Yen @ W Kuala Lumpur

August 26, 2018

Devoted to dim sum? Yen, the flagship Chinese restaurant of W Kuala Lumpur, the latest entry to the city centre's hotel scene, serves a satisfying selection that's imbued with imaginative flourishes.

A skilled sense of modern reinvention permeates Yen's elaborate creations, with an emphasis on engaging ingredients. 

The full spectrum of baked-to-fried specialities is accounted for: Shanghainese chicken-stuffed soup dumplings come with Hokkaido crab meat and crab roe sauce (RM14), while prawn dumplings are made textured with sarcodon aspratus mushrooms (RM24); cod fillets are crisply wrapped in kataifi pastry, enhanced with cili padi cheese (RM21), and a winter radish fritter is plumply packed with smoked duck and spring onions (RM9).

Yen steers clear of pork, so the wok-fried yam cake cubes come with chicken sausages instead (a respectable substitute), laced lightly with a black truffle sauce (RM19).

These days, it's certainly no surprise to see Japanese and French influences integrated into Chinese delicacies; unagi makes for a tasty filling in emerald-hued rice noodle rolls (RM24), while foie gras is part of both the crispy yam fritters (RM20) and a silken ensemble layered with bean curd and lemon foam (RM36). Wash down with Mi Lan Xiang oolong tea with a floral and lychee fragrance (RM12 per person).

Yen's dim sum is available for lunch; the meal can be bolstered by an extensive repertoire of even heartier temptations - wagyu short ribs are aromatically slow-cooked with 10-year-aged hua diao wine and Chinese herbs, emerging rich in gelatinous glory (RM111), while organic chicken, fed for 120 days on horse grass, is smoked with Taiwanese Ding Dong oolong tea, surfacing in a vaporous swirl at the table (RM92 for half a chicken).

Dessert and drinks deserve a look: Musang King durian fritters are strikingly shaped into black swans (RM37), while milk pudding is partnered with hints of truffles, plus honeycomb and chilled aloe vera (RM19).

Yen boasts its own set of intriguing cocktails infused with tea, including aged Pu-er tea, Ti Guan Yin tea, Jasmine Roundie tea, chrysanthemum tea, and Longjing tea - worth sampling for fans of both cocktails and tea (RM40-RM48).

Service is amiably capable, ensuring a pleasant experience.

W Kuala Lumpur, 121, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Open for lunch and dinner. Hotel Tel: 03-2786-8888

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