I am going to write about a steakhouse today. But since this is a paid post whereby I paid for the food and write a blog post, I can be honest, right? So, in the spirit of being honest, I should be upfront and tell you that it wasn’t my intention to come here at all. At least not my original intention anyway.
You see, I was out earlier today looking for late breakfast (so this is in fact a very very fresh blog post). I wanted to finally pay the new Sushi Mentai outlet in Elit Avenue a visit, because yesterday when I drove past the area, I saw that there was no queue in front of that (so far) crazy popular sushi restaurant. And, seriously, what can be more appropriate than having sushi for breakfast, right?
To my disappointment, when I arrived at 11.35 AM today (the restaurant opens at 11.30 AM), the restaurant was already full and there was again a healthy queue standing outside the restaurant. Seems like yesterday was a one-off.
I hate queues, so I thought “f*ck it” and went off, looking for other noms instead. The thing is, I have already tried most of the restaurants in Elit Avenue. There are only a handful new restaurants that I have yet to try out. And that was how I ended up in Kitchen Twenty Three (Steakhouse.Cafe.Asian fusion restaurant).
The outlet here in Elit Avenue is new. In fact, much newer than Sushi Mentai. Kitchen Twenty Three opened for business less than a month ago, on 1st August 2015. The reason I entered this restaurant out of the few others that I have not tried before was because those others were either not open, or empty. This Kitchen Twenty Three though, has some customers already seated inside and eating, so I took it as a safer bet.
Okay, time for some good comments about this restaurant based on my observations. One plus point I can immediately give is the fact that instead of one shop lot, they went for two instead. You know Penang’s shop lots (especially these new projects) are pathetically small, so by having two shop lots, they averted potential disasters called inadequate seating capacity and crampy dining experience. Good job on this!
I also liked how they do the layout for the tables, with alternate vertical and horizontal setup, with ample walking spaces in between. This helps create some sense of comfort and privacy in an otherwise open floor space. Simple as it seems, this is one area that not many new restaurateurs can get right, so again, good job!
I was slightly amused with what I see on my table. We have flower decoration, tissue, a container for cutlery (forks and knives), and seasoning (salt and pepper). All rather western stuff if you ask me. And then there’s Maggi chili sauce and tomato sauce (ketchup) which are very… Malaysian. To me, that two bottles of red sauce stood out like a sore thumb. I still have not decided if this is a good or bad thing.
But then, they did say they are a fusion restaurant, so I guess it is fine…
Now, let’s talk about the not-so-good comments. I was seated and waiting to be served when I noticed this:
I mentioned it before in an earlier blog post of another eatery, but I’ll mention it again here. (In my opinion) A restaurant’s staff should not be seen seated at customer dining area, or even at a place obviously visible to customers. That two blokes seated there, they are NOT customers. They were wearing the restaurant’s T-shirts, and they were having their meal there.
In a professionally run restaurant, the floor staff’s sole existence is to be of service to customers, either for taking orders, serving food, and checking on customers. Seeing some staff seated at one of the tables meant for customers and doing their own stuff tells us how unprofessional the staff is. And also the owner, for it also means the owner doesn’t know what he is doing and did not train his staff properly.
Maybe it does not matter to some customers, but to some, it would be a put off. For me, I guess it is 50-50. I would take note, mentally shake my head, but ignore it.
And the menu. You know, seeing that this is a steakhouse, I thought this is a properly above average, mid-range pricing restaurant. And seeing the decor and food served to the other customers certainly supported this notion. When I was given the menu, I did not expect it to be, so… cheap. I don’t know, because in a steakhouse, I expected a book of menu, or at least laminated sheets of paper, not just… papers.
But the cheapness is a minor detail. I think the menu is rather… dysfunctional. What you’re looking at, is page 1, out of more than 20 sheets of paper (it felt more like 200 when I was flipping through the stack). They kind of like, alternate 1 page with the items and prices, and then the next page would be pictures of some of those items, and then the next page would be words and prices again. Problem was, these papers are all printed on one side only, so you will have to flip between prices and pictures. I imagine for some people with less than stellar memory, it might go something like: “Oh, maybe I should have French Breakfast, RM 14 is not so expensive, let’s see how it looks like… (flips)… Oh, which one did I want to see just now? Was it the American Breakfast?… Oh, French Breakfast! Yes, it looks nicer! How much was it again?… (flips back) Which one was nice again? It was American Breakfast right? Let’s order American Breakfast!”
Oh crap… it is actually just a minor nuisance of a problem, but I seem to have written it out of proportions in an epic way. What I really want to say is, the menu could’ve been done better…
Okay okay, let’s talk about F&B now…
I saw some hot coffee with those leaf art served to other tables, but I don’t care about coffee art and I like my drinks cold. If they had local iced Nescafe or White Coffee I would have went for those, but they didn’t (or maybe they do but I missed them in the menu) so I ordered an Ice Blended Capuccino (RM 12) for my drink instead. It was pretty good. For me anyway. I mean, I am not one of them coffee experts who could detect bullshit coffee versus wonderful coffee. Coffee to me is just, coffee. I don’t like my coffee too sweet, but I also don’t like pure bitter coffee. It needs a bit of sugar, to be in between, and this one’s quite in between for me. And they have some marshmallows on top. Nice touch!
As for the food… no, I did not order an American Breakfast. I flipped all the pages and decided to go for a Stuffed Chicken Breast (RM 16.50). After all, it seemed more appropriate to have stuffed chicken breast than some eggs and hash browns for breakfast, isn’t it?
Wow! It does look pretty nice, doesn’t it? According to the menu, this dish is chicken breast stuffed with garlic and butter in special sauce (or something like that), served with potato wedges and salad. Although I could do without that mayo drizzle over the salad. I know most Malaysians love mayo on their salad, but I am not like most Malaysians. I prefer olive oil over mayo. I’ll have to take note and mention it when I come again next time.
I thought it was very good value for money, RM 16.50 for something that filled up an entire plate, and plated so nicely. That was until I began counting how many slices of chicken breast I got. I counted 4. Four slices of chicken breast, and the rest are wedges and lettuce. Hmm… just tuned down from [very good value for money] to just [good value for money]. Still good nonetheless.
And that stuffing was pretty generous. I love garlic, so this stuffing is perfect! The chicken breast was a bit overcooked and dry, but this isn’t something that puts me off. And the sauce more than made up for the dryness in my opinion.
Is the food good? Yes!
Does the food look good? Yes!
Do you like the coffee? Yes!
The environment is nice? Yes!
But the menu sucks? Well, yeah, but… I ain’t no old granny with deteriorating memory, I’ll manage…
The floor staff? Like I said, I’m 50-50, so it’s fine I guess. And maybe the owner/manager will set his people straight in time to come…
So, will you come back again? I’d like to think so, yes! Maybe I’ll try their breakfasts and lamb shanks next.
Will you recommend this steakhouse to others? Very much so! This is much better than a lot of the eateries that Penang has to offer.
So.. there you have it. For location and contact details, here’s their Facebook page.