meat the new neighbours
The steakhouse that is Marble 8 is no stranger to high society. Now, its new iteration offers its regular diners an elevation to match; the steakhouse’s new home is located on the 56th floor of Menara Petronas 3, next to the Petronas Twin Towers. The move, which was triggered by the ongoing expansion of Kuala Lumpur’s subway system, means that Marble 8 is now located just one floor below its sister outlet, the rooftop bar and restaurant that is Marini’s on 57.
This arrangement lends itself to a great deal of options, says Modesto Marini, proprietor and founder of The Marini’s Group. “Our diners may now choose to have an aperitif at the al fresco terrace upstairs, before coming downstairs for dinner, or to enjoy post-dinner drinks and cigars at our lounge after their dinner," he says. The Italian restaurateur, who began his career in F&B over two decades ago, was recognised for his feats in the industry when he attained Italy’s highest civilian honour last year; bestowed with the Ordine Della Stella D’Italia award which carries the title of ‘Cavaliere’.
Inside of the new Marble 8, regular diners will spot familiar themes of masculinity and warmth. “A steakhouse should exude a very strong character," Marini mentions. In the restaurant’s wood-panelled interior, this cosy, earthy ambience is accented by metallic heads of steers and lingering bossa nova and jazzy lounge riffs. The view, however, becomes the most fascinating draw the moment you are seated at one of the tables, with twinkling lights of the city and distant mountain ranges from up above.
Equipped with one of the biggest meat aging rooms in all of Asia, Marble 8’s metier in steaks is showcased on a menu which offers Wagyu and Angus which are dry- and wet-aged in the cellar, a process which subtly enhances the flavours of the meat. At Marble 8, the choice of steak includes the whopping tomahawk (1.6kilos, for RM1,380), the dry-aged Bistecca Fiorentina Marble 8 style (RM780, for 1.2kilos) and Marini’s personal favourite, the restaurant’s signature tenderloin on the bone (RM390, for 350 grammes). “You get the balance of a fantastic flavour in the meat, both lean and juice, for the ultimate taste." These creations of Marini’s are ably produced in the kitchen by head chef Simone Musu, whose career as a chef has taken him through the kitchen of Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee in Paris.
On the newly unveiled menu, even existing favourites are given a new twist. The wagyu beef tartare (RM158) possesses truffle custard and condiments while the bone marrow (RM128) is roasted and served with a truffle espuma and fried porcini mushrooms. One should also taste the liver duo (RM158), where pan-seared duck liver and goose liver pate mingles in a medley of rousing flavours among cinnamon biscuits and a green apple compote.
A high level of invention is also applied to the vegetarian zucchini parmigiana (RM78) which is presented as a crumbed crust enveloping layers of crunchy zucchini, mozzarella, parmesan and tomato sauce. A great new addition to the main courses is the decadent rendition of angel hair pasta (RM118) where a home-made birdseye chili paste and aromatic bottarga artfully enhance the dish.
A choice of Boston lobster (RM48 per 100grammes), pan-seared cod (RM138) and roasted lamb rack in a thyme jus (RM158) are some of the other delectable non-steak menu options. The last of the lot is an exercise of heat control, with the perfect application of char on the meat, resulting in caramelised nutty flavours.
To drink, diners have the wealth of the cellars from both Marble 8 and Marini’s on 57 to make their selections including the deliciously unusual Marble 8 Bloody Mary, a refreshing and savoury concoction serving up umami tastes of sea and shell, with essences of balsamico and a spicy kickback. Regale in the exclusivity of the wines of Anna Fendi – the Italian fashion designer, entrepreneur and quiet vineyard owner whose labels are only being carried by The Marini’s Group.
The exceptionally delicate Franciacorta sparkling wine is a another custom import by The Marini’s Group who carry the non-vintage Lantieri label as well as vintages from the prestigious Le Marchesine wine estate. Other grand spectacles include the three-litre Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia MAsseto (RM38,800) and the 2001 Screaming Eagle from Napa (RM78,888).
To end the evening, diners may also enjoy cigars at the adjacent Prive, with a complement of whiskies or cognac. Beyond dinners, Marble 8 caters for three- and four-course lunches as well as the grab & bite option which comprises a sandwich, burger or quesadilla with a non-alcoholic beverage. Marini himself is also looking forward to unveil burger Saturdays and a Sunday Franciacorta brunch down the line. Reflecting on the work to set-up the new Marble 8, and its plethora of offerings, he says: “I think we have a nice range for a great culinary journey ahead".