Arriving at Ten at around 7pm, I find that I might be the only one of 5 guests to have arrived, and I may wonder if I have made the right choice.
Well, where Ten is concerned, I have.
Busier later in the week and weekends, a quiet early-week evening makes the service, while not over the top, suitably impressive, and the service personal rush about to help me settle into our private dining room.
Blame it on the rainy weather, the first day or Raya.. or any other reason you can think of, but I’m not to fussed as I settle to down to wait for my dinner companions. Taking a look at the menu at Ten, you might say that the prices are perhaps daunting – Japanese cuisine, much loved by most Malaysians, can be enjoyed at far less cost elsewhere, than what the menu offers here.
No matter, it’s the company that counts, and I know that the experience here at Ten, is worth every cent.
And an experience it is, from the moment of entry to departure.
The restaurant is not exactly within the traditional Japanese ryokan, or guest house sort of vibe. Instead its deco is rather more contemporary. It also lies at the ground-floor level across the road from Over Time at Publika. A wee bit out of the way and not as easy to find as the owners might like, I assume. In fact, I am correct because one of the waiters passes me a flyer to say that this is their last day, in this location. They will be moving to Jalan Pinang, Marc Service Residence, Kuala Lumpur, scheduled to start business in October this year. Boy, I sure feel lucky that I get to dine here one last time before it closes for the next few months.
hot or cold sake.. take your pick
So what about the food? It is definitely an experience, not only to please the palate but exquisitely presented to underline the pleasure of dining with the eyes. The sake, in this case Otokoyama Jyunmain from Hokkaido, enhances a Japanese meal and is available in 300 mls. Since my companions do not drink, this is just the right amount for me, over dinner.
For those who prefer a white wine, Ten also has an impressive wine list that makes an excellent accompaniment to the food. Skimming the menu, the waiter informs me that there are regular changes to the menu and the Special Kaiseki meal is impressive with every one of the 10 dishes freshly prepared, starting with the small appetiser of deep-fried sesame tofu with bonito, soy, radish, avocado tempura and lemon-like broth.
on the specials menu – Seaweed Salad Served with sliced Japanese Surf Clam, Scallops and dressed with vinaigrette sauce
Anyway, no Kaiseki for us this time round – it’s ala carte all the way. Soon the appetiser arrives on a round, shiny plate.. looking gorgeous. Ten’s Seaweed Salad Served with sliced Japanese Surf Clam, Scallops and dressed with vinaigrette sauce is to die for. It has a bitter after taste conferred by the endive but otherwise the dish is faultless. Tangy, textured (from the scallops and clams), crunchy (from the leaves) and slippery (seaweed) this dish is the perfect stimulus your gut needs, to get the juices going.
Unagi Agedashi Tofu Ankake
We sit and chat and catch up on life. A simmering, hot dish soon follows. Enter the Unagi Agedashi Tofu Ankake – Eel and deep fried tofu with Sticky sauce. The Sauce has a somewhat scary looking, thick, brown mucus consistency, but it turned out tasting unbelievably good. I’ve always been a fan of the Agedashi, so this dish was the perfect way to have Unagi. I don’t generally like Unagi, finding it too sweet, but the tofu was a nice peace offering;)
this combination of eel and tufo worked for me
The colorful sashimi arrives on a stone plate, on ice – three slices each of kingfish, salmon, yellowtail, tuna belly, clams, curls of tuna with mango puree, squidlets and prawns – served with wasabi and soy, the o-toro was my favorite, hands down. The squidlets, I am assuming are the smaller version of the squid, where sliced thinly into even rectangular shapes and wrapped on one surface with nori seaweed. Interesting and incredibly tasty. But really each and every one of the sashimi was supple, bursting with succulence and chilled ever so slightly without being iced to death, so it was hard to fault the preparation of this raw fish platter. This was followed by a dish of grilled mackerel and salt – not up to par today. The mackerel was overcooked and it really reduced the satisfaction of dining on this cold water fish that’s also one of my favorites. A shame.
gorgeous presentation – only two in our group ate Sashimi, so we both polished off the entire plate with great happiness!
lackluster grilled Saba
We crack jokes, take photos and mess about some more. Then the next dish is served. A cold dish called Chicken Nanban was what I’d call, a pleasant surprise. At first glance, the pale cold chicken is not something I’d order, nor think I’d enjoy sinking my teeth into. Yet, if you get past the anaemic, looking deep fried chicken, you will find some wonderful flavors lurking below that sallow pallor and crinkly skin. The marinade of tosa vinegar enhances the flavors of the chicken and the real winner is the dipping sauce – a tartare sauce that looks like salad dressing mixed with finely chopped up hard boiled egg. It almost has a gritty texture, but softer. Super tasty.
A smoking bowl of Inaniwa Kamonanban Udon arrived. Basically udon with duck meat. The duck was tough and leathery but the udon was superb. This Inaniwa udon is tastier than your regular udon – it is made in Akita Prefecture in Northern Japan and is one of the highest quality udon made in the country. This udon has good flavor and remains pleasantly al dente after cooking.
inaniwa kamonanban udon
adding the steamy, clear broth to the udon
add chili to taste
All in all a terrific dining experience. The flavours, textures and the sheer freshness of the ingredients combine with the atmosphere makes dining at Ten an event to appreciate and remember.
Finish with the super smooth and creamy Japanese styled cream brûlée and a call it a night. Ten, is as close as you will get, to a perfect 10 in my books!
Add: NOTE: This restaurant closes as of the 20th Aug 2012. They will re-open for business at Jalan Pinang, Marc Service Residence, Kuala Lumpur as of October 2012 (where Delicious is) Ten Japanese Fine Dining Restaurant, D5-G3-5, Solaris Dutamas, No.1, Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6211 9910 Website: http://www.tenrestaurant.com.my/
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