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WOB Tries: Exquisite Dining Experience With A Distinct Local Twist At Zen By Mel


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Source: World Of Buzz

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Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur welcomes a new Omakase, fine dining restaurant, Zen By Mel. World Of Buzz had the opportunity to try its dinner menu and here’s our review!

It was actually my first time trying Omakase, and Zen By Mel truly blew my mind. Here, you are welcomed by friendly staff and will walk through a small, Instagrammable flowery garden space before entering the restaurant.


Similar to the other Omakase restaurants I saw online, here you can either opt for a private room, or a seat surrounding the open kitchen, where you can get a glimpse of what the chefs and sous chefs are preparing. Needless to say, the lighting, design, and the whole ambience of the restaurant are exquisite, which made me look forward to the dishes.


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For the Daiisho 10-course menu, we had the cute Seitaikei Tart as a starter. It is a savoury Buri tart paired with caviar and tiny flowers. It has a hint of sweetness and sourness because of the lime, and the tart is made out of beetroot.

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Next, the Adventure of Amaebi, a hot appetiser placed in a small, oyster-shaped disc. I liked the taste of Amaebi (sweet shrimp), and it overall tastes unique when paired with the hand-squeezed almond milk. Do keep in mind that this has to be consumed all at once.

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Then, the cute-looking cold appetiser Hotate Picasso, which is basically Hotate scallop topped with smoked uni paste, and local Malabar red spinach foam. I loved this dish, and I was really surprised that with a little bit of magic, the chefs can turn local ingredients into a high-end-looking and delicious dish.

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The fourth course is a duck appetiser with a local twist. The duck used was bought all the way from a morning market at Bidor, Perak. “We dry aged the local duck instead of using European duck that’s already flavourful, because here at Zen, we like challenges,” head chef Jordan shared. When paired with roasted peach and locals’ favourite Ulam, it became a truly scrumptious dish.

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For the palate cleanser, we had Shiro Umami, Zen’s broth with white asparagus that tastes a little like the traditional Chinese soup. Then, the first main course, Eden of Zen which was one of my favourites. It is white tuna, aka butterfish with Hokkaido corn, cooked to perfection. The white tuna has a clean, not-at-all fishy taste with the help of the Konbu sea kelp.

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The sixth special course is Zenraishii, my personal favourite. As someone who loves crab, this rice dish mixed with flower crab, shio konbu (salted kelp), furikake, and pickled Fuji apple is gastronomical. It also came with an adorable, golden crab bowl.


Onto what I would call, the star of the night, Aji No Shinen, an extremely unique lamb rack dish. When served, we had to wait for 30 seconds for the Applewood smoke to be completely penetrated through the lamb.

Instead of Australian lamb, Spanish lamb was used. Spanish lamb generally has supreme quality, and you can actually see the marbling of the lamb which resembles the Wagyu beef. Albeit the smaller size, I was mindblown by the flavourful taste and unique texture of the lamb.

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Last but not least, the desserts of the night, namely the Yuzu on Mount Fuji, Imperial Zencha, and Mittsu Hoshi Wagashi accordingly. Strangely, on a sweet and sour sorbet dessert like Yuzu on Mount Fuji, you find latok (sea grapes), a local ingredient widely loved by Sabahans. However, it did not taste as weird as I thought it would be, as latoks are usually salty, instead, the taste is well-balanced and delectable.

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Then, my personal favourite: the Imperial Zencha, a matcha mousse dessert with adzuki (red bean paste) ice cream, served along with raspberry compote and a leaf-shaped crunchy waffle. The matcha used was the high-end ceremonial matcha from Kyoto, which explains why the dessert tastes extraordinary.

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The last course, Mittsu Hoshi Wagashi were small chewy nibbles of three flavours: Shoyu vanilla creme, Caramel Adzuki and Strawberry Yogurt Mochi. There were all delicious.

We had such a fantastic time here. Chef Jordan, Chef Shafiq, and the team at Zen are extremely friendly and would take time to explain each dish’s ingredients used and the best way to consume them. You are also encouraged to interact with the chefs and ask any questions. Thank you for the wonderful experience and delicious food.

Zen By Mel welcomes Muslim customers. To dine in, customers have to make a reservation beforehand here, or you can check out Zen By Mel’s Instagram for more.


Also Read: WOB Tries: The Pasta Bar Located At The Back Of An Alley In Ampang


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