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Digest Review: Enfin By James Won's New Menu Is Pure Delight From Start To Finish

Review: Enfin By James Won's New Menu Is Pure Delight From Start To Finish

Review: Enfin By James Won's New Menu Is Pure Delight From Start To Finish
By Tien Chew
December 27, 2017
Known for its fine fare and whimsical take on food, Enfin by James Won introduces a new dinner menu that builds upon what is already a solid foundation. Go from an edible enchanted forest to playful takes on familiar favourites, this is Malaysian farm to table at its finest.

1/13 The Bar

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

The first thing that will greet you after entering the establishment is a long marble bar with a library of fine spirits beckoning diners. Libations are plentiful and varied, making it possibly intimidating to choose a refreshment that will whet the appetite. If you can't decide, ask the friendly bartender to recommend a cocktail or a pour and you're on your way to a fine evening.

2/13 High Society

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

A cocktail as luxurious as its namesake, this is one of the restaurant's signature cocktails should you need a pick-me-up to get the night going. Garnished with edible gold, this drink is based on a highland Sazerac cocktail that is clearly designed to impress the eyes and the taste buds. Made with absinthe, Hennessy X.O and Glenmorangie, this definitely packs a punch. 

3/13 Dining Arena

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Once seated and presented the menu, you have a selection of either 3, 5 or 7 courses for the evening's degustation experience and the option to have wine, champagne and cognac paired through each step of the meal. Take our word, Chef Won is a Hennessy and Krug ambassador, so if you're looking for the ultimate dining experience, go for the alcohol pairing as it really does enhance the flavours of the dishes.

4/13 The Enchanted Forest

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Almost too good to eat, this is your first course of the meal after tucking into some amazing breads (baked in-house) and French butter. An assortment of whimsical edibles, the baby baguette stick, represented by the twig, was playfully spicy and flavourful, thanks to an infusion of sambal, apple sorrel, chicken skin and flowers. The cute mushrooms that lay before you is in fact foie gras, made possible by skill, creativity, black cherries and white chocolate nuts for a delightful mouthful. The brown crispy orbs you see in the centre, the kitchen's interpretation of the humble yam puff commonly found in dim sum restaurants, is filled with peas and ikura, making for a wonderful surprise.

5/13 The Ultimate Breakfast Dish

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

If you have trouble choosing which entrée to select as part of your meal, allow us to help you. A dish the chef is renowned for is this simple yet sophisticated take on a few key ingredients: caviar, egg whites, chive flowers and a hallowed out rye bread crust. The egg itself is fluffy and perfectly textured to welcome the tiny bursts of saltiness from the caviar. The chives add a herbacious twist while the bread itself adds crunch, complementing the dish perfectly. If you ever wondered what a breakfast of champions looked like, you're looking at it.

6/13 The Homage To Sushi

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

A tribute to everyone's favourite Japanese food, Enfin's version of sushi comes in the form of sea urchin, fermented chilli, crème fraîche rose powder, pommes soufflés (potato puff), nigiri, potato bravas, seasonal truffles, tobiko and chervil. Pop one of those puffs into your mouth and its pure ambrosia from thereon out, with the umami flavours enhanced by the savoury yet incredibly light potato puff. Take a sip of the Krug champagne paired with your entrée to bolster the flavours of the dish further. 

7/13 The Flavours Of The Sea

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

An abalone and oyster duet, this entrée is pretty to look at yet packed with substance. Incredibly fresh, the abalone is cooked to a nice chewy texture and a char that adds slight smokiness to the mollusc. The oyster on the hand, is equally fresh and tastes like the sea, with a charred onion and chicken broth, mushrooms, osmanthus and chrysanthemum to add visual flair and sublte nuances to the overall flavour profile.

8/13 The Tiny Break

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Assuming the form of a caperberry, this unassuming palate cleanser between dishes is small yet mighty. Once the actual fruit is removed, the kitchen replaces the berry with yogurt and olive oil ice cream, kumquat and a hidden surprise – wasabi. The surprise is welcoming and a great way to refresh the palate for the main courses ahead.

9/13 The Quality Cut

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Limousin beef from France gets the proper treatment, served with roasted peppers, black garlic, parsley, garlic chips, wholegrain mustard, cape berry and basil oil. Based on visuals alone, you're able to tell that the beef is seared and cooked to an appetising colour, but begin to cut a slice and you'll notice that its colour is medium-rare on the inside. The beef itself is delicious, with a natural mustard aftertaste hitting the back of the palate with every bite. Its sides are similarly tasty, enhancing what is already an instant winner in our books.

 

10/13 The Prize Catch

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Should beef not be your go-to choice, lobster is a worthy alternative. Lobster tail, served with prawn meat cannelloni stuffed with crab, burnt coconut and fried egg hair, comes with parsley, nasturtium, prawn and roselle powder and brassica flowers. The tail is cooked perfectly, with a juicy-sweet flavour that is contrasted by the earthy slightly bitter sensation of the powder resting below it. The cannelloni, on the other hand, surprisingly tastes like laksa, mixing up Western flavours with a few local spices.

11/13 The Ode To Nature

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Enfin employs their own garden to grow quality greens. In fact, the restaurant tries to use as much locally sourced produce as they can possibly make, a practice employed by the restaurant since day one. This vegetable medley comes complimentary with your main course and is incredibly springy, juicy and pure. The platter sits on half a spring onion carpet and parsley chlorophyll and half a charcoal bamboo soil infused with truffle pate. If you aren't a fan, this may convert you yet.

12/13 The Tropical Twist

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Mango and cape berry soufflé, Sarawak peppercorn and pandan sorbet carries on the restaurant's signature take on marrying local incredients with fine French techniques. Take a mouthful of the soufflé and you'll find that its texture is almost a mix between custard and steamed egg with a lovely mango sharpness. The pandan ice cream captures the ingredient to a T, rounding out the dish with a classic contrast of hot and cold.

13/13 The Spiced Pineapple

Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Shaffiq Farhan/Malaysia Tatler

Another fantastic way to end your meal is with this roasted Sarawakian pineapple that comes infused with dark caramel soya, chlli and a basil parfait glace with apple sorrel. Served with Hennessy X.O, the pineapple was very juicy with a sweetened chilli lull that when taken with the paired cognac, makes for a truly memorable end to the meal. Cool your palate with the accompanying ice cream, top it off with your glass of cognac, and you're ready to enjoy post-dining bliss.

Tags

Digest hennessy Fine Dining farm to table gastronomy james won Enfin by James Won

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