From the Spanish tapas to the local hokkien mee (lunch menu), Wagyu ribeye and pesto fettuccine, there’s definitely something for everyone’s palette and wallet. With the house pours and Tiger draughts at RM10, will The Bar°n become the next hot spot?
Sitting opposite from Nando’s, The Bar°n offers a different side of dining, paired with wine from Italy, Australia, France, etc. With such an extensive cellar, I was excited to try their steaks because beef and reds go hand in hand!
We started off with the portobello mushrooms served with caramelized onions, topped with melted cheese and salsa. RM25 may seem a bit steep for a plate of fungi, but it’s pretty delightful, with the juicy nature of the overgrown mushroom infused with onions. The salsa is slightly overpowering, but it does give it that extra kick.
The second dish I tried were beef meatballs with spicy arrabbiata sauce. It’s a hearty dish but nothing special at RM18.
I am not an adventurous eater but I gave their red wine braised oxtail a try and was suckered by the rich flavours. There was a hint of smokiness but what really brought the dish together was how melt-off-the-bone-tender the meat was. It would go beautifully with ciabatta or pistolet because the stew is just amazing. RM29 and worth it!
Unfortunately, after sampling the entrees, the main courses pictured above were all tucked away by the other attendees. However, I did manage to scrape some meat off the tomahawk (RM450) but found it much too gamy and chewy to my liking.
We got a serving of cheese baked green mussels and while the salsa it came with complemented the dish on a whole, I felt that it was a bit lazy due to the fact that they use the exact same salsa on their portobello mushrooms.
There were also various pizzas which I felt could be taken off the menu as it really is nothing compared to some of the other joints in town. The crust was too thick and the cheese hardly fragrant enough.
Speaking of cheese, we had a wonderful experience with the wine and cheese platter. There’s nothing quite like finding the right cheese for the wine you’re drinking.
Since I believe you can’t really review an eatery until you pay for your own meal (because let’s face it, if you’re invited, you’d get A class service because they want to impress your pen) and also because I didn’t get a chance to try their steaks, I decided to drop by for Christmas dinner and found the service lacking. While you can feel that they are trying to emulate proper service, there is a distinct lack of experience.
After ordering, a waiter told us that our food will be late due to the large crowd, which was understandable – it was Christmas, after all – but he should have told us the wait time before we made our order. That was mistake number one.
Mistake number two appeared when the wagyu ribeye we ordered was served with a side of fries rather than truffle mash as listed in the menu. When asked, the waitress had to go back to the kitchen, only to come out to tell us that the mash is all gone (where is their expeditor?)
At this point, she should have offered a glass of wine or any dessert or even some finger food but all she did was stand there with a smile and an apology until I told her I would not be paying the full price for something that did not come as advertised. She talked to her manager twice and only after the second time did she say that our drinks are on the house.
She started apologizing profusely when she realized that I was a blogger (one that went to their opening) but by that time it was too late because I hold honesty in high regard and no amount of apologizing can undo bad impressions.
At that point, I had already finished the food and I found the steak disgustingly tender as though tenderizer had been pounded into the meat. I don’t know if it’s because I personally have a penchant for medium-well steaks with a significant amount of bite. I do not like steaks below medium-rare because that soft mushy texture turns me off. So! Don’t take my word for it, but once you try it please let me know through IG or Facebook because I’d love to know!
I also ordered their pesto fettuccine and ever since Nosh at Crown Square closed down, I haven’t been able to get a proper pesto fix… Until now. Perfectly al dente pasta (get that molto al dente shit out of my face because al dente is not undercooked pasta – took me ages to learn this because everyone kept saying otherwise but thanks to Vix for finally schooling me proper) but they were a little too stingy with the sauce and it didn’t need the raw yolk because 1. I don’t need salmonella and 2. it does absolutely nothing for the dish.
The f&b scene in Kuching has a long way to go… But people expect what they pay for and at a place that paints itself as a prestigious winehouse for those who appreciate the finer things in life should learn what it means to be fine.
The management should take note of the incident with the waitstaff and train them to be more intuitive and hospitable – I’ve worked as a waitress in a small family run business selling Malaysian food; nothing like the atas cuisine they are selling at The Bar°n. Despite that, I was trained to keep customers informed. It is the key to happy customers. Let them know what’s going on and ask them what they would prefer: replace the mash with fries (but seriously, steak and shoestring fries is a horrible combination, at least get proper steak fries) or order a different dish instead.
I would not have served someone something they were not expecting, much less downgraded someone’s side dish – at least splash some truffle oil on the fries so customers don’t feel ripped off. It might be a small matter but it’s the small things that count.
P/S: Your waitstaff should also be taught how to identify the various cheeses that your establishment serves. Looking forward to a better dining experience next time round!
Hours: Daily 11AM – 12AM
Location: Ground Floor, Vivacity Megamall, Jalan Wan Alwi, 93300 Kuching, Sarawak (MAP)