While the experience is still fresh in my mind, I should pen down my thoughts on thirty8.
I’ve read many reviews about thirty8 – mostly were good so I was curious to try the food there. Of course the one thing that intrigued me the most was the thirty8 Signature Cake.
I suppose that should be indication of things to come.
Firstly I apologize for the blur/dark/irregular/inconsistent editing in the photos. As LC puts it ‘thirty8 is not made for night food photography’.
thirty8 serves many cuisines including Chinese, Western, Thai and Japanese all cooked by different open kitchens – so open that you could just waltz in from your table. It was quite impressive that different chefs were running different kitchens. I suppose that is the best way to produce the best dishes of each cuisine.
We were seated in front of the Western kitchen with the view of Trader’s Sky Bar.
I’m not familiar with what they serve as their link to the menu on their website is dead. No research done of the menu is quite risky as I learned the hard way. There has been a steep price increase in the dishes. This is one of the few times I’ll be indicating the cost of each dish.
The Homemade Lemonade (RM12) was very refreshing. I like that the taste of the lemon stayed strong throughout the night, it was not watered down and bland. The mint added a nice freshness to the drink. The Naan and Chicken Liver Butter was mediocre. It was also complimentary.
To share, we ordered a Caesar Salad (RM32) which they tossed table side. Oddly, the salad did not have any eggs nor anchovies. Just romaine lettuce, cheese and bread sticks. It tasted fine, no wow there. I think if I tried to charge a RM32 caesar salad with just those ingredients, I’d get boycotted right away.
Even though my last experience with duck was not satisfactory, I went for a Duck Confit (RM90) with mushrooms and potatoes. The duck was tender but too heavily salted. There were exactly 3 button mushroom halves and about a handful of baby potatoes. I struggled through this dish – a waiter tried to clear my plate twice because I was pausing for too long.
LC was sick of steak so he went for some basic Chinese cuisine – a Fried Rice with Tobiko, Prawns, Scallops and Egg White (RM35). There is not a single bit of tobiko in the fried rice even though it was mentioned in the menu and the fried rice severely lacked wok hei. When a manager was made known about the poor quality of the food, their Chinese chef approached us to ask for some feedback. With my barely there Cantonese, I managed to tell him that it lacked wok hei and was not fragrant. His response was that it’s because the rice is fried with egg white and not both the egg white and egg yolk, therefore it is not as fragrant. I swear I had a ‘cricket pause‘ moment when I heard that.
We also had Butter Prawns (RM78) which was pretty good. Usually butter prawns come with either butter sauce or egg yolk strands but this came with both. Peeled juicy prawns score points from me but I’d admit I wouldn’t go to a hotel for Chinese food unless I required halal Chinese food. Also somewhere along the way, the serving staff spilled some chilli and soy sauce from the saucer which left a large stain on the table cloth. It was quite unsightly throughout the night.
Of course we ordered their thirty8 Signature Cake (RM38). They have a white chocolate version – the thirty8 Signature Cake 2014 (RM38).
The presentation was quite impressive – glass dome, dry ice, caramel sauce being poured onto the cake and all. However, I found the banana ice cream (which was good on it’s own) didn’t really jive with the mousse cake made of hazelnut praline, bits of brittle and smooth chocolate hazelnut mousse. The cake was rich and nutty but not as soft as I would expect of a mousse cake. But this of course was the highlight of the meal as all the other dishes were bad.
The food experience was very disappointing and for a bill that totaled up to almost RM400, I expected topnotch food and service that is worthy of Grand Hyatt’s 5 star status. The waiting staff seemed awkward and inexperienced – one even asked ‘how was the food?’ merely for the sake of asking. It was only after the manager asked for feedback did the Chinese chef approach us to further investigate. Our plates were taken away while we were still having our appetizers because the main courses arrived quickly – the timing between courses was very bad
The restaurant itself was quite beautiful – the open concept kitchens had not a single whiff of bad ventilation and the view of KL is undisturbed and would have been quite beautiful had it been a clear night. However, I would name the view and ambiance as the only attraction of the restaurant. Otherwise, there is no reason to visit this place.