Saturday, 15 December 2018

Steaks & Lobsters @ Desa Sri Hartamas

Prices of steaks have been on the up and up that affordable (but good) steaks are increasingly difficult to find these days.  So much so that when I'm finally confronted with affordably-priced steaks, I second-guess myself if it's any good.  Of course, the safest bet is to go for wagyu beef but we all know how expensive those can be...haiz! :'(

But if there's a place where I remember having a positive dining experience of affordable (yet good) steaks and good (but not so affordable) lobsters, that would be Steaks & Lobsters @ Desa Sri Hartamas (you can check out my previous posts here and here).  So, another visit was due.  Parking in this area is quite nightmarish and you'd be pleased to know that they now offer free valet services if you dine here.

Well, it's pretty obvious from the name of the place as to what their main specialities here are.  The first difference I noticed was the tank that used to be filled with live lobsters was empty (perhaps the 'stock' was waiting to be replenished) or they don't keep so much live 'stock' these days.

After orders were made, we were served complimentary soft and fluffy bread rolls with house-made cinnamon butter.  Not a big fan of this sweet-flavoured butter which tasted sweet, almost like a kaya, would have preferred just a good, plain butter.

We began our meal with one of our favourite starters of Roasted Garlic Escargots @ RM21 (maybe not the best choice if you're on a date!).  The half dozen baked garden snails immersed in a garlic concasse coulis came with slices of toasted baguette that is the perfect 'vehicle' to mop up the sauce.

I have to say the escargots were a pretty good size, way bigger than most of the ones I've had.  The sauce, on the other hand, wasn't quite garlicky enough for was more creamy and buttery than garlicky.

We decided to go with one of their chef recommended dish of Signature Olio Asari Clams @ RM18 as our next starter as I love clams (+ I've already tried most of their other chef recommended starters).

The asari clams could have been fresher (and presentation better) as there were quite a few with broken shells but the well cooked sauce of garlic and chillies in a seafood broth was very savoury to dip the overly generous slices of toasted baguette in.

The Grain-Fed Ribeye (250g) @ RM79 was my option for the main as my initial pick of Pinnacle Grass-Fed Ribeye (MB 2+) @ RM99 wasn't available that day.

The steak came with sides of soft-sweet roasted pumpkinonion that was soft and well-charred to bring out its sweetness, slightly spiced and juicy sweetcorn with chilli flecks and fluffy-on-the-inside steak fries that were freshly fried with a nice crisp exterior.

The last time we were here, our wagyu steak was served with a very tasty black pepper sauce (not that it needed any) but we still asked for seconds to dip our fries in.  This time, I noticed that we got a different tasted like a mushroom sauce but without the intense and earthy taste of mushrooms (which I would have liked) but a strong taste of probably cream and butter (which I didn't like as much).  I'm not sure if this is now the default sauce (or the black pepper sauce is still an option) as we weren't asked what sauce we wanted.

I was a little disappointed when the ribeye first arrived lacking the looks of that wonderful charring that I adore.  Having said that, my medium-rare ribeye was very tender to the bite with a decent flavour (no complaints on that based on the price).  Anyway, we can't compare this to wagyu beef which is more flavourful...and also more expensive (there were even premium ones offered at close to RM400!).  Of course I would have preferred wagyu (but a more affordable 250g wagyu ribeye MB-7 now costs RM229!)...a 300g piece once cost RM198 (RM150 during promotion) when we had it last.

A server did come by to ask how the steak was and I did mention to him that it was a little fattier than I would have liked.  I think he was a little inexperienced when it comes to customer service by underestimating a customer's knowledge about steaks when he proceeded to bring me an uncooked piece to impress upon me that the ribeye is a fatty cut of meat (I may not be totally knowledgeable about steak cuts but I do have some knowledge).  Of course I'm aware that the ribeye is well-marbled and fatty as it's my favourite cut.  Just that I felt this piece had a little too much fat (there was a huge piece of fat in the centre and also a connective strip of fat surrounding the meat) or maybe the cooking did not render down the fats enough as it was lacking that great sear.

He was also the same server who went on and on explaining about the marble score (to a couple seated next to us) when they enquired about the same Pinnacle Grass-Fed Ribeye I tried to order earlier.  Why he would do that when it wasn't available, I have no idea, and, in the end, that's what the couple decided to order and only then he told them it was not what? >_<   On noticing that I was in conversation with the server, a more senior staff approached us to see if she could assist.  She immediately apologised for the fatty cut and said she can get the kitchen to fire up a new piece for me.  By then, I was already half way through my steak, so I thanked her for the gesture and I told her it wasn't necessary as I wouldn't be able to finish the new piece.

Our other next main, we chose a Surf & Turf combo of Angus Ribeye, Jumbo Shrimps & Baby Scallops @ RM105 that featured a 250g Angus ribeye, five jumbo shrimps and a dozen baby scallops.

The dish was complemented by the same delicious sides.  All the sides are refillable...and we loved them all, especially the sweetcorn, but we didn't need any refills as we couldn't even finish the ones on our plates. Because of the refillable sides (which I forgot all about actually), there's really no necessity to order any starters if you aren't a big-eater (and that would also help in making your meal here even more affordable).

From the looks itself, it was obvious that this piece of grain-fed ribeye achieved a better sear and because charring results in a deeper flavour, it ended up tasting much better than my piece.  It's also pretty obvious that this piece was less fatty.

The jumbo shrimps were sweet-tasting and true to its name in terms of size (understandably they look much smaller since these were totally de-shelled).  Appreciate that they were properly deveined too....and no complaints on the freshness.

But that can't be said of the baby scallops though.  They tasted of the frozen kind with a slight fishy taste (I can do without the baby scallops on the plate).  I'd probably add the word 'tiny' in front of baby scallops to truly describe the size...haha! :D

When we were done with our meal, we were presented with Spanish Churros @ RM26 (by the same male server earlier) and our initial thought was that he got it wrong.  I proceeded to tell him that we didn't order this.  He didn't mention that it was on the house.  It was at that instance that the senior female staff came over to tell us that the dessert was complimentary to make up for the earlier not-so-great cut of meat.  I thanked her for the gesture but told her she shouldn't have as we were so full we could barely eat another mouthful.

I don't want to sound ungrateful as it was a very nice gesture on their part but deep down I couldn't help but wished they had offered me a discount on the steak instead.  The fact that I was trying to refrain from eating sugary treats like this didn't help.  We had to summon all our strength to finish at least half of it, otherwise it wouldn't be very gracious of us.

The cinnamon sugar-dusted churros were served with vanilla ice-cream and a chocolate dip.  I shall refrain from giving my take on this complimentary dish as it'll be rather impolite of me to do so, don't you think? ;P

For drinks, we went with refreshing coolers of Berrylicious @ RM10.90 (a mix of wildberry & lemon) and Honey Twister (of honey & lemon) @ RM10.90 also (and realised when writing this that we had the same drinks the last time). >.<

I was in for a little surprise when we settled the bill as I found a 30% discount given on the steak I ordered. It was really nice of them to offer us both a discount and a free dessert to make up for the less-than-stellar piece of meat (which I wasn't expecting at all).  Thumbs up for their courteous and warm-hearted gesture! ;-)

My Personal Opinion

Even though this dining experience wasn't as solid as my previous visits, they're still in my good books for good and affordable steaks (I'm referring to non-Wagyu steaks, of course).  They have good maybe not-so-affordable lobsters (to some of us at least) but obviously reasonably-priced lobsters by market standards.

I applaud their effort of making sure the customer leaves with a positive dining experience instead of just being profit-focussed.  Not many restaurants are willing to do that these days when faced with a situation like this.  How can one stay disappointed after they give you a discount and a free dessert to make up for that little imperfection...I don't think anyone can.

If you're in the mood for steaks this Christmas, you're in luck as they're offering their wagyu cuts at 50% discount till the end of the year (but be prepared to pay more than RM150 even at half price)...shucks, I went too soon! ;P

Steaks & Lobsters
42 Jalan 24/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-743 7167

Wishing everyone...

and a.....

It's the holiday season, so....enjoy, 
I'll see you in 2019
(where a small announcement is forthcoming) ^_~


  1. that is indeed quite gracious of them to offer the second steak and to provide the complimentary dessert and discount - hopefully those kinds of thoughtful touches will encourage customers to keep coming back (and i'd forgotten about the refillable sides, also a rarity!) :D ooo, if this is your final post for 2018, then merry christmas to you and your family, hope everything you taste for these final two weeks of the year will be deliciously satisfying (and i'll wish you a happy new year in january, heheh) :D

    1. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised by what they did...and that's the reason why I know I will return. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and your family too...and I'll wish you happy new year later too! ;)

  2. Well, this could be a place I could consider for steak though your experience wasn't as good as you would have expected. The complimentary dessert and generous discount was certainly a pleasant surprise. I guess I'll have to wait till next year to read your next post. In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, Kris! That includes Cookie too :)

    1. It's still a good choice for steaks and lobsters if you and your brother wants to try out this place since the refillable sides will be able to cater to both your good appetites. Happy Holidays to you and your family too :)

  3. I guess you're going for your year end holidays vacation? Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy 2019 to you Kris & your family!

    1. Hope you and your family enjoy the year end festivities and holidays too :)

  4. I have never been. Thanks for the look inside.

    1. You're welcome...maybe you want to visit sometime? ^_~

  5. I have bookmarked this place and will visit when the right occasion comes. I love all the food you shared especially the Roasted Garlic Escargots and Signature Olio Asari Clams! Your photography skills are very good to make the dishes more delicious and lure gluttons like me. The reasonable prices for such great food is another good factor.

    Thank you for your beautiful greetings with cute graphics. May this Christmas and New Year 2019 bring you, your family and Cookie all the happiness, good health and best blessings!

    1. What photography skills? I just point my phone and shoot...kekeke! :D But thank you for your kind words just the same. Yes, you can get affordable and reasonably-prices steaks here.

      And thank you very much for your beautiful wishes. The same to you and your wife for the most wonderful time of the year :)

  6. That looks like good old fashion proper steak, too many people now only look into the magic word "wagyu" and think it'll be the best.

    1. Isn't it? ^_* Well, it better be for the prices! :D I like wagyu because it has a better flavour in the meat (some, maybe not all)...but a good old fashion grain or grass-fed steak is more affordable, of course.

  7. Merry Christmas! Hope your day is filled with love.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...