Rendezvous Steak Garden @ Kampung Pandan offers western and local favourites at very affordable prices. I've been here once but that was many, many years ago and was quite surprised to find the restaurant almost full for dinner one evening (incidentally, they only open for dinner).
The place is basically an open-air restaurant, with some parts having a roofed top, so you can choose to sit in the totally open area or the more sheltered area.
There are lots of greenery (maybe mosquitoes too) in a garden-like atmosphere and a fountain in the centre of the garden. You don't have to worry about parking here as there's ample parking in the compound (and it's free, of course).
Keep your expectations low and remember two keywords, very affordable...and localised western food....and you'll do just fine.
So, with that in mind, let's begin with a very common starter of Shrimp Cocktail @ RM9.80 which are basically boiled shrimps coated in cocktail sauce served on top of some lettuce and a wedge of lemon.
The shrimps were way too crunchy for my liking. [#Tip: Some say marinating the shelled prawns with baking soda (and then rinse with running water thoroughly) will give them that extra crunchy texture.] Worse still, there wasn't any sweetness in the prawns (I suspect they're of the frozen kind). If not for the squeeze of lemon and cocktail sauce, it would have been mighty bland.
Our next starter was the Escargots (1/2 dozen) @ RM15.80, a French delicacy of edible snails, baked in a buttery and garlicky sauce. It's one of their most popular starters here.
I was pleased that the escargots were quite big in size but wished that the sauce was more garlicky. At this reasonable price, there's no cause for complaint. In fact, this turned out to be my favourite for the night.
Another starter for sharing we ordered was the Cross Cut Fries @ RM8.80. This, at least, tasted like they were freshly made.
For mains, we went with the Beef Mixed Grill @ RM32.80. I was asked (by a Chinese elderly man, who took our orders, not sure if he's the boss) how I wanted my beef done....medium well or well done? Remember me saying that this is a localised western joint? Since he asked, I said medium rare....not that it would make any difference as I found out later.
The mixed grill platter came in generous portions indeed, enough to feed two if you're not a big eater. I found two pieces of steak, a chicken chop and two grilled prawns with sides of French fries, corn on the cob and vegetables. Looking at how thin the steaks were, I realised it would be impossible to get the doneness right...and I was right, one piece was medium well and the other was well done! I guess that's the only doneness they know...the piece that was well done (the one in the middle) even had two slits in the meat (as if they were trying to see how done the meat was during cooking).
The piece of chicken chop was the best thing on the plate...well seared, tender and respectable with the black pepper sauce. The grilled prawns were alright, at least they weren't of the frozen kind. The corn on the cob was fresh but the fries and cubed vegetables were frozen ones (though they added a few cuts of fresh boiled carrots).
Also, if you're expecting flavour in your steaks, you'll be sadly disappointed, coz there'll be none...you just can't expect it with a price like that. But, not all is lost, as the black pepper sauce (the highly recommended sauce here) was pretty decent to provide you with at least some flavour.
The other main was this Fish & Chips @ RM14.80 which was breaded (frozen) dory fish served with (frozen) fries and (frozen) vegetables tossed in some mayo. Looking at the price, what can you expect if not frozen, right? >.<
The drinks of Thai Coconut @ RM7.80 was rather reasonable seeing that the coconut was bigger than the norm but the Soursop Juice @ RM8.80 was expensive, in my opinion.
My Personal Opinion
The fact that the restaurant (it's quite a large place) was doing a roaring business is testimony that there is a market for cheap western fare. But for those of us who have eaten (and are used to eating) a better cut of steak (which, goes without saying, will be more expensive, of course), it'd be difficult to embrace the steaks here with 'open arms'.
That said, sticking to their grilled chicken (with black pepper sauce) would be a wiser option...and the 'value for money' escargots aren't too bad either.
It's a place one can 'rendezvous' for cheap western food....and, if you keep your expectations low, you can still have a decent meal. Think price.....not flavour here! :p
Rendezvous Steak Garden
14 Jalan Kampung Pandan
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 014-602 6051