Ahhhh... walking into Arthur's Bar & Grill at Shangri-la Hotel Kuala Lumpur sure does brought back lots of memories. Just that it's no longer what it used to look like back in The Pub days. The Pub back then was a famous English style pub where the well heeled patronise to chill out. I remember the dark interior, suits of armour, the pool table at The Oval Room, the leather booths, the frozen margaritas and most of all the to-die-for pies!
I've worked right behind the hotel for close to 20 years, you can say I virtually go to Shangri-la everyday kekeke since I almost always use it as a short cut to walk to the gym or lrt station. The temptations to stop by Lemon Garden 2 Go to pick up a quick lunch or the fresh breads and pastries were just too good to be resisted. The generous boss who takes us to have a nice dinner at the cafe before the late nights helping out in preparing tender documents or the best even getting to tag along when the boss entertains clients at Shang Palace. Ahhh those were the days...
Transformed now into a very trendy and modern Manhattan styled bar and grill, and renamed to Arthur's Bar & Grill, I would say it's rather refreshing. It's bright and quite a contrast. The main bar area where the ceiling remained high, stocked up a list of impressive liquor and drinks. What I loved most... the hand bag hooks underneath the tables... small thing but yet utmost thoughtful.
Ok we did asked why the name Arthur was picked thinking it must have been named after a famous person but in actual fact the name has nothing to do with anyone, it was just a name. Strangely why Arthur when there's William (my late ex-colleague's name), Tom, Dick or even Harry :p but how about some girly name like Jane, Mary or Jenny?
Then there's the mezzanine level where we used to have small office gatherings. It's still there and perfect for small private parties.
A state of art enomatic wine dispenser is installed too so that every glass of wine taste fresh. In the evening, this cart stores the delicious roast waiting to be carved and served to patrons.
Even though much renovated, the essence is still there to me especially the leather chairs and booths. If you're there early for lunch, it's rather quiet but it's easy to know why the dining area fills up quickly when lunch hours approaches. A whole lot of them are regulars who mostly works in the area, for I could recognise some of the faces.
Executive Chef, Rudolf Kunkel, dropped by to say hello and got on to some friendly exchanges over life in China.
Not sure about you, I liked it when a nice bread basket is served but at Arthur's Bar & Grill, it goes up another level by serving a whole loaf of herb bread baked in a clay flower pot with some fresh tomato salsa. Individual condiments of mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup are provided as well. I'm into making my fresh bread these days and I really appreciate the work put into making pots of bread.
There's one word that came flying out of my mouth when I dine here - HUGE! Yup... that's the portion of food served here. Capt'n Hook and I really like how the Nachos turned out. The rustic way of splashing sour cream, salsa and guacamole over the nachos with melted cheese is fun to be dig in by everyone rather than having the condiments in separate containers. Felt really warm this way to share the nachos.
Then the Fresh Pacific Oysters that smells and tasted like the ocean!
At The Pub, Capt'n Hook used to order the Hungarian Goulash but back then it was a soup served with dumplings. At Arthur's, it reincarnated as Hungarian Beef Goulash under the Pie category packed to the brim in a mini enameled cast iron pot. This thick beef stew with fork tender meat is flavoured with tomato, bay leaf, garlic and paprika... well at least that's what I tasted :p and went well with the rich and creamy mash potatoes.
We can't go off without tasting something off the grill, and so Australian OP Rib came highly recommended. It's a huge portion of 500g grain fed rib eye steak plus bone done to a perfect medium to go with garlic butter sauce. As for the sides, we asked for creamy spinach and sauteed button mushrooms.
When the menu screams "the burger for Grown Ups!" it certainly got Capt'n Hook into his burger frenzy. Not helping when the name is known as Arthur's Beef Burger "The Works". When the burger arrives in a hot square cast iron skillet, only these words would describe it "Wow so tall!". In between the 3 slices of burger buns, there are the thick but juicy ground patties with melted cheddar over, the still runny fried egg, slices of smoked beef, ripe sweet tomatoes slices and lettuce leaves; topping off are onion rings and a skewer that holds everything down!!! This burger is served with a side of thick cut fries and coleslaw.
Earlier the week, Capt'n Hook had this lousy burger that is so sloppy from the thick thousand island looking mayo and soggy buns but this one is a total contrast. The mayonnaise is lightly slather on but the condiments are on the side for you to add on. It's a nice touch indeed.
We were offered desserts and I asked for their signature one and out came Creme Brulee. Again I have to emphasise on the word HUGE! Rather than coming in a small ramekin, this one could easily feed 4! The smooth creamy eggy goodness under the crispy burnt sugar. Again I liked the nice little touches of berries and a raspberry coulis to cut through the creaminess.
Some people knew that I'm a nitpicker... not by choice since nitpicking is inborn as I'm a Virgo plus nitpicking used to be my profession :p so little little touches meant a lot to me! Like serving warm milk with hot coffee!
Even though there's the renovation, name change, new chefs, new staff but thank goodness everything remained the same - best and consistent quality; and as always impeccable service. Kudos to Shangri-la to keep them up all these years.
This review is made possible by the generosity of Shangri-la Hotel Kuala Lumpur under the invitation of Damian Idris so a huge thank you to Damian, Rosemary Wee, Chef Rudolf and the wonderful team at Arthur's Bar & Grill.
Arthur's Bar & Grill
Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Kuala Lumpur, 50250, Malaysia
Tel: (60 3) 2074 3900
Tel: (60 3) 2074 3900
12noon - 1am (Mon to Thur)
12noon - 2am (Fri, Sat and eve of Public Holidays)
5pm – 12midnight (Sun and Public Holidays)
Just a note, we were told all food outlets in Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur are halal except for Shang Palace.
In conjunction with Chinese New Year, there are Lemon Garden 2Go’s Prosperity Treasures and Prosperity Deluxe hampers on offer.