Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Grill, garden bistro and bar - that's what Muugu set out to be when it opened in a restored bungalow just a stone's throw from the glitzy hotel and shopping belt of Bukit Bintang. Tucked discreetly away in a quiet nook of KL, the restaurant draws the time-pressed office crowd with its reasonably priced set lunch (RM17 to RM35 depending on the choice of main course) that includes soup or salad and a glass of soft drink or coffee/tea.
Incredibly, parking is a breeze here and there's an al-fresco patio that overlooks a patch of green where one can enjoy a glass of wine and a puff without causing any consternation. For heat-averse people like us, the cool air-cond space inside is the perfect refuge especially in the sweltering weather.
I never order fries on the side when I dine out until I had the golden finger-thick Truffle Fries (RM8) at Muugu. Flecked with fine shavings of cheese and chopped parsley, the truffle oil-scented fries are so sinfully delish and incredibly addictive that we forgot to snap a pix. This snapshot was kindly on loan from PureGlutton.com (thanks Chris!)
If carbs are strictly off-limits, then go for the Pan-seared Scallops with Quail Eggs (RM23). Topped with a pint-sized fried sunny-side up quail egg on each one, the scallops make sublime mouthfuls that beg you to lick the plate clean.
For a light boozy kick to whet your appetite, I'd recommend the Mussels in White Wine Broth (RM19). Prepped with lashings of white wine, the shellfish are toothsomely tender. Don't forget to soak up the salubrious sauce with slices of crusty baguette.
Soup lovers will lap up every dollop of the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup (RM12). The broth has just the right degree of creaminess, woody aroma and rustic voluptuousness to it.
Health nuts may prefer to graze on the classic Wild Rocket and Pear Salad (RM16) which has peppery rocket tossed with sweet pear wedges, crunchy walnuts, plump raisins and cheese shavings in a mildly tart dressing.
Want something to nibble on with your fave tipple? The sweet solution is succulent Honey Glazed Chicken Wings (RM15) bursting with such irresistible flavours that you'd be asking for more.
Air-flown Australian steaks are seared on volcanic rock at Muugu
Muugu takes pride in their Australian steaks and beef lovers will do well with either Ribeye (RM42) or Tenderloin (RM55) done medium rare. Grilled to order on volcanic rock, the meat tastes best sans sauce. Accompaniments of fries, mashed or sautéed potato, greens (ratatouille or mixed greens) and red wine, black pepper, brown or mushroom sauce are proffered to complement their steak.
Hearty eaters would be amply satisfied with Braised Lamb Shank (RM35) as the hefty portion comes with similar sides. The meat is delectably tender without being mushy; the lamb jus lending depth and body to the braising gravy.
Other protein options here include Pan-fried Salmon Fillet (RM29) and an unexpectedly outstanding Roasted Chicken Thigh (RM23) smothered in a rich, wine-based sauce or check what's the catch of the day.
Happily, the Seafood Risotto (RM27) and Pasta Aglio Olio (RM17) also measured up with both dishes adroitly acquitted during our visit.
Bring down the curtains on your meal with Chocolate Fondant Cake with Vanilla Ice-cream (RM13), Cheesecake (RM12), Tiramisu (RM12) or Strawberry Granita (RM9). 

The runaway best-seller is the molten choc cake - possibly because sweet-toothed diners simply melt at the mere sight of all that gooey goodness! My only grouse is the 'teetotaller' Italian 'pick me upper' tastes far too sedate but hey, don't let me rain on your parade if you're a fan of that luscious treat.

For reservations, call 03-2110-3603. Muugu Garden Bistro & Bar is located at 32 Jalan Jati, Off Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

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