While a variety of delicious food can be found in Malaysia, the country is not exactly known as a fine dining destination. Which is why we find it strange that multiple Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay decided to open his first eponymous Bar & Grill concept at Sunway Resort, located on the fringe of Kuala Lumpur city.
Officially opened on June 18, the restaurant joins the brand’s three existing locations in London’s Mayfair, Chelsea and Park Walk. It is also part of the expanding network of Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned restaurant groups with more than 35 locations worldwide and seven Michelin stars.
During a visit there, we learn from a PR representative that it was founder and chairman of the Sunway Group, Jeffrey Cheah himself, who proposed to Ramsay the idea of opening a fine dining restaurant to tie in with the hotel’s palatial new look with gilded accents and superior finishings.
The resort’s renovations, which started in 2020, is the most extensive revamp in its 25-year history, costing a whopping US$60 million ($84 million). This transformation clearly positions it as Asia's leading fully-integrated premier hospitality and entertainment destination. Phase 1 of the metamorphosis is now complete, unveiling eight revamped rooms and suite categories. The rest of the resort is slated to complete construction by the year-end in time for Christmas festivities.
Although Ramsay has yet to pay a visit to Sunway Resort — due to scheduling issues — he’s certainly proud to launch his stunning Malaysian outpost. “This is a concept that was born in London and exudes the British sophistication created out of its original Mayfair setting; however, we always wanted to introduce Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill to an international setting once we had found the perfect partners and the perfect location. Malaysia is a wonderful country with a rich heritage and an exciting future, and I am confident that local guests and international visitors will have an exceptional dining experience in our beautiful new restaurant,” he said in a press statement.
Complementing the hotel's grandeur, Sunway’s Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill is just as lavishly designed, with shiny brass finishes, plush leather furniture, hardwood flooring, and a glittering chandelier that dangles from a 24-karat gold ceiling. Facing the entrance, you’re greeted by a giant portrait of Ramsay in his signature imposing pose with folded arms.
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The private dining rooms, named after his other Bar & Grill outlets — 8 Mayfair, 10 Soho and 12 Chelsea, are luxurious and intimate. But it’s the grand dining room, littered with custom leather chairs in a rich red and forest green colour scheme, that takes our breath away. For that rock ‘n’ roll feel, the walls are lined with monochrome portraits by celebrated photographers Terry O’Neill and Arthur Steel featuring British style icons like Mick Jagger, and Sean Connery, and supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy.
Our favourite nook is the cosy bar lounge helmed by bar manager Marek Klecka, who honed his mixology skills in Singapore. Designed with plenty of intimate spaces, the chic space hides discreetly behind a towering wine cellar, which is a temperature-regulated room for the restaurant’s over 1,000 bottles of wine from around 210 labels. Here, you can enjoy classic cocktails like a Barrel Aged Negroni or Old Fashioned, or an interactive mixology workshop at the six-seater bar.
The gorgeous aesthetics of the 150-seater restaurant is matched by the superior (but not stuffy) service of its staff personally selected by Ramsay, and trained by his international culinary director, Damien Brassel.
Rest assured, the food is prepared using the finest equipment such as Josper grills and Kronos appliances. And on your tables, you’ll find well-known brands like The Cotswolds cutlery by Studio William, and Florentine Kitchen Knives from Barcelona; and napkins by Italian brand Rivolta.
The food — an ala carte collection of Ramsay’s famous British classics — takes a leaf out of the iconic Savoy Grill's playbook, emulating the finesse and style of the award-winning restaurant. There’s so much attention to detail in terms of the plating, precisely-cut ingredients, and lovingly-made condiments such as the addictive bone-marrow butter served with piping hot bread.
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My lunch tasting included a giant Seafood Tower (MYR790 or around $247) — good for four to six — piled high with fresh oysters, Boston lobster, scallop ceviche, king crab legs, prawns, and citrus-cured salmon. If you feel like splurging, you can add on a 30g can of Kristal Caviar for MYR750.
The Spiced Beef Tartare with Egg Yolk Confit is a crowd favourite, but mine would be the highly-addictive Arnold Bennett Twice-baked Cheese Soufflé with Mornay Sauce (MYR100) — an eggy-like souffle made with smoked haddock and five kinds of cheeses that is probably impossible to recreate if you’re not Gordon Ramsay. This will be the dish that I’m happy to make a repeat visit for.
Another must-try is the Classic Beef Wellington (MYR290) — by far the best version I’ve ever had — elegantly served table-side with an addictive pomme puree, red wine jus and small salad. An incredibly hard dish to perfect, this 38-day dry-aged beef is perfectly pink and soft in the middle with an amazing mouthfeel that’s soft and creamy, and enveloped by crunchy flaky puff pastry.
To end the lavish meal, I recommend the 64% Manjari Chocolate Tart (MYR65), made from locally grown cacao and transformed into a rich bittersweet tart that’s balanced with a light yoghurt sorbet, bite-sized honeycomb and drizzle of olive oil.
Is dining here worth all the hype? Personally, if making the trip to London to eat at Ramsay’s restaurants sounds like too much trouble, a quick pit stop to Sunway Resort is just as good, if not better. From the impressive interiors to the excellent service and faultless food, Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill Malaysia is most definitely an occasion restaurant worth at least one visit — and one that you’d better save up for. Do note that dinner reservations are full until the end of the year unless there’s a last-minute cancellation.
Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill Sunway City
Lobby Level Sunway Resort,
Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 603 7492 8000
Email: [email protected]
Lunch: 12pm to 3pm
Dinner: 5pm to 10.30pm