16 July, 2019
Dining at Five Sen5es Chinese restaurant is never only about food. This contemporary restaurant is truly a feast for the five senses.
I prefer to arrive as soon as it opens for business, so 11.55am finds me waiting outside its doors. Sounds kiasu? Maybe. What I really want is to soak in the calm of its surroundings before other customers show up.
For a start, I love the serenity of its many water features, including the gurgling of the water fountains.
Then I take my time strolling through the premises to admire replicas of copper ding (ancient giant Chinese cauldrons). I notice dry ice has been placed inside and the billowing vapour rises and falls over the side to create a momentarily surreal atmosphere. There are many pieces of artworks besides, including vases and sculptures of horses.
For many people though, it’s the food that draws. At the open kitchens, chefs are busy shaping dim sum, steaming and frying. We place orders from the a la carte menu and for appetisers, pick a selection from the dim sum menu. Our choice of tea is bi lou chun (RM10), a fragrant tea with smokey undertones, from the premium tea selection.
|Har Gow with truffle|
|Yam Puff with fresh scallop and tobiko (right) and Crispy Prawn & Mango|
Har gow is a must and here, it comes with shavings of black truffle (RM18/3pcs). The yam puff (RM18/3pcs) doesn’t look like the regular stuff. It’s shaped more like mini taro bowls filled with fresh scallop and topped with tobiko.
For a fruity treat, we have prawn and mango wrapped in deepfried net spring roll (RM18/3pcs). The pastry is delightfully crisp and airy, contrasting well with juicy prawn and sweet mango.
|Wok-fried turnip (radish) cake with XO sauce and egg|
To round up the dim sum selections is wok-fried turnip (radish, actually) cake (RM14) with XO sauce and egg. Beansprouts gave an added crunch while chopped chives lent a strong, garlicky flavour.
|Crispy Salmon Banana with green tea and strawberry dip|
Before the last morsel of dim sum is finished, we are served a new addition to the menu, Crispy Salmon Banana (RM36) with green tea dip topped with chopped strawberry. An unusual combination. The sliver of salmon seems a bit lost though, overpowered by the more dominant taste of banana.
|Braised Fresh Scallop with Seaweed and Seafood is a thickened broth|
I am bowled over by Braised Fresh Scallop With Seaweed & Seafood Thick Soup (RM36/portion). I see a big, fat fresh scallop and a prawn resting on a disc of seaweed. Where’s the soup? Turns out the thickened soup lies right under the seaweed. It’s a light flavoured broth and, fortunately, though thickened, does not have that gluey consistency. There’s chopped tofu, asparagus, prawn, crab and egg in the soup.
|Cod with Lemongrass Sauce and julienned young mango/kyuri|
Cod (RM160/180g) with lemongrass sauce is topped with julienned young mango and kyuri cucumber. This is reminiscent of Thai hot and sweet sauce but milder in flavours. The mastery of deepfrying is reflected in the cod fillet that stays crisp despite the sauce, and softly moist inside.
|Braised Chicken in claypot with chestnut and mountain yam|
Served sizzling hot, the aroma from the Braised Chicken with Chestnut and Mountain Yam (from RM52) is tantalising. This does call for steamed white rice as the perfect sidekick. The deboned cubes of chicken is coated in the dark, clinging sauce while the chestnut is soft and mountain yam (huáishān, 淮 山) powdery.
|Fragrant Crispy Vegetables with Roasted Pine Nuts|
Skilled control of fire is again evident in Fragrant Crispy Vegetables With Roasted Pine Nuts (from RM38). The combination of sweet pea, celery, onion, lotus root, cloud ear fungus, carrot, young corn and ginkgo nuts, is well orchestrated and each ingredient has the right texture despite the different cooking times required. The vegetables are topped with roasted pine nuts and shredded conpoy (dried scallop).
|Fried Rice with Minced Duck, Prawn, Yam and Pumpkin|
Shredded conpoy is also a feature in Minced Duck Fried Rice with Prawn, Yam and Pumpkin (RM45). Served in claypot, the rice is fragrant, with flavours and textures coming from the minced duck, egg, soft pumpkin and yam. Sitting prettily on top are two large prawns and a sprinkle of scallions. This makes a great one-pot meal in itself.
|Chilled Silken Mango Cream and Chilled Herbal Jelly with Aloe Vera and honey|
|Crispy Avocado Kataifi|
For dessert, we share Chilled Silken Mango Cream with Pearl Sago and Crushed Thai Pomelo (RM20), Chilled Chinese Herbal Jelly with Aloe Vera Honey Juice (RM16) and Crispy Avocado Kataifi (RM20).
FIVE SEN5ES (pork-free)
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lunch: Noon to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
1. All-You-Can-Eat Simply Dim Sum: RM88 nett per person
Monday to Friday (Noon to 2.30pm) and Saturday (10.30am to 2.30pm)
2. Sunday Simply Dim Sum Buffet: RM125 nett per person
Sunday and public holidays (10.30am to 2.30pm)
All dim sum are freshly made and served to each table