Words: Viktor Simonic Photos: Monica Tindall
An invite to a luxury steakhouse? It seems Monica can see right through my inner carnivorous self. I had previously heard of Marble8, famously known for its dry and wet-aged beef of prime cuts, and was eager to see if it held up to its reputation.
The restaurant had a recent move to its new locale just a floor down from its sister establishment, Marini’s on 57 and is now firing its grill on the 56th floor of Menara 3 Petronas. The new location serves Marble8 well; while regulars will still recognize its plushly elegant leather furnishings and dark mahogany hues, its setting in the sky with a magnificent view of the KL skyline serves only to further its sense of grandeur.
Previous guests will also recognise its famous custom-built dry-ageing cellar, where the tightly controlled dry-ageing process can be observed, right next to a great selection of wines. Quality meat is definitely the name of the game here, as Italian head chef Simone passionately outlined their characteristic 21-day ‘bone-in meat’ ageing and preparation process. It’s also worth noting that all cuts are handpicked by Cavaliere Modesto Marini, Marble 8’s founder and owner, from their Western Australian independent supplier.
We sampled two of their new lunchtime special menu sets; the first of which, the Grab & Bite Menu (RM 56++), is great for those who’d like a quick taste of what Marble 8 has to offer. The burger options include either a 200gm Wagyu Beef Burger or a Portobello Mushroom & Vegetable Burger both served with vintage cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, rocket salad, tomatoes and steak fries. As if reading my mind, we were presented with the Wagyu Beef Burger, consisting of beautifully seared beef between two neatly presented sesame adorned charcoal buns. The caramelised onions gave a great smoky, chutney-like flavour and the fries were complemented wonderfully with the truffle-based mayo – a clear-cut no-nonsense delicious burger.
Alternatively, one can choose the Steak Sandwich, with mustard, rucola leaves, Parmesan cheese & tomato confit, or the Chicken/Beef Quesadilla served with capsicum, onions, tomato salsa, sour cream and guacamole. Yet again, as though reading my meat-loving mind, we were presented with the Steak Sandwich. Here the home-baked bread and prime cuts of succulent steak proved that simplicity can be king. A great cook on the steak, balanced by a tangy hit from the cheese, and offset with crunchy purple cabbage and Dijon mustard, in a well-rounded portion, makes for a solid choice.
Either way, each dish comes with a choice of two drinks, the Virgin Mojito which has a great sour and limey taste – mimicking the real thing quite well, or an Iced Lemon Tea, which exhibited a great homely sweetness (not oversweetened!) and genuine tea-based flavour.
The second menu, the aptly named ‘Elite Gourmande lunch’ (only available on weekdays) is broken down into two options; 3 courses of the menu @ RM78++ per person, including an appetiser, pasta and dessert; and the 4 course option @ RM118++ per person (which also includes a ‘main course’).
We kicked things off with the three appetisers on offer. The first of which; the Salmon, Tuna & Poached Lobster presented deliciously creamy salmon, which along with the tuna, sang of quality, fresh and slightly spiced taste. However, it’s the poached lobster that truly stood out – while very simple with a lemon and tomato confit, the taste produced was sublime – if it gives any indication of the lobster salad from their main menu, I have to try it.
Next up was a more meaty affair with the Black Angus Carpaccio, Wagyu Tartare & Wagyu Tenderloin. The tenderloin was very light and delicate, but with an excellent profile of full on meaty flavour. The carpaccio presented a lighter more subtle fresh taste, while the tartare exhibited a much softer, meatier and creamier texture here, nicely offset with the basil crisp. The process of preparation and clear quality of Marble 8’s meats clearly pays off here.
Lastly, for the less carnivorously inclined, we sampled the Trio of Zucchini Parmigiana, Vegetarian Burger and Marble Salad. This pleasantly surprised as not only was the presentation exquisite, the flavour was superbly on point. The zucchini parmigiana burst with tangy flavour and a great bready crunch on its edge while the vegetarian burger delighted with its creamy, homely and juicy flavour – if you are not a meat-eater, there is simply no compromise here.
Our first from the pasta course was the Angel Hair Aglio Olio with Prawns, which had a light spicy and woody flavour, which proved very wholesome. The prawns were great; big, rich and full of flavour. The Fettuccini Carbonara with Smoked Duck proved even more delicious, with a soft, creamy and velvety taste underpinned by the lean, cooked to perfection, duck. Lastly, the Pappardelle Pasta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese held a very rustic yet rich taste – great if you’re looking for a strong earthy flavour.
Despite our ever filling bellies, we were eager to jump onto the main courses and here Marble 8 showcased their finesse with a variety of meats. Our first, the Pan-seared Salmon Fillet with Quinoa Salad and Green Peas exhibited a stunning presentation, the salmon had a wonderful flake, was cooked with the right amount of pink and the crunchy pea with quinoa salad blended brilliantly along with the green pea puree. The Cajun Spring Chicken with Greek Salad, while simple, proved that a perfectly grilled, beautifully seasoned chicken complemented by a fresh, vibrant salad works wonders.
Clearly saving the best for the last, the Grilled Black Angus Fillet with Roasted Asparagus and Béarnaise Sauce proved a carnivore’s dream. The meat was pure decadence. Save the sauce for the asparagus, the meat simply doesn’t need it. The Angus was quality in its purest form – lean, with an incredible sear. No exaggeration here. This dish defined excellence. If you are at all a meat-eater, make this your choice.
The dessert section of the menu changes on a regular basis. Our treat for the day was a raspberry sorbet based Bavarois, with a base of lady finger sponge, raspberry cream, molasses cookies, vanilla cream and a hard raspberry coating. Delightfully presented with a ‘cutesy’ vibe, slicing into it proved a treat with a lusciously layered interior and creamy, punchy flavours offset by the sharp, tangy raspberry coulis. A real sugar bomb – but tastefully done with some great natural flavours.
While I was surprised at the huge variety of offerings – being a renowned steakhouse, Marble 8 left with me with a distinct impression of quality. Despite being known for their beef, which is truly excellent and worth the premium, skilled cooks with a variety of dishes, be they vegetarian, humble chicken or the finest wagyu, you can be sure money is well spent here for all palates. The grandiose view and charmingly elegant décor just seal the deal.
Reasons to visit: Ambience, Grandiose Setting, Elegance, Spectacular Views, 180o Skyline, Exemplary Meat, Quality Ingredients, Seasonal Dishes, , Fine Dining, Kitchen Variety, Steak.
Marble 8, Steakhouse
Menara 3 PETRONAS,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
50088 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur,
+603 2386 6030
Lunch: 12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM (Sundays to Fridays & Public Holidays).
Dinner: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM (daily).