Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Red Lobster Malaysia @ The Intermark

With a history that reaches way back to 1968, a cross-border network spanning 700-strong branches, & a tantalising tagline that calls on customers to 'sea food differently,' the American crustacean specialist Red Lobster landed in Malaysia this week, brought to Kuala Lumpur's Intermark complex by local F&B brand Secret Recipe.

True to its name, this place is all about claw-to-tail eating, with highlights like live Maine lobsters or Malaysian rock ones, steamed or roasted with a crab-meat stuffing. But we're on a budget, so we opted for samplers constructed for sharing, including this Bar Harbor Lobster Bake, with a split lobster tail, shrimp & scallops on a bed of linguine in a savoury broth.

Surprisingly, this surfaced scarcely five minutes after we ordered it - a testament to Red Lobster's expertise as a fast-service, casual-eating outlet. All of the seafood proved as tender as touted, though in terms of flavour, it bordered on blandness. There's a mass-market, batch-cooked taste to this, making it fall short of the ocean's briny richness. RM109.90 before taxes.

Lobster pizzas are available, embellished with morsels of Maine lobster meat, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes & basil (RM36.90++). A step up from the crab-stick pizzas that delivery chains often offer, though a different dough & prep method might have worked better for the pizza base, which suffered a not-exactly-right texture, somewhere in between bread & biscuit.

There's lobster flesh in this bowl too, but it's muddled in a morass of cheesy stuffed mushrooms that seem more 'guilty' than 'pleasure.' Part of a RM45.90 'Seaside Sampler' platter that also comprises 'Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp' (Bubba who?) & fried calamari with peppers (the batter's a little too soft for that one, pictured further below).

On a positive note, Red Lobster Malaysia currently has a strong service team, comprising Asians working alongside Americans from Red Lobster's headquarters; they're enthusiastic (some with a sparkling sense of humour), patient (with a smile always near their lips) & obliging (even when tackling tricky requests from customers to switch tables at peak periods).

The menu is wide, so even if you're not into lobsters, other seafood can be ordered, from parmesan-crusted sea bass (RM36.90) to oven-broiled flounder (RM28.90) & mussels marinara (RM26.90).

Red Lobster's (complimentary) Cheddar Bay Biscuits are fluffy & savoury, but taste more of baking mix than butter or cheese.

The kitchen assures customers that the food is prepared without pork & without alcohol; mercifully though, the outlet maintains a bar that serves wine, plus basic cocktails like Mojitos & Margaritas (RM22.90). Ask specifically for the separate liquor menu.

Red Lobster KL
G-17, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2181-4855

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30 comments:

  1. Very nice, Sean! We used to have Red Lobster here in Montreal, but there are none anymore. There are, however, some in other parts of Canada, as far as I know. Great review, Sean, thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Linda: glad you enjoyed reading about red lobster in malaysia, and thanks for sharing your knowledge about red lobster in canada :)

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  2. i really really hope the biscuits will not disappoint me, really really hope. it's memoriesssss

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    1. KY: i will cross my fingers for you! :)

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  3. I do wonder how fresh seafood can be when it's been imported from across the other side of the world. I suppose they're got it all worked out with the enormous number of outlets they have.

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    1. The Yum List: i think the maine lobster is the main one that's imported, and some of those lobsters can be spotted swimming live in the aquarium here. most of the shrimp, etc, should be local, i think, but yeah, i guess they've got a system...

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  4. wah, you really go eat today~ check out mine too~

    http://www.reloadfood.com/2014/09/red-lobster-live-seafood-malaysia-with-free-biscuit-the-intermark-ampang-park-experience.html?showComment=1412054913172

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    1. Happy walker: ooo, too bad we didn't bump into each other in this restaurant, heheh :)

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    2. you belanja me makan if we bump into each others? haha

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    3. Happy walker: heh, that could be a possibility ;)

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  5. Guess I'll wait until the hype dies down a little and when the kinks are worked out :P

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    1. SC: yeah, it'll be good to hear it if the food here improves over the next few weeks/months :)

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  6. Gosh!!!! Opulence to the max!!! But that sure is a dish to die for... Gorgeous!!!! The rest look great too!

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, sounds like you're a fan of lobsters (and seafood in general) :)

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  7. Can we have a buffet dinner at this restaurant? :P

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    1. Ken: heheh, that would be good for us, but unfortunately, so far not, heh :)

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  8. Next year I will be working somewhere near Intermark, good to know there are more food choices now, hehehe.

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    1. CK: ooo, ya, the intermark is now bursting with many makan places, with more to come :D

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  9. The Bar Harbor Lobster Bake does look pretty good (the selection), hopefully they will improve on the taste soon.

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    1. Baby Sumo: i actually only realised after we had eaten that the lobster bake was supposed to come with mussels too, but maybe they ran out :)

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  10. Whoa.. soft opening's tonite and glad im not going .. doesnt look like I'm missing much :P

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    1. Rebecca: oh, but maybe they might feed the guests for the soft-opening very well! :D

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  11. Looking forward to visiting them. Had some good memories of them.

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    1. Missyblurkit: hope you relive fond memories here :)

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  12. Hi sean, nice info!! can I know is it halal? Pork free? If yes, I would like bring my husband there. ;)

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    1. Cheetah: thanks :) red lobster does not serve pork, and it does welcome muslim customers :)

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    2. hi, did the restaurant serve alcohol? tqs

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    3. Dkecik: yes, it does :)

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  13. Interesting. I'm often disappointed at the local handling of Western food chains, and this doesn't look to be much of a game-changer on that point. Admittedly, the Chili's group that's here manages to get more right than not, but some of the Red Lobster dishes here look pretty diabolical, including the biscuits, which are jaw-droppingly popular in the States. Your review definitely isn't a ringing endorsement, but it's nice to hear the service was good, if not the food. That's the complete opposite of the way it usually is here!

    Kudos for the dig at local "crab stick pizzas," too -- I actually did an entire blog entry ranting about that very thing several years ago: http://chadinkl.blogspot.com/2010/06/its-just-not-right.html

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    1. Chad: yeah, there's something lost in translation here when it comes to the food ... and for the prices we have to pay at red lobster malaysia, we might not leave totally satisfied. it'll be interesting to watch whether a successful expansion to other locations in KL is in the cards...

      just read your post and really enjoyed it ... i've grown up with whatever pizza hut malaysia has offered over the years, so i'm immune to feeling perplexed by it all, but it's cool to read a different person's perspective :)

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