From start to finish of entering Starhill Gallery, people are always amazed by the setting and the way that they have designed the whole level. It has interesting nooks and crannies and even the restrooms have wooden pie system to wash your hands, which gives a little drama for a mundane task of washing your hands.
The wife and I have been coming to Shook for a number of years and really do highly rate many menu items. But before I get onto what to order, let’s begin with the ambience and feel of the place. The staff are always well trained, friendly and consistent. What I mean by that is that a number of them have been there ever since I went there for the first time six years ago!
The chef stations are awash with stainless steel and marble surfaces and it’s great to know that you can watch your food being prepped and cooked next to you. The music on a weekend is often live music with golden oldies being played. The setting is almost perfect; with the only thing that can be improved upon, is the tables and chairs. They are still the same and are looking a little tired, even the chair covers that look like a coat of arms shield are looking a little tired to say the least. But that set aside, the whole level is certainly high quality.
Now before I begin, this will be a very thorough food review, because we have literally tried 70% of the menu and can give you a good idea of what to order.
I took the Snow White Dancing Prawns, with a warm mayonnaise. These were nestled in a crispy shell on a bed of shredded cabbage. The warm mayo may seem a little strange, but believe me, it works amazingly well with the succulent prawns and the crispy shell. I have ordered this dish many times and don’t think there is better starter on the menu. The prawns are huge and perfectly cooked; my only change maybe the cabbage on the bottom….. is needed or not…..I’m not sure.
There are many other starters from the Wagyu beef carpaccio (A little flat and needs more of a kick somewhere on the dish) to the smoked salmon tartare (which is generous, but under seasoned, but easily fixed with the condiments on the table). They are all worth a go and even sharing a thin crust pizza is a good idea!
The only area I suggest to avoid is the Japanese section. We have given the Japanese rolls a go and they are honestly not that well done. The strange thing is that even the soy sauce tastes a little cheap, similar to what you get at a hotel buffet and that goes the same for the olive oil and balsamic for the bread. Which is a shame, because the freshly baked bread is to die for!
Back to the Japanese section; obviously sashimi is simple, so not much to say, but the prices don’t justify the product. As for the roll’s, we have tried the softshell crab roll and the others; with the most disappointing being the tempura prawn roll. For starters, the prawn was overcooked, with the batter, not being tempura batter, not to mention that both times I ordered this, the batter was not crispy, it was stone cold and felt like it was cooked hours before, soggy and I could do better myself. I’m not saying its inedible, but it certainly felt like the Japanese section was added later and not freshly prepared. You would be better off going to a reasonably priced sushi joint in Pavilion.
Let me start with the best section on the menu….. the Grill!
The meat quality is very high and the cook is also to perfection every time. You have a wide selection of side dishes and my recommendation is the Beef Ribs, which are a hearty portion of beefy goodness. The steaks are also worth spending good money on and you can tailor your own meal.
The Chinese section is pretty good too and we have not been disappointed and they have a never ending list of other items, from pasta, to pizza, so it’s a true choosers heaven at this place. Pizzas are stone baked and good ingredients are used and the freshly prepped fish can be cooked to any liking.
I could honestly go on for pages, but if it’s your first time, go with the grill.
I do have a sweet tooth or five, but would not normally rate desert as a must with many restaurants’.
HOWEVER, at Shook, you better save room. I honestly think that Shook has some of the highest quality deserts I have tried, anywhere in the world. I would honestly rate them up there with my trips to Paris and Milan.
There is one desert that is eye wateringly, over RM60 after taxes, but dare I say it, if you are on a budget and enjoy chocolate, save those RM’s for this desert.
The Palette of Chocolate was mind blowing for me and I go there just for this every time. It’s a disc of velvety rich chocolate ganache on a crispy base. There are four holes punched out of its circular interior, each filled with a different delight.
It’s a whimsical and imaginative desert with unusual, but very well thought out accompaniments of Pistachio puree, gianduja crunch, liquid chocolate and my favourite…. the sea salt caramel. They even provide a dollop of high quality vanilla ice cream and I promise you that this desert will blow your mind, if you are a chocolate fan.
One last comment on the deserts is that they are HUGE 😉 So certainly a positive for those who want to share.
So I have eaten here upwards of 30 times and 27 of these times, I have been very content. Those other three times, we had Japanese and I can honestly say you can get better choice and quality from a simple chain in most of KL, not to mention at a lower price.
Apart from this one negative, the place impresses me every time and this consistency topped off with good service and an extensive wine list, plus great ambiance. Its good enough for a special occasion and my favourite choices are below.
Starter = Snow White Dancing Prawns
Main = Anything from the Grill
Desert = Palette of Chocolate
For my overall ratings
A solid rating for a fine dining restaurant, but sometimes it’s not too full! So it does detract from the buzz of the place; when full the atmosphere is great.
Appearance of establishment: 8/10
Starhill Gallery as a level is a must and could be a 10 if furniture was updated at Shook
Very high quality staff, but not a 10, because sometimes we were left waiting
80% is great! Avoid the Japanese section and fingers crossed Shook spends a little more on better Oil/Balsamic for the amazing bread.
It’s a little higher priced than normal, but the food quality can most of the time justify this. However, the drinks prices are a little higher than I would normally pay.
So a total rating of 40/50