Taking advantage of the MIGF festival, this time the Buurps.com crew on a food spree of fine dining cuisine …. Yes, we were in Xenri D’Garden Terrance at Menara Hup Seng, Kuala Lumpur.
Briefly; the term “Xenri”, traditionally means a place to stop for food and rest before continuing a long journey ahead. At Xenri, the chef is kept abreast on the Japanese food fare by visiting Japan from time to time. The food are served freshly prepared, not only with ingredients imported from Japan but also with the chef’s effort in the presentation.
Just right at the entrance, we were greeted by beautiful evening view of the garden surrounding the restaurant. A sense of peace and rest gradually sets in our souls, removing the tensions accumulated due to confronting the hustle-bustle of traffic jam throughout the journey.
The atmosphere inside Xenri is as lively as the outside is serene. With chic interior of black marble, warm wood furniture and soft lighting; simply put us to ease and portraying a perfect marriage of the traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.
Stepping inside, the Xenri garden can be seen through the glass if you are seated near the window. Japanese classical music is piped in the background, creating a refined atmosphere complemented by its food.
The MIGF2009 festival menu is specially concocted by the Chef Thomas Chan. However, our course meal was prepared by Andrew Yeoh, the Head Chef.
Enticement of every dish is put in meticulous attention during the preparation and only the freshest ingredients are used.
The MIGF2009 festival menu comprise of a 6 course meal. As an overview, the course meal begins with an appetizer, followed by sashimi, then the simmered dish, next on the line up is the grilled dish, ensuing is the most important main dish and last but not least, the dessert.
Appetizers – Homemade Chilled Silk Bean Curd with Hotaru Squid Ink’s Sauce
(Served with Chitosetsuru Junmai Tachotzuru sake)
For a starter, I must say that the homemade bead curd is as smooth as silk, feeling it slipping into my belly. Savoury black coloured, Hotaru squid ink sauce oozes out as each scoop is made through the bean curd.
The bean curd is indeed special, the squid ink is contained right at the core and oozes as you slice through the curd. The specialty of this dish is actually the squid ink, that makes this dish your not-so-common bean curd. 🙂
What does squid ink taste like? It tastes salty, mildly salty.
The clear colour sake is light in taste and flavor. With each tiny bite and sips of sake, brings the flavor to a whole new level, stimulating my appetite.
Sashimi – Premium Tuna Belly, Hokkaido Wild Catch Scampi and Japanese Green Sea Urchin
(served with La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2008, organically grown white wine)
What is Japanese cuisine without sashimi?… Oh yea, this classic course meal is served cold with cute looking decor of a dome-shaped hut made out of blocks of hard snow, thought to resemble an igloo, an Eskimo house in the Artic. The sashimi are fresh, soft textured and chewy.
The accompanied wine is slightly heavy in taste with mild sour flavor, enhancing the freshness flavor of the sashimi. This meal is special in terms of their creativity and careful presentation.
As for the sea urchin, now that one’s a tricky dish. In that tiny bowl there were this off-white cubes with accompany orange paste. We thought that the cube was the urchin while the orange paste was an accompanying element. Upon checking with the chef, it seems that the orange paste was actually the sea urchin while the off-white cubes are scallops.
For the sashimi dish, I’m more impressed by the presentation than anything else. 🙂 I was chipping away on the igloo like some kid at a winter wonderland theme park.
Simmered Dish – Slow Poached Salmon Skin Roll with Tsubame Ginger Broth
This warm nature of this simmered dish is perfect as it runs down to my belly after the cold sashimi meal. The warmth and ginger flavor broth brings a perfect blend.
The slow poaching for 20 minutes adds sweetness to the seafood and radish. The delicate green slimy puree of okra gives a slippery twist to the meal. This is a rich and hearty concoction for appetite.
Grilled Dish- Kobe Wagyu Housyou Yaki
(Grilled Kobe Wagyu in Fresh Soy Yuba Skin Parcel dish, served with Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir 2005, South Africa)
Another classic Japanese cuisine dish, this grilled Kobe wagyu beef is delectably tender, fresh and served in medium rare; bringing forth very juicy pink colour meat throughout, yet with slightly gray-brown on one side of the meat surface.
The experience in flavors broaden as the beef is savoured together with the sweet & sour taste of fig fruit, crispness & aromatic soy Yuba skin, the earthy flavor sauce and sips of aromatic light and dry red wine.
For those who are trying out the menu, remember to have at least a bite of the beef without the wrapper. 🙂
Main Dish – Chirimen Jyako Okowa Houba Meshi
(Japanese Rice Mixed with Baby Sardine Wrapped in Magnolia Leaf)
The highlight of Xenri’s festival signature menu and only available during this festival (October 1 – 31, 2009).
As the sweetness and aroma of the Magnolia leaf penetrates the rice mix, mind boggling no less but just simply delightful and delicious when each bite of the rice is taken proportionately with garlic wrapped with bonito flakes, plum and burdock. The flavor offering is unique.
Dessert – Xenri Special Home-Made Sunny Side Up
The dessert is able to pull off with a surprise, completing a most rewarding meal. Fried egg like dish cooked only on one side, the yolk is liquid made of peach and mild brandy flavour smooth creme, while the egg white is replaced with the Italian recipe white pudding, surface sprinkled with dashes of crushed sesame seed and black honey syrup.
Another exceptional unique dish, spectacular and memorable both in terms of creativity and presentation. Like the nature of eggs, it is rich in flavors, without being overwhelmingly sweet.
With Wines / Sake, RM230++
Without Wines / Sake, RM180++
Certainly not exorbitant, but prices may seem high. The food quality, setting, level of service, overall comforting ambiance and convenient location are great assets.
Address : Podium Block, Menara Hap Seng (formerly Mui Plaza), 2nd Floor, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia.
Operating hours :11.30am to 10.30pm daily (including public holidays).
Telephone :(603) 2078 6688
Fax:(603) 2078 3388
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