Hilton Kuala Lumpur
3, Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur
This is a rather odd restaurant where menus are really on the high end and quite exclusive with prices to match. I describe it as odd because for all that the ambience is really missing. It is tucked in a corner and seems to share the same entrance as the Chinese restaurant. In fact you notice the Chinese restaurant more as you enter Senses because it is perched one floor above and very visible to you as you walk in. In fact we were a little ‘lost’ when we went in trying to find someone to check our reservations.
Then there was the lay out which sort of put us off. In a corner to the right appears to be the main area – with some tables sort of arranged to fit the size and shape of the room, but it was unimpressive. In fact it looked a bit tight and we asked to change to the private dining room. The reason was because for a table of six, they gave us an oval shaped table which you had to pull out for those sitting inside to get in. There went the ambience as fast as you can!
The other side was no better where after the main door you turn left into another more awkward corner with a few tables and with the diners from the Chinese restaurant looking down at you. So the room it was - which was a bit better with a round table. But to call it a private dining room was a huge mistake because after a while it got so stuffy we had to ask that the doors be opened. It is significant that this request came from two in our party who detest air-conditioning!
And finally, the disappointment of the menu. On item was not available. The other – the prime rib – had only 2 portions left. So the other 2 who wanted the prime rib had to choose something else. To me this is close to criminal for a restaurant of supposed standing – and on a Saturday night to boot!!
Perhaps the only thing that made up for it was the fact that service was really attentive and careful and the waiter was most pleasant and informative when we asked what credit cards were listed for ‘discounts’ although we did think that perhaps it might have been friendlier for him to volunteer that bit of information instead of waiting for us to ask. Anyway he was such a nice server we could overlook this.
As for the food, it was good where they graciously divided servings into two when we were sharing certain items. The Caesar’s salad with soft shell crabs was superb. So too were the steaks. The wines were also outstanding. The only down side was the lamb rack which was still rather red although we had asked for it to be medium well. And we noted that for the price, the salads were really not generous. When i think very carefully i can remember other restaurants for fine dining where prices and quality match portions. Alas this is not the case with Senses.
For me, the acid test for any restaurant is whether I will go back again. My answer for Sense is – No, unless I am invited. The reason is simply that I do not think it is really value for money in terms of ambience, comfortable dining, and a menu that can be reasonably priced and well maintained. Can you imagine if I brought guests for an important do, praising the place, only to find out they have run out of items or have them squeezed into rather tight spaces? And then pay these high prices for the experience of dining there.
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