Beef has evolved from the humble steak to being the centrepiece of avant-garde dining. Here's where to find the best steakhouses in KL according to budget.
This 93-year-old restaurant has branched out to the malls but you’ll need the dexterity and experience of the chefs at the original Coliseum Café to pull off a steak that’s perfectly consistent every time. Dining at this relic on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman is like entering a time warp – the coat racks, swinging doors and tinted shutters make you feel like you’re on the set of a western. When in Coliseum, do as the old-timers do: Fasten your bib, watch the server pour hot gravy onto your sizzling steak, and dig in.
A stretch of makeshift steakhouses used to occupy Taman Billion until they moved into the shoplots nearby. We’ve tried most of them but Kaki Corner still proves to be the most consistent of all. Although the pared-down steaks – presented in a skillet with thick gravy – only come with a side of fries and coleslaw, the beef’s flavour is heightened with crushed pepper and a flurry of herbs. As a cheap steak joint, Kaki Corner is definitely serving a meatier portion than its competitors.
The unprepossessing Suzi’s Corner is more than a resounding local success; it’s now an institution on Jalan Ampang. There’s a reason this longstanding steak stall is persistently drawing in the crowd: Steaks arrive in sizzling hotplates with generous servings of sauce, chips and greens on the side. It’s that simple – homespun almost – and the price is a steal. This is a TOKL Food Awards nominee after all.
The Ship was the ‘fancy place’ that every couple in the ’80s went for steak. The nautical-inspired decor – giving the illusion you’re dining in a sailing vessel – and servers dressed as sailors were novelties our parents considered romantic. Today, only the first outlet on Jalan Sultan Ismail remains faithful to the steak recipe established by owner Mr Foo three decades ago – the sizzling tenderloin steak, oxtail soup and escargots bourguinonne still rock our boat. The dishes are affordable, which is just as well, because you can’t really put a price on nostalgia, can you?
Werner Kuhn’s entry into the already-crowded Changkat food-and-drink arms race specialises in sublime steak offerings like the charcoal-grilled, chilled and aged Black Angus. Located next to The Whisky Bar, the perfunctorily named two-year-old steak joint also serves a mean teriyaki braised veal shank and steak tartare.
In June 2013, The BIG Group replaced its underachieving gastro-lounge Estate with BEAST, an elegant, dimly lit establishment that is part steakhouse and part gentleman’s club. The competitively priced cuts – you can take your pick from tenderloin, ribeye, striploin and porterhouse according to the desired lean-to-fat ratio and marbling – are complemented by other non-steak highlights like the signature foie gras-topped beef burger.
This well-liked steakhouse, which also doubles as a deli and butchery, offers a smorgasbord of different cuts and meats at varying price points. The exquisite and suitably meaty wagyu tomahawk and wagyu ribeye with a marbling score of 10+ represent Las Vacas’s splurge-worthy offerings, while patrons on a more modest budget can look forward to the wagyu beef burger, lamb chops and 120-day grass-fed Australian striploin. If you so desire, you can personally pick your preferred cut from the deli and watch from the glass panel as the butcher or chef sears it off.
On the mezzanine floor of Best Western Premier Dua Sentral is an unassuming American steakhouse whose set-up is stylish and moody. We suggest you skip the grass-fed and go straight for the Angus, where cuts like tenderloin, sirloin and ribeye are seared and seasoned simply with Maldon sea salt. If your tummy is up for it, you can choose to have your steak chopped and raw in tartare form, topped with shallots, gherkins, capers and a poached egg.
Koreans Danny Choi and JK are two steak disciples who have arrived in KL to sing the gospels of dry-aged beef. The boys ship in fresh beef from Australia before it’s dry-aged in a hanging cellar for a couple of weeks to ensure the meat’s natural juices are locked in before cooking. The ribeye in particular is stunningly executed when ordered medium rare; it manages to seal in the cattle’s complex flavours without any trace of gaminess. Have your beef with a side of grilled sweet corn, trust us.
An established player in KL’s competitive steak scene, PRIME’s signature Blackmore wagyu is celebrated for its high marbling score of 9+, allowing the fat to melt at room temperature. Meanwhile, Australian certified wagyu and Australian Black Angus are available in various sizes in tenderloin, sirloin and ribeye cuts. The restaurant also imports beef from specialty farms in Australia where cows are ethically raised on premium feed – Augustus beef from Queensland’s Stanbroke Cattles, Australian Black Angus from Victoria’s O’Connor farm, and cattle from the Organic Obe in Australia’s outback are just some of the meats that make up PRIME’s grand range.
This spacious Latin grill, replete with a wine bar, cigar lounge and alfresco courtyard, has been famed for its gorgeously charred steaks, exquisite cheeses and traditional tapas since it opened its doors in 2003. Complete your Latin American culinary experience with a choice of expertly executed premium cuts like wagyu, longhorn and Black Angus before delving into Qba’s vast catalogue of rums.
From the Josper grills of Mandarin Grill come some of the city’s most well-executed steaks. While you can pick from Blackmore wagyu (a whopping 10+ on the marbling score sheet) and Australian Black Angus in various cuts, a firm favourite among us is the hay-smoked Wagyu ribeye served with double-baked cheese soufflé and black truffle jus. The beef marbling is scored at an ideal six, allowing for a swoon-worthy balance of lean meat and fat.