Time Out says
If this review were purely for bar snacks it would be at least four stars. The selection is extensive and, more importantly and impressively, it is innovative, original and prepared with the sort of attention to detail you would more commonly associate with a high-end hotel kitchen.
Ostensibly a pub, the menu reflects this so don’t expect a fine dining experience. Expect instead a considered, well-executed collection of digestibles that almost without exception perfectly hit the spot.
There is more to Mark’s than their snacks – the tender steaks (with a slightly dry but beautifully flavoured wasabi mashed potato) and chicken chop (served with from-frozen fries and a rich, wholesome gravy) are great value – but it is at the quick bite end of the market that Mark truly excels.
Having spent his formative years in the US, now that Mark has returned to Malaysia he actively leads his kitchen team – he is a trained chef (and barman/mixologist) himself – with the result that some of his savouries would be at home in the trendier parts of Manhattan as opposed to the quiet backwater (literally as Mark’s overlooks a large tranquil lake) of Kelana Jaya.
The sushi bar seemed a little incongruous to the pub setting until I tasted the sake cheese makimono. Salmon and cream cheese has long been a winning partnership but placing it with crispy bacon inside a sushi roll borders on the genius. The salmon Carpaccio, yakitori and tori karaage deserve similarly high praise for flavour and freshness.
From the bar bites menu I enjoyed the curry quesadilla and hickory chicken wings in that drooling, guzzling way that people that regularly suffer with hangovers will find familiar. Even better is their pizza and especially the sizzling pork with lettuce cups. For this dish bacon, onion and (the secret twist) chilli padi are diced and fried before being served in a bowl with a spoon. The lettuce leaves around the side then become de facto tortillas for you to scoop up the meaty mixture and wrap it into a parcel before devouring. It ranks within the top three pub snacks I’ve eaten in KL (and no, I’m not mentioning the other two here!).
All in all, Mark’s Place caught me by surprise somewhat. It’s a quiet area and a very pleasant outlet in terms of service and design. But in essence it’s ‘just’ a bar, so for them to be capable of the genuinely innovative deserves praise. Especially when stand-alone restaurants don’t always bother to try. Matthew Bellotti
Units 01-02 & 02-02, Block B, Jalan SS7/13A, Plaza Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 012 345 7731
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