Friday, April 13, 2007

Holy Cow

A new restaurant in the Kelana Jaya area opened by Donald Trump's ex-chef...

Here's the story:
Gary May, Celestial Steakhouse International’s owner and master chef, was Donald Trump’s personal chef from 1984 to 1986....
Although starting off his life with 3 years in prison under his belt when he was young, he turned his life around and became a successful chef in America. Eventually, he married a Malaysian woman, moved to KL and opened a restaurant in Kelana Jaya. Interestingly, the restaurant apparently hires ex-criminals and drug addicts to give them a second chance in life.

After reading such an impressive story in the Star Newspaper, of course my expectations were extremely high when I visited the restaurant (that Nick had pointed out). Unfortunately, my experience that night did not match up to what I expected...

The Dinner
The interior of the restaurant is very simple and no fuss... Wooden tables and chairs with plastic-y blue and white tablecloths:
Restaurant interior....

It's definately not a fine dining sort of setting but it's still reasonably comfortable.... although I swear that there must have been a few greedy mosquitoes in there having dinner with us.
(I noticed that I had 3 bites on my legs when I got home)

Anyway, we started off our dinner with the Stuffed Mushrooms:
The Stuffed Mushrooms....

It turned out to be a simple and nice appetizer - the fresh button mushrooms were succulent and the stuffing of crab meat and breadcumbs was fresh, with a nice sour taste to it.

There was a free serving of either the soup of the day or a small garden salad when you order a main meal there:
The soup and the salad....

The soup was ok I suppose - clear, not too oily and tasty.... but the salad was really nothing special.

That night, Nick also ordered the Mushroom Soup on the side:
The Mushroom Soup....

Overall, it was ok - creamy and tasty.
(Also nothing special though)

It was actually with the mains that we were totally disappointed. That night we tried the Lamb Shank, Lasagna and the Steak:

Clockwise from top: The Lamb Shank, Lasagna and Steak....

The Lasagna was the biggest disappointment.
It was described as an award winning recipe that is a hit with everyone who has ever eaten it.... but it turned out to be pretty tasteless, not very cheesy and just a tad starchy.

I don't have much to say about the steak actually....
It's not that anything was particularly wrong with it. In fact, it was pretty tender.... but overall, it just wasn't that great.
(I honestly can't imagine Donald Trump eating it)

The Lamb Shank was also a disappointment: dry, stringy and mostly tasteless (for about RM26++!). I had to douse it with Tabasco sauce to make it more enjoyable. The highlight of this meal was actually the deep fried potatoes that I chose to accompany the lamb.
(You can choose between a serving of mash potatoes, baked potatoes, wedges or these deep fried potato things for most of the mains)

Oh man!
They were so so good!!: crispy and fragrant, perfect in every way....
(Except that they probably contain a tonne of calories per serving)

I don't know if I was just expecting too much from Celestial.... but I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon....
(Sorry, Mr Gary "I Used To Cook For Donald Trump" May!)

So, it's: Simple ambience, wide range of food and drinks, attentive and friendly waiters BUT strangely, the food just isn't that great for a place supposedly run by Donald Trump's ex-chef.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Celestial Steakhouse International @ Kelana Jaya
(Near the old Giant in Kelana Jaya supermarket/ in the area behind the new Giant Hypermarket)

Taste: 4
Ambience : 5
Service : 7
Price** : RM40++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7880 6498
Opening Hours: 11am - late (Closed on Tuesdays)


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  1. thats why donald trump sacked him coz his cooking not up to scratch!

  2. makes it easy to decide whether not to go rite..calories saved..good job!

  3. O_o sounds really really really... bad! okay, will never bother to visit this rest then.. :p

  4. oh hey! I work so near there, have passed it a dozen times!

  5. Kelana Jaya? I heard about a recently-opened Italian restaurant in Plaza Kelana Jaya. I wonder if you'll be reviewing that! SS7 if I'm not mistaken. They say it's visible from the LDP.

  6. to wuching:
    Or maybe the original chef is not cooking there anymore/ on MC that night/ etc...

    to someone who is constantly craving:
    Thanks for the compliment!
    Honesty is the best policy anyway, right?

    to meiyen:
    Well,... if you feel adventurous then you can try the place out!
    You never know, maybe it was really bad the night I was there but another night it could be super fantastic?

    to sneexe:
    Have you or your colleagues ever tried it out though?
    I'm curious about what other ppl think about that restaurant.

    to narrowband:
    Hmmm, I wonder if you are refering to Marco's Pizza?
    (That's the only new-ish Italian restaurant I know in KJ that's facing the LDP)
    I've been meaning to go to Marco's but have been putting it off bcos the parking around there can be quite troublesome...
    (The responses I get about that place have been pretty mixed so far though - some ppl say it is very nice, and other say it is not nice)

  7. I've heard not so fantastic things abt this place too. Drove past it and it was empty.

  8. me don't dare to take da risk...:p

    narrowband, it's kianti @ pkj.. i've just reviewed it... do check it out!

  9. to boo_licious:
    That's so sad though, don't you think?
    On the night that I was there, there were only 5 ppl eating there (me, P, Nick and 2 ppl at another table)... and this was a Saturday night!

    I hope they are able to improve dramatically very soon or they may not be open for very long.....

  10. to meiyen:
    Yeah, better to go to somewhere else or you may end up wasting your hard earned $$.
    (Darn - I feel so mean for saying that.... but it's true....)

    Mmmm,... your post on Kianti looks good - I must try it out soon.

  11. re: celestial, I don't think any of us go for that bracket for workday lunches- we stick to chinese hawker / McD / KFC mostly.

    as for Marco's, I liked it :) I went once, and was impressed at the serving generosity - they don't stint on the ingredients.

    Have had their pizza a few times, and it's the same, not skimpy on the ingredients.

  12. to sneexe:
    Yeah, I suppose it is a lot pricier as compared to hawkers/ etc....
    I think I did see a few set lunches which looked pretty affordable though.
    I really have to try Marco's soon - I seem to have this strange habit of eating at faraway places and ignoring restaurants that are within a 5km range of my house.


Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback. :)