Although branding itself as Japanese fine dining, the menu showcases influences from all over the world and it is also important for Head Chef, Hironari Oba, to apply local flavours adding that Malaysians are already very familiar with Japanese food, therefore he can be more liberal. Looking through the menu, we see items like roasted rack of lamb, confit chicken, duck and foie gras prepared in untypical Japanese fashion but a big par t of the menu pretty much stays within ingredients and methods noted from the Land of the Rising Sun. Par t of the Sushi Train company that runs various concepts of Japanese cuisine, TEN is also present in Australia and Chef Oba says the concept is similar with adaptation to Australians’ preferences.
Presenting an Omakase menu; Japan’s interpretation of a degustation course, Chef Oba designs the menu either by deciding the main course first and building the complementary elements or to take his diners on a journey. For the latter, his is based on technique progression. As ingredients come in from all over Japan, depending on seasons, the menu at TEN is defined only by the chef’s know-how in selecting items that will resonate with the audience; and as the right technique brings out the best in an ingredient, it leads the way for a variety of textures and flavours throughout the course, in line with the intention of having guests taste the many techniques in Japanese cuisine.
In terms of hospitality, TEN has been praised by many. True to Japanese culture that emphasises courtesy, Ms Rina Inoue (Sales & Marketing) tells us that communication is very important so that the team knows a guest’s likes and dislikes or plan a surprise for a diner on special occasions. Or something that leaves a pleasant memory like its tableside tea ceremony when serving ice cream which is also reflective of TEN’s origins and the Japanese culture where tea appreciation is highly regarded. Food, guest relations and then environment; the exterior is nature-inspired with its pebbled path and swatches of green in appropriate spots – a moment of zen, if you will, considering its location in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. Rina also said that lights are brighter during the day and dimmer at night; even using candles and adding that minor details like tablecloth (black for day, beige for night) also play a role in creating the right mood it wants the guest to be in while enjoying a meal at TEN.
Afterall, TEN means “heaven”in Japanese and the restaurant wants guests to feel that way, and at the same alludes to its “we AIM for the top of fine dining in KL” mission.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining