I just can’t help but be charmed by the lovely open grill restaurant aptly named Charcoal at The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Set amidst lush grounds, Charcoal spots a warm cosy ambience and I’m struck by its simple contemporary elegance. The beautifully-appointed open kitchen in the centre is where all the flaming and grilling actions take place. Customised for almost-smokeless charcoal grilling (thanks to the super industrial-grade suction hoods), diners can watch the gregarious Chef Robert Johnston orchestrating the various grills and stoves in coming up with the most deliciously char-grilled meats and seafood.
What I really love about the food in Charcoal is the mixed offerings of western and local Malaysian style of barbeque. While a whole lamb is slowly roasting on the pit, Chef Johnston and his team busy themselves grilling Australian Black Angus ribeyes, tenderloins, short ribs, Murraylands French cut racks of lamb and various types of seafood.
While waiting for the main meats, we were served with some satay to whet the appetite. Aromatic sticks of chicken, lamb and beef satay were laid on miniature stoves and brought to our tables together with condiments like cucumber, Bombay onions and nasi himpit. Although over-charred at the sides, the satay were well-marinated and very tasty. The peanut satay sauce was superb.
Charcoal serves one of the best fried rice I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately it’s served as a side dish and not as mains. Do ask for this with your grilled items – you won’t be disappointed. I had a small bowl of this with the grilled tiger prawns with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves – it was simply delicious.
Grilled Tiger Prawns with Kaffir Lime Leaves & Lemongrass and the best fried rice ever!
As mentioned, one of the endearing attractions of Charcoal is its repertoire of local, specifically nyonya, offerings. The sambals served with the grilled items are unique and different from the usual western-style sauces. So, expect to dip your grilled meats into Sambal Mangga (my favourite), Sambal Kerabu, Sambal Hijau or the plain Chilli Garlic Sauce. Chef Auntie Belle’s signature dishes like Ayam Percik, Terung Sumbat Bakar (baked stuffed brinjals) and Barkke Kari Ambila Kacang (spicy braised beef with long beans) are all available for those who prefer some local spices in their meal.
Delectable Ayam Percik served with rice
Terung Sumbat Bakar (baked stuffed brinjals)
Barkke Kari Ambila Kacang (spicy braised beef with long beans)
Desserts here lean more on the local front with traditional sweets like serawa durian, lempeng pisang, grilled local fruits and even the kuih bingka is served with cubes of grilled mangoes. My favourite is the pile of grilled pineapple, papaya, banana doused with caramel sauce and crowned with a scoop of pineapple sorbet – just the perfect dessert to cool down the palate after the flaming feast.
Kuih Bingka with Grilled Mangoes
Grilled Mixed Local Fruits
Have a Weekend Feast at Charcoal…
For RM99++ per adult and RM49.40++ per child, enjoy a sumptuous feast of grilled meats and seafood, Peranakan and International dishes, desserts and more available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Charcoal.
Saturday & Sunday – 12.00noon to 3.30pm (brunch)
Friday & Saturday – 6.30pm to 10.30pm (dinner)
Ala carte is also available.
Lifestyle by Saujana loyalty card members enjoy up to 50% discount when dining at Charcoal while CIMB cardholders are entitled to 15% to 20% off their food bill.
The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS
40150 Shah Alam
Tel: 603-7843-1234 ext 6122