Sunday, January 07, 2007

My first real food review.

Wagyu beef: Also known as Kobe-style beef, the meat from Wagyu cattle are known worldwide for marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness, and thus a high market value (around $500 to $1000 a pound, or as high as $4000 for choice cuts)

-taken from

Yupp, I thought I would never ever get to try Kobe beef in my entire life, but my dad actually made this wish came true for us! :)

According to my dad, wagyu beef is essentially the same as kobe beef, just that the cattle for wagyu beef are rared in Australia instead of Japan.

We went to Max!

Situated at Jalan Tong Shin, KL.

The restaurant is quite new, according to my dad, who has patronised the place before. Incidentally, it was because he found the food so good, which was why he brought us there.

Now, mind you, it has been too long since my dad brought us out for a nice Western meal. Sure, there were always the mandatory Sunday Chinese dinners, but compared to last time, whereby Victoria Station, Parkroyal, Roadhouse Grill, Outback Steakhouse etc were occasional treats...

Like I said, it has been too long. ;)

The restaurant is renovated from old Kl shoplots (if you have been to Changkat you would know what I mean), and is relatively small.

But cosy. :)

I like how the design of the restaurant was not overbearing, and it makes you instantly at ease. :) The interior of the restaurant is simple, but you can see that much thought has been put into the seemingly insignificant details.

Like the serving plates with abstact art that dotted every single wooden table.
Every plate is individual and different! :)

Or what about this? :)

The bar.
The picture captured a wider persective previously, but unfortunately, I had to crop it, as the waitress who was in the picture spoiled the pic, hah!

Me and my red Alice band.
I planned my entire outfit around the stupid hairband! :P

Fresh-from-the-oven buns!
Eaten with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Now, I am a firm believer that the bread/buns that restaurant serves depicts the sincerity level of the restaurant. Too many restaurants visited which served cold hard crumbly buns have put me on a quest to find good buns.

I seek for that in men too.

And my god, I have found IT.

Even as I grasp the bun in my hands from the plate, I knew IT was different.
The bun was warm, almost hot!
Such a nice surprise. :)

The light aroma of wheat and bread hit my nose before I sunk my teeth into the bun.
Slightly crisp on the outside, and so soft and warm inside.
And when lightly dipped into the perfect blend of olive oil and vinegar...

Definitely the best buns I've eaten!

It was seriously so tastebuds-gratifying that we were clambering after the last bun on the plate, and before we knew it...

The observant waiter actually brought us another plate of buns!


So there we were, cramming the buns into our mouths despite my dad's warning that there were more food to come. ;)

There were chilli flakes in the bun! Though I could'nt actually taste the chilli, it was nice to know that the buns were baked with a twist.
Yes, the chef bakes all the buns! :)

Max, the chef, was extremely friendly-- he came up and talked to us for awhile whilst taking orders and giving good recommendations regarding portions, preferences and stuff. He even promised me a picture with him, and our food!

But there were so many customers later in the night (Max single-handedly cooks all the dishes) that I felt bad for requesting him to photoslut with me.

Meet Max, the chef, and the person whom the restaurant is named after!
And the open-concept kitchen is right next to the bar, which means that all patrons could see him cook.

Our appetiser...

Porto Bello salad with grilled mushrooms.

In an assymmetrically-shaped bowl!

I was rather surprised that my dad ordered salad, as; firstly, my dad is not a fan of vegetables, and secondly, my dad is a firm believer that ordering greens when eating out is a waste money, as they are usually so overcharged.

But when I bit into a chunk of mushroom, I understood.

The bestest, tastiest, yummiest mushrooms, EVER.
It was grilled to the extend that it tasted charred, almost, but not quite.
So you get a burst of grilled goodness on your tongue, when you first put the mushroom into your mouth, and as you chew along, the fresh juices of the mushrooms take over.
And the SAUCE.
The mushrooms were obviously marinated to perfection, then lovingly grilled.

Imagine, there were 2 people who do not eat vegetables (bro and Jing), and my dad who does'nt have a thing for greens, and we polished off two huge bowls of the salad (we ordered 2 servings)! :)

Still on appetisers...

Now, I've to admit, I have never tasted foie gras in my life before.
I've heard so much of this renowned fine food, whether through blogs or casual flipping of (rich) lifestyle magazines at the dentist, and I found that most people go crazy over this bird liver.

Hence, igniting my curiosity, and thereby making me swear to myself that I must try it out soon.

Soon came along! ;)

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Foie gras wrapped in unagi!

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Cross-sectional view.
A layer of grilled unagi, then foie gras, and unagi again.

My verdict on foie gras?
Well, this is gonna sound pretty strange, but it tasted... muttony.

Overall, it was pretty squishy, but I guess it could pass for a creamy texture, as diligently described by some people.

I think it's the fact that I was munching on liver that put me off a bit.
Y'see, I don't take organs, never!

But the unagi part was good. :)

Nonetheless, could kind souls who have tried foie gras before tell me whether my mutton take on foie gras is correct? How does good foie gras tastes anyway?


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Pan fried cod fish.

Cod fish and salmon are my favourite fish.
Oh, sashimi. Oh, grilled salmon. Oh, smoked salmon. Oh, cod fish cooked in whatever style.
Oooh, pardon me while I quiver in orgasm at the thought of these lip-smacking dishes.

Nevertheless, being one of the more expensive fishes around, I don't really eat cod fish that often, but I know a good cod fish dish when I see one. :)

The meat was smooth, the butter sauce was light but complemented the fish perfectly...

*kisses fingers*

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Duck with a fancier name...

I thought this was the wagyu beef at first!
The pink meat was misleading larrrr.

My mom was crazy over this duck course, but I found it okay. Delicious, but not sensational.
Go to the roasted duck place in Paramount Garden, nicer! :P
And I found the sauce a tad too oily.

But overall, a satisfactory dish. :)

And, TADA!

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Wagyu beef cheeks!
The best part of the cow! ;)

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Close up.

I have to admit, I was a little put off by its appearance initially...
Hello? This is how wagyu beef look like???
It costs up to USD4000, can????

(Don't ask me how I expected it to look like, gold plates, I guess).

But upon my first bite into the tender flesh, it was clear why kobe/wagyu beef is a clear winner in beef. Sorry, Malaysia lembu.

I don't take beef often, but the wagyu beef was so soft, so tender, and it literally melts in your mouth.

I know, I know, the phrase "melt in your mouth'' is so overused, but I swear, all those times other people used it, they were lying!

This is the real deal.

It tasted like very fatty (albeit not oily) braised pork to me! (Don't tell my dad, he would kill me if I described the beef as such after paying so much. -_-) ;)

After that, dessert time!


But seriously, my dad was really nice, and he not only let us order dessert, he let us order two!
My dad is those kiamsap china men who do not like desserts. Pfft.

They gave us new dessert plates-- wavy-shaped, cute.

I told you I like the little details in the restaurant. :)

Walnut chocolate chip cookies with hazelnut ice cream and maple syrup.

To be thoroughly honest, I expected a few lame pieces of chocolate chip crackers and ice cream... I mean, who serves cookies as desserts?

But the soft spot for cookies in me spurred me to give it a try.

And it did not disappoint! :)

The cookie was soft and chewy and warm and gooey and oh-so-filled with melted chocolate chips.
Eaten with the delicious creamy ice cream with crispy hazelnut pieces, hot and cold. WOW.
And not to mention the maple sauce dribbled over the entire palate!


Crisp kataifi pastry wrapped strawberry with straciatella ice cream and coffee oil.

Close up.

Which was basically fresh strawberries wrapped in vermicelli-like pastry. I did not try this, for I was too busy scoffing my face with the cookie (I am known as the cookie monster in the family, no pun intended), but according to my sister, it was a little too bland. I suspect it would taste better if the chef wrapped it with some cream, or CHOCOLATE SAUCE!

Oh the thought.

Another reason that I was not particularly impressed by this dessert was 'cause I have seen similar dishes in Chef Loong before! Go there and try their kataifi pastries with avocado filling! Yum, I assure you! :)

Anyway, as mentioned before, wagyu beef usually costs an arm, but at Max!, it costs RM60 for a plate, definitely worth trying! :) And Max has recently been featured in Star too, bringing Max (the chef) more crowd to the restaurant, so do make reservations. =)

All in all, an extremely satisfactory meal, I give it a perfect 10 for a wonderful evening. :)
Now, I just have to work harder to ensure fine foods will always be a prominent part of my life! ;)


Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Everything looks so *yumzzz*!!! I can actually smell the food from the pictures. The place looks extremely *not yumzzz* for the wallet though!!!

Anonymous said...

Definitely got to give you props, Hui Wen... you write enthusiastic, mouth-watering food reviews :D

revel in me said...

sam: I take pride in taking good food pictures! ;)

And honestly, the place is'nt that expensive... The wagyu beef and the foie gras were the ones which killed the bill.. Other dishes, are like the usual prices-- RM20 plus to RM40-ish.. =)

xahra: Thank you so much, babe!! Food is my greatest love!! :D

Anonymous said...

See! I promised to leave a comment. =)

Anonymous said...

how on earth could u remember the full name of "Crisp kataifi pastry wrapped strawberry with straciatella ice cream and coffee oil"????

Anonymous said...

australian wagyu can't match kobe beef in taste and pretentiousness.

revel in me said...

chor min: I took a photo of the menu.. :D

baz: SERIOUS??? Where did you have kobe? Anywhere that you recommend? ;)

Craaaap, now I need to save money to try kobe, blardy hell.