July 18, 2019

Five Sen5es @ The Westin Kuala Lumpur

Modern Chinese Cuisine

A new menu awaits at Five Sen5es, the fine dining Chinese restaurant at The Westin Kuala Lumpur. In the heart of the city, foodies will dine on exquisite Chinese cuisine set in fine elegance. The Chinese restaurant may be pork free but has garnered a solid reputation for serving modern Cantonese food.

Stepping into Five Sen5es, one is transported immediately to a tranquility of space. A soft resonance of water fountain flowing in the background, a light fluttering sight of smoke from a huge Chinese cauldron, plush cushions set on leather bounded banquettes and plenty of natural lighting flowing into the room defines the mood for the dining experience.

There is also the open kitchen where chefs and culinary team are seen working briskly to prep and prepare the dishes. The firing up sound of the stove, the chopping of ingredients on the board, the water running when cleaning and washing added more musical to the anticipation of the dining scene.

Private rooms are available, offering diners more privacy. Large table with coloured glass Lazy Susan backed by plush armchairs set with cushions evoked sense of artistic contemporary décor.

While being ushered to the table, the sight of rows of tea, beautiful in glass jars, will tempt your curiosity to order one with the meal.

And so we did… with our order of Bi Luo Chun (green snail spring tea). Grown in the Dongting mountain region in Jiangsu, China, the green tea came highly recommended by the waitstaff for its floral aroma with a hint of fruity note.

Lunch started with dainty morsels of dim sum. The Steamed Prawn with Truffle Har Gow (RM18) is sublime. Thin and translucent crystal skin dumpling filled with fresh bouncy prawns with bits of truffle, hardly a dumpling one can say no too.

Crispy Yam Puffs with Fresh Scallops (RM18), the name itself already sounds divine. Creamy mashed yam fried to much golden crispiness, encasing seafood filling and a crowning glory of scallop and tiny popping Ebiko, one order may not be enough!

The classic pairing of Deep-fried Net Spring Roll with Prawn & Mango (RM18) never fails to please the palate. Crispy, juicy, sweet and fruit, it got all the right flavours and textures that many would absolutely enjoy.

And yes, my fondness for cubes of wobbly radish rice cakes is satiated by the Fried Turnip Cake with XO Sauce & Turkey Ham (RM14). A good dose of heat with much XO umami notes, I believed I practically polished off the dish to myself… well most of it at least.

Five Sen5es also has an All You Can Eat Simply Dim Sum that is available at RM88 nett per person during weekdays or come Sunday and public holidays, there is a Simply Dim Sum Buffet is served at RM125 nett per person from 10.30am to 2.30pm. A la carte is also available.

The regular main menu offers a delectable appetizer of Crispy Salmon Banana Roll with Green Tea Dressing (small - RM36 | big - RM68) Quite an unusual pairing but the trio seemed to get along pretty well in flavours.

The soup course was one of the highlights of the lunch. An ocean’s bounty, the Braised Fresh Scallops with Seaweed & Seafood Thick Soup (RM36 per portion) showcase a silky smooth and thick egg white laced bisque studded with crab meat and bean curd along with delicious seafood essence. A blanket of seaweed along with a large sweet poached prawn and scallop added much glory to the soup along with some bright pearls of Ebiko.

The Fried Cod with Signature Lemongrass Sauce (RM160/180g) is guaranteed to reel in some brownie points. Golden and crispy fried cod fish, smothered in a tangy and aromatic lemongrass infused sauce and topped with julienned mango, onions and chili, the fish is superbly sweet and almost creamy with a soft flaky texture.

There’s something utterly tummy warming about the Braised Chicken with Chestnuts & Mountain Yam (small - RM52 small | big - RM98). Chunky tender pieces of chicken with soft nutty chestnuts and yam in thick moreish sauce is simply perfect with steamed rice.

If one must eat carbs, make sure it’s a worthy one like the Minced Duck Fried Rice with Prawns, Yam & Pumpkin in Claypot (small - RM45 | big - RM88). The pot of fluffy rice is fully loaded, I mean Fully Loaded! Every spoonful of rice is thoroughly studded with lots of smoked duck, shredded conpoy, cubes of yam and pumpkin. The mish mash of meaty goodness and creamy root vegetables is comfort food for diners of all ages.

The Fragrant Crispy Vegetables with Roasted Pine Nuts (small - RM38 small | big - RM73) is lovely. Not the usual leafy greens but not that I would mind as the dish has a wondrous compilation of textures from the lotus root to the baby corn, sugar sweet peas, black wood fungus, gingko, carrot, pine nuts and more. The addition of crispy shredded conpoy added much salty moreish notes to the dish.

Lunch ended with desserts. Three to be exact since these three were the ones that caught our attention. The Chilled Chinese Herbal Jelly with Aloe Vera Honey Juice (RM16) had the right balance of bitterness herbal note while the Silken Mango Cream with Pearl Sago & Crushed Thai Pomelo (RM20) proved that this familiar classic will always have a special place in our hearts with its fruity sweet mango flavours.

The Crispy Avocado Kataifi (RM20) was albeit unusual but nevertheless interestingly delightful. Crispy kataifi pastry filled with creamy avocado and cubes of mango was a nice change from the usual sweet desserts.

For reservations or more information, please contact Westin Dining at 603.2773.8338 or email westindining@westin.com.

The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199, Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
T +6 03.2731.8333
F +6 03.2731.8000

Business Hours:
Monday to Sunday
Lunch:         12.00noon - 2.30pm (Mon to Sat)
                   10.30am - 2.30pm (Sun & PH)
Dinner:        6.00pm - 10.00pm

*Five Sen5es is a pork-free restaurant.

July 12, 2019

Kampachi EQ Sunday Buffet @ Equatorial KL

The Iconic Sunday Japanese Buffet is Back!

Sundays are meant for indulgence… and one of the best indulgences in the metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur is the legendary Kampachi Sunday Buffet housed in the newly remade EQ. The new Kampachi EQ is making its return after its absence since 2012 when the hotel was closed for re-development.

Now ardent Japanese gourmands will be able to savor the acclaimed Japanese buffet once again in the gorgeous Kampachi EQ. Kampachi, one of the most established Japanese restaurants in the nation, serves haute authentic Japanese cuisine set amidst a minimalist Japanese contemporary dining ambiance.

The restaurant takes prides in their beautiful interior where nature’s elements are used to create the elegant and stylish ambiance the place is renowned for. Sparing no expense, Kampachi General Manager, Theresa Wong proudly presented the restaurant’s gorgeous sushi counter made from the owner’s selection of imported Japanese Inoki wood as she personally took me on a tour of the restaurant.

The dining area is cleverly sectioned to offer diners an intimate and private dining affair. Each area features elegant and clean lines of Zen theme utilizing wood, stone and paper along with modern furniture. The restaurant also has a view of the city through the glass walls and is wonderfully filled with natural lights through the day for a warm appeal of comfort.

Kampachi is renowned for their Sunday Buffet ever since it was first offered. I am also an ardent fan of the buffet myself after several dining experiences at their Kampachi Plaza 33 outlet. The anticipation of the return of this Sunday Buffet was definitely a positive one. Kampachi Plaza 33 also offers the Sunday Buffet with slight variation of the menu.

From the Sushi and Sashimi counter, tuck into gorgeous thick cut slices of sublime salmon, yellowtail, tuna, snapper, squid and octopus. The freshness of the sashimi is amazing and accentuated further with house made soy sauce.

Kampachi offers three versions of soy sauce – low sodium, medium sodium and Tosa. Tosa is cured with bonito flakes for 2 weeks to elevate the umami note in the soy sauce. My personal favorite is the Tosa of course. The balance of umami note is just so perfect with the sashimi and sushi.

Rows of perfectly shaped Nigiri Sushi and cut Maki Rolls are deliciously satisfying. From Japanese seasonal Kohada or Gizzard Shad to luscious Salmon, Tuna, Snapper and Prawn, it’s all classics that never fails to please Japanese gourmands. Even the large Maki Rolls is wondrously filled with crispy soft-shell crab and assorted sashimi along with the usual condiments.

Snack on nutritious Edamame along with colourful Japanese Pickles or savor your choice of Salad Selections to whet your appetite for more to come. There are also tiny portions of lovely Salmon Carpaccio.

Kampachi’s Crab Chawan Mushi is divine! Perfect wobbly egg custard steamed with gingko nuts and fish cake, crowned with sweet crab flesh is simply a must on the list of dishes to savor…

The hot counters feature a list of Japanese all-time-favorites. Start with a tummy warmer of Hamaguri Clam Miso Soup. Sweet and succulent clams in earthy and nutty miso broth. Follow up the next course with Seafood Yosenabe where large oceanic scallops and beautiful prawns bathe in dashi and konbu broth along with creamy leeks, napa cabbage, assorted mushrooms and more.

Let’s tuck into juicy pink slices of Roast Beef too…

Not to be missed, another highlight of the buffet at this outlet is the Beef Sukiyaki. The chef will cook the beef to your liking. Mine was simply sublime with glorious medium rare beef slices lightly flavoured with the sweet and savory Sukiyaki broth. Enjoy the sidekicks of bamboo shoots, konnyaku, mushrooms and more vegetables but don’t forget to complete this Sukiyaki with an egg yolk for extra lusciousness.

Oden, a hodgepodge of ingredients cooked in soy and dashi broth, never fails to please the palate of many when in seek of familiar comfort food…

Hot warmers filled with golden crispy Seafood & Vegetable Tempura, Chicken Teriyaki, Grilled Eel, Vegetable Croquette, Grilled Salmon, Mackerel, Prawns, Salmon Collar and Karaage are definitely crowd pleasers in any Japanese meal. The tempura is delightful perfect with its thin and crispy batter enveloping prawns, fish, squid and assorted vegetables. Grill salmon, prawn and mackerel are simply faultless too.

The combination of smoked and sweet Grilled Unagi on Japanese Garlic Fried Rice is simply a match made in heaven!

There may not be many options of desserts, but the ones served is truly authentic Japanese favorites. Fresh cut fruits along with a huge bowl of grapes are ideal after an indulgence. There are pretty glasses of Matcha Pannacotta where every spoonful of the beautifully set cream tinged with aromatic matcha evoked such lusciousness on the palate.

Dorayaki, and not just any dorayaki for that matter, is freshly made on the live station. Every single Dorayaki is handmade, cooked and carefully filled, pinch-sealed and finish with a special hot seal. Savor traditional sweet creamy red bean or nutty peanut butter. The staff was so friendly and took the effort to make a Mickey shaped Dorayaki for my little one! Kudos for the service and smile…

No Japanese meal is complete without Matcha, Black Sesame or Yuzu Ice Cream.

A personal favorite, the Abekawa Mochi is perhaps a dessert that many would go for a second helping. I know I did. Mochi is first grilled and then boiled before finished in a coating of kinako or soy bean powder. It has a very subtle hint of sweetness and has great nutty aroma. The mochi is sublime as it has a soft and chewy texture. Simply not to be missed!

The legendary Kampachi EQ Sunday Buffet did not disappoint. Retaining solid quality and freshness, all dishes are prepared with classic spot-on techniques of Japanese cuisine. Gourmands are already seen flocking to the new Kampachi EQ on the Sunday that I was there. It’s truly a delicious Sunday experience for ardent Japanese foodies!

The Kampachi EQ Sunday Buffet is available every Sunday from 12.00pm to 2.30pm, priced at RM168 nett per adult and RM78 nett per child (age 5 to 10). Reservations can be made via TableApp or by calling +603 2789 7723.

Ground Floor, EQ
Equatorial Plaza,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Business Hours:
Lunch – 12.00pm to 3.00pm
Dinner – 6.00pm to 10.30pm