Restaurant Review : Souled Out, Jalan Ampang

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (37)A couple of weeks ago, at the start of the Rugby World Cup 2011, the boys planned to watch one of the match at the new Souled Out at Jalan Ampang. This was our second trip there.

If you don’t already know, this outlet is the second of the famous Souled Out from Hartamas. Technically (according to the website), this outlet is not officially open yet. That might explain why it’s not crowded as yet. Smile with tongue out

The Jalan Ampang branch is oddly located at Menara HSC at the embassy end of Jalan Ampang. Menara HSC houses Somerset Service Apartments and (oddly) HSC Medical Centre. Somehow, it really feels weird that there’s a restaurant, serving alcohol nonetheless, residing right next to a medical centre. Yeah – odd!

Click on to read more about the ambiance, food, pricing and my overall feel of the restaurant.

Ambiance

Personally, I feel that this outlet in Jalan Ampang does not bear much similarities to the Hartamas branch. It looks a little swankier, less casual and more like Delicious restaurant-type feel.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (27)

Similar to the Hartamas outlet though is the complimentary valet parking services for its customers. This, of course if free-of-charge for their patrons. However, due to the location of the outlet, you can’t really find any free parking on your own. You can opt to park your car yourself in the building, which is shared with the serviced apartment and medical centre.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (28)

The al-fresco / outside deck seating consist of nice wooden tables with orange chairs. There are several high bar tables and chairs towards the glass wall area for drinkers (non-eating patrons).

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (30)

I like these standing fans that they have around the outside seating area. Like the standing space heaters you’d find in Europe, this is a standing fan version. I think it looks really cool. I wonder where they buy this.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (32)

The other thing that I was fascinated with was this thing. At first, I thought it was a stool. I wondered for a bit why they would suddenly place a small stool between plants at the edge of the outside deck. Then, I realised – it’s not a stool, it’s a speaker! It was playing music around the restaurant. What an innovative design. As you can see the water drops, it’s waterproof. Cool!

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (39)2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (40)

(Left) There are sliding black board with written specials from their menu at the entrance.

(Right) This is the cashier counter. As you can see in the background, there’s very nice wooden wall finishing that you will spot around the restaurant. Very nice and swanky, indeed.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (43)

There is a small area at the bottom of the stairs where there’ are shelves where you’d find some nice homely pictures. Being a neighbourhood-friendly joint, this is a nice personal touch.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (49)2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (48)

The upstairs seating consist of the same wooden tables but with black and white chairs instead. On one corner, you’ll see a row of sofa seating for those who wish to chill. See the bunch of people working (or in a discussion). So comfy, huh?

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (18)2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (24)

Coming back downstairs at the right of the restaurant, is where the bar area is. The bar is right in the middle of the room. They serve different types of beer on tap – the usual Tiger, Kilkenny’s, Paulaner, Guinness and Heineken.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (61)

There are several table seating here as well. Wooden tables with steel garden-style chairs. Of course, there are bar stools around the bar. Can you see that there’s an ashtray on the table? This is an indoor area, but it’s also a smoking area.

Which I find odd. An indoor bar – odd. With the whole outdoor deck being smoking area, to have another smoking indoor area – odd.

Sports bar?

Because the boys called ahead of time to ensure that the outlet was open and showing the Rugby match, you’re probably interested to find out how viable is this place as a sports match viewing bar, right?

As you know, the Hartamas outlet has giant projectors showing loads of footie and other sports matches, this Jalan Ampang branch don’t seem to be ready for that yet.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (26)2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (44)

There is a regular sized LCD TV at one side of the wall in the bar. Not big enough in my opinion. The owners should definitely invest in a projector wall here.

And then, oddly, right across from the cashier counter at the restaurant entrance is a giant steel wall under the stairs. Right above that wall is another LCD TV. A very very odd position instead. Either the screen is for the cashier to watch or they expect their patrons to stand at the entrance to watch. ????

There are no giant projector screen present. This could be because of:-

  1. There are not many people around the time I was there to watch the match. This doesn’t warrant setting up the screen, if they have any.
  2. It was daytime. Projector screen wouldn’t work very well in sunlight.
  3. They haven’t invested in a projector yet.
  4. They don’t have one.

I guess I’ll find out the next time I go there at night, when they’re officially launched, during a sports game. Or, if you’ve been there during these times, let me know in the comment below?

Food and Pricing

Since I don’t visit the Hartamas outlet enough, I have no direct basis of comparison between both outlets. From what I can recall, the menu and pricing is pretty much the same between both outlets.

Their menu consists of different types of cuisine – Western dishes, Asian food (I remember the Sang Har Mien), Indian food, Pizza, etc.

Pricing wise, I was initially expecting it to be quite pricey because the place seemed quite empty (it’s not officially launched yet) and the place looks so much swankier. But I was wrong. The pricing is actually pretty much the same with Hartamas outlet.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (11)2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (12)

Appetizers. (Left) The Stuffed Tofu, or Tau Foo Pok in Chinese. It’s an average dish, although the stuffing is awesome, the batter was OK to me. (Right) Fried Calamari is absolutely amazing. It’s almost like Chiew Yim (Salt & Pepper) style cos it was really yummy.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (8)2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (14)

Asian dishes was spectacular like we’re all used to from Hartamas.

OK. I was hungry and forgot to take pictures before I dig into my food. On the left, is the Claypot Loh Shee Fun. It’s a huge portion of the dish and very very tasty, indeed. It’s a shame I didn’t get to capture the dish before I started eating, because it looks really good before I mix all the ingredients together.

The right picture is their Tom Yum Noodles. Usually, this is served with Bee Hoon, but here, they include yellow noodle and bee hoon together. Again – odd. Nevertheless, I was told that it’s another Asian favourite of their menu.

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (16)

Hubby ordered the Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is funnily spelled as Chicken Cordon “Blurr” on their menu. I guess a lot of Malaysians don’t know how to pronounce “Bleu” right. Hehe.

Conclusion

It’s Souled Out! If you frequent the Hartamas outlet, you’d know what to expect here. However, eventhough it’s the same restaurant with the same menu and all, the decor and ambiance just feels different to me.

Maybe it’s because this restaurant is not officially open yet, they’re still fine tuning things.

Maybe it’s because it’s not very full yet. So many tables and two floors of seating and a bar and it’s quite empty. Could be that not many people know about it yet.

Maybe it’s because I feel odd about the place. So many odd things like location, decor, layout, interior, general ambiance, etc. Just generally…. ODD.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the place. It’s near my house, it’s got good consistent food, it’s a brand that we’re all familiar with – how wrong can it be?

2011-09-10 Souled Out Ampang (55)

The gang seems to be OK with it. Including the baby families. Hey – it is a neighbourhood place, right?

Will it be our regular hangout / neighbourhood bar? Not quite yet. I give them some time to fix some nitty gritty details and (finally) launch. The place definitely look promising.

Have you checked it out? Sound your comments below.

 

Contact Details:-
Souled Out, Jalan Ampang
Add : G1, Ground Floor, Menara HSC, 187 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel : + 60 (3) 2181 1626

Tags from the story