Enfin By James Won @ Menara Hap Seng

April 3, 2016

This modern French restaurant ranks among the city centre's most beautiful new venues, occupying the sort of space that bolsters expectations of a exceptional experience.

Visiting for lunch, we couldn't resist ordering a bread platter (RM22); the menu emphasises that Enfin bakes its own, relying on natural yeast & French-milled flour. The offering evokes crostini-like toasted slices, thin & crunchy, which might not placate patrons seeking fresh bread they can sink their teeth into. This comes with three dips - pesto, eggplant, & possibly mushroom & olives (service here is well-intentioned, but not everyone on the floor is capable of explaining what's being served) - each enjoyable, but the entire ensemble is only marginally more intriguing than the complimentary bread that welcomes customers elsewhere. If you need a starter, a more distinctive choice might be the orange-coloured Mimolette cheese salad (RM24), a dish that echoes back to Malaysian chef-founder James Won's original restaurant, Brasserie Enfin in Oasis Ara Damansara.

Being devotees of duck, we had to also check out the duo of duck & chicken wings (RM28); the former is massive, comprising French free-range fowl, quinoa-crusted for a memorably crisp-textured exterior, while the latter is a lot more ordinary, prepared with a soy butter glaze that tastes mainly Oriental. Both prove punchy in flavour, though they might benefit from some sauces on the side to broaden their dynamics. We'd probably skip the duck burger - the patty is thick but tastes only faintly like duck & feels over-processed; we may have preferred pulled duck for a real-meat chew, especially for a burger that chimes in at RM45.

For our mains: Enfin's rendition of boeuf bourguignon features faultlessly tender meat with roasted roots - it's well worth having for RM48, even though we'd wish for greater depth & boldness in the flavour of the sauce. The roast chicken & salted duck egg risotto (RM45) is competent, but fundamentally indistinguishable from what you'd find at a decent Italian restaurant in KL.

Columbia Crest Winery Two Vines Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington State, USA; 2011) at RM106 per bottle.

Enfin by James Won
Lot 2-05, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng 1, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. 
Tues-Sun, 1130am-230pm, 530pm-12am. Tel: 010-288-7920
Click here for online reservations.

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