Ril’s Steakhouse & Remembering Old KL

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Bagai Kacang Lupakan Kulit. — old Malay proverb.

If history is like our parents as TimeOut KL’s editor, Lim Chee Wah, suggested in the February’12 issue, then we are guilty of irreverence and negligence. Lim writes in his editorial note, “the past is a very powerful thing and it’s not just about nostalgia or having nice buildings to look at; (instead) it’s about preserving a sense of continuity so that we stay rooted.” Echoing his sentiment, it has also got me questioning why are we, as a society that pride ourselves on filial piety, NOT attributing the same level of responsibility and respect to our heritage and history.

In the spirit of this year’s celebration of Federal Territory Day, I’ll like to give my personal tribute to the cradle of our nation’s capital city. Forgive me if my homage lacks the luster of modern KL. But from where I stand, the older part of the city is nowhere close to the futuristic and idealistic illusion painted by our tourism ministry.

My collection of photographs, taken in April 2010 during an Instagram walk with my fellow blogger friends, is a view of the crippling state of our inheritance. The signs are all there – historical buildings are left to decay beyond repair, demolished and quickly converted into parking lots right before our very eyes. There aren’t many more of these pre-war buildings left, especially those that have been surviving since the conception of KL. If you do the math, all of these will be gone within the next decade because we fail to enforce our laws to conserve these buildings.

It is imperative now more than ever to cultivate civic pride in preserving a city enslaved with development like ours because this area – the confluence of the teh tarik-tinged Sungai Lumpur (now glamourously known as Sungai Gombak instead) and Sungai Klang – is the birthplace to Kuala Lumpur, our home city.

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The Warehouse along the south of Jalan Tun HS Lee is a triple whammy, comprising an art gallery, a café and a steakhouse. The place has been running for a little over 6-months now, is one of only a handful of establishments to breathe new life into this aging part of town.

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Ril’s Steakhouse is located upstairs. It has an intriguing mix of old school charm with new age styling and an honest menu consisting of every imaginable cut from halal-certified cows like prime ribs and filet mignons sourced from Gemas Gold and Australian Prime. This is a carnivore’s dream come true! It’s nice to note that while the management understands that meat eating is predominantly a man’s obsession, they have also made provisions for the fairer sex with ladies portions as well. The steaks are done well without much fancy – only seasoned with salt and pepper and charred over an open grill.

Our order of the 1kg Porter Steak came in Neanderthal proportions and was definitely more than enough for three people. Charred nicely on the outside, melting pink on the inside and a little blue closer to the bone. But it is all good. I like to see bloody red juices oozing out as I cut into my meat. Yes, there’s a little Dexter in me.

Our meat didn’t come with any sides, so we went crazy with our orders. HUGE mistakes. Their portions of Creamed Spinach, Crispy Leeks, Sautéed Mushroom in Butter, Roasted Sweet Potato and Classic Mash could individually feed a calf. So be warned.

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I wouldn’t go as far as agreeing with their claims of serving the best steaks in town, because we all know PRIME at Le Meridien is still uncontested in this category. But nevertheless, Ril’s Steakhouse is a welcomed choice on days when your wallet could do with a little beefing up.

The restaurant itself is very welcoming, with a soaring 30ft slanting ceiling and 3 enormous picture window, sexy vibe with dim lights, leather furnishing and raw industrial accents. Romantic and atmospheric, it is perhaps a nice place for the coming Valentines.

Note: Avoid the tables in the middle of the dining room, as the floor tends to be a little unstable. Ladies, if you may, avoid wearing short skirts and stilettoes, as you’ll need to climb a very steep stairway up to the restaurant.


Ril’s Steakhouse @ The Warehouse
#198, Jalan Tun HS Lee,
50000, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2022-0528
Business Hours: Opens Tuesday to Sunday from 4:30pm – midnight. Lunch is only available on Friday and Saturdays only from 12noon onwards, while Sunday Champagne brunch starts from 11:30am and ends at 2:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
Stories previously written under the Old KL / I LOVE KL series:
- Restaurant Hong Ngek, Jalan Tun HS Lee: How Could We Have Not Met?:
- Vishal Food & Catering, Brickfields: Lessons from My Dad;
- Hawker Jalan Saladang, Pudu: The Mystery of KL
- Restaurant Sek Yuen, Jalan Pudu: Forever Young
13 Responses to Ril’s Steakhouse & Remembering Old KL
  1. Baby Sumo
    February 1, 2012 | 10:26 am

    Haha noted about the short skirts and heels ;P

    Very nice shots of old KL :) Though I have to say walking around there is pretty scary (for me).

    • A Lil' Fat Monkey
      February 2, 2012 | 11:35 am

      Well it’s great to have ParanoidAndroix, Boo_licious and MsiaGirls company during our walk.

  2. lotsofcravings
    February 1, 2012 | 10:52 am

    the 1kg steak sounds like a dream come true! minus the bone, im pretty sure it would feed me just nicely!

  3. Kenny Mah
    February 1, 2012 | 5:52 pm

    I wonder if the sexy piece of meat likes the big boner? ;)

    But aye, on a more serious note, our entire country is at risk at losing our historical heritage, and not just KL. :(

    • A Lil' Fat Monkey
      February 2, 2012 | 11:37 am

      Uh huh! So sad right? Twenty years from now all we have to shout about is “Malaysia: the country with the highest number of fugly generic gomen looking buildings”!

  4. ciki
    February 2, 2012 | 9:47 am

    ohhh! so apparently not as good as PRIME eh? ahhhh.. ok i take my time going there lor;)

    Nice boner shot btw!

    The first bit’s from the instagram walk with Pey right? I was wondering when wld see em.. soooo long ago;) but great story and collage of our KL history. Well done munkey boy!!

    • A Lil' Fat Monkey
      February 2, 2012 | 11:38 am

      Cos I like to save the best for last? Lol. Plenty of stuff I’ve unearthed in my photo archive. Will need to run them soon too. Soon. Lol

  5. Innovative Baker
    February 2, 2012 | 6:20 pm

    Hey monkey monkey!!!

    Great post! Makes me miss KL even more… The plus and minus of living in London. Heritage is well preserved, but it costs a shit load of £££ to maintain….. however, the heritage and history is more important in every sense of the word and hope that we can only make that work in KL or any part of Malaysia that is…

    • A Lil' Fat Monkey
      February 3, 2012 | 12:04 am

      I’m sure if the garmen spends less on Birkins for the FLOM and cowcondos we’ll have some spare change to conserve these heritage pieces. Hehe

  6. boo_licious
    February 3, 2012 | 9:56 am

    I love KL! and our walks around the neighbourhood.

    Cool pictures monkey and yeah, since not as good as Prime, I shall wait until the dust dies down and visit the place one fine day.

  7. J2Kfm
    February 8, 2012 | 10:21 pm

    What beautiful shots. Was just reading on KBCG’s post on this place before jumping here. Good that they picked such a charming location instead of the usual buzzing business centres.

    • A Lil' Fat Monkey
      February 9, 2012 | 9:56 am

      Thanks! Just saw your article on I.M! Nice one mate.

      Yea, I’m glad they are breathing some new life into these old places, but still not sure how much conservation they are actually doing. Hope they aren’t making things worst. Can’t have everything now can we?

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