Saturday, 4 May 2013
Grill Bar Steakhouse in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
I was at Grill Bar Steakhouse last night at the invitation of Gary, the boss. Meeting Gary for the first time, I can't help but be captivated by his infectious passion for biking and cooking - I can feel Gary's positive energy everywhere in his restaurant and in his food.
The biker theme is all over the restaurant. Gary is an avid biker who makes numerous trips, including at least one 2,500 plus kilometre bike trip a year. For food, Grill Bar is in my opinion, one of the best Western food restaurants that I know of in Johor.
I found Grill Bar Steakhouse and Gary really fascinating. I think I am going to spend a lot more time in Grill Bar Steakhouse.
Walking along the familiar streets of Johor Bahru, you will be surprised (I was delighted, actually) when you step into Grill Bar Steakhouse. Push pass the door and you may think that you have suddenly arrived in San Francisco or New York City.
Gary pays a lot of attention to create the perfect ambiance for a nice dinner date at Grill Bar :) The mood lighting makes food photography extremely challenging - I assure you that Grill Bar's food is way better than what I could capture in my photos.
This picture of Grill Bar's Baby Lobster Bisque (RM16) is a huge understatement. One spoonful of this smooth creamy soup made me sat up - it thrilled and primed my taste buds for the dishes that were to come. Grill Bar's lobster bisque was full bodied and had that distinct umami (savoury) flavour extracted through prolong boiling of lobster shells and heads.
The Paprika Grilled Sea Prawns (RM28) were meaty and sweet, and the slightly charred outer layer was smokey. The tasty prawns were well complemented by the lemon cream sauce.
This Onion Blossom (RM17) is a Grill Bar signature dish. The deep fried onions "fries" were crispy outside and inside they were moist and sweet.
The crunchy Onion Blossom is eaten with Grill Bar's house blended Tartar sauce which is creamy, savoury and sweet.
Grill Bar's famous Black Angus Ribeye Steak (RM12 per oz).
Our 8 Oz Australian steak was done medium rear. It was so tender and the flavourful juices, so delightful - I was like being reawakened to my meat eating instincts, rediscovering the primeval pleasure of devouring quality flesh.
The Rosemary Rack of Lamb (RM59) made with chilled New Zealand lamb roasted in a broiler.
We asked for our lamb to be cooked medium to savour the tender, juicy rosy pink meat.
I am not a fan of burritos as I associate it with American franchised fast food. Grill Bar's Mushroom and Cheddar Beef Burrito (RM39) changed my mind about burritos.
The tortilla wrap was firm while the moist and savoury filling made with mushroom, cheddar and tender pulled beef was so... delicious. The pulled beef softened by hours of slow cooking was so tender, it felt as if it melted in my mouth into a smokey, creamy puree with just a little chewing.
Grill Bar's burritos are totally different from their fast food cousins. This is a Must Try.
For dessert, we shared a Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream coated crushed peanuts. Oozing, warm, not-overly sweet chocolate, it was a nice way to cap our happy overindulgence.
Grill Bar Steakhouse and Gary are so fascinating, I hadn't had enough when it was time to go. I must mention that the service staff at Grill Bar was part of our delightful experience - always cheerful, always helpful. My stomach had no more room while the restaurant was full house when we left. Our three hours at Grill Bar passed in the blink of an eye and I didn't really have a chance to chat with Gary - hence, no customary picture of the Chef in action :( I can't wait to be back for more of Grill Bar's delicious delights and to hear Gary's stories.
Restaurant name: Grill Bar Steakhouse
Address: 202, Jalan Sri Pelangi, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
Hours: Mon: 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm | Wed - Fri: 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm | Sat - Sun: 12:00 noon - 10:30 pm
No pork, no lard, alcohol (beer only) served
Date visited: 2 May 2013