Everyone knows how much I love my meats, especially steaks. It’s no secret that my default for a great night out involves beef or steak in some form and while we’re on the subject of steaks, let’s dwell a little on the best steak place in town in my opinion – Prime at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the food from fans and friends, but for Jien and I who have been visiting them regularly since 2010, the steaks have never disappointed. The prime rib is my must-order when I’m dining at Prime and I’ve never budged from this ever since I first sank my teeth into one.
But knowing Chef Antoine Rodriguez, he never rests on his laurels. He has recently introduced his “new baby” as he so excitedly calls it – the dry-aging fridge which you can admire as you enter the restaurant. It is a sight to marvel at; watching an assortment of steaks on display as they are aged to improve taste and tenderness.
What is dry aged beef?
Most of us have heard about or eaten dry-aged beef but for the uninitiated, dry aged beef is a process of curing the meat in a favourable condition (read: controlled temperature and humidity) for the enzymes in the meat cells to break down the protein, fats and glycogen. This in turn creates glutamate (the essence of umami) which gives the meat a more complexed flavour – sweet, savoury…basically flavours that weren’t there before.
The enzymes also break down muscle fibers and connective tissues, oxidises fats and loosening up the collagen so what you get in the end is a tender piece of meat. In a nutshell, dry aged beef is like eating steak, one level up.
I was one of the lucky few to be given a preview of Chef Antoine’s new baby and he put together a meal of three different dry aged cuts and a sumptuous salad featuring his very own smoked duck. The cuts of beef we sampled that afternoon were a 29 days dry aged red gum English ribeye, 25 days wagyu sirloin and 23 days red gum ribeye – all delicious in their own right.
The whole aging process takes between 28 days to 120 days where the maximum tenderness is obtained and the flavours are developed to an ideal level. Hardcore dry aged beef fans would probably want a 60 days dry aged meat which is said to be super beefy and almost akin to eating cheese. I don’t think I’m ready for that though.
My personal favourite among the three cuts is the wagyu sirloin M4/5 (RM140 per 100gm), which is beautifully tender with a good amount of flavour and depth. You get a bit of umami from each bite so there’s no need for much salt or sauce to go with your steak. Prices for the dry-aged cuts start from RM80 per 100gm onwards — fairly reasonable if you ask me.
I’ve always opted for the prime rib and no amount of coaxing from Chef can change my mind about ordering something else at his restaurant, but the dry aged beef might just sway me every now and then. It’s a matter of wanting flavour in your meat (dry aged) or flavour from the fats (the regular cuts).
Your call. :)
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2263 7888