Date of review: December 1, 2016 | Reviewed by:
Oversized antique-inspired showpieces and Chinese culinary implements placed under strategic spotlights coupled with modern Oriental furnishings and decorative accents make the décor at Five Sen5es distinctly different from most Chinese restaurants. Enlivened with warm mellow lighting and plush carpeting, the wood, leather and glass dining haven also boasts an open show kitchen, according diners with a clear view of live kitchen theatrics. For those seeking greater privacy from the culinary hurly-burly, there are private rooms and tables sited away from the action.
The delicate morsels featured in the signature ‘four bullet’ Hong Kong dim sum successfully underscore the chef’s dim sum-making mastery whilst delighting the eyes and palate with multiple textures and flavours. Equally satisfying is the crispy whitebait with five spices and pepper.
For mains, must-tries include the crispy roast duck. Served with fried prawn crackers, the subtly gamey, juicy duck meat with crispy skin is absolutely delightful albeit a little under seasoned.
Next, chopped black beans with bits of red chilli imbue deep-seated briny nuance and zingy heat to the steamed fresh scallops on egg bean curd with black bean sauce.
Good ‘wok hei’ – that elusive scorched smokiness of a super-hot wok – elevates the simple serving of fragrant crispy vegetables with roasted pine nuts to sublime heights. Yielding varying degrees of crunchiness, the glistening medley of snow peas, baby corn, black fungus, fresh magnolia petals and celery is a joy to partake. The Yong Chow fried rice is also recommended; a perennial palate-pleaser to satisfy die-hard carb lovers.
Sweet chart-toppers to wrap up the meal include chilled silken mango cream with pearl sago and crushed Thai pomelo, and chilled Chinese herbal jelly. The portions may be dainty but they are more than adequate to satisfy the sweet toothed.
As befitting a five-star dining establishment, the beverage list is extensive enough to leave patrons spoilt for choice. In addition to the four white and four red wines plus one champagne offered by the glass, wine lovers will find a handful of familiar labels from France, Spain, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
The fresh and fruity Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio is a pleasant match with most of the dishes, especially the crispy whitebait, steamed scallops, vegetables and fried rice. In addition, cocktails, mocktails, juices, gourmet coffees and artisanal tea infusions ensure no thirst is left unquenched.
The waiters are personable and offer thoughtful suggestions on meal choices. They also ensure that teacups are constantly topped up and used cutlery is removed promptly. The affable team also constantly works cohesively to ensure that the meal and service is up to the satisfaction of the patrons.
The bill for a party of three totalled RM438.95 – a fair price for a top quality Chinese dining experience. The house specialty, the Famous Authentic Peking Duck – Two Series, a reasonably large portion, is best enjoyed with parties of three or four.