Recently, I was suprised to discover from Precious Pea that Max! Kitchen & Wines has relocated from their Tengkat Tong Shin place. Instead the restaurant is now housed in a bungalow, which also doubles up as a furniture showroom called iHaus. The spacious double-storey bungalow just behind Noble House and off Jalan Bukit Bintang/Jalan Imbi comes with ample parking space and a large garden, making it ideal for barbeques, weddings or even parties. I for one welcome the parking arrangements as dining at Max! used to be treacherous with the lack of spaces and the dodgy carpark nearby.
Within the bungalow, you will find the space within is divided into a main dining room area with different types of tables, cosy little nooks and corners filled with comfy chairs to lounge in and a show kitchen area for the serving staff to work at. Hidden within from prying eyes is also the private wine room, where we dined at last Friday night. For the upstairs area, there's plans to convert the space to include a pool table for parties. Unlike those days in Tengkat Tung Shin, you can't see Max cooking away at the stove since the kitchen is now hidden away.
While waiting for dinner, we chilled out with a bottle of prosecco (Italian Batasiolo Cascine 7 for RM120 with medium bubble intensity, dry and short finish) and relaxed on the comfy sofas and chairs, making ourselves very much at home. Luckily time flew away quickly and it was dinner time before we could even finish our bottle. Most of Max's regulars know about his shift and that night, the place was packed to the brim. To kick off our meal, we had the seasonal lokam clams prepared two ways; grilled and drizzled with lemon oil and grilled with a creamy cheese sauce. In terms of taste, we were split between the 2 cooking styles, some loved the creamy cheese sauce while others preferred the cleaner and sweeter taste of the simple lemon oil drizzled clams (RM35 for 10 clams). Note that these clams are seasonal and not always available at Max.
The menu has gone a much needed revamp featuring new dishes. Rather than choose our items individually, we opted to get Max to choose the best for us and share them among 6 of us. We also loved the salads - the meli-melo mushroom with soft poached egg topping fresh mesclun salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar reduction (RM28) and the roasted beet salad with warm haloumi cheese, sunflower seeds and all drizzled with an apple vinaigrette (RM25). Break the soft poached egg and let the yolk drizzle over the salad! Unlike the one I tried before in Marmalade, Max's haloumi cheese has a nice crust and is great paired with the sweet beetroot.
We all couldn't get enough of the seared sea scallops on grilled provencale vegetable-baby octopus ragout with olives and lobster oil (RM48). The big sweet scallops were slowly relished while we had to ask for more bread to wipe down the plate clean. The ragout tasted fantastic with the lobster oil and strangely enough, like it had a pinch of curry powder.
The mains were the matelote of codfish in red wine jus with shallot, fresh tarragon and wild mushroom (RM55), lamb roulade with cutlet grilled zucchini and eggplant tart, garlic confit and rosemary jus (RM60), Australian veal chop served with cognac flambeed chanterelle and cepe mushrooms melange (RM95 for 300grams). The cod was thick and flaked off in pieces when you ate it with a rich tasting red wine reduced sauce. For variety, Max serves 2 kinds of lamb on the plate - the tender lamb cutlet and the lamb roulade. I preferred the lamb cutlet and soft garlic cloves but was not a fan of the polenta stuffed tart topped with grilled zucchini and eggplant. The veal chops were fantastic! I did the cutting for everyone and it was so tender, the knife went through so easily.
For the meal, since it was a lot of meats, we had a selection of red wine to drink - a Trapiche Argentinian Malbec 2007 aged in oak casks (RM130). Smelling of ripe plums, the wine was my favourite of the 2 bottles we opened. However the South Australian Peter Lehmann Weighbridge Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007 (RM130) was very drinkable with its soft tannins. To end, this time, we decided not to have any desserts as there was nothing new in the menu but we were all very well satisfied after the meal and excellent company.
Do pop by Max. @ iHaus for a great dining experience, as I reckon all of you need to update your blogs since most of it is about the old place. Since we dined here on Friday, I already got Julian to drop by for a great time. Psssst, they also have their value for monies set lunch for RM22++ and its available from Monday to Saturday now! Definitely an easy thing to do during the weekdays now since parking is so ample here. He also has a degustation menu of 5 courses with a glass of prosecco for RM120++ per pax. For more pictures of the place and etc, see my Flickr set that also includes the map to the place.
Max. @ iHaus
Lot No. 32, Jalan Jati
Off Jalan Bukit Bintang
Tel: 03 - 2142 9720
(Pork free. Open for lunch (12-3pm) and dinner (7-11pm) daily. Set lunch is available for Monday to Saturday. To get here, from Jalan Imbi coming from Jalan Bukit Bintang, take the first left turn and drive down Jalan Inai. Take the first left turn and then a right turn, go straight and you will see iHaus on the left hand side where the restaurant and iHaus showroom is located.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.
Tagged with: Max + Bukit Bintang