Friday, January 16, 2009

Tenji Japanese Buffet at Solaris, Mont Kiara

The newly opened Tenji restaurant in Mont Kiara has indeed received a wide publicity from bloggers alone just because of the great lunch promotion that it offers. Luckily for me, it was still considered early when I found out about it, and hence I was able to make a reservation just a few days in advance. Since I'm not familiar with the KL roads and Solaris is a fairly new area, the GPS was not able to track Tenji restaurant to the dot. We got as far as Plaza Mont Kiara and we were lost. :( I called Tenji several times during our drive to get proper directions and ended up there probably 15 minutes later. The fountain just in front of Cold Storage will be the landmark if you're not familiar with the place. From far, when I spotted the fountain, I knew Tenji was just nearby.

Water fountain at Solaris, Mont Kiara

Our reservation was for 11.30am but we only reached there at 11.45am. Even as I was going up the escalator to the first floor, I already noticed the long queue outside of the restaurant! I wasn't sure whether those were walk-in customers or those who made reservation so I went in to enquire. Turned out that everyone in the queue had already made reservations! So I went to the back of the line and queued for maybe 15 minutes to get a table.

Entrance poster

Queue at the entrance

When it came to our turn, we were shown to the entrance by walking through the outdoor path that was well-decorated. A waterfall greeted us along the way. :)

Miniature waterfall

As we were walking, I noticed that the outdoor area was still not used at the point. Some of the tables and chairs were still in plastic wrap!

Walkway towards buffet area

Dining area entrance

When I reached the dining area, I was quite impressed with the interior decoration. I was very surprised that many of the tables were still empty even though the queue was long. Maybe everyone was busy picking out food. :)

Dining area

I saw the array of coconuts arranged at the bar and couldn't stop myself from taking two. The amount of water inside was very limited so I ended up taking a few more after that. However, about an hour later, I noticed that they didn't replenish the coconuts anymore! *gasp* Up until 2 hours later, there was still no sign of coconuts. :( I hope they have improved their rate of replenishment by now or they definitely are not doing a good job.

Coconut drinks

The sushi spread was extensive, but I didn't eat much of sushi except for the Unagi sushi. The unagi used was thick and generous, not to mention delicious!

My first plate

There was also plenty of sashimi, especially the salmon. I was disappointed that there were no scallops though. :( When I went, the scallops label was there but there was no sign of scallops. I went back to check it out a few times after that but still none! :( I'm not sure whether the scallops were very quickly finished up whenever they were served or they weren't served at all.

Sushi spread

Then there were oysters! During my visit, the oysters were very slowly replenished, up to the point that the customers had to queue up to wait for the oysters to be cleaned, one by one. It was frustrating because everyone wanted to make full use of their TWO plates, which could carry 8 pieces of oysters. Therefore, each person in front of me had to wait for the worker inside to wash 8 oysters before the next person in queue will reach his turn. May I also add that the speed of the washing was not fast too! I spent around 10 minutes queueing and realized that at the rate the line was moving, I could be wasting my time just queuing up! So I moved on to other dishes, while Saucer took over the 'manly' job. *LOL*

Anyway, we managed to eat our oysters in the end and they were enormous! Putting the whole oyster in my mouth was a little icky at first, not to mention fishy too. You really need to put in lots of lemon to be able to chew this without feeling gross. :P Maybe it's just me.

Huge oysters

It's as big as a full-sized fork!

Size of oyster against my hand

Moving on, there were also certain dishes which required ordering by table clips. Each table had 3 clips, so you're free to order the special dishes using them. Just place the clip into the specified bowls and wait for them to serve you. In this case, I think that Tenji could improve a lot more. Each of the ordered dishes took 20-30 minutes to serve. I think that was way too long. Plus, given the promotion of RM29.90 for first hour, it got me thinking whether they purposely took longer time to prepare so that the customers would have to stay for extra hour and pay more. Hmm...

Anyway, I chose the cod fish, which was way too spicy for me. It looked innocent from the picture, but the taste was just funny. I think they used a lot of wasabi perhaps, to cook this dish? There was also unagi, which was a huge favourite because I saw lots of table clips in the bowl.

Cod fish

Grilled unagi

Another section was dedicated to the Chinese cuisine, with dim sum and soups. I didn't eat any of the dim sum because I thought they were too filling and plus, we're in a Japanese restaurant now, weren't we? :)

Selection of soups

I also came across the teppanyaki area, with different kinds of meat to be ordered. This required also the table clip ordering.

Teppanyaki area

After filling my tummy to the brim, I was just walking around and spotted this cute decorative bread basket. I wonder if the bread were edible or for decoration purposes.

Decorative bread?

There was also the chocolate fountain! You're supposed to dip the fruit skewers into the molten chocolate to eat. Unfortunately, I was just too full to chuck in another skewer. OR, I'd just rather save my tummy for Haagen Dazs ice-cream! :P

Chocolate fountain

Fruit skewers

The dessert spread was impressive! There were so many types of cakes and cookies and mochis that you're definitely spoiled for choice!


I chose the tiramisu (which was served in a cup, second picture below) and black sesame mochi. To be honest, the tiramisu was just so-so. I guess you can't really expect amazing Italian cakes in a Japanese restaurant. :P

More desserts!

The black sesame mochi was much better. It was soft and gluey, with fragrant paste inside. *yum*

Black sesame Mochi

Finally, who could resist ice-cream? And Haagen Dazs to top it? :) Our table was close to the dessert area so I was always on the lookout at the queue and only went there when the queue was short. The selection was pretty good, 7 choices in all, including Tiramisu, Strawberry and my favourite Strawberry Cheesecake! Green tea flavour was a popular choice too because it was almost finished when it was my turn.

Haagen Dazs ice-cream

What a complete closure to a good meal, ending on a sweet note!

Tiramisu flavour

Overall, I would say the quality of food was not great, but above average. I was also disappointed that I wasn't able to taste some of the food because they were not replenished or took too long to serve. We even left before a few of our table clip orders arrived, because we were full and also because we wanted to make it before exceeding the 2nd hour. :) If you like oysters, this would be the place to go. Sure, the variety was wide, but there was nothing there that made me go, "OMG, I HAVE to come back here again for this!", except maybe Haagen Dazs ice-cream. :P Now that the promotional rate is over, I think there are some other cheaper Japanese buffets out there with better quality than Tenji. Just my two cents.

Tenji Japanese Buffet Restaurant
Lot L-01-01, SohoKL,
Solairs Mont Kiara,
No 2, Jalan Solaris,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 1700-80-1818 (if engaged, try again)

Weekday operation hours:
Lunch 11:30am - 4:00pm RM77++
Dinner 5:30pm - 9.30pm RM88++
Supper 10:00pm - 2:30am RM88++

Weekend & Public Holiday:
Lunch 11:30am - 4:00pm RM77++
Dinner 5:30pm - 9.30pm RM88++
Supper 10:00pm - 2:30am RM88++


khengsiong said...

What do you mean by ++ as in RM77++?

Not cheaper on weekday :(

iamthewitch said...

++ means +10% service charge and +5% government tax, so total = +15% on top of the price stated. Not cheap definitely :(

chiaoju said...

wooooo... maybe can go try for mum's bday. but i bet it's gonna be jam-pack with HUMANS!

cfh said...

doesn't sound like a good deal... rather go to Shogun...

foongpc said...

OMG! The oysters so big and delicious! The coconuts - are they as good as the ones in Jogoya?

I noticed they used the same concept as Jogoya eg. the clips and also same Haagen Dasz brand of ice cream.

Were there any wine and alcoholic drinks as well?

No scallops? That's a pity. I also suspect they purposely cook slower so that you all exceed your time limit. Haha!

In your opinion, which is better, Tenji or Jogoya?

iamthewitch said...

chiaoju: When is your mom's bday? Let me know if you like it :)

cfh: Haven't tried Shogun before, I should keep that in mind. :)

foongpc: The coconuts are as good as Jogoya :) I don't remember Jogoya serving Haagen Dazs ice-cream! Maybe it was too long ago. No, there were no alcoholic drinks... Hmm, actually if you compare Tenji and Jogoya, for the same price, Jogoya is better.