Image credit: W Hotel Website
Set right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is the brand new W Hotel. You’ve probably already heard of the rave reviews about the hospitality aspect of the hotel. But the W Hotel has more to offer than just comfortable rooms and hospitable service. They also house a number of eateries that will satisfy your cravings for local and international cuisine.
We’ve previously experienced the delights of Woo Bar where we deep into the Tiger and Peacock menu respectively for some delicious cocktails. This time we’re exploring Malaysian Chinese cuisine at Yen.
Yen is W Hotel’s cosy Chinese restaurant set on the 11th floor of the hotel. The decor is tastefully set up in what W calls the imperial avant-garde style. The restaurant has a capacity to fit 80 people in one sitting. You can choose to lounge out in the common floor or pick an even cosier setting in the large rooms the restaurant has to offer. Think of the large private rooms as a converted hotel room as the rooms come complete with a nice wash room for your perusal.
Chef Tan Kim Weng helms the cooking duties in the restaurant. Chef Weng is an accomplished chef with a number of accolades decorating his name. He loves to add a twist of uniqueness to his practical masterpieces. And this is exactly what W is searching for in their cuisine!
Yes instead of going all out to impress with looks, Yen’s cuisine are created with the idea of practicality in mind. For example, the Peking Duck was presented complete with the meat still attached to the skin. Usually chefs would remove the skin of the duck before sending the rest of the carcass to be turned into congee or something else. But Chef Weng decided to keep the practicality of the ingredients and served the dish with meat still wrapped up in the rice paper.
Ask for a recommendation on what you should sample on your first visit and you will be recommended to pick the Tasting Set Menu. You see, Yen has been very thoughtful for guests. The set menu will present you with small portions of all their best samples at the restaurant.
We were presented with the dim sum menu where the highlight of the dish was the fried dumpling with cod fillet and chilli padi cheese fillings. The cheese filling is a creation that only W Hotel has to offer in our country. And we have to say that the filling definitely gave the fried dumpling that we’re familiar with new life. It wasn’t overpowering but yet there is no denying the unique cheesiness of the dumpling.
Another stand out dim sum sample is the crispy yam pastry. Again this is yet another familiar dish that Chef Weng has added another twist. The yam pastry is filled with foie gras as well as chicken. The reason why Chef Weng added foie gras into this classic dish was to balance out the lack of pork fat in the pastry. So you get a pastry that is kept as close as the original taste!
Yen even has its own twist when it comes to our classic chee cheong fun! The Emerald Rice Noodle is wrapped around crispy unagi. Before you reject the idea of unagi in this classic dish, let us tell you that this version of chee cheong fun will raise the bar very high the next time you visit a Chinese restaurant for this. Instead of just mushy textures, rice noodle unagi adds a little bit of crisp with just the right flavours.
Next came the double boiled soup with five-finger fig root, abalone, conch and farm chicken. Chef calls it the perfect remedy for rainy days. The soup was boiled for 3-4 hours. Chef Weng claims that he uses the Cantonese way to boil soup on low heat. He also made a point to mention that the chickens were home grown on their own farm. While the soup is delicious, it leaves those with stronger tasting taste buds craving for just a little bit more salt.
The crowning glory of the menu is the dessert in Yen. We don’t blame you if the idea of durian desserts turns you off like a light bulb reaching the end of life. After all, the usual durian desserts taste artificial and will leave a strong bitter after taste on your tongue. Yen’s crowning Crispy Swan with Musang King Durian dessert is nothing like the usual durian desserts that you have tasted.
The dishes that Yen rolled out have impressed us so far. While the rest of the restaurants out there are out to impress with looks, Yen is focused on re-creating classic dishes that we’re all familiar with. If you’re in search of a delicious dim sum breakfast, we highly recommend you pay a visit to the W hotel.