The moment when we stepped out from the elevator and walked onto the Chinese and English wording of FIVE SEN5ES being imprinted on the beige color carpet in a short dark hallway, the dimmed purple hue of the decorated lighting led us to the automatic sliding glass door. The arrival experience was rather unexpected for a Chinese restaurant. mylifestylenews writes.
To find out the unknown ahead, two giant potted plants sit on top of the small water features akin to a pond on both sides of the entrance, which gives a harmony mood upon arrival. What lies ahead of us is a front row of table settings that are fit for four people with two gigantic decorative "incense burners" on display at each end against one of the steaming Dim Sum section open kitchen in the entire restaurant.
A Koi fish pond is set at the end of another corner of the restaurant elevated by a wooden floor reminiscent of a much more zen nook to the Oriental ornamental décor. The interior and architecture of Five Sen5es does show that there are some design elements within. The length of the restaurant is separated right through its five private dining rooms with an open wok concept kitchen.
There are also bigger round table seating arrangements with a floor to ceiling glass window overlooking the bustling Bukit Bintang street and the adjacent Pavilion Mall. Another section of the bigger open kitchen is taking care of the wok stir-fried as well as for more complex preparation in need.
The remarkable culinary menu in Five Sen5es offers mainly Cantonese style of cooking. Being a non-halal restaurant, some of the dishes contain alcohol from its preparation and the methods of cooking. A few dishes are crafted from other China’s regions to reflect on a modern day culinary adventure rich in the culture and heritage of Asia.
However, their Dim Sum menu is completely pork free and comes with a wide array of varieties especially from its All You Can Eat menu. Even the a-la-carte servings prepared with care and presented to personify the five human senses and we were here to check out the All You Can EAT unlimited servings of simply Dim Sum brunch to satisfy everyone’s craving.
Dim Sum is literary translated as “A Touch of Heart” where little bites or snacks are ingeniously being transformed to wonderful delicacies. Throughout the millenniums, it has now influenced and touched many other global food aficionados’ hearts by falling in love with this Guang Dong inherited traditional culinary art.
For Dim Sum being one of Chinese most favorite meals at all times, the Yum Cha culture has not only become a trend to catch up with friends and family over a less formal round table meal, but to enjoy and sample the delicate hand crafted little mouthful bites of tasty and comestible refinement that are generally served and presented inside a mini bamboo basket over a pot of limitless refilling tea to share over some intimate moments.
With more than 30 different kinds of selected Dim Sum from steamed to deep fried items, rice, congee and noodles, baked and wok-fried dishes as well as desserts, we kicked off with the <Deep-fried Net Spring Roll Wrapped with Prawns and Mango> which was deep fried with a light coating of airy crumbs to get the fluffiness texture and a well balanced filling of the prawns and mango for a perfect mouth-full bite size.
<”Tien Jin” Style Fish Ball> (Shall be spelled as Tian Jin) – The fish ball was in lukewarm temperature and yet lacking of the bouncy palate and bland in taste.
<Steamed Shrimps, Chicken with Mushroom & Tobiko ‘Siew Mai”>
Siew Mai is a must order Dim Sum dish from any Yum Cha culture but unfortunately, Five Sen5es’ version of Siew Mai was a disappointment. While missing the pork mixture flavor, the “Siew Mai” texture and flavor was incomplete. Despite the right bite size and the aromatic mushroom that was well blended in to the chicken meat, it was over powered by the orangey fish roe garnish which was totally unnecessary and did not help to enhance the taste of a good Siew Mai.
<Deep-fried Bean Curd Roll with Chives & Seafood>
Meaty and crispy! The chive gives a hint of aroma to enhance the palate. Highly recommended!
<Steamed Chicken Feet in Black Pepper Sauce>
Phoenix claws may make the dish sound more exclusive instead of chicken feet. The claws were not stewed thoroughly before it was sent for steaming and the black pepper sauce did not really stand out from the marinade and it was rather too sweet for a savory bite.
<Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom>
A mini version of the general serving size from a Dim Sum dish order. We enjoyed the stickiness of the rice texture yet it is not a stand out dish despite an ancient style recipe being used.
<Steamed Prawn with Black Truffle “Har Kau”>
We really dislike the fact that when a good Har Kau Dim Sum is being done or mixed with truffle, some even topped it with a piece of gold leaf to make it look (but not taste) elegant that it is being able to be up-sold at a high price. With that thought in mind, it only ruined the taste of its origin especially when fresh prawns are used. Not to mentioned that the Har Kau in Five Sen5es is relatively thick and dry despite seeing through the thin layer of the casing looking right into the fresh wrapped prawns.
We moved on to the <Steamed Rice Rolls with Fresh Scallops> - The presentation was a real turn off. Three pieces of disheartened thin rolls soaking into a bed of steamy water from the steaming process and watery light soy sauce. It was not a very pleasant way to enjoy this dish where the sauce shall be at its best served separately. Tiny scallops were used and the thin sliced dough also did not give a smooth texture as it should be.
<Deep-fried Crispy Yam Puff with Fresh Scallop>
Definitely not a Cantonese version of deep fried crispy yam puff but an alternative version from Five Sen5es. The Miso marinade gives a lighter palate in comparison with oyster sauce, which is normally being used in meat instead of scallop. Quite tasty and fluffy yet once again devastated by the slimy fish roe topping.
<Wok-fried Turnip Cake with XO Sauce & Turkey Ham>
Another sad dish in terms of presentation. Soggy turnips cake with egg crumbs scattered around the plate that show not much of a passion in making this dish right yet we couldn’t taste any Turkey ham from the combination.
<Steamed Shanghainese Dumpling “Xiao Long Bao” in Ginseng Superior Soup Juice>
A total disaster! Not to mention that the dumpling was totally dry in texture from its casing and the meat inside. The soup/juice was being placed outside of the “Xiao Long Bao” and losing the essence and spirit by enjoying this unique traditional dish in an entire opposite way. This alternative version of serving as well as the Ginseng superior soup being used totally ruined the entire “Xiao Long Bao” dining experience.
On top of the All You Can Eat Dim Sum promotion, we did venture a little further by ordering a few dishes from its existing a-la-carte menu. The <Deep-fried Soft Shell Crabs with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce> was a pleasant surprise and pure enjoyment. Perfectly deep fried soft shell crabs yet not overcooked with a delightful palate and went well with the light and tangy lemongrass sauce.
We wanted to have a duck dish by ordering the <Crispy Roasted Duck>. The duck wasn’t crisply roasted as promised and the tough and almost not chewable meat was not to anyone’s delight. We couldn’t finish it after trying a second piece.
<Giant River Prawns with Caramelized Soy Sauce>
Fresh giant river prawns were ruined by the watery caramelized soy sauce, the sweetness of the sauce was overpowering and the toasted sweet walnut as garnish did not really do a thing nor compliment the prawns.
<Clay Pot Cooked Luffa Melon with Fish Maw & Glass Noodles>
The presentation from this dish may be one of the most unattractive ones from the entire meal yet it was beautifully braised and cooked. The glass noodles absorbed the entire essence and flavors from the fish maw and luffa melon and presents a well balanced harmony palate.
<Steamed Bamboo Fish “Soon Hock”>
When it comes to ordering fish dishes in Five Sen5es, you can choose the style of cooking as you please. We always choose the classic way to steam the fish which is a very Cantonese style to enjoy the freshness of the fish being cooked and top with high temperature heated oil for its fragrance and a dash of light soy. Generally, both oil and soy are the best combination to enjoy a classic Cantonese style of steamed fish and yet we wondered what had been added to the soy sauce that was not helping to elevate the freshness of this dish. The fresh meaty river “Soon Hock “was a total delight by just enjoying the flesh on its own without having it dipped into the Chef’s version of soy.
<Sauteed Beef Tenderloin with Spring Onions & Ginger>
In order not to have the beef tenderloin overcooked, a light stir-fried approach in high heat fire would get it right without much challenge for such a good cut of meat. To our dislike, this is the dish that we can’t even go on eating after a second or third trial despite the right flavor from the spring onion and ginger, it was simply too tough and hard to chew.
We opted for the <Clay Pot “Three Cup” Free Range Chicken”> from one of the Chef’s recommendation selections. This Taiwanese origin dish was not any close to the flavor that it should be. Wrong type of basil leaves were being used and it was lacking the intense aroma that is supposed to be one of the highlights of the dish together with the three different cups of wines used which did not bring out the best from the flavor.
<Yong Chow Fried Rice>
Fried rice dishes are the most common dish and yet very essential dish from a Cantonese restaurant. It is quite difficult to get it right and yet quite easy to get it wrong. Five Sen5es’ version of Yong Chow Fried Rice did not impress anyone of us at all for its dry and tasteless texture. A simple dish like this could possible ruin a good restaurant name by not getting it right and something that they seriously need to look into.
As for dessert, we had the <Chinese Herbal Jelly with Aloe Vera Honey Juice>. A contemporary cooling Chinese dessert from the herbal used as well as the diced aloe vela that compliments each other’s flavor and texture.
<Deep-fried Durian Puree Wrapped in Kataifi>
A strange name yet a deep fried flour close to vermicelli to give the crispy texture and presentation that was placed on top on the deep-fried durian puree. To our surprise, the durian puree was a quite prominent and pleasant treat.
<Sweetened Soya Milk with White Fungus Glutinous Rice Dumpling> was the last order from our meal. A soothing dessert that is supposed to round up the meal for a pleasant ending yet the stale grounded black sesame did not co-operate. We love Dim Sum without any question but with Dim Sum dishes that are presented without pork contain is incomplete and violating the beauty and essence of enjoying a perfect meal that is everyone’s blissful expectation.
Service in Five Sen5es was rather less cheerful and disoriented, the female staff seemingly not willing to go for an extra mile with more passion towards what they do but remain a poker face at all times. Dishes delivered to the table without much introduction and walked away as quickly as they could. Two of our tea cups left significant black marks and tea stain at the bottom due to improper cleaning, it was only changed reluctantly after it was told. We do admire the creativity from Five Sen5es’ culinary team by offering an alternative option with different touches and finishes. In this scenario, less is certainly more and yet sometimes adhering to the traditional with authenticity is the best thing to do.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 2.5/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Deep Fried Dim Sum Items
199, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 2773 8338
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.