It’s scaled the culinary heights since its opening in mid-2014, but Marble 8 is now a literal high flyer.
It has been a couple months since the luxe steakhouse moved from its bungalow beginnings in Jalan Binjai to just a floor below its equally primo Italian sibling, Marini’s on 57. That puts it on the 56th floor of Petronas’ Tower 3 – and ensures an impressive wrap-around view of KL’s skyline, particularly coveted for fiery sunsets and clear nights snowflaked with city lights.
The restaurant closed in Jalan Binjai in late January, because of the construction of an MRT line through the area, and reopened in its new home in early April.
It has recreated its customary air of opulence with a distinctively sensual, masculine edge in its new home – leather seats fastened with dull metal studs, the curve of horns turned into decor accents, and a cowhide-lined central bar. The comparatively lower ceilings here render it cosier, more intimate, than its previous incarnation.
Your meal can be preceded by a stint in the prive lounge, with a fine cigar and cut-glass tumbler of whisky.
At the far end of the U-shaped restaurant, the famed walk-in ageing cellar, where the Australian meats – hand-picked by owner Cavaliere Modesto Marini, from Stanbroke Beef in northern Queensland – live for at least 21 days, aged for a wonderful depth of flavour and texture.
During the ageing period, natural enzymatic processes break down the muscle tissue for greater tenderness; with dry-ageing, moisture evaporation concentrates the flavours of the meat.
Marble 8 dry-ages its wagyu, and wet-ages its Angus beef, vacuum-sealed in its own juices, both for a minimum of 21 days.
Marble 8’s meat is also delivered on the bone. When cooked on the bone, it’s more flavourful, and the bone itself conducts heat to deliver more even cooking.
For all the emphasis it puts on its premium meat cuts, Marble 8 provides a well-rounded fine dining experience – even for non-carnivores. And a new home demands a new menu.
The weekday Elite Gourmand Lunch serves up three courses at RM78 per person, or four courses at RM118, and include choices of Angus and wagyu, while the daily Grab & Bite menu at RM56 can include a 200g wagyu burger, with other choices including a steak sandwich or a portobello and vegetable burger.
On public holidays, only the Grab & Bite and a la carte menus are available at lunchtime.
We started our meal with the complimentary bread basket and dipping sauces, including a gorgeous sun-dried tomato and a simple, fruity olive oil, chilli and garlic – and an amuse bouche, a tiny wagyu slider, the obvious quality of the meat far outweighing its mini portion.
Marble 8 salad (RM108), a crescent of seasonal baby vegetables with beetroot and feta terrine and zucchini puree. The vegetables were tender but still crunchy, and very tasty – but its price does seem a bit steep.
A tartare of Hokkaido scallop (RM98) was a huge hit, topped with dollops of Sevruga caviar and served with a buttery, mellow Hollandaise and a fragrant ponzu dressing.
The Hollandaise and ponzu worked remarkably well together, providing significant flavour but allowing the amazing freshness of the melting scallops to shine.
The same kind of judicious balance could be seen in the wagyu beef tartare (RM158) and the lobster salad (RM138).
The former was a stunning introduction to the kind of flavours dry-ageing can result in, and the clean, clear flavours of the generously-marbled beef were perfectly accentuated by a truffled sauce, rosemary chips and large shavings of fresh black truffle.
The lobster salad was absolutely lovely, perfectly-poached Maine lobster tail accented by the fresh, fruit nuances of lemon and tomato confit, green apple, the herbal tang of basil-scented mayo, the gentle bite of pickled onions and the briny bursts of salmon roe.
The dishes were all hallmarked by a centre-staging of the main star of the show, never overwhelmed and always well-supporting by the bit players – which would continue through to the mains.
These can include pastas like angel hair pasta (RM118) with Bottarga (salted, cured mullet roe) and the vegetarian-friendly papardelle (RM88) with mushrooms in a truffled sauce, as well as a delicate cod fillet (RM138) wrapped in olive crumbs and served with a light red pepper sauce, and a perfectly pink roasted lamb rack (RM158), with a mellow, sweet pumpkin puree, rich jus and rosemary chips.
Every main is executed with precision, care and sureness. But the steaks at Marble 8 are the maid draw, and these really do deserve pride of place.
We tried the dry-aged cuts, a boneless rib-eye (RM268 for a 300g cut) and the 350g tenderloin on the bone (RM390).
The rib-eye is quite the perfect choice if you like a fairly even ratio of meat and fat – it was wonderfully juicy, with a decidedly robust flavour, but not overwhelming in its marbling.
The bone-in process obviously works well for the tenderloin too, since this lean cut retained great succulence and an even greater marbling of juicy fat.
To go with your steaks, choose from English or grain mustard – but even more importantly, a selection of crunchy sea salt, Himalayan pink salt or a smaller-grained herbed salt. Just a few of those crystals in every bite, mingling with the juice of the meat, equals a meat-lovers’ heaven.
We ended the meal with a rectangle of mango and coconut mousse (RM45), tangy and tropical, on mirliton biscuit with house-made coconut gelato, and a classic creme brulee (RM38) topped with shatter-crisp torched sugar and flecked with Madagascan vanilla, topped with a quenelle of caramel ice cream and served with a gorgeous selection of berries corralled in a chocolate ring. Plus, a tray of sweet morsels made in-house – melting nougat, pralines and chocolate crisps.
Marble 8 is a place of indulgence, which delivers beautifully on its promises of high quality, and the requisite attention to detail and care paid to each carefully-chosen item of produce.
Level 56 Petronas Tower 3
Tel: 03-2386 6030
Open daily, noon to 2.30pm, 7pm to 11pm