Sunday, 25 May 2008

Restaurant review: Prime @ Le Meridien KL

Restaurant: Prime
Location: Le Meridien Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2263 7555
Verdict: Utter disappointment, horrendous service and mediocre food

Upset would barely describe how I felt after last night's dinner at Prime.

I've been looking forward to trying Prime out because of all the great recommendations from friends and floggers alike. I'll admit though, that I have been warned by a few that it was not all that great but, you'll never know until you try.

My parents have been bugging me for a meal ever since my bonus was announced a few weeks ago.. And we've all always wanted to try Prime. What better place to make the daughter buy dinner than at one of the best places to have steak in town (and also one of the most expensive!).

My first complain would be the service. Our waitress was really rude and had an attitude problem. She was acting as if we didn't belong there. My dad had brought a nice bottle of French wine (Sorry I can't remember what name now... I think it was a Chateau Margeoux, Year 2000. But I might be wrong because i only got a glimpse of it). She rudely pointed out that they had a policy not to allow outside wines. We were pretty fine with not having the wine with the dinner but it was just the way she said it. Plus, she didn't even bother to push to sell their wines since we cant drink ours.

Ordering time. Again, she was horrid. Absolutely horrid. I wanted her to explain certain things on the menu, since it was our first time there and all. She didn't look like she least cared and she barely said much.

For starters, I had the clam chowder, Rommel and Pa had the portobello salad and Ma decided to have the fresh oysters.

Clam chowder was disappointing. Too much cream, just one large clam that was sliced up and some chunky bits of potatoes. A far cry from the clam chowder I'd had in San Francisco Bay as a kid.

The portobello salad was pretty good, I suppose. But, Rommel said the reason why he ordered that was because the other salads just didn't sound interesting.

Mom's oysters were fine. Came with various types of sauces which was interesting. But she said, for the price (RM65), we could have gone across to Latest Recipe and all had the buffet for slightly more and she could have eaten loads more oysters.

Main course:

Mine was the Simply the best Beef set which came (in one plate).. 110g each of the Australian Black Angus, the Argentinian and the Wagyu, all cooked slightly differently with baby potatoes, asparagus and other veg as accompaniments. Sounds good? Well, the taste was something else.

I started with the Black Angus. Definitely NOT melt in your mouth. In fact, it almost tastes like (but is worse than) the RM52.90 steak I get in Monte's at BSC (which I very much prefer anyway). And I asked for medium. The steak came pretty much well done. FAIL.

Next was the Argentinian steak which was really tender. But I didn't quite fancy the curry-ish sauce that it came with.

Then the Wagyu. Ugh. Don't even want to think about it.

Pa also had the Wagyu, but he took the a la carte ribeye, 220g. He complained to the waitress when she came around to ask how were things. He said that the meat was not as tender as expected, considering this was supposed to be their best cut (I asked her if it was). All she could say was, "I'm sorry about that. Enjoy your meal." I mean... WTF?!?!?!

Rommel had the Australian Black Angus ribeye, 340g. Pa tried some and actually said that he prefered Rommel's one which cost less than half the price of his.

Ma has been abstaining from red meat so she took the grilled US cod. And guess what, it was not fresh. Can you believe it?? I took a bite to test since I'm the family's freshness detector when it comes to fish. Yup. Not fresh at all. Perhaps that was why the waitress kept forcing us to order the sauces to go with our steaks and the fish. Cos Ma said that once you added the sauce for the fish, you couldn't really tell.

For dessert, we'd read that the hot chocolate cake was supposed to be good. So we ordered that, and a strawberry cheesecake to share. Now, I dont mean to be fussy, but when the "hot" chocolate cake arrives at the table 5 mins after ordering, something is not right. It's too fast a service. Then we saw why. The cake was just a little round cupcake and they had the hot chocolate sauce in a separate jar which you then pour over the cake. It was too dry and bland tasting. Its only saving grace was the ice cream. Not too sweet, rather light... Yummy.

The cheesecake was alright I suppose. Ma wanted that one but it wasn't what she was expecting. So for the first time, we barely touched the desserts (except the ice cream).

We'd also ordered 2 lattes. They only brought one. When we asked for the 2nd one, the spoon that came with it was not chocolate-coated like the first one. Inconsistent?

At the end of it all, Pa said that the quality of the meats were actually pretty good. It was the cooking which ruined everything. His steak had a bitter aftertaste due to over-charring. But, he would have very much more enjoyed eating at Le Francois or Angus in Pavilion or at Max or even Monte's.

A lady from Le Meridien called me this evening to see how our dinner went last night. I told her we were very disappointed and then passed the phone to Pa and he gave her an earful. Poor lady. She was just doing her job. But, the chef needs to know.

And so now we have finally tried Prime. After all the excitement and anticipation, it was downright disappointing. Rommel said he thinks the steak we cook at home is much better. Pa said he'll never go back there unless someone wants to buy him dinner there. I say - those who told us that Prime is not all that it's cracked up to be were absolutely correct.

Now, I feel like running back to Max and ordering my pepper crusted steak just to make myself feel better. Or back to Angus in Pavilion for a proper wagyu.

(Another disappointing steakhouse is Jake's Charbroil in Starhill's Feast Village. Long story, maybe worthy of another review. But, to sum it up, after one disastrous Father's Day meal there 2 years ago, we've never gone back.)

Shen and Fatteh, are you game to try Prime after reading this? I think this experience is worse than the Gonbei incident. At least at Gonbei, the manager redeemed himself and the restaurant waived off the whole meal worth RM900++ because of what happened!


Priscilla said...

Well... I was never really hyped up about Prime at all in the first place o_O My gut feeling said something was odd about it, but since everyone said it's "soooooo gooooood" and everything, I thought that maybe I was wrong and kept my mouth shut. Maybe I shouldn't have! Go go go back to Max and have a duck. With lots of polenta. You know, I just read in my newest cooking magazine (Taste Italia) that lots of ppl don't like polenta. Why not??? It's gorgeously delicious!! *heart* Oh, about a week and a half ago, I ate at this restaurant that got 5 stars in the newspaper. I'll send a review for you to post!

Anonymous said...

Wow .. Never thought that there would actually be for once a poor review on PRIME. I was there last week and i found that service was excellent and I had the juiciest steak that i ever sunk my teeth on! The bread with the various butters was just heavenly. Too bad you had a bad time though. Just happen to stumble upon your blog and nice knits btw. The shawl looks great!

Petrina said...

Thanks about the comments on my knits!

Yup, I am really not sure if it was just our bad luck that day but I dont think I can get my dad to try it again..