Ah yes, the much hyped place – I must thank my sister for highlighting this place to me. I was too caught up with work and everything else to even take note of the sensation in town, of course there were many others who mentioned Tenji here and there.
And just a week ago, my nephew informed me about the lunch buffet and how the offer was about to end – so you know la, little bit money left also have to go try try or else readers no happy I no write about this place.
Tenji claims to be a Japanese Buffet outlet and I believe that the hype all over the place is much thanks to their promotion, having a buffet course at below RM 60 per pax? WOW! Who wouldn’t pass up a chance?
Their buffet promotion was extended before and I’m not surprised if it extended again, nevertheless I decided to surprise my wife (yes, lexiegirl) with a buffet lunch at Tenji before the promotion ends.
Our meal was RM 49.90 per person, +10% service charge. Comes to RM 109.80 in total.
I had called in 2 days earlier to make reservations for lunch at 1pm Wednesday. I was told that the lunch buffet was fully booked but I took a chance anyway and whadaya know, seats were available and I’m all set.
Tenji offers a few areas for dining, there’s the outdoor dining area and there’s the indoor dining area. Upon paying for my entry (yes, pay before eat), I was brought to the outdoor dining area.
Great huh? Nice spacious area.
On my side, I was surprised that I was placed at the outdoor dining area, which was a SMOKING section.
I was even more surprised why the person who took my reservation didn’t even ask me whether I’m ok to be seated in the SMOKING section. I was prepared for the worst – I hate having smokers inconsiderately puffing nicotine to my food. Fortunately I have no allergies towards smoke and cigarettes or they’ll be having a grumbling customer.
And I was very lucky that smoke was very minimal. It wasn’t raining and it wasn’t all too hot either, with the gentle breeze coming once in a while. It’s all good.
Anyway, here’s where I sat……
As you can see, there’s already a plate on the table. I took the photo when lexiegirl went to her reconnaissance trip around the restaurant.
Here’s what I took……
and here’s what lexiegirl took……
Surprised? We’re pretty much overwhelmed by the amount of food available and the masses of crowd so we decided to get a few tasty looking items to appease our already growling stomach.
What we took were basically a combo of food which we could only identify as EDIBLES Simply because they don’t label the food for most part of the buffet counter, which is pretty strange. What if I have allergies to a certain food type? Must I ask all the time? I wish they did. Anyway t he food was alright, nothing to complain about.
Let’s take a walk around the restaurant and have a look at the restaurant – its indoor dining area, the food counters and the crowd. I’ll talk about some food along the way, it’ll sure get your appetite revving.
I present to you now – the indoor dining area, and yes – that’s the lunch crowd at around 1:30pm and it remained as such for the next hour or 2.
There’s the drink area where you have a plethora of drinks, ready for your taking.
There are fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, even a coffee maker machine. I had mostly coke and iced lemon tea.
Along the drinks area, there’s also a popcorn machine!
I loved the popcorn! It was well POPed. Sweet and crunchy, love it. It reminds me of my childhood days muching popcorn.
There are also coconuts that are fresh and sweet, I have no idea where it’s located (Yes, seriously n00b on this) but lexiegirl managed to bring them to our table. She’s clever.
These coconuts are probably one of the hottest commodities at Tenji.
There’s also the bar for alcoholic drinks, you’ll see a chocolate fountain there too.
And one of the major highlight of this place, is the FREE FOR ALL ice cream. Häagen-Dazs® ice cream to be exact. Just look at the ice cream diggers. And that’s just 2 of the 10 or more lining up.
Yes, much thanks to lexiegirl for being my food-stylist for the day. It’s Häagen-Dazs® – what’s there to feedback about? It’s GOOD!
Along that area where the ice cream diggers lie, are also the counter for pastries and puddings.
And here’s lexiegirl’s spoil from the pastry section. She seem to have enjoyed it, despite being rather full by then.
For those who love to have chinese food – there’s the Chinese food section.
There’s also the Western food section, serving western style dishes of lamb, fish and chicken. They also have pizzas and spaghetti.
Here’s the grilled lamb that I took. Small indeed but it was tasty, the lamb meat was tender.
Then there’s the fish and chicken. In the flood of food excitement I actually forgot to take note of the name but basically it’s like baked fish with cream and some tandoori-like tasting chicken. Both were nicely done, the fish was fresh and so was the chicken.
Oh wait, Tenji is supposed to be JAPANESE buffet. Why am I talking about non-Japanese food? In my opinion, it’s a buffet place but for the most part, the food seems like a whole mixture of Chinese, Western and Japanese food. In fact it doesn’t feel like there’s much selection to begin with.
Here’s the sushi bar, I thought that the overall choice of sushi is mediocre at best. (yes, about 5 more trays not in the photo but it doesn’t make it any better than mediocre).
Here’s what I took …….
Salmon and prawn. Was it good? Yes, but a little “quality control” is need on the rice as there were times when it just fell apart. It tasted good but it’s just doesn’t feel right when it falls apart while you’re dipping it into the sauce. I had to salvage lexiegirl’s shipwrecked salmon sushi from the saucer.
Anyway, here’s another view of the sushi bar. This time with the staff keeping the stock ready.
There’s also the sashimi bar, one thing that annoyed me was that instead of tongs, they provide HUGE chopsticks for us to do the sashimi picking. It’s almost like a gameshow trying to tenderly pick up the frail slices of sashimi with what looked like metal tipped, bigger than usual chopsticks.
Here’s my taking of the sashimi – nice and fresh. The pieces of fish were tender to the bite and oozing with flavor.
There are also oysters at the sashimi bar. The oyster was fresh and certainly offer more oyster flesh than any other oyster I’ve come by.
There’s also the salad bar for veggie fans, the only thing I took of it was this picture.
Now the upcoming part of the article should be interesting, I’ll be highlighting the specially ordered items that I had for the lunch buffet. Specially ordered? Yes.
See, they use the clip system. Some of you who have been to Jogoya would know how it works. For those of you who don’t know how it works, it goes like this.
On your table, there will be clips made available. On my table, there were 3.
These clips are for you to bring along into the food area for you to place your order. So all you have to do is look around for the food you would like to have, then place it accordingly into the bowl for that particular dish.
Let’s have a look at our candidates for the day I used the clip more often than lexiegirl, heck I’m the one hogging it for the most part.
First up – Tiger Prawns. Prawns, I like them.
Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed with their Tiger Prawn serving. It’s not the size issue, it’s the quality. The prawn wasn’t fresh at all, you’ll notice it even as you peel the shell off the prawn and observe how the meat tears. One order was enough, I couldn’t be bothered ordering again.
Next – Lamb Shoulders.
My goodness, it was small! I was expecting something bigger, considering it’s Lamb Shoulders. It was done teppanyaki style with black pepper. I love how the meat was done, felt like it was medium rare.
I could taste the marinate as I chew on the meat, it was a nice dish though not outstanding. The meat was rather fatty, I had to remove the fats.
Next – Chicken Boneless Leg.
Now this dish was memorable, if the lamb shoulder was small – this one’s even smaller. I mean really, it’s rather odd to be waiting for a food to come and having it in such smaller portion.
Size aside, this one was really taste even though it seemed similar to the lamb shoulder. Somehow the first bite released a sweet taste, then subsequent chew actually brings out the marinated spice and salty taste. It was small but tasty tender chicken.
Next – Unagi Skewer.
Yet another small dish. I certainly was expecting something bigger, perhaps I have to change my mindset. Whatever, it was small. Fortunately it was small but good. Tasty eel (yes, Unagi is eel) engulfed in special sauce. You have to try this one.
Next – Soft-Shell Crab.
The first serving I had was pathetically small but the crab was fried well, thus having it crispy yet not losing the texture of the meat inside and a tint of saltiness to make it all just perfect. I like it so much, this was the dish I ordered MANY times. As the crowd dwindled, I notice that my soft-shell crab got bigger in each serving.
In fact, I liked the soft-shell crab so much, I decide to take this opportunity to have soft-shell crab dipped in Häagen-Dazs® ice cream. Now how often does one get to do that? I mean really………
Next – White Pomfret.
Now I was truly astounded by the presentation and the quality of this dish. It was from the Chinese food section and my, while the Japanese food I ordered seemed all so tiny – this one was a decent sized (single person meal la) pomfret!
The fish was well steamed, fresh and tender with no parts under-cooked. I must say that it was the gravy and garlic that add to the beauty of this dish, I just can’t describe how the taste of the gravy and garlic could go so well with the fish. Highly recommended!
Next – Siakap. The pomfret was great, I had to try the siakap fish. I choose the siakap over the red snapper.
Just as the pomfret, I was blown away by the siakap. As you can see, they’re served in the same style. Steamed and dipped in soya sauce with minced dried garlic. Again, fresh and tender fish served to perfection, with the skin of the fish totally in tact, ready to be scraped off as my spoon cuts through it.
Another great dish, in fact I thought this dish was never coming as I placed the order a little after 3:30pm and it was no where in sight for quite a while, only to come just when we’re about to call it a day.
So myself and lexiegirl spent about 3 hours there just for this meal alone.
What do I think of this place? It’s nice, it’s a great place for family outing if you can afford. It’s even better if you hop on the promotional packages.
There’s even the VIP area.
However, bear in mind that coming during peak hours could also mean smaller dishes, less quality food preparation and also the lack of service.
I also recommend all of you to visit my friend Vkeong’ssite and have a read at his experience and also the comments from others.
As you can see the experience varies, I had pretty good service despite being seated on probably the furthest corner of the restaurant.
For more details of their promotion, do visit Tenji’s Blog
And here’s the map to the new place, forgive me as I’m not familiar with the exact position of the restaurant along those new roads but just look for Cold Storage, it’s right above it.