KUALA LUMPUR: It’s no small feat deciding where to eat in the ever-buzzing Bukit Bintang, teeming as it is with culinary options.
But off the traffic-choked main road lies an unassuming haven for meat lovers. MeatMore, which officially launched this month, is so well-hidden to the side of the Fahrenheit88 mall that it can be quite a struggle to locate it.
It boasts a dedicated “Mortlach” dining room, the first of its kind in the country and a nod to founder Chef James Won collaborating with Scotland’s most famous single malt whisky. He has also collaborated with French wine and spirits group Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia.
Touting itself as Kuala Lumpur’s “meat specialist”, this luxurious grill house offers a diverse selection of meats sourced from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Won is a firm believer in the practice of “omotenashi”, a service concept often seen in top-notch Japanese restaurants. Painstaking attention to detail, and thoughtfulness regarding the needs of diners are hallmarks of this practice of hospitality.
Won was previously the chef-patron of Enfin, one of Kuala Lumpur’s leading contemporary French restaurants.
In the context of restaurants, omotenashi calls for the use of the best ingredients of the land as well as precision and delicacy in preparation.
By these standards, MeatMore is definitely up there among the cool restaurants that serve excellent food and give diners space in which to unwind and break free of the constraints and pressures of their busy lives.
So what was the dining experience at MeatMore like? Well, its best cuts of chicken, beef and luxuriously marbled lamb, cooked in front of guests on a charcoal grill, knocked it out of the park.
There’s a fine line to tread in the art of grilling meats as playing around with the chemistry between charcoal, meat and smoke, when done right, can result in a dramatic shift in taste.
MeatMore treated its full-flavoured meats delicately, which cannot often be said for dishes served buffet style, as they were on opening night.
The cuts of beef steak, which were charred just right outside but remained lush medium rare pink on the inside, had this melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Its exquisite flavour had many going back for more.
In its menu, the restaurant helpfully provides guests with a guide on its most popular steak cuts: rump, sirloin, tenderloin, boneless rib eye, T-bone and flat iron.
Dining in on regular days, you are more likely to find yourself trying these dishes – both the mains and the sides – in their a la carte forms.
Among the side dishes, the macaroni-and-cheese is particularly compelling, standing out for its cheesiness. It’s paired well with lamb.
Other pleasant sides include juicy beef burgers with red cheddar cheese and the thrice-cooked tallow fries.
Although it specialises in steaks, the restaurant is also accessible to those seeking gluten-free options as well as pescatarian- and vegetarian-friendly meals.
While this reviewer did not try the alcoholic beverages, MeatMore heavily promotes its three Mortlach whiskies, ranging from 12 to 20 years old.
If that doesn’t meet your fancy, the talented bartenders, who partook in a performance for opening night, are more than capable of fixing you a cocktail of your choice.
The restaurant’s prices may be on the steeper side, however, the overall experience of dining in at MeatMore does make it worth the expense.
B2, B3, B4 Ground Floor
Block B, Fahrenheit 88
No 179, Jalan Gading
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: 5pm-1am (Closed on Monday)