Thursday, April 03, 2008

Prime At Le Meridien,.... And Absolutely Useless Free Gifts

Owning the Starwood card and its many vouchers can sometimes be darn stressful, especially when the expiry date looms before you like the date of the SPM Bahasa paper. The sense of urgency turns into hysteria, and a mad scrambling of trying to slot everything into a limited time and space. So, I was immensely relieved when so & so decided to host a birthday dinner for another so & so, at Prime, BECAUSE, I had a free cake to redeem from Le Meridien, AND a 25% group dining voucher. I am a good guest to bring, coz the vouchers virtually pay for my portion by itself.

It is my 2nd time at Prime, the first, I bumped into Kenny Mah. This time, we were given a room, obviating the need to be seen by the rakyat. The room is quite nice, cosy, plush, and you need a forklift to lift the chairs.

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I am not sure what that hanging thing above is meant to be, but it reminds me of the whale skeleton that hangs in museum negara. Despite my age, I vaguely recall the brouhaha when that particular whale got washed up on our shores.

The breads, a spicy tomato focaccia and a nutty white bread, were complemented by the most divine spread of butters, to spread. A trinity of butters, tomato, salted, and parsley, I think. Most divine.

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I'm a plebian, and always say a silent thanksgiving prayer when bread is served with real butter, (a louder prayer when it's salted), as opposed to the balsamic & olive oil combo. Its so ladida these days, apparently even Pick n Brew serves that.... well, I very unkultured one. Give me gourmet butters anyday.

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At this point in thyme, my camera was showing its low battery signal. Groan, of all the times to run out of battery. And usually I am very organised, and would be armed with extra batteries. Channeling all my qi into energizing the battery, I allocated what I hoped was enough energy to last till the cake cutting.

After oohing and aahing over the menu, and the myriad choices of types of cows (wagyu, kobe, black angus, jersey, normal), and their different nationalities (Australian, Argentinian, etc), and different ageing (80 days, 150 days), and different dietary (grain vs grass), I finally settled on the lobster bisque soup.

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I love soups served with the puff pastry roofing. It's kinda exciting to see what surprises await beneath that puffy filament. In this case, it was a rich, thick, creamy flavourful soup, ... a bit too thick, with a morsel of lobster. But oh so good, but gosh, it sure made the hitherto consumed bread expand like newly filled sponge, .......

Classy restaurants of course give sorbet for you to wash your palate. (and to justify a RM40 bowl of lobster bisque soup). The raspberry sorbet, a rather generous scoop, was very intensely raspberry, and very dense, not sobert-y (sorbay eee) at all. Twas more like normal ice cream. Who's complaining? I'm not.

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At this point, the battery light was flashing red, which would be the equivalent of the petrol light coming on in the car. Sigh, all these dishes, and no one to photograph them. I used the last surge of flash (usually I don't but I didn't have a choice, lighting sucked) to photograph this piece de resistance, the Wagyu Prime Rib, 1kg shared between two (this is a half portion, ie, 500gm) priced at RM498 per kg. Actually, very good value, if you think about it. For wagyu. It can easily feed 4 people, imho.

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My own order was the Black Angus, 8oz (220gm) of gorgeous rib eye (RM90) had died completely by then, so you'll just have to rely on my description to imagine the succulent tender meat, marbled with just the right amount of fat, and seared to perfection, sliding down my esophagus as I closed my eyes and imagined myself as ........... erm..... analogies escape me right now.

Wife's surf and turf (RM125), comprising half a lobster, and a fillet mignon slab, was also very good. But way too much. Meanwhile, while my own steak order was perfect and I felt contentedly full, after consuming it, the eaters of the Wagyu began flogging off bits of their meat, as they were too full. I have to say, the Wagyu was divine. Melt in the mouth, also with a bit of fat, and oh so tender.

Prime, quite prime indeed. Am rather pleased with my 2nd experience here, despite having heard some shocking reviews. They did however have an interesting "no tah pau" policy, which they explained. Apparently they didnt want people to bring food home, contaminate it, fall sick and die from diarrhoea and sue them.

On a separate topic, though it happened in the same day, pertains to what a sucker I am for free gifts. HSBC called me asking if I wanted a supplementary card for the spouse, and I would get a free mystery gift, .....the word "FREE" always sends tingles of excitement down my spine, like a mainland chinese masseuse tickling your feet with a feather duster (not that I've ever experienced it).

So imagine my excitement, when months later, a couriered parcel comes bearing lo and behold, a rather interesting looking aluminium tin, that looked like a wedding favour.

I excitedly rip open the courier package, (courier packages, COULD they make any LESS simpler to open? Gosh, you need a surgeon to cut it open) take out the tin, and pop it open. I couldn't make out what the heck the contents were.

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Anyway, it turns out, its a POCKET watch, complete with chain. GASP!!!!! I was in HEAVEN. I've ALWAYS wanted one of these......nooooooooooottttttttttttt!

Mystery gift indeed. It's still a mystery to me why anyone in their right mind would think that this gift would interest ANYONE. Argggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. A POCKET WATCH!!!!

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A POCKET WATCH!!!! Still can't get over it. I'll be waiting for part two of the present, which presumably, logically, should be a monocle. I'd like to have a word or two with HSBC's corporate gifts consultant.


Tummythoz said...

Tic toc tic toc
Seriously prefer that to another cheesy key-chain.

Anonymous said...

Good gosh, it has nearly been a year already, hasn't it? That was my first and, thus far, only time at Prime. I remember those gourmet butters well. :D

And yeah, the portions surprised me too. But I was determined to finish it all. LOL.

Anonymous said...

The dishes sounds delicious, pity no photos. I like the pocket watch too.
Being in Melbourne, I crave Malaysian hawkers food. But I do appreciate Australian lamb and beef too. My personal favourite is lamb chops, flavoursome and tender.

Anonymous said...

Ps. And there is part 2 of the present? Wow worth having a spouse card!!

HairyBerry said...

great minds dine alike, eh?

"At this point in thyme..." *snigger*

thought of getting one of those hilton/starwood/bollywood/yadayada kinda card cos they all sound so worthy. any advise ar? guess i'll email y'all on this lar.

fatboybakes said...

nickhkl, actually, in retrospect, i reckon starwood is the most value for money, coz it covers westin, imperial, lemeridien and sheraton subang....ya, email me la, i'll refer you to the relevant person (and in the process benefit from it opcors)
which great minds were you referring to?

food safari, thanks for dropping by. no la, no part 2 free gift, it was hypothetical. yes, australia is blessed with fantastic natural produce.

kennymah, you so slim, can afford to finish even a 1kg prime rib by yourself la.

tummythoz, i'd have preferred an alarm clock.... whooooo on earth goes around carrying a pocket watch...unless its an antique handed down from your great great grandfather and is the family heirloom.

has anyone read the gift of the magi?

What A Lulu said...

erh... i was eyeing the pocket watch in the hsbc catalogue. dunno why, but have for the longest time wanted one.

fatboybakes said...

lulu, does the one in the catalog say HSBC on the watch face? oh well, maybe it'll come back in fashion...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hahaha...ohh how i miss prime..but the prices dont thrill but rather put me in a state that i cant control my bladder...

1kg wagyu beef????with starwood card...when can we go there for a gathering??

JOjo said...

" need a forklift to lift the chairs."

Lol...Muscle training b4 meal i guess? =p

Ya, nice food w/o getting its glam on shots is such a waste...

Anonymous said...

"... but the prices dont thrill but rather put me in a state that i cant control my bladder..."

Now pulak time for bladder humour? :P

Slim on the outside only; you haven't seen the ginormous love handles I possess. :(

Anyway, 1kg leh. How to swallow so much???

fatboybakes said...

kennymah, ... how can a body balance instructor have love handles?
but having said that, i'm seen some rather flabby personal trainers in FF Manulife.

jojo, yalor, sigh, what a waste. some more there were a couple of lobsters posing so nicely on the plate.

nipples, looking at your blog, prime seems to be in the same league as most of the places you eat at mah.....should hardly cause a stir in any part of your anatomy, expect maybe to make your nipple perk up in anticipation of the glorious meat that is to come.

Jason said...

Er... pass the watch to someone else as birthday present? :P

HairyBerry said...

cool, will do that...but later can ar?..perhaps in may when i get back to kl...i heard can even bargain on the price!! woohoo...niways the great minds refer to you and kenny lar.

Big Boys Oven said...

the food sound awesome, the gift can pass to me ! lol!

fatboybakes said...

BBO, yar, the food at prime is damn good.

sure, nic, take yer time.

jason, host a grand party for your birthday la, i'll give it to you....

Simon Seow said...

Cool watch, and I still earn too low salary to eat wagyu.

Henry Yeo said...

we need to have a pigout session just to see who can eat the most.