chefs in black attend to orders.

A bread basket with the restaurant’s fresh breads of the day is what I look forward to when dining here.

While the warm and soft bread slices are tasty on their own, the fun is in trying out the herb and spice combination in the butter.

During my visit, wild mushroom butter, truffle butter and herb butter were served, helping to stave off hunger pangs.

Those with a hard time deciding which soup to order might find the 50/50 Wild Mushroom Soup and Lobster Bisque an ingenious idea as you get to taste both in one sitting.

Japanese Miyazaki Picanha, oyster blade and Argentinean rib-eye – each treated with expertise, make a satisfying lunch or dinner indulgence.

Rodriguez recommends the Grade A5 Japanese Miyazaki Picanha for its marbling, texture and silky melt-in-the-mouth tenderness.

“When dealing with Wagyu, just throw the meat on a hot skillet. You do not need oil for a beauty like Wagyu as its natural oils break down while it cooks,” he said of the picanha cut from black cattle reared in the Miyazaki prefecture on Kyushu, Japan, which has won the Wagyu Olympics thrice.

To give the dish a wholly Japanese touch, Rodriguez pairs the Wagyu with Japanese aubergine, radish and classic ponzu sauce.

The Devesa Chilled Beef Argentina 180 Days Grain Fed, from the permanent menu, comes with freshly grated horseradish while the oyster blade, featured on the lunch menu every now and then, has the lovely pungency of the root vegetable as well.

The kitchen crew routinely prepares creamy bearnaise sauce, earthy truffle sauce and Sarawak peppercorn sauce that are placed at the table in copper pots.

Then there are those soft and fluffy triple-cooked fries.

These are boiled, soft-fried and then plunged into hot oil and deep-fried hence the fries’ hard-to-resist appeal.

The Baked Truffle Cream Cheesecake, Raspberry Sauce and Gold Leaf with truffle shavings as garnish turns out to be decadently good and probably the best combination of flavours in my book.

The truffle’s earthiness offsets the creaminess of the cheesecake.

Prime’s set lunch menu is ideal for those who enjoy hearty lunches.

There is an option for a two-course set meal priced at RM150 nett and three-course meal at RM180 nett per person.

While set lunches are often revamped to provide regulars with a variety, the most recent line-up comprises a choice of Foie Gras and Chicken Terrine Caramel Popcorn, Baby Salad, Warm Pan Brioche Light Citronette Sauce and Black Hawaiian Salt or Beans or Lentils and Vegetables Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the appetiser.

For mains, the choice is Pan-roasted Sea Bass Fillet with Mixed Garden Vegetables Navarin or Braised Angus Beef Rump with Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Sauce Black and Truffle Shavings.

Options to end the meal with are Pineapple Almond Crumble Vanilla English Sauce or White Chocolate Mousse Cake Berries Compote.

Alternatively, scour through the a la carte menu to find a dish or two or three that will make your day.

PRIME, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, 2,

Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur.

(Tel: 012-215 8782, 03-2263 7888).

Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10pm daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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