Monday, 27 May 2013
Grill Bar Steakhouse in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
This is my second visit to Grill Bar Steakhouse in Taman Pelangi. Gary, the boss, has a gathering for family and friends to celebrate his sister-in-law's birthday and I am honoured that he invited me to join in. I am also glad to visit Grill Bar Steakhouse again because during my last visit, I missed the chance to chat with Gary and to photograph him in action.
Grill Bar Steakhouse was full house during our visit (it was a Sunday lunch). Grill Bar Steakhouse is so popular and is the favourite of so many that I was surprised to learn that it will only be its third anniversary this coming July :)
Gary was going to present this surprise dessert to a regular customer who has become a friend.
But after meeting Gary and his wife Eva, it is not hard to understand the success of Grill Bar Steakhouse. Grill Bar Steakhouse is brimming with energy and passion for good American style food. Customers also enjoy the warm service of the attentive Grill Bar Steakhouse folks.
I noticed that Gary is very customer and service focused. Gary enjoys mingling and interacting with customers. Whenever he has the time, he will "sneak out" from his kitchen and chat with customers. Here Gary was helping to cut our steak.
Where did that passion for good food come from? Well, making and serving good food is literally in Gary's blood. You see, Gary's father and grandfather were the owners of the legendary Ah Yong Nasi Padang in old town Johor Bahru. To their fans, Ah Yong Nasi Padang defines good food in Johor Bahru during it's days.
How did Gary jump from nasi padang warung to American grill and steakhouse? Gary's first job about 15 years ago was with the restaurant at the American Club in Singapore and then he moved on to Morton's Steakhouse Singapore, and other grill houses. Over 2 years ago, Gary suddenly decided to start his own grill bar, and since then, it was no turning back :)
Here's all the good stuff we had during our visit :)
Our first dish was an appetiser which Gary calls his "Well Dressed Sloppy Joe". Well, this appetiser is certainly no sloth in taste. The crispy, crunchy oven dried toast is eaten with Ozzy's rich beefy chili dip. (Ozzy is Gary's nickname. I forgot to ask him how that came about :P )
Wild Mushroom Soup RM14
The "Sloppy Joe" was followed by another appetiser, the "Wild Mushroom Soup". Made with fresh chopped mushrooms with a touch of truffle oil luxury, this mushroom soup is creamy, wholesome goodness.
Manhattan Seafood Soup RM14 per serving
There were 9 of us in the party, so we had room to try another appetiser. This time the Manhattan Seafood Soup. Slipper lobsters and calamari cooked in tomato soup - full bodied, savoury and sweet with a touch of tangy.
USA Sea Scallop with Spaghetti RM22
My share of the USA Sea Scallop wrapped with turkey bacon served with a mouthful of spaghetti. I love this spaghetti cooked with lobster bisque gravy - that umami (savoury) flavour from the lobster is especially addictive.
Hardcore Solo Jerk Cheese Burger RM39
Gary calls this his "Hardcore Solo Jerk Cheese Burger". I took only a small bite of the patty to taste as I am not a big burger fan. The patty was chunky, beefy, juicy and wholesome. That deep fried chicken sausage perched on top looked like the crowning glory of this burger. I enjoyed the small bite that I took of this bouncy meaty sausage. The younger folks at the party were raving about this burger but I didn't pay enough attention to recall their exact words (sorry :P ). I was busy composing my photos :P This happens also to be my first outing with my new camera and the dim lighting was a challenge :)
Leather Jacket Short Ribs RM55
I am crazy about any kind of braised meats, so this huge "Leather Jacket Short Ribs" really got me excited. Gary slow braised this chunky short beef rib in low heat for over 10 hours before serving. Pardon the overused cliche "melt in your mouth" but this short rib was super tender and the fatty and gelatinous parts literally melted into savoury jelly. Good braised meat melts my heart, again.
Prime Filet Mignon RM50 (5 Oz)
Another tender steak, this Prime Filet Mignon had a slight savoury crust and the inside was thick and moist with that nice beefy flavour.
After all that scrumptious meal, it was time for dessert.
We were all really stuffed and Gary wanted us to try this Danish Waffle.
Stuffed as we were, some dainty ladies in the party asked for this Chocolate Lava Cake - "Must Have" they say. I was a little hesitant but have to admit that they were right :P Sweet and slightly bitter, warm and cold, soft and crusty - Grill Bar Steakhouse's chocolate lava cake is an interesting blend of flavours, mouth feel and temperatures. No wonder it is so irresistible.
Grill Bar Steakhouse serves many different interesting hot and cold drinks as well as beer. For today, I just have ice water to cut back on cream and sugar. This was one of the pretty drinks ordered by one of ladies :)
I am always happy to be back at Grill Bar Steakhouse. Great passionate folks, delicious food, lovely ambiance.
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
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