Sunday, April 3, 2016

Enfin By James Won @ Menara Hap Seng

This modern French restaurant ranks among the city centre's most beautiful new venues, occupying the sort of space that bolsters expectations of a exceptional experience.

Visiting for lunch, we couldn't resist ordering a bread platter (RM22); the menu emphasises that Enfin bakes its own, relying on natural yeast & French-milled flour. The offering evokes crostini-like toasted slices, thin & crunchy, which might not placate patrons seeking fresh bread they can sink their teeth into. This comes with three dips - pesto, eggplant, & possibly mushroom & olives (service here is well-intentioned, but not everyone on the floor is capable of explaining what's being served) - each enjoyable, but the entire ensemble is only marginally more intriguing than the complimentary bread that welcomes customers elsewhere. If you need a starter, a more distinctive choice might be the orange-coloured Mimolette cheese salad (RM24), a dish that echoes back to Malaysian chef-founder James Won's original restaurant, Brasserie Enfin in Oasis Ara Damansara.

Being devotees of duck, we had to also check out the duo of duck & chicken wings (RM28); the former is massive, comprising French free-range fowl, quinoa-crusted for a memorably crisp-textured exterior, while the latter is a lot more ordinary, prepared with a soy butter glaze that tastes mainly Oriental. Both prove punchy in flavour, though they might benefit from some sauces on the side to broaden their dynamics. We'd probably skip the duck burger - the patty is thick but tastes only faintly like duck & feels over-processed; we may have preferred pulled duck for a real-meat chew, especially for a burger that chimes in at RM45.

For our mains: Enfin's rendition of boeuf bourguignon features faultlessly tender meat with roasted roots - it's well worth having for RM48, even though we'd wish for greater depth & boldness in the flavour of the sauce. The roast chicken & salted duck egg risotto (RM45) is competent, but fundamentally indistinguishable from what you'd find at a decent Italian restaurant in KL.

Columbia Crest Winery Two Vines Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington State, USA; 2011) at RM106 per bottle.

Enfin by James Won
Lot 2-05, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng 1, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. 
Tues-Sun, 1130am-230pm, 530pm-12am. Tel: 010-288-7920
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12 comments:

  1. Duck burger and salted duck egg risotto sound interesting. But too bad, a bit of hit and miss here.

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    1. CK: yeah, i think my two favourites from the few items we ordered here were the duck wings and the boeuf bourguignon ;)

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  2. salted duck egg risotto ? Hahaha! this trend is neverending!

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    1. Rebecca: ooo, i think fans of salted egg yolk might not really get their fix here though ... the flavour is mild, so it tastes closer to a regular cream-based risotto ;)

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  3. The duck burger sure looks delicious! I honestly haven't had anything like duck in a burger before. Too bad it didn't taste as good as it looked. Still a lot of promising dishes though, worth a visit. Cheers!

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    1. Huai Bin: yeah, i was curious about how they'd do the duck burger ... it was kinda a smooth sort of sausage meat, but as a matter of preference, i like my patties a bit more coarse/rustic-ish ;)

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  4. Wow, I didn't expect the review to be so underwhelming, considering how it was in oasis Damansara

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    1. Wangsa Resident: i wonder whether it would have been better/more satisfying if we had tried the dinner menu here instead ...

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  5. Classy, fine dining. You do not sound too impressed.

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    1. Suituapui: i think i had stronger expectations from the dishes we ordered. it was definitely a decent meal, but it felt like each of the six dishes had things that could have been worked on ...

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  6. I thought the duo of duck & chicken wings is some sort of starfish >_<

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    1. Choi Yen: it's an interesting presentation for the dish, ya ... we also were like, hmmm, haven't seen duck wings like that before :D

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