Restaurants & Bars


Senese at the Mandarin Oriental


Restaurants & Bars Japan

Senese at the Mandarin Oriental

lost squirrel | | Jan 17, 2010 06:28 PM

I didn't want to completely take over the dim sum thread, so here is a quick write-up of the severely disappointing meal I had at Sense.

4 of us went yesterday. We arrived at Sense at 2:45 and left shortly after 5pm, hungry and incredibly disappointed.

We did the 5,000 course - here's a quick run-down:

The first salad was quite nice and 3/4 of really enjoyed it. It was papaya with peanuts and tofu along with some grapefruit with fresh mint leaves.

We were then given 4 dumplings (steamed shrimp, seafood, and two others). These were pretty good, but we did miss the addition of soy/vinegar. When I say 'pretty good' - I mean compared to regular dim sum. It was not michelin level preparation by any means.

We were then given the curry flavored mochi dumpling and a vegetable fried spring roll. Nobody liked the curry because the mochi outside was too sweet but the spring roll was very good.

For our 7th dumpling, we got something that was glutinous rice with chinese sausage inside a very doughy wrapper. Nobody liked this, in fact we didn't even finish it. It was all one-note sweetness from the chinese sausage and dough. This seriously needed soy sauce or something else.

Then we got today's healthy soup, a very bland vegetable soup with unidentifiable animal parts. It lacked seasoning and again, all 4 of us were further disappointed. We did request soy and vinegar though, which they brought which made us all happy.

As we ate the soup, we put in an order for the ribs in black bean sauce, fried shrimp won-tons and a few other dumplings including the beef soup dumplings. The won-tons and the beef came about 45 minutes later. The shrimp won-tons were pretty poor quality, and the mango mayonnaise just tasted like kewpie mayo - but sweeter.

The beef soup dumplings were all lukewarm and dried out, they had been sitting for some time apparently. 3/4 of them had purged their liquid all over the steamers. Lukewarm, dried out and with no soup. Just terrible. At this point, we were all pretty well fed-up. I've had better soup dumplings at every single place I've ever ordered them.

We put in a final order for a few more dumplings only to be told that 3 of our next selections were sold out. We got just the nira dumplings and the pork with shitake which were both good, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The stone-pot rice claimed to have togarashi and dried chicken but it was just more sweet chinese sausage with undetectable togarashi or seasonig. Nobody finished it.

The rice porridge was also pretty bad, underseasoned and this too went unfinished.

At this point, we were still hungry and had passed the last order cut-off so we asked for the dessert right away along with the check. The check came first!
Dessert was another disappointment, the red beans and tapioca in coconut milk was pretty good except for the read beans which were not fully cooked! The tofu was very high quality tofu and I can say nothing bad about that.

The 4 of us split up, went home and we all ended up ordering take-out pizza to fill our stomachs.

I looked again at the Bento review and I'm shocked - we had absolutely no fiery chiles in our clay pot. Our beef dumplings were completely unacceptable and everything else was just 'ok'. Really, I had much better things from a chinese stand in the Takashimaya depachika in Yokohama last weekend.

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