Monday, April 7, 2014

Marble 8 @ Binjai

A haven for steak-lovers, Marble 8 is one of two new outlets opened this past month by the people behind Marini's On 57.

This bungalow restaurant is an impressive-looking space, elegantly stylish with dramatic flourishes; it also ranks among the most darkly lit fine-dining establishments in KL's history. Try to reserve a table with a Binjai park view of KL's glittering towers.

 Marble 8 Steakhouse's pride is Diamantina Wagyu beef supplied by revered Australian breeders Stanbroke, dry-aged right here in this restaurant for between 21 and 40 days. The slabs are a sight to behold, for sure.

 Chef Joshua Clunas, formerly of The Brisbane Club & working in KL for the first time, tackles the meat, a master-class in tenderness, sliced & seared by the table.

Boneless filet mignon (Marble Score 5+, RM280 before taxes for 180 grams), the most affordable choice for the dry-aged category. Other options: boneless rib-eye (RM420 for 350 grams), New York short loin on the bone (RM480 for 450 grams), tenderloin on the bone (RM650 for 450 grams) & tomahawk (RM2,100 for 1.8 kilograms).

 Wet-aged Black Angus & Wagyu beef is also available, vacuum-sealed for at least 21 days. The most budget-friendly one: Black Angus centre cut tenderloin (Marble Score 3+, RM148 for 200 grams).

Each steak comes with one sauce & one condiment; the selection spans red wine jus, mushroom ragout, spicy tomato chutney, creamed horseradish, house-made barbecue sauce & assorted artisan mustards.

Marble 8's side dishes comprise temptations like horseradish-battered onion rings with English cheddar dip (RM18), rosemary salted rustic steak fries with truffle aioli, dressed momotaro tomatoes with sweet onions & basil, mashed potatoes with truffle pesto & whole baked potato with crispy beef lardons, sour cream & chives.

The menu nevertheless extends far beyond steaks, featuring the likes of Wagyu beef lasagna (RM88) & other red-meat recipes like beef tartare & grilled lamb rack.

Hand-rolled macaroni with smoked duck, shimeji mushrooms & veggies (RM58). Steakhouse staples such as crab cakes, Caesar salads, oysters, prawn cocktails, foie gras, butternut pumpkin soup, spring chicken, grilled lobster & cod fish are also available, all in more elaborate recipes than usual.

 Desserts? Three options for now, of which the dulce de leche cheesecake with coffee-perfumed buttercream, pistachio nut praline & blueberry gel (RM32) certainly reads as the most intriguing.

No worries though; customers won't need to eat in order to visit Marble 8. The venue also features a separate M8 bar that comprises an indoor lounge & better still, a garden site that's ideal for a breezy night. It was still pretty peaceful when we visited on a recent weekend, but expect that to change soon.

Cocktails here ignite the imagination: Our best bet's the Ragged Ocean (lavender-infused Cragganmore 12 years, sugar, angostura bitters, saffron-infused orange bitters, for RM57), a masculine-skewing concoction with memorable complexities.

Wolfberry 8 (gin, wolfberries, grapefruit juice, passionfruit pulp, simple syrup, for RM38), a sweeter creation.

 By the bottle, the wallet will be wounded the least by the Italian Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (RM168).

 All in all, the perfect place to head to right now if your entertainment expenses have a higher-than-the-norm threshold.

 There's one more new Marini's venue nearby; check back later this week to read about that one.

Marble 8 Steakhouse & M8 Bar by Marini's
Jalan Binjai, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur. Beside The Binjai.
Daily for dinner. Tel: 03-2386-6030 (number works erratically)


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33 comments:

  1. Can't complain about those views! There might be some sore pockets though! ;-)

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    1. The Yum List: heheh, yeah, the bar section especially takes full advantage of the view. so the most affordable way to enjoy the scenery here would be by ordering a RM40 cocktail and sipping slowly :)

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  2. Wowwwwww!!!! Breathtaking place. Bet my girl would love the lasagna. Slurpssss!!!!

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    1. Suituapui: yeah, you can take some awesome scenery shots here :) we couldn't resist ordering the lasagna, heh :)

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  3. This is a great addition; and love that they are Marini's on 57's offsprings (or spinoffs)!~ Looks like a classy and gorgeous dining place, and perfect for hanging out with friends!~ ;-) Can't wait to see the other one you're about to cover this week, I bet it's just as awesome....can't expect any less :-D

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    1. Christy: yeah, this is one of the most impressive-looking openings so far in 2014 :) thanks for reading, and i hope you like everything else that's coming up this month too! :)

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  4. I do like filet mignon. That first photo...wow, Sean!

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    1. Linda: yeah, my favourites cuts are rib-eyes, and i don't often order filet mignons, but it was fun to try that here ... i do like that photo too! :)

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  5. Had Diamantina Wagyu before actually.. though not aged (dry or wet) just fresh ones.. better than the usual Aussie but still.... wish they could have US cattle hehehe... just a thought.

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    1. Rebecca: yeah, it's fun to have a diverse selection of beef available! :)

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  6. Wow this is heaven for me! The beef is definitely not cheap but I guess it's worth trying for sure. Oh and the onion rings look good too!

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, i don't think i'll be able to afford the rest of the beef options here, but it's certainly worth checking out once. the onion rings were very hearty! :)

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  7. Certainly not cheap but the beef really look GOOD!

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    1. Ken: true, this place certainly takes its beef very seriously, heh! :)

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  8. Great pictures and great write up, but what a RIPPPPOFFFF!! I will only speak of what I know after working with meat for many many years and living in KL to.
    Let us get the first thing right, 99% of meat these days are "wet aged" fancy word for vacum packed. So ALL restaurants in KL serve wet aged beef. Just nobody has been clever enough to mention such a basic thing as an upsell to generate more revenue. What is worth mentioning is that beef improves up to 21 days from it has been placed in the vacum bag from the time of slaughter, then remains good until the 8-10 week mark, but it looses more and blood and moisture as it gets older, that is older not aged, since it is sitting in its own blood and not hung dry and having good bacteria breaking down the meat, moisture going out of the meat to intensify its flavour and not swimming in a sealed pool of its own blood. This is just another one of those awful ways of fooling guest into paying more for something, like another famous KL Steakhouse that serves kobe beef or australian kobe beef, since the brand name on of the wagyu is "masterkobe", by right this is false marketing by the restaurant, not the producer, for him it is just the name of his brand, not his product, his product is wagyu beef (of a very very high quality, well worth the money you pay for it)
    Stanbroke beef is great, (Stanbroke is the producer, one of the largest in Australia, Diamantina is a Brand name) it is also the most affordable (read cheapest) chilled beef you can buy in KL. Not because it is bad, like I said it is great. But it is the brand of beef that most suppliers and supermarkets carry in Malaysia, so the the quantity of what is produced and imported to Malaysia and Asia is Huge! But the meat is great. Much better in terms of mouth feel and texture than many of the more expensive brands and black angus breeds. So as good as it is, there is absolutely no need to charge these prices. Sure KL is becoming more and more expensive, we all feel it. Sure you add an expat chef, from Queensland where Stanbroke is based, but he won't cost That much, he is probably underpaid for the hours he work and so are his Malaysian colleagues, but seeing prices like 280++ for 180g tenderloin marble score 5 (most worthy restaurants would not mention such a low marble score, what you are buying is the "lowest grade" of wagyu, that is also the lowest priced, that 280++ pays for about 10-12 portions (8-10 if you have a lot of trimmings and blunt knife) of tenderloin, most restaurants in this category operate at 33-36% food cost, this sounds like 15% with the customer being on the sharp edge of that blunt knife, and an owner making his return in a couple of years instead of maybe 6-8years.
    Since I do not know the marble score of the other options:(I do hope it is Wagyu beef for these prices) boneless rib-eye (RM420 for 350 grams), New York short loin on the bone (RM480 for 450 grams), tenderloin on the bone (RM650 for 450 grams) actually are I will not go in detail here but I expect the owners making the same return on these cuts. The highest marble score wagyu should be sold for a maximum (fine dining setting, table cloth, lots of staff etc, read high expenses other than food cost) at RM2 per gram of meat, so we are talking about a marble score 9+.
    To charge RM2,100 for a tomahawk (800-900g is bone) is just a way of showing off that my beep is bigger than your beep. I am sure it is one of the better sellers. We can only wait for a fine diner to start charging RM800 for their degustation menu that has many more work hours, range of ingredients, cooking methods, service methods, cooking methods, plates to clean etc than any steak will every have. Don't forget that it takes a very long time for beef to spoil, it is not like fresh seafood that must be sold or the restaurant will have a guaranteed loss, with beef you have a weeks to sell it before you start to worry about throwing it away. It is the best business to be in, really....

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    1. Couldnt Keepquiet: thanks for your insights from the perspective of someone with a lot of experience. definitely useful to read this. i can only comment based on the viewpoint of having dinner here, and the beef did cost more than we'd be inclined to fork out for steak, at least not more than a couple of times a year :)

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  9. We would like to clarify that our meat is not the same grade as what Stanbroke produces for supermarkets and we are the only restaurant in Malaysia that is endorsed by the owner of Stanbroke, where we are supplied with handpicked special cuts, chosen from their wide range of stock. Our specialty is dry aged beef where our meat is dry aged under a closely monitored airflow, temperature and humidity according to techniques and standards taught by Australian beef experts. We also fly in a highly trained butcher from Australia regularly and use salt slabs flown in all the way from India for the dry aging process. This process allows the beef time to reach optimum flavour and tenderness.

    We are also the first steakhouse in Malaysia that uses professional steakhouse broilers from the US. This unique broiler, of which we have two, uses intense infrared energy that penetrates deeply into the premium meat searing the surface while retaining their juices, flavour and tenderness with minimum shrinkage. This is why there is a price difference with our cuts as we do not offer the commonly used wet aged beef. It is understandable that many yet do not know about this and it will take time to educate the market, but all great things take time. Just like dry aging ;)

    Come and experience the unbeatable taste and service that Marble8 has to offer and whilst you're there, have look at our dry aging room, which you can also view a picture of it on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/MarbleEight, Sean has.

    Diana Lee, Marble 8

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    1. Diana: thank you for explaining all the expertise and attention to quality that goes into Marble 8's beef. there's a lot of behind-the-scenes effort that i wasn't aware of or understood clearly, so it was great to read your elaboration :)

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    2. Hi Sean,

      It's my pleasure, looking forward to welcoming you back and thanks again for the review.

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    3. Diana: no worries, we had a pleasant evening at marble 8, and i'll definitely be back for cocktails at the terrific bar :)

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  10. It was a bad experience with medium steak coming out as medium rare.
    What's worse was the waiter insisted that it was medium.
    It became well done after putting it back.
    We won't be going back there again and won't encourage anyone else to.
    The experience and price just doesn't gel.

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  11. Complain and complain... People these days. I love it there at Marble 8. Great food and ambiance. You don't think so? Go to KFC.

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  12. Plan to visit m8 bar. Would appreciate that can share on car parking information. Is it enough parking space provided to customer or any nearby car park available.

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  13. Love the final shot with the dustbins in it.. LOL!! if you can't afford this place.. then all u will see are the bins, I spose! haha! Oh wow, even in low light, you did the place and food justice - great shots sean. So my question is, are the steaks better than Prime? :)

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    1. Yes darling the beef is better that Prime

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  18. There is no such thing as "American style Kobe beef"! Kobe beef is, by Japanese law, exclusively from the pure Tajima-gyu breed of cattle born, raised, and slaughtered ONLY in Hyogo prefecture, Japan. Otherwise, it's not Kobe beef.

    There is NO Kobe beef sold anywhere in Malaysia, full stop. It is difficult to get outside of Japan. Only a handful of countries receive exports of the meat from Japan, and even then, it's in small quantities. Malaysia has never had any actual Kobe beef legally imported from Japan. None, zip, zero. If you see ANY restaurant in this country advertising Kobe beef, it is a lie. Singapore gets it, Macau gets it, and occasionally Thailand and even Vietnam get it. Not Malaysia.

    http://www.kobe-niku.jp/en/contents/exported/index.php -- Want to see exactly where Kobe beef is being exported on a daily basis and the exact amounts? Check this official site. Kobe beef is produced under some of the world's strictest legal food regulations, and the tracing of the Tajima-gyu cattle from calf to carcass is extremely thorough.

    That said, the last four comments are largely just gobbledygook, anyway. Just a bunch of random words strung together, it seems -- or a very, very poor translation of some other language into English.

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  21. 21-40 days? I wonder how's those 400 days dry-aged wagyu.

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