Xenri celebrates their 13th anniversary this year (2016) and as a lover of Japanese food, I wondered why I have never dined here although I have read so much about their popular weekend Japanese buffet.
Ah, that is it. The popularity of the buffet.
I was told that reservations are full for months, and being an impatient person with frequent travel plans, I wouldn’t have been able to get a booking.
What I didn’t realized was, Xenri offers quite a noteworthy ala-carte menu, and with the recent launch of their Kaiseki menu diners are now able to enjoy the picks of the season that are adeptly prepared using the finest ingredients.
The Kaiseki dining experience is served in an orderly manner; beginning with appetiser, sashimi, soup / steamed dish, then seafood, meat and finally dessert.
Prices per pax begins from RM230++, depending on the number of courses or the dishes chosen.
A Kaiseki meal is a slow and relaxing sit down experience, with food in delicate morsels in a medley of textures, flavours and styles.
If you have been a regular at Xenri but merely for the buffet, I urge you to give the Kaiseki a try as a treat to yourself and your loved one.
I enjoyed a preview of this memorable gastronomic experience as a guest of Xenri few weeks back and came away fairly impressed.
As I stepped into Xenri for the first time I was welcomed with soft melodies played by our hostesses. The zen aura within its walls is a classic trait of a Japanese restaurant.
The first course was scallops and uni, a duo of heaven for me since I love both.
3 sweet scallops sat on a bed of pureed uni in stock, with the puree being the highlight of this dish.
The result is a creamy but mild uni sauce as the natural oceanic flavours of the uni were bought down several notches. This is thus suitable for those who find the natural uni flavour too strong.
Aburi Hokkaido Mukimi Hotate (炙り北海道ホタテ)
Seared Hokkaido Diver Scallop with Purple Sea Urchin Glace.
If you are not a Kaiseki diner, you can still order this for RM63+ ala-carte.
Aside from the black roes crowning the dish, pay attention to the baby anchovies ‘cracker‘ at the side. It is a tasty and unique dehydrated piece!
Next is another favourite of mine – salmon.
This lovely piece of salmon was smokish, pleasantly salty and slippery smooth. The accompanying tangy house apple dressing proved to be a good pairing with the smoky salmon, imparting hints of sharp flavours to the briny salmon.
I’ve made it a point to avoid smoked salmon as I’ve found most commercially available ones overly salty (something which gave me much grievance) but thankfully that wasn’t the case here.
Texture-wise it was delightfully fork tender; coming apart easily in moist, thick flakes.
Impressed so far and happy, I craned my neck eagerly to sneak a peek of the next course. As the waitress approached our tables I spied the chawanmushi bowls.
Ah, I had thought. This will be silky smooth chawanmushi. I wouldn’t had expected anything less than a perfect chawanmushi from Xenri’s chef.
But I opened my cup to discover a green pudding with foie gras instead!
Taken back, I dug in.
My palate was rewarded with spinach egg custard and thick, nicely seared foie gras.
I don’t think I can eat another chawanmushi in the future without wishing for this!
The next dish was another highlight; MEAT.
Sous Vide Wagyu Rikyuyaki (和牛 利休ソース).
Sous vide. Wagyu.
When you have these words in the description, you know you’re in for a treat.
And it didn’t disappoint.
The beef was sous-vided at 58 degrees for 30 minutess to seal in its natural juices.
Prior to serving, it was coated with Japanese Charcoal which imparted a mysterious smoky, earthy taste to the tender meat.
The side of salsa salad provided a refreshing contrast while the sweet sauce was in harmony with the smoky charcoal beef.
I personally had no need for the sauce as I prefer to enjoy my beef as it is.
Chirimen Jyako Houba Meshi (ちりめんじゃこ朴葉飯)
Mountain Pepper Baby Sardine Rice Wrapped with Magnolia Leaf.
Not a fan of rice, I skipped most of this and saved room for dessert instead.
However, from the few mouthfuls I had I enjoyed this aromatic, tasty rice dish. Much of the aroma was contributed by the use of magnolia leaves while the Japanese rice used gave each chew a slightly sticky texture.
Warabi Mochi (わらび餅).
A divergence from the usual mochi, this was a delightful softer and smoother mochi made with bracken and Kinako (roasted soybean flour). I found it too sweet for me, but my dining partner wiped the plate clean.
This was paired with kuromitsu syrup and crispy rice stalks.
Infused with contemporary touches and ingredients, Xenri embraces the epitome of fine Japanese cuisine, particularly through its seasonally-driven Kaiseki-style fare.
I enjoyed my Kaiseki meal and I’m definitely revisiting soon for Xenri’s ala-carte items.
Wisma Elken, Jalan Kelang Lama,
58000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
WAZE: “Wisma Elken”
Mon-Sat: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Contact: 03-7783 8118