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.
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.
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.
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