Expensive & Very Average Chirashi Don @ Tatsu Asia Square 2 on 7Nov2014

aji sashimi

aji sashimi – S$35

had a 5pax family dinner for a special occasion at tatsu asia square 2 on 7.11.2014. 🙂

daughter was keen to explore the different chirashi don. decided to try this place even though i was not impressed with the photo of the S$40 chirashi don on the website menu.

since we were there, might as well try some of their recommendations.

aji sashimi

aji sashimi – S$35

years ago (almost 20years coming to think of it), my wife & i used to enjoy mezzanine japanese food at the sushi counter with 50% hyatt card. the aji sashimi usually cost about S$45 for the whole fish before discount. & before that, even earlier we had great aji sashimi at unkai at nassim hill, can’t remember the hotel now but i think it was at the current site of ‘the nassim’ (condo).

i don’t know the current price of aji sashimi at sushi restaurants as seldom take now, but S$35 seemed reasonable (though at first the server say S$25 to S28 depending on size, but later became S$35).

the aji did not disappoint. it was very sweet. the presentation though was somewhat disappointing. i told the server they should serve the sashimi as a whole fish like most sushi bar & also in japan, but i get it that they might be offering what they thought was good service by serving up the flesh & having the bones deep-fried. usually sushi bars would serve the sliced sashimi with the fishbones whole, then when you finish the sashimi they would take it away to deep-fry. unkai even did it better by “pengkang” i.e. bbq which was not as convenient as deep-fried but tasted a lot better. 🙂

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

we ate up the deep-fried fish head & bones.

gyu tataki

gyu tataki – S$15

gyu tataki

gyu tataki – S$15

gyu tataki was a recommended dish, it was good & a dish i would order if i come again (not likely though!).

kaisen chirashi don

kaisen chirashi don – S$40

kaisen chirashi don

kaisen chirashi don – S$40

the menu showed kaizen (海鲜) chirashi don as S$40 & aburi (torched or flamed) don as S$50. i asked the server & she confirmed that both had exact same ingredients. i guess one needed to pay for the labour & torch. we decided to order 3 chirashi don.

i would say this was a huge disappointment (which was not unexpected i having seen the website photo). it was a good chirashi of course. the fish were fresh & sweet. they were very thin slices though & w/o any quality sashimi cuts.

compare this with the chirashi don at mikuni which has 2 pieces otoro, botan ebi, uni at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts). actually there was just nothing to compare! or the S$20 chirashi don set at ginza kuroson.  granted kuroson’s is only for lunch & the sashimi cuts were just as thin. or with the sashimi & unagi don set at sun with moon.

i have not yet tried the chirashi don at flying squirrel & sushi kou, but they are around S$25 & it looks to me the quality would be better than here at tatsu.

salmon skin temaki

salmon skin temaki

the salmon skin temaki was also a recommended dish. it was simple but nice & tasty.

crayfish teppanyaki

crayfish teppanyaki – S$28

crayfish teppanyaki

crayfish teppanyaki – S$28

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice – S$13

our helper does not take raw fish. so we ordered a seafood fried rice plus a crayfish teppanyaki. these were good restaurant standard. though the japanese preparation with lots of mayo not my favourite.

tenderloin teppanyaki

tenderloin teppanyaki – S$28

aburi salmon maki

aburi salmon maki

my other daughter ordered a beef tenderloin and a aburi salmon maki. tenderloin was 200g size & quite tasty. & the maki was again good standard.

banoffee cake

banoffee cake

we got back home for the banoffee cake which i made for the occasion.

the cake was quite perfect this time, not so sweet with a bit more bananas, very well balanced cake.

c.h.e.f andy

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Quality + Great Value Alacarte Buffet @ Zen on 21Jul2014

salmon sashimi

salmon sashimi

bought 2xS$33.80 groupons & went with sis to zen at ue square for ala carte lunch buffet on 21.7.2014. 🙂

normal lunch buffet is priced at S$42++pax. i had also taken their lunch sets starting from S$16++pax (but some years back) & they were pretty good. quality of food & cooking had always been good here.

for the ala carte buffet, the main event was the wagyu shabu shabu. there was also pork & whole array of jap dishes. only set back was the lack of good sashimi other than salmon for the buffet. you could order them as additional ala carte orders & they were at good discounted prices too e.g. what looked liked a very good 10 piece sushi set was going for like S$18. i wouldn’t order that while i was having a alacarte buffet lunch though.

aburi salmon sushi & maguro susghi

aburi salmon sushi & maguro susghi

aburi salmon sushi

aburi salmon sushi

the salmon sashimi was good, probably about chikuwatei & momoya standard. anyway these days many places served good salmon sashimi. the aburi salmon sushi & maguro sushi were both good but the rice was so huge you could not order more w/o leaving the rice. anyway i set aside the rice for later dishes like the kimchi buta & ebi ika basil dish. 🙂

kaki hoba yaki

kaki hoba yaki

breaded oyster

breaded oyster

both the broiled oysters & the breaded oysters were good. we did not order additional as could not finish so much food!

also ordered 2 pieces ebi tempura (forgot to take pictures). good too. flour a bit much. we did not add orders.

steak

steak

steak

steak

unlike the sister restaurant en japanese dining bar, they did not serve beef carpaccio, but the wafu steak was really very good, very tender & sweet.

thai style basil prawns & squid

thai style basil prawns & squid

kimchi buta

kimchi buta

the 2 thai & korean dishes showed the quality of cooking here. kimchi buta was just ok but with lots of pork & belly pork. the basil prawns & squid was very good, the standerd of a good thai restaurant. i kept my rice for these dishes. 🙂

zen at UE square

zen at UE square

shabu shabu

shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

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vege set for shabu shabu

for the main event wagyu shabu shabu, the beef was excellent. perhaps azmaya was better. hard to tell, but this was very good anyway. 🙂

it came in 1/2 & full portion (200g). we had the full portion for 2pax but could not add more. we also ordered 1/2 portion belly pork. it was just 6 slices & it was very good. we just could not add more.

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

decided to take 1/2 portion of unagi chahan to share. it was still very large portion & we took about 70%. it was very flavourful with unagi pieces but no better than a good fried rice at imperial treasure or crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao.

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

creme brûlée

creme brûlée

also shared a tofu cheese cake & a creme brûlée. both were good. creme brûlée a bit sweeter & we did not finish it.

the normal weekday lunch buffet price is S$42++pax & dinner S$52++pax. still ok i guess if you take a lot of beef. the S$33.80nett groupon deal was of course superb value. 🙂

just to add that the service was overall good. not always the most attentive, but very polite friendly when they served you. ice water was free unlike other places (tajimaya does not serve tap water & charges S$5.90 for 1 litre bottled water), so the S$33.80 groupon was all we paid.

c.h.e.f andy

Wagyu for Dinner

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

mmmm was having offer on grain-fed ribeye at S$29.90/kg. i bought some earlier & did 1 of my best pan-grilled ribeye steak, tagliata di manzo for RI buddies 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014.

offer ends on 31.3.2014, so i decided to get some more. it turned out 1.5kg more! it’s quite ok really. i can put most of it in the freezer & eat 1 month later…haha. 🙂

i needed S$50 to get free parking at west coast plaza so i need not rush & try to get to the car before 10mins grace was up, so i picked up a 220g piece of wagyu MBS 6/7 to make the goal past S$50.

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

decided to cook the wagyu steak in the evening. for the side i used what was in the fridge – a leftover 1/2 yellow onion, & 1/3 of an open packet of shitake mushrooms (about 50g to 60g) in the chiller.

the technique is quite simple – very high heat (so vegetable oil best as higher smoke temperature than lard or butter or olive oil) & i usually flip once (can add butter at this time if required) or if the first side is not charred enough, i flip a second time. the charring, maillard reaction, gordon ramsay method and heston blumenthal’s video on resting of the meat were discussed in the post tagliata di manzo. 🙂

for the evening, i had a beautifully charred wagyu steak, rare to medium rare. simply heavenly! 🙂

my wife’s friend bought me a torch some weeks back when they came for dinner. i have not tried it out yet. will probably do on some of the grain-fed ribeye later, and experiment on the japanese aburi (烧) & torch recipes.

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Lunch Kaiseki @ Kuriya Dining on 16Nov2013

tokusen (特选) sashimi moriawase

tokusen (特选) sashimi moriawase=chutoro, akaebi, mirugai, uni wrapped with tai

had a most enjoyable lunch kaiseki at kuriya dining @ great world city with my wife on saturday 16.11.2013. they served an excellent daily S$58 lunch kaiseki (there was also a S$48 option which has sushi instead of sashimi). 🙂

this lunch was even better than the S$138 kaiseki dinner on 4.6.2013 i had here! the only caveat is that as the menu changes monthly, some months’ menu maybe more attractive than others, so it makes sense to check the website menu. for this day everything was par excellence!

kuriya dining november lunch kaiseki menu

november lunch kaiseki menu

sensai (前菜)=fish liver, chestnut, pumpkin jelly, reef squid, mushroom

sensai (前菜)=fish liver, chestnut, pumpkin jelly, reef squid, mushroom

angler fish liver

angler fish liver

chutoro

chutoro,mirugai(geoduck) in foreground

sashimi =maguro, kampachi, sake

sashimi moriawase =maguro, kampachi, sake

akaebi (red prawn) head

akaebi (red prawn) head

grilled prawn & fish with superb truffle sauce

grilled prawn & fish with superb truffle sauce

simmered cod in plum sauce

simmered cod in plum sauce

the first course, sensai (前菜) consisted of angler fish liver, chestnut, pumpkin jelly, reef squid, mushroom. angler fish (ugliest in the world?) liver was such a fine sublime dish, simply delish! the other items – bigfin reef squid etc were all good too. 🙂

the sashimi moriawase (maguron, sake, kampachi) was very good, sweet & fresh. for 1 set we topped up S$20 for the sashimi & got an exquisite tokusen (特选) sashimi moriawase with chutoro, akaebi, mirugai, uni wrapped with tai (top photo). this was super good value upgrade. the akaebi was the size of botan ebi (or bigger for this one) but not as sweet. we asked for the head to be deepfried. it was excellent every time. perhaps next time we would ask for aburi (torched) chutoro. 🙂

the grilled prawn & fish were good if ordinary but the truffle sauce was super.

the simmered cod with plum sauce was another par excellence dish. sweet, firm cod with slight sour sauce, the best! 🙂

ikura sake chirashi don set

chirashi don set (ikura, sake, tai)

dessert=macaron,fruits & vanilla ice cream

dessert=macaron,fruits & vanilla ice cream

& after so many quality dishes we got a very nice chirashi don (with loads of ikura, sake & tai) to finish off. this lunch was so gooood!

i always wonder why japanese cuisine had such a wide menu & yet almost no dessert, like only fruits & ice cream & maybe jelly…my impression is all japanese dessert are tea dessert of the red bean kind, and the best dessert in tokyo, shinjuku etc are all the western dessert which the japanese do so well, maybe better than most western places.

anyhow we had a good combination of western dessert – a macaron with vanilla ice cream (instead of jam), fruits & 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream).

this an excellent lunch menu that i would return for everytime. c/w keyaki’s weekend S$60pax brunch mini kaiseki, i would consider both the S$58pax menu & the upgrade S$78pax menu at kuriya dining a much better offering. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Sumptuous Semi-buffet @ One Ninety at Four Seasons Hotel on 30May2013

roast suckling pig with stuffing was sooooooooo good!

roast suckling pig with stuffing was sooooooooo good!

It’s my turn to buy the monthly dining quartet meal. I had not been to One Ninety @ Four Seasons Hotel for years but I recalled they had a good semi-buffet. & there was a 1 free for 3 paying promotion using DBS card ending May2013, so we went there for lunch on 30.5.2013, in time for the promotion. 🙂

& it was a super, super lunch. I would go again w/o the promotion. 🙂

the appetizer & dessert buffet was priced at $38pax, and $48pax if we added a main course on the menu, which we did.  & on saturdays & sundays, they throw in a Moet champagne buffet at $58pax.

The suckling pig with stuffing (top photo) was nothing short of fabulous – sooooooooooo good! it was so flavourful, tasty. I always felt nothing beat chinese roast suckling pig. still do. but this was as good as it gets, perhaps different (as the focus was not just on the crispy skin but overall flavours) but on par. 🙂

langoustine or scampi - sweet, quite good

langoustine or scampi – sweet, quite good

snow crab legs

snow crab legs

the langoustine or scampi was sweet, quite good but I actually thought the snow crab legs were better. though not the very best but still very good quality, and a few of us had a few helpings. it was sweet & not so salty as what Kuisinbo & some poorer buffets served.

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the pork terrine in above left photo was the poorer one- could skip as there were so many good dishes. there was a better one with pig ears, which I had forgotten to take picture.

sushi – most sushi in buffet were a waste of time! this one I only took the aburi mayo prawn & smoked duck (twice I took meaning quite good..haha..). 🙂

pork pate below & pressed foie gras on top

pork pate below & pressed foie gras on top

the pork pate was extremely good – I took 3 pieces. 🙂   I did not take the pressed foie gras which according to my friends were even better.

excellent roast duck & stuffing

excellent roast duck & stuffing

the excellent roast duck was almost as good as the suckling pig – both the duck & stuffing – & yet tasted different. 🙂

1st of my 3.5 plates haha!

1st of my 3.5 plates haha!

nobody would believe me after this if I tell people I generally do not go for buffets. haha! 🙂

we didn’t really need to take the main course. we tried to cancel the main course but to be fair to the restaurant they said they already prepared the items once the order was placed. and the waiting staff here were really exemplary – they even “ta pao” for one of us the main course as we really could not finish. we would really not expect to ta pao for a buffet but it was a great gesture so we accepted happily! 🙂

we thought the main courses might be 1/2 portions like the French servings, but here they came in full portions. 🙂

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I had a medium rare rack of lamb (above left) – it was very good. I thought it didn’t look great – my first impression was that the sauce might kill it -but it turned out to be quite complementary.  the medium rare tenderloin was very good too.

glazed beef ribs - kind of braised then pan seared

glazed beef ribs – kind of braised then pan seared

WH had the glazed beef ribs – kind of braised then pan seared. I guessed it was good too but braised items were usually too heavy even for normal-sized meals. 🙂

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my dining companions were thrilled with the dessert spread..they seemed quite average to me though. i was told the chocolate mousse was very good.  the macarons were a bit too sweet for me. I did enjoy the cheese spread & condiments though. 🙂

I certainly plan to come back for this again (w/o the main course), with or without the promotion. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy