Friday, April 15, 2011

Jake's Charbroil Steaks @ Medan Damansara, KL

Oops. Forgot to post this up - My review from the StarTwo Lifestyle section last Saturday....

The Ship, Victoria Station and Jake’s Charbroil Steaks are the three grand old dames of steakhouses in KL, in my humble opinion.

I have many fond memories of visiting these restaurants with my family when I was younger because dining here was considered a rare treat in our middle-income lives. (Of course, Coliseum would be on the list too, if you consider less formal settings.)

Somehow, through the years, the lapse between visits grew longer and longer, mostly due to my being distracted by all the new restaurants opening around town. At the back of my mind, though, I wondered if the quality of these classic steak places had held up over the years. So, when I had to entertain a friend from out of town (who really likes steak), I decided to take the opportunity to revisit Jake’s:
Outside Jake's....

While the restaurant is fairly easy to find, parking in this area at peak hours can be a hassle. There, is however, a jockey service at Jake’s for a reasonable rate of RM5, so it’s fairly convenient. Inside, the decor is quite kitschy, with the whole Wild Wild West feel running deep and all the waiters dressed according to the theme:
One of the many booth seats inside....

As for the menu, there is a wide array of different cuts and grades of beef, ranging from the affordable to the more expensive options like Wagyu, Kobe and Black Angus. Of course, there are also non-beef options like lamb, chicken and fish.

While waiting for our food, we played “Guess the Celeb” game with all the photos around our booth, noting that even our famed Malaysian Angkasawan (Astronaut) had dined here at some point:
One small step for man, one big step for Malaysia?....

Service was prompt, and we started off dinner with a selection of appetisers — the Hungarian Beef Goulash (RM 10.90++), Beef Nachos (RM 22.90++) and Potato Skins (RM 9.90++ for 2 pieces):
Cheesy beefy nachos....

Potato skins - Loaded with onions....

Hot soup....

I enjoyed the hearty soup as it had a medium consistency, with a nice meaty flavour complemented by the taste of tomatoes and spices. The crunchy nachos topped with minced beef, melted cheese and a dollop of chilli sauce were also delicious, but do be careful because the chilli is quite spicy. I like it, though, because it adds a nice kick.

As for the potato skins, they were also crunchy and almost paper thin, topped with a generous amount of cheese and loaded with cubes of capsicum, beef bacon and onions. They are nice if you like the natural sweetness of very lightly cooked onions — there were a LOT of them in each bite.

Of course, the main highlights at Jake’s are the steaks, and that night we all tried the Australian Rib Eye, 200g (RM 58.90++). This comes with sides of boiled vegetables, corn on a cob and a fluffy baked potato. You have a choice of three sauces. We chose the mushroom sauce and black pepper sauce.

So how was the steak?:
The steak is halal btw....

Well, I thought it looked really good — perfectly grilled with its seared criss-cross griddle marks. Taste-wise, it did not disappoint either, with its moist texture and nice pinkness in the middle (as we chose to have it done medium). I would have preferred if the accompanying sauces were a bit more flavourful, but they did well to complement and not overwhelm the natural flavour of the steak:
Cross section of the steak - perfectly pink!....

As for desserts, they don’t have an extensive selection. We ended up ordering almost everything they had, to share — the Cheesecake (RM12.90++), Pecan Pie (RM12.90++) and Nut Brittle (RM12.90++):
Classic cheesecake....

Moist pecan pie....

House special - nut brittle....

While the other two desserts weren’t bad, what really stood out for me was the Nut Brittle. I admit, when I saw it, I thought, “Good grief. What kind of presentation is this? Looks like broken bits of brittle carelessly thrown onto a plate!”

However, one bite of it, and I didn’t care anymore. Loved it! It was wonderfully crunchy, with a lovely salty yet sweet caramel flavour that was well balanced by the chunky cashew nut pieces. Overall, a simple dessert that will have you licking your fingers afterwards.

Ok. So the furniture and decor might be a little worse for wear, but I think the charm of Jake’s is that it is simple and straightforward, evocative of the simple joys of the past, when things seemed so much less complicated.

Anyway, just so you know: They also have a newer outlet located in Star Hill, if you want a fancier ambience.

(Link to the article on the Star website: CLICK HERE)

So it's: Friendly service, wide range of steaks and other Western food for reasonable prices BUT nothing really bad, just that the tables are a bit cramped......

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Jake's Charbroil Steaks @ Medan Damansara, KL

No. 21 Jalan Setiapuspa, Medan Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 85++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2141 5290
Opening Hours:
Mon to Sat: Lunch 12noon - 3pm, Dinner 6pm - 11pm,
Sun: Dinner only 6.30pm - 10pm

(They also have an outlet in Starhill, 03-2148 1398, Mon-Sun: 12noon to 1am)



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  1. Steaks! Perfect for a Friday night out! Hehe.

  2. yaa, i do remember that a meal at the ship would reserved for a sunday afternoon treat in the late '80s (but certainly not every sunday)! i think there were like RM9.90 set lunches with a cream of mushroom soup and a sizzling black pepper steak =)

  3. Man...I haven't been there in ages. The decor still looks the same! Like Sean, I used to chow down on the sizzling I used to black pepper steak as well.

  4. The desserts remind me of those 80s restaurant!

  5. to Life for Beginners:
    Any night is a good night for some juicy meat, don't you think so? :P

    to Sean and UnkaLeong:
    *sings* Memmmmmmmmmm'riesssss, at the corner of my miiiiiind... :D
    (Hee hee hee. Hey, wanna go to the Ship and try it out? Just for fun. See whether it's still good.

    to Michelle Chin:
    Well, it is one of those! :) I dunno whether it's more of a good or a bad thing but somehow it seems that this restaurant (and the other 2 I mentioned) has stayed exactly the same all these years.... :)

  6. Coliseum no good anymore! Well ... their sizzling steaks are still "ok," but I'd think KL food scene has left it behind. Only go if you're looking for a healthy dose of nostalgia.

    I still like Jake's, though because of SP card if I'm just eating for two it's more 'worth it' to eat at Prime.

    And yeah, Malaysian style! nothing else matters as long as the taste is heavenly :D

  7. To timing: Yeah, I know what u mean! - was just discussing with a friend the other day on this. Seems like these old steak places have been left behind a bit because they have pretty much stayed the same.....

  8. Haha... yeah, I am slightly late. But good on you, featured writer for The Star! :)

    Now you got me at the nut brittles. More than the steaks, in fact.

  9. To J2kfm: Haha. Late is ok. I m so honored that a famous Ipoh blogger comment on my blog. ;)
    (anytime u wanna try out the brittle, call me. This place is so near my office)

  10. Most def my favourite place to have a steak in KL. Beautifully cooked steaks.

    Their escargot and ox tail soup is very yummy too.

  11. to Paradox:
    It's definitely a classic place with a strong enough following :)
    (And the peanut brittle there is ssssssoooooooo good!)

  12. ROFL, that factor is so funny. Im heading to share that.


Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback. :)