In steak heaven

Projek Maging Steakhub is a cut above in offering good quality steaks, writes Peggy Loh

Facade of Projek Maging Steakhub in Bandar Baru UDA
Last year when Nurzaweena M. Zaki or Ena and her husband longed for a good steak, they travelled all the way to their favourite steakhouse in Kuala Lumpur.

On such “steak-ventures”, they often talked about bringing the art of enjoying good meats to Johor Baru.

Ena, a mother of three young children and a lawyer by profession, always thought that if they ever were to open a restaurant in JB, it would be a halal steakhouse where meat-lovers may appreciate the taste and texture of quality meats in confidence and comfort.

Speaking passionately about the circumstances that led her to start a steakhouse here, she says it was her dream come true when Projek Maging Steakhub opened in Bandar Baru UDA last August.

In line with its Latin tagline, genus est prius which means family comes first, the steakhouse is dedicated to strong family bonds and, of course, to meat-lovers who simply enjoy good meat.

LEARNING PROCESS

Diners making their meat selections at the steak gallery
I’m not familiar with the Malay word, maging, and when I ask Ena about the restaurant’s name, she patiently explains that it’s Malay for carnivore or meat-eaters.  She goes on to explain how maging is derived from the Malay phrase, makan daging (eat meat)!

Aware that Malaysians have a tradition of preparing various cuts of meats into soups, stews, curry or rendang, Ena is determined to introduce diners to the pleasure of enjoying juicy and tender meats in its melt-in-your-mouth cuts; to educate and interest diners to the pleasure of sinking their teeth into meat that’s skillfully cooked to their preferred doneness – from rare (25%), medium rare (40%), medium (50%), medium well (80%) to well done (80%) – and savouring the meat in its natural jus.

Besides the food and beverage menu, a coloured chart helps diners select their preference of doneness. 

There is even a footnote to assure diners that if the meat served is not cooked to their liking, they can send it back until it meets their satisfaction.

FOR DISCERNING DINERS

A serving of Mushroom Bruschetta
Ena invites me to head for the steak gallery to pick my choice of meat. 

At Projek Maging Steakhub, the meats are chilled and never frozen.

A look into the chiller gives me an idea of the wide price range of meats from Matsusaka, Wagyu, Angus, grass-fed or grain-fed beef, rack of lamb, lamb loin to beef or lamb ribs.

I’m glad they also offer lamb to diners who are non-beef eaters.  I can read the weight/size of the meat cut and prices, clearly indicated on the vacuum packed range of meats.

If making a meat choice seems intimidating, Ena assures me that their staff are equipped to answer queries and will guide diners to selections which meets with their taste and budget.

I hand my choice of Wagyu Ribeye over to their staff and state my preference of how well it should be cooked before going back to my seat.

My steak is seared to my required preference!
A quick glance around informs me that even though it’s a weekday evening, there are still a number of diners, some with young families, enjoying their steaks here.

Ena tells me that discerning diners have learnt to appreciate the privilege of picking their own cut of meat from a range of quality meats and cooked to their preferred doneness.

While waiting, I’m watching how steak orders are efficiently served with sides of mashed potato, fresh garden salad, and a tiny portion of black pepper sauce, for diners who wish to add more gravy.

When my steak is served, I slice through the meat and nod in satisfaction to see how the Wagyu Ribeye (RM120) is seared to my required preference.  I bite into the juicy meat and find it so tasty in its own jus.  In fact, the portion of sauce that came with it is virtually forgotten!

MENU CHOICES

Non-steak eaters are not left out as there is a menu and choices include soup, pasta, chicken and salmon and side items like bruschetta and beef or chicken tortilla.

A loaded beef tortilla
Popular non-meat choices here include Spaghetti Chicken Carbonara (RM25) and Pan-Fried Salmon (RM38) that is surprising moist even without adding a dash of b├ęchamel sauce.

I’m glad I still have enough space to savour my main course even after tucking into a bowl of Mushroom Soup (RM8) and one slice of Mushroom Bruschetta (RM9) from a serving of six slices.

“While the parents savour good steaks, their young children enjoy our tortilla,” said Ena who designed the items on their menu to satisfy the whole family. 

I can see how kids love it because the beef tortilla (RM18) is loaded with tasty ingredients!

Steaks are for a special night out but there’s certainly something for everyone here.

PROJEK MAGING STEAKHUB [HALAL]
26 Jalan Padi Emas 1/7, UDA Business Centre
Bandar Baru UDA, 81200 Johor Baru

TEL 6017 – 721 4398 

HOURS 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm daily; 4.30pm to 10.30pm on Fridays; Closed on Monday

FOOD Quality fresh meats cooked ala minute to diner’s requirements

PICK Matsusaka, Wagyu, Angus, grass-fed or grain-fed beef, rack of lamb, lamb loin to beef or lamb ribs, pasta, grilled chicken and salmon, bruschetta and beef or chicken tortilla.

PAY Market price for your choice of fresh meat; No GST

MOOD Family-friendly steakhouse

SERVICE Friendly and efficient

I SAY… Go give it a try

A version of this was published in The New Straits Times, Life & Times on 6 February 2017

P.S. When my friend, Noraini, read my Projek Maging Steakhub story, she told me she and her classmates enjoyed a delightful lunch there last June.  They enjoyed the food so much that they kept adding orders and that leisurely lunch stretched on for almost four hours! 

Sharing Noraini's photos at Projek Maging Steakhub with her permission!

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