THE new Manhattan-style Arthur´s Bar Grill offers a delightful range of pub grub as well as local favourites, writes TAN BEE HONG.
THE first thing you notice as you walk into the brand new Arthur´s Bar & Grill is how tall the ceiling is and how airy the place looks.
At lunchtime, the place is bright and cheerful, with lots of natural light cascading in from glass windows, especially at the patio-like section at the end where customers can sit back on leather stools and enjoy the fabulous view of the Golden Triangle.
But it´s sunny and we quickly retreat to the air-conditioned section, settling ourselves on leather seats.
One wall is pigeonholed with little lockers for customers to keep personal bottles of their favourite "poison".
Near the entrance, Shima And The Boys, play from 8.30 everyday except Sundays.
The new Arthur´s Bar & Grill offers an a la carte menu with both western and Asian dishes. Its drinks menu dominates with signature cocktails, wines by the glass and hard liquor.
We are soon eagerly sipping on three cocktails: A Minty Mojito, Sea Breeze and Long Island Ice Tea that is anything but tea. I love it. The combination of vodka, gin, rum and triple sec with fresh lemon juice and cola packs a punch that goes straight to my head, perking up the senses and making conversation around me sound just a little louder.
Sea Breeze is a gorgeously refreshing concoction with a tangy edge from the grapefruit juice and Absolut citron. Sadly, after these two, the Minty Mojito falls a little flat in taste.
But enough of drinks. It´s lunch after all and there´s work waiting back at the office. The menu is not overly intimidating but substantial and soon we are nibbling on nachos (RM26).
Cobb USA (RM34) is a salad after my heart. Not just because it´s got huge, crunchy shrimps and the freshest leaves of lettuce but it also has a sprinkling of creamy blue cheese and wedges of ripened avocado. Add to this slices of hard-boiled egg and smoked beef and it definitely beats a regular Caesar´s.
Craving for a sandwich? There are burgers, club sandwiches, open face sandwiches and a Long Dog of beef concarne on a foot-long sausage in a bun.
My pick is Ploughman´s Lunch (RM38, also available for dinner). Just make your own sandwich from the platter of bread, colourful salad greens, pickled onions and gherkins and cold cuts of air dried beef, beef ham and chicken ham. It also comes with a bell pepper mustard marmalade and three wedges of cheese - parmesan, cheddar and blue vein.
At Arthur´s, you won´t go wrong if you have the grill, with sides of baked potatoes, mash, fries and onion rings. Or go for the creamy spinach and sauteed mushrooms as well as caramelised onions and beans to go with your pick of sirloin, ribeye, tenderloin, T-bone and lamb chops. Or if you prefer seafood, there´s salmon, cod and snapper as well as king prawns.
Our fillet of cod is well timed. It surrenders to the slight pressure of a knife but retains all the sweet juices inside. So perfect with the stunning garlic and butter sauce. Other choices include bearnaise, hollandaise, barbecue and beef-rosemary sauces.
Arthur´s also serves classics such as pasta, steak pie, fish and chips and shepherd´s pie.
But we are eager to see if its local favourites measure up. Recommended are its char kway teow and seafood mee mamak (RM35).
The fried flat noodles come with huge shrimps, cockles, egg and tofu. Beansprouts add a tantalising crunch to the equation. Not hawker-style char kway teow for sure but it has its own distinctive allure. Just like the seafood mee mamak, distinguished in the generous portions of squid, shrimps, and fresh scallops that add a sweetness to the noodle dish.
If you prefer rice, there´s chicken kuzi and chicken kapitan and satay with peanut sauce and condiments.
We are so full at the end of it we sadly banished any thoughts of dessert. The tempting menu that includes New York cheese cake, Arthur´s mud cake and creme brulee with crispy cookie will have to wait for another day.
Arthur´s Bar & Grill is from noon to 1am (Monday-Thursday) and from noon to 2am (Friday, Saturday and eve of Public Holidays). On Sundays, it opens from 5pm to midnight.
ARTHUR´S BAR & GRILL
Level 1, Shangri-La Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL
Tel: 03-2074 3900