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Char Line, Bukit Damansara

July 12, 2019


Char Line charts a clear line to the asado barbecues of Uruguay for its inspiration, fanning the embers of its custom-built, firewood-fuelled grill to scorch beef sourced from South America and Europe, alongside other meat, seafood and vegetables from home and abroad. For sultry steaks and smouldering poultry, this is one of KL's most seductive new restaurants.

Inspired by a family trip to Montevideo, Uruguay's capital, the founders of Char Line have crafted a grill-house that strives to do every detail right, from the construction of its open pit (using wood instead of charcoal, per Uruguayan tradition) to the choices of beef, to conscientiously relying on organic Cameron Highlands vegetables and entrusting local artisans for dishware. Supremely skilled eyes and hands oversee the cooking, ensuring each cut won't come out brutalised from its baptism of fire.

Brazilian beef is our highlight here, a 250-gram rib eye with robust character, lean but not leathery, with a bite that's firm but far from tough, a chew that's richly rewarding in its juicy depth of distinctive bovine flavour. At RM88, it might not be priced like the most premium of steaks, but it ranks among the most memorable we've savoured this year, a should-try for steak devotees.

The Txogitxu rib eye is also worthwhile, from the San Sebastian-based Spanish meat company that secures its beef from small-scale farmers in Europe - this is a much different rib eye experience compared to the Brazilian, more luxuriously marbled and lusciously fatty, with full-bodied, forward-marching flavour, easily and enjoyably befitting its RM145 price tag.

The beef is excellent enough to relish on its own - but since Char Line's kitchen crafts such exceptional sauces, have a serving of beef bone marrow jus (RM5), as well as potentially the most pleasurable chimichurri (RM5) in KL, a rendition that would do Argentina proud, exuberantly nuanced, lively as a tango on the taste buds. Keep the Buenos Aires spirit alive with a Malbec.

There's more to tuck into from the grill - quail, gorgeously marinated to every sliver and sinew (RM45), bone marrow that yields good gobs of buttery-earthy unctuousness (RM52), and heirloom carrots, leeks and zucchini blackened to a bold sweetness (RM25). Save space for a sweet conclusion that's every bit as sensuous as what comes before, bruleed rum-soaked pineapple with coconut ice cream and toasted coconut cookies, keeping Char Line's torch burning to the final spoonful (RM25).

Char Line

43, Plaza Damansara, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 430pm-12am. Tel: 03-74905327


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