Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ril's Steakhouse & The Warehouse Gallery, Jalan Tun H S Lee, Kuala Lumpur

The Warehouse Gallery and Ril’s Steakhouse is located in a stunning 90-year old warehouse in the heart of KL's vibrant colonial Chinatown (on Jalan Tun H S Lee opposite the Sri Mahamariamman Temple) near the famous Petaling Street in KL.  The lower level is occupied by an art gallery cum cafe while upstairs houses a bar and steakhouse. The owners were looking for a place with character, and they fell in love with this building's vintage charm.

Gemas Gold bone-in rib eye at Ril's

While the downstairs space will continually change appearance over time housing various artists by day and numerous events by night, the steakhouse upstairs aim to become a fixture in the KL dining scene. Ril's, the owner/executive chef explained that the restaurant is modelled after a classic, high-end American steakhouse.

A slanted 30 feet ceiling and raw industrial accents

High ceilings, wooden floors, white table cloths, high backed wooden chairs and a feature bar create a simple yet classic dining area.

There is a pop-up bar, Bar Art downstairs in the art gallery which makes an appearance in the evenings.  Ril's Steakhouse has its own stylish bar complete with comfortable sofas should you wish to view the menu over a pre-dinner drink.


Bread roll, made using recipe from Laurie, Ril's wife

Our starter of Sweet Potato and Corn Croquette (RM22) served with spicy beetroot compote and lemon creme fraiche and topped with fried quails egg was a huge hit.  The crunchy yet slightly sweet texture of the croquette paired perfectly with the creamy quails egg yolk.  The various textures from the components of this dish combined very well resulting in a very satisfying starter indeed. Highly recommended.

Crispy croquette, which scores high in the looks department too

The Lobster Bisque (RM28), is a classic steakhouse item - the version at Ril's was rich, smooth and tasted lovely.

Ril's Tiga Rasa Scallops (RM28), signature seared scallops served in three unique ways - each in a different sauce- sweet spicy beetroot compote, sour lemon/lime aioli, and salty butter/soy reduction. My favorite would be the salty one, however the size of the scallops were a little on the small side.

The crispy pan seared chicken casserole (RM52) is prepared by stewing the chicken thigh in white wine for two hours til meltingly tender then shallow pan fried til crisp and served with its own jus on a sweet potato pancake. The beauty about this dish is the fact that the meat falls off the bone.  The outer layer remained crisp yet the meat within was satisfyingly tender and juicy.

The bone-in Gemas Gold rib eye (RM128 for 700g) - a whopping piece of meat with character

Undoubtedly this was the focal point of our meal and rightly so, considering we are in a steakhouse.  Full marks for presentation, simple yet at the same time rather theatrical.  The 700g of Rib Eye looked mouth wateringly good when it arrived at our table.

This was our first encounter with Gemas Gold, an Australian breed which is raised here in Malaysia.  All the beef at Ril's is Halal-certified, and diners can choose from Australian or locally reared meats.

I (hubby) ate the lions share of our 700g and enjoyed every single bite.  Admittedly the Gold Gemas offers more resistance, when compared to some of the more delicate meats we have been eating recently, however I found the taste and texture of the rib-eye very satisfying.

This steak is seared on a cast iron burner on high heat and then cooked in a 400°C oven to create a crusty exterior with a tender, medium rare interior.

Since our relocation to KL we have been exploring the more delicate steaks and experimenting with different cuts of meat, such as Aged Black Angus, Blackmore Wagyu, Blackmore Wagyu Cube Roll, Master Kobe Oyster Blade satisfying our craving for red meat while enjoying the learning experience along the way.

I would likely re-order the Gemas Gold Rib Eye on our return visit to Ril's firstly because I thoroughly enjoyed it and secondly to gauge consistency of this relatively new restaurant.  Baby Sumo is more likely to opt for a more delicate Australian steak next time round, leaving me with the challenge of eating the 700g alone !!

Double baked potato royale (RM16, extra RM4 for truffled)

Sauteed spinach with garlic (RM12)

Crispy Leeks (RM14)

Chocolate fondant (RM26), sinful dark chocolate served with The Last Polka salted gula melaka ice cream

Surprisingly enough we managed to polish off all the food listed in this post.  This admittedly was a big meal for two, however chocolate cake and ice-cream is never difficult to devour.  The Last Polka ice-cream, locally handmade is definitely something we will be on the look out for in the future as we are now aware of its availability at selected locations across KL.

White lilies

Downstairs, The Warehouse Gallery houses accessible and affordable art and features upcoming local Malaysian artists. The Warehouse Gallery has carefully preserved the original features of the building such as the steel elevator shaft, exposed brick pillars and antique ceiling beams. The colonial architecture and vintage furniture gives this place a unique edge.

Looking down

By night, this area is transformed into a bar area, Bar Art serving cocktails/beer/wine.

Azimin Tazilan, one of the artist whose work was exhibited here for a month (interesting microarchitecture)

Cafe Art which nestles behind the main gallery, serving huge wholesome salads, sandwiches, smoothies and homemade cakes.

Quirky touches here and there 

Stairs leading up to Ril's

What's a pacifier doing in a bar? LOL

Btw, The Warehouse / Ril's Steakhouse is located opposite the Sri Mahamariamman Indian Temple

 Chinese signage along the way

Parking: You can park in an open air car park behind the restaurant. The turning is on the left, right before the restaurant. RM5 per entry after 7pm.

Join their Facebook page here for latest promos and updates. Full set of photos available to view here.

Opening times: 10am to 1am. Closed on Mondays. Restaurant opens at 4pm.

Service: Good.

Location: The Warehouse Gallery & Ril’s Steakhouse, 198 Jalan Tun H S Lee, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 2022 0528

GPS Coordinates: 3.143109, 101.696486

*This review has been written by ChloeandDanielsdaddy.Please also note that this is an invited review.


  1. Replies
    1. They have a little more resistance but definitely flavorful and juicy.

  2. Finally :P

    I love ur description on the taste and texture of the Gemas Gold...resistance b4 pleasure eh?...hahaha =)

    Consistency shud be good...since I have visited them five times within a 6-month period :)

    1. LOL sorry for the delay. Just had too many other things to blog about.

      Hhahahaha in Hubby's words. He wrote this blog btw. Anyway which Australian cut would you recommend since you've been there so many times?

    2. I knew d one who enjoyed the most wrote this post..hehe =)

      I tried both the Gemas Gold Ribeye and New York Strip...d former is more tender while d latter is more densely textured...take ur pick :)

      At d same time, u can try their other awesome desserts :D

    3. I wonder if Hubby will manage the bone in rib eye on his own next time.

      Yes, will definitely try the other desserts next time ;)

    4. Hey...guess wat?...they have tweaked their menu a bit here:

      Some new Angus and Wagyu steak options and a new dessert...hehe =)

    5. Oh! This was the menu that we had when we went there. I was actually thinking of trying the Wagyu or Angus next time ;P

    6. Does that mean that you will be back to try the new items too? ;)

    7. I was planning to go back...with or without d new menu items...wanna try d bone-in rib eye :P

    8. Oooooo do you think you can finish 700g on your own? Hope your dining partners like meat with resistance LOL!

    9. way I m gonna try 700g limit is 500g =)

      I hope so too...cause they haven't tried Ril's yet :)

    10. 500g not bad wer.. can fight with me LOL
      But Bangsar Babe is the champion la.. 1.94kg!

    11. R u sure u only take 500g? I can't be...u r 'Baby Sumo' ler :P

      Tat gal has an almost bottomless pit as a stomach to challenge? =)

  3. We love this place, went there once last year for a drink. Haven't tried their main dishes yet.

    1. Me too. The location is a bit troublesome for us, but the restaurant and gallery itself is a lovely place.

  4. gosh, y'know, i never actually thought about those concerns regarding the stairs. but it did occur to me that if we got really drunk during dinner, we might need to be carried downstairs! :D

    1. I was warned before I went, so I wore flats and even so had to be very careful while walking upstairs. ;P

      The solution to your problem would be to get drunk downstairs haha!

  5. oooo....i didnt know this place existed. Thanks for highlight this. Gonna try to find it.

    1. You can check out their prices on the website before you go. I would say their steaks are quite affordable.

  6. i think they sell last polka in marmalade too. i remember seeing gula melaka and horlicks on the list. wanted to try it but am on an ice cream ban :(

    1. Yup they have it in Marmalade and The Bee. Will have to go for it again soon as it's very good.

  7. Dear Baby Sumo,

    As much as the steak looks pretty good, I find it difficult to justify RM128 for a steak although I appreciate prices for imported meats in KL restaurants. A recent experience in one of so many neighbourhood Sydney restaurants confirms the value of a great steak in Sydney at A$30 or RM90+ although the really good David Blackmore wagyu go up to A$120 at Rockpool in the CBD.

    I ran out of time in my last trip to KL and my biggest regret was missing out on the RM30 sizzling steak at Suzi's corner in Ampang because the "Malaysian" thick gravy flavour of these steaks brings back so many childhood memories of dinners in The Ship restaurant for me. This style and flavour of steak is something I cannot get in Sydney! :(

    1. I think Ril's would class as a mid-range steakhouse in KL. Blackmore wagyu (cube roll) goes for close to RM400 here in KL.

      Unfortunately for us KL-ites, most steak places are quite expensive. We have the Starwood card this year though which allows me to enjoy the Master Kobe oyster blade (marbling 9+) for RM65++ after disc. :)

  8. The place has an old charm about it... very vintage chic and quite nostalgia.

    Every dishes there looks quite delectable and since I m also a steak lover, I do hope to try this place one day! =)

    *I better make sure to not wear heels and skirts.. hehehe!

    1. Yeah when I first walked into The Warehouse Gallery downstairs, I was like "WOW, this place is certainly different."

      The prices for steaks here are pretty affordable, will go back again soon.

  9. this place is certainly charming but i wished they were more consistent with their steaks:P

    1. ok ok, must check them for consistency..

  10. Ohh another steak place to try! I guess this will have to wait for a while though.. Prime first! :D


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