I’ve dined at some pretty incredible restaurants across Asia in 2016, so to say that this was one of my top 3 favourite meals of the year is pretty incredible. Enfin by James Won is a culinary blend of everything in modern French cuisine that we crave, mixed with a bit of local love in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian-born Chef James trained at Le Cordon Bleu and worked with Alain Ducasse in Paris at the 3 star Michelin restaurant in Sofitel Le Parc. He’s an ambassador for some of our favourite brands like Krug and Hennessy. Yet it’s his drive to showcase the best of Malaysia’s harvests that makes him truly unique for me. Watch his recent journey to Sabah to handpick amazing ingredients in A Culinary Odyssey of Two Chefs by Hennessy Malaysia.
UPDATE November 2017 >> check out my latest review and video of the new degustation dinner menu here (hint: there’s lots that is new and fabulous!)
Why You’ll Love It
- Enfin is Gorgeous! From the delicate and ornamental door that glides open to welcome you, to the opulent yet comfy interiors of the bar and restaurant … it’s a haven from the craziness of KL.
- Unprecedented Quality! Each ingredient is sourced from the best possible spot on the planet, even if that means from a farmer in a small town in Europe or in a remote forest of Malaysia. Then they care for each element of each course with visible passion that you’ll see from the glass-front kitchen.
- Oh Lordy-Lordy, the Butter! You may think this is a crazy item to add to a rather short list of bullet points but once you taste it you’ll understand. Gourmet butter wasn’t good enough for Chef James, so his team churns their own butter for guests and it’s a dream come true.
- Perfect for Parties! There are two elegant private dining rooms, and one is Asia’s first Krug Table that you can reserve and will be personally presided over by Chef James. I haven’t found a restaurant in town with a private room that would make any occasion more special than what you’ll find at Enfin.
The Dinner Degustation Menu
It is a complete experience that starts with a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne as an apéritif and ends with a glass of Hennessy XO Cognac as a digestif.
As I said, it was one of my favourite meals of the year. And I’ll confess that while the lobster, pasta, and that lovely dessert stands out as INSANELY PERFECT for me … it was the ice plant salad that completely won my heart. Honestly, it was so original and so delicious, I still dream about it! The base price for 5 courses is RM448, with an additional RM235 for that awesome Krug, wine & fine cognac pairing.
Here are a couple of my favourite courses:
- Amuse bouche: Japanese caviar, sea grapes, potato and leek, paired with a cocktail by the mixologist
- Entrée (OMG that salad!!!): Ikura, ice plant, puffed quinoa, yolk in prawn oil, shrimp powder and chili, paired with Krug Grand Cuvee
- Plat principal: Japanese cod (skilfish) poached in seaweed butter, scarlet prawns, purple brassica, tomato, pickled Bentong ginger, ginger torch, lobster bisque, and half lobster tail, paired with Château Pegau, Cuvee Lone 2014
- Dessert: Beetroot, parmesan cheese mousse, raspberry, chocolate, charcoal and coconut, pandanus sponge, paired with Hennessy X.O
Although at first glance this is a house of cognac where Hennessy reigns king, take my advice and head there RIGHT NOW for their Garden Gin ‘n Tonic, it’s the best I’ve had in Malaysia! They stock 27 different artisan gins and bespoke their signature gin ‘n tonic to each person, adjusting the tonic and strength and everything in between to your mood du jour.
For those who enjoy to sip it neat or on the rocks, you’ll love the variety of bottles stocked behind this bar. They’ll delight you with everything from rare single malt whiskies and cognacs … to a vast menu of Champagnes, craft cocktails, beer, and fine wines.
Behind The Velvet Ropes
As a foodie, of course spending an afternoon with the team was fabulously fun and, to be honest, it was also an educational experience that I did not expect. I learned about the wonderful quality difference of using leaven instead of standard yeast in bread making (and did you know that leaven is an actual organic life form that needs caring for so it doesn’t die? It was news to me!). There’s so much more you’ll see in the video but suffice it to say that I witnessed a dedication to perfection that was a privilege to behold.
All-in-all, spending time at Enfin by James Won was a blessing AND a curse. I now walk into fine dining restaurants hoping that they churn their own butter, bake their own bread daily, and pair each course to perfection … yet sadly most don’t.
Connect with Enfin by James Won
- Enfin by James Won is open for lunch and dinner and it is highly recommended that you call ahead to make a reservation on +60102887920
- For more information visit their website, and be sure to follow them on Facebook to keep up on special events and new menu launches
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