To celebrate our very first grand opening of our Foodblog, i chose Xenri D' Garden. Despite the objection from Ms. Jazz, i insisted on giving it a go, since this is what our foodblog review is all about- trying out new things and be adventorous with food right? =)
If you don't already know us (from stalking our personal blogs), me and my sister both are the vainest girls EVER, and just like any other girls, camwhoring is a must must for each outings..
And this is the two things we promise you'll get from this blog- extensive food porn, and diarrhea of camslutting pics!! (but to moderate things out, i was warned to post up only limited amount of camwhore pics and more food photos.. woookayy..)
Without further ado, let's kick start my very first review on Augustdiners!!
We actually called up beforehand and made reservations for 2. But it is actually stress-free when it comes to the booking as the restaurant was noticeably empty with only a couple of occupied tables.
This got me a lil' worry about the quality of food that were gonna be served.. I was trying to convince myself that this is gonna be one of the many "hidden treasure in the city".
With 5 winning awards from MGIF- how bad can it be, seriously??
The atmosphere in Xenri is pretty impressive. Not to pretentious with extremely dimmed lights. With the fair amount of lighting just enough to allow you to know what are you actually eating..
The three menus (L-R): Ala carte menu, Set menu, Beverage Menu
Love the presentation of their menus especially the beverage one. Their alcohol range are pretty wide for a Jap restaurant, with a bottle of wine that goes up to a whopping RM2k!!
Do Look out for this waitress- Amy Ku (i think) if you prefer Chinese/Cantonese/Japanese speaking waitress who has a broad knowledge of their menu and the Japanese cultures.
To be honest, it just tasted like any omelet unagi sushi (without the rice) out there.. Nothing caught my tastebuds.
Ms. Jazz decided to take her own pick on the menu and chose a few ala carte dishes, while i completely gave my heart and trust to Xenri's chef with an Omakase set menu priced from RM180 onwards.
By merely mentioning the term "omakase" in a Japanese restaurant would mean that you are allowing the chef of the restaurant to design your course meal based on their recommendations and the best combinations of their choices.
With Xenri, you could special request a certain preference of your own, for instance, you can request to include kobe beef into your set menu, which will of course, cost you a little more! But you could also specify your price range for the chef to work with..
Gyu Suji Nikomi
(Braised beef cheek and tendon.)
What is special about this dish is that, the chef soaks the tendon into sake for 3 days before serving them, which makes the beef tendon extremely soft and tasteful!! (not enough to get you drunk, so don't worry!! =p)
Normally when we chew on tendon, it is sticky and unpleasant because they always get stuck in between of your teeth.. But this, is just so tender and succulent that it melts in our mouth..
Sushi rice wrapped crispy prawn topped with mango slices.
Nothing screaming "wow" as it tasted just like any other funky sushis you can find in SushiGroove. *shrugs*
3 tastes Cawanmushi
(L-R): Contains, Sea urchins, black caviar, steamed prawn.
Verdict: A++ for presentation but taste just like any other steamed eggs with different toppings. But it's not a bad thing.. You can't always expect extraordinary-bring-you-outta-space food in the entire menu right??
For my Omakase Ryori, i was pampered with an 8 courses meal!!
Each of the course is carefully designed by the chef, from light to heavy tastings, from sashimi to grilled, to fried etc..
Chilled tofu with shaved marinated scallops, braised duck wrapped rocket leaves, foie gras pan fried with pear.
Here's the hiccup of the night, the moment the attendant placed my food on the table, we were greeted with a gush of weird smell.. Ms. Jazz couldn't stopped complaining about the foulful smell but i brushed her off without giving much notice..
The moment i took a bite of the foie gras, i almost puked!!!! The fart-alike smell actually came from the foie gras which tasted like my sis's 2 weeks old socks (not that i've tried before)!!!!!!
I was so disgusted that no amount of green tea could flush down that repulsive smell in my mouth!!!
I demanded for an explanation from the kitchen but no one could give me a satisfying answer to that disappointing dish.. I dare to say, that is by far,
THE WORST TASTED FOIE GRAS I'VE EVER EATEN!!!!
They later replaced my rotten (i suspect) foie gras with this new dish,
Seared Salmon topped with salmon roe
but i wasn't impressed AT ALL!!
My advise is to pop in the slice of lime as it instantly enhance the entire taste of the soup.. the soup is extremely fresh and carries a hint of natural sweetness from the seafood.. i was told to pour the soup into the tiny little bowl and drink it off there.. How cute!!
Best eaten with fresh wasabi. Fresh wasabi is normally less stronger compared to those processed ones..
Took a bite at the so-called premium tuna belly, but was greeted with disappointment.. Texture of the sashimi was bad, it was partially thawed and partially still frozen.. No evidence of freshness AT ALL. My heart was left in the lurch..
I believe that the reputation of a Jap restaurant lies heavily on the freshness of their sashimi, just like how people would judge the quality of a Dimsum restaurant from their "siew mai and har gao".. same theory!
I personally never fancy baked stuff, so this is definitely not my favourite, what's worse is that there's lotsa onions in them!! =(
This dish is not your ordinary tempura prawn with sweet potato and eggplant.
Because it's persimmons season in Japan, the chef decided that it is best to incorporate the seasonal food into his menu to allow a better understanding of Japan culture and knowledge to his customers.
The spotlight of this dish is the tempura of minced prawn sandwiched in between 2 slices of persimmons. The sweetness of the fruit blended with the prawn very well and it's something really extraordinary.. *thumbs up!* Along the sides, there're tempura cheese (forgot what's the name) and tempura Japanese green pepper which was said to be sweet instead of spicy (but i was never a fan of capsicums, so i left it aside)
A great range of taste on how kobe can be cooked. My favourite? Definitely the pan fried one (on the far right).. I always believe that beef is best eaten without extra sauce.
Mushroom fried rice.
It was flavourful but i wouldn't call it "divine"..
Now, here comes the most anticipated moment of the meal,
(Far to near):
Tiramisu, Home-made Mochi with sesame filling, Imported Choco coated strawberry
I loveeeeeee (can't emphasize anymore) the mochi.. It was so fresh and soft and smooth.. It definitely doesn't taste like those packet ones that you can get out there.. *two thumbs up* Thinking of it now makes me craving for more!!
Our bill came up to RM356. My Omakase Ryori was RM220 (with kobe beef), you can always request for something within your price range. The prices pretty reasonable with main course ranging from RM20 onwards.. Ms. Jazz commented that it's around Rakuzen's pricing..
We regret not having enough time exploring the garden as we were rushing off for our second round.. (explains why we only ordered ocha as our beverage during dinner).. The Ng sisters will never go home from an outing without the least alcohol induced!! =)
May Augustdiners bring you more good food explorations in the future!!
Food: 7/10 (without bad foie gras experience)
5/10 (if i keep thinking of the rotten foie gras)
(maybe it's because the restaurant was pretty empty?)
Presentation of the food: 9/10
(exquisite details even down to the shape of the tofu)
(i'm biased to the dainty and detailed presentations)
Xenri D' Garden
Menara Hup Seng, along Jalan P. Ramlee
(Directly behind Hup Seng Star)
Tel. No: 03-20786688