Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Elusive Tenji

Never underestimate the power of "the word of mouth" or blogs. Ever since Tenji opened late last year, they had not spent any monies promoting the Japanese buffet restaurant, but everyone in Klang Valley and beyond seems to know about it.

I reckon it has something to do with people telling friends & family and an email circulating around the offices, which includes the write-up and pictures by Precious Pea. She mentioned in passing to me about the email but I didn't know how far reaching it was, until yesterday my colleague beckoned me over and asked for directions to Tenji. He then showed me the email....from his friend asking him to go for this value for money Japanese buffet. His aim - eat as much of his favourite sashimi for 1 hour (without talking!) at the price of RM29.90++ per person.

Coincidentally, friends of mine asked me to visit Tenji today. They told me it was impossible to get through the telephone number provided as it kept going to the voicemail. Hence, I told them I'll go ahead to the restaurant and see if I can get a booking for all of us. When I got to the place, there was a small queue ahead. Hmmmm, don't tell me it was full on a weekday! I joined the queue and after a few minutes, a couple walked by and said, "I can't believe it is full." Aiks! Being very curious and since I was already there, I waited a little while longer as I wanted to check if other dates were available.

Can you believe it? According to the guy at the counter, the place is booked solid until January 15th (the day the promotion ends)!!!!! I guessed everyone and anyone has heard about it and made it a point to check the whole deal out. BUT from I gather from Precious Pea just now, she has heard claims that some managed to walk in without any bookings...am not sure if those could be odd hours or did they take the VIP packages??? Oh well, I guess I have no karma with Tenji. I'll just salivate over the pictures Precious Pea took of the buffet instead.....sigh!

25 comments:

Precious Pea said...

But Boo, with the bad reviews I heard on their food and services nowadays (due to coping with the huge crowd), i don't think you have anything to lose except the cheap promo.

So sad that my review on them was sooo good and the rest who went days after me didn't have the same pleasant experience as mine. Well..early bird catches the juiciest worm, in my case sashimis!! Hehehe.

Psstt...i got the emails myself from a staff and a close friend who have no idea am the owner of the post. Shocking isn't it?

boo_licious said...

Yeah, but you know me, I'm curious like a cat and want to see what the hoohah is abt. Hence when my friends said join them tday, I thot it would be good esp since I am off these few days. Oh well....never mind, just no karma with that place. Lucky you for getting the best out of the buffet, definitely a case of being at the right place at the right time.

J2Kfm said...

you know what? the day we went on a friday noon, when we called up earlier they said fullybooked

but we still managed to enter and get an outside table.

however, the whole duration of 4 hours we were there, the place was NEVER full, inside and outside.

Precious Pea said...

See?? Just as i suspected. They can't cope with the crowd, hence they decide not to pick up the phone! They should have the lunch promo especially when newly opened. Even at RM78++, people will still come to try.

boo_licious said...

J2kfm - that is why I said, I no karma with them. Some people can get in, while others get turned away at the doorstep.

Precious Pea - I reckon they do this becoz they want to get word out abt their place. Like I said, they definitely succeeded since everyone is talking abt it.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

oh well..i didnt even bother hahaha..

Angie Tan said...

I'm one of the few folks who got that e-mail through a colleague. And we checked out Precious Pea's website.

A colleague eventually booked the place and we went there too. I have yet to blog about my experience and it is true, due to the promo, the place has been booked solid until 15th January.

Will blog about my Tenji experience later. Kekeke

Su-Yee said...

u can view some pics from here too :http://www.adrianphotos.com/blog/index.php/2009/01/tenji-japanese-buffet-soho-kl/

irresistible said...

aww... I want to go also!!!

monchichi said...

Hi there, I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, just not commented (you must have quite a few of us!). I recently started my blog, and get really pleased when people comment, so here I am commenting on yours! Just wanted to let you know that I really like your blog, and am impressed by how frequently you post. I'm a Malaysian based in London, so I do London reviews and maybe food blogging is not popular yet here, because there aren't as many here as there are in Malaysia. Keep up the fab postings!

backStreetGluttons said...

There is something strangely sweet/uplifting about KLites adoring glances and cravings for Japanese food/restaurants even as we see Sushi King & that bad service green color copycat are mostly packed and a Bloggers Japanese Food Club ( the first of its kind we believe ) was dedicatedly set up a year ago. Even some kids rave about the unagi and the (OMG !) the endame. Wonder if its anything to do with health , cleanliness, Jap talk , taste , style , novelty or just plain class...maybe even the healthy price
We hope to really find out soon

Tummythoz said...

Response that good? I'll wait then. Hopefully the promo will be extended or return soon.
Oh, I did get the email too. Pity PP's blog add was not included else her traffic would have been even more incredible!

Calvin Kong said...

service was bad.. i was one of the ppl that got to know that place thru Pea's blog and was lucky enuf to make a booking for it.. tried it few weeks back..

well, not a great miss... but u can salivate over the photos i took in addition to Peas'.. muahahahaha

http://calvinkong.com/eating-out/tenji-japanese-buffet-sohokl-very-bad/

boo_licious said...

Joe - oh well. I wouldn't have bothered but since I am on leave this whole week...

Angie Tan - ah ha, my proven point abt that email. Glad you got in, will drool over the pixs once you post it up.

Thxs Su-Yee. Must limit my looking at all these, now hungry for lunch already...

irrestible - I guess from what I hear, if you go odd hours or just try your luck, they may let you in.

Hiya monchichi. Nice to hear from you and wow, lucky you to be in London. Food is awesome there but damn pricey though.

Happy New Year BSG, can't meet good old small town food though. Aiyah, now I crave for kong piah fresh from the oven.

Tummythoz - her traffic went up a lot also though.

Calvin - I guess that is expected since loads of people go there. Thxs for the pixs, will go see them after I eat or else my tummy will be growling.

mimid3vils said...

I went on new year day (thru booking), foods are OK for me but they don have my favorite unagi & chawanmushi :(

Angie Tan said...

Finally blogged abt Tenji here --> The Tenji Experience

pigengineer said...

I too first heard about this from a colleague who got the email. I believe the magical words from preciouspea that spread this were "Mini Jogoya".

Anyway, I tried calling for 3 days with no luck. Then we (a group of 7) just walked in at 1pm on Sunday, without a booking. Naturally they turned us down. Then we bugged them asking where else can we find japanese food at SohoKL. They directed me to Sushi King (yucks!). We wandered around looking for other restaurants, and eventually wandered back to ask them again. Still no luck. Then being curious, I asked to walk in to view their food selection. Some of us went in to look. My uncle, who is a CEO of some company, managed to persuade them somehow with his smooth business-like talk and they finally caved, and got us a table.

When we were in there, many tables empty. I have come to the conclusion that their management must have limited this special offer to the first 300 customers per day. They are turning people away because at RM29.90, they are making big losses, and only willing to give 300 people per day this price. Also by limiting this, they are guaranteeing people will return after Jan 15th once promo ends. Quite ingenious!

However, I personally feel that I wouldn't return, even if it was RM29.90. As with any buffet, there were too much selection until i didn't have the appetite to eat much. Not very appealing looking, since majority of foods were made to order and couldn't be enticed.

Sorry for such long comments haha.

YilingL said...

Lucky for me, I managed to catch the lunch promotion. There wasn't even a crowd! The sashimi selection was so little- only 3 types. But I think it's quite worth it.

Feedmelah.com! said...

Their viral marketing campaign worked like a charm, must really applaud them for letting so many people know about their restaurant at such a low cost...

This kind of thing doesn't happen in Malaysia much and thumbs up for them for trying.

-William

boo_licious said...

Lucky Mimi - aiks, no unagi and Chawan Mushi; how can?

Ooooh, must go check that out. Thxs Angie.

Thxs for the detailed info pigengineer, no need to be sorry for the long comment. Hmmm, so they were cutting their losses with that fantastic offer they had. Smart of them, as I did read some people plan to revisit this place even though it has reverted to original prices.

Yiling - I guess if we work the costs just on the HaagenDaz icecream, that will be worth it to make your monies. Too bad abt the sashimi selection.

Feedmelah - yeah, good mkting ploy but like I said, bet you things will not be so available like how Jogoya is now. Saw even Marche now has discarded the name Movenpick and is serving Nestle Ice cream now instead of their signature Movenpick ice cream. I wonder why?

mel^^mel said...

I went... um... a little dissapointed... but still worth what i paid... definitely nono for the normal price...

CUMI & CIKI said...

me too! i have no karma with tenji! my friend just showed up and got a place for two - me, no such luck... so how? lol

boo_licious said...

mel mel - oh well, I guess some will like it and some won't.

ciki - I think better to have no karma based on what Precious Pea tells me. Never mind, save monies to eat somewhere else instead.

mel^^mel said...

the latest i heard is that they extended the promo til 15th feb ...

sağlıklıyaşam said...

saat

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