Fabulous Omakase Lunch @ GOTO on 1Oct2014

sakizuki - a selection of small appetizers

sakizuke(先附) – a selection of small appetizers

GOTO is closing for renovations on 26.10.2014 & reopening on 11.11.2014.

i had wanted to go GOTO all these while but somehow did not get to do. a friend suggested recently & 5 of us decided to go for the  S$68pax omakase lunch on 1.10.2014. there was no GST so it was just S$75nett! 🙂

GOTO at 14 ang siang road is currently a kaiseki only restaurant. lunch is 6-course at S$68pax & dinner S$180pax & S$280pax. the chef owner GOTO HISAO, was previously the personal chef to the japanese ambassador to singapore.  after the renovation it will be remodelled to a casual restaurants. according to the server lunch sets would be like S$40 onwards.

we were wondering about the economics of a straight kaiseki restaurant where the dishes & ingredients were limited,  vs a normal restaurant with an extensive menu, dishes & ingredients. we were of course out of our depths, no expert in f&b, but perhaps the main objective was to increase traffic & customers. kaiseki restaurant would have a limited number of patrons. a casual restaurant would attract a larger customer base & the sitting could be doubled from the current 20?

seems the restaurant name would be changed as well to G-One. couldn’t figure out G-One, but we were kidding the place change from GOTO to GONE? is that good? 🙂

who cares as long as food is good right? & it was, quite excellent! 🙂

sakizuki - a selection of small appetizers

sakizuke(先附) – a selection of small appetizers

ikura on enoki mushrooms

ikura on enoki mushrooms

we had the first course sakizuke(先附) – a selection of small appetizers. it had a delicious pickled sanma (秋刀鱼), a equally delicious tofu, pickled ika (squid), some vege, and ikura on enoki in small bowl. really good! we were saying if every dish could be like this.  they were, quite! maybe minus the rice. 🙂

sashimi moriawase = maguro, hirame, hamachi, hotate, anago

sashimi moriawase = maguro, hirame, hamachi, hotate, anago

the sashimi moriawase = maguro, hirame, hamachi, hotate, anago was just incredible! they told us its maguro, but it was so sweet its like akamai (lean toro). hotate was just 1/2 a piece but very sweet. same for hirame (flat fish) & hamachi (yellow tail). the anago (conger eel) was an expensive item too but actually that was my least preferred among the quality sashimi.

tempura moriawase

tempura moriawase

the tempura moriawase was served differently w/o the dip & radish & wasabi. there was a lemon & a dish with what looked like green tea powder but actually salt. the server missed out explanation at our table for this dish, so we were guessing the lemon should go on the salt (lemon juice with salt is a very good dip for yakiniku), anyway a few of us including myself was too quick & just squeezed the lemon on the tempura. there was shisamo (pregnant fish), asparagus, 2 like fish cakes etc. very good dish. 🙂

a simmered kamo (duck) dish

a simmered kamo (duck) dish

we have a simmered duck dish. i liked it very much. 1 friend felt the duck had too gamey taste. the rest didn’t. a few thought the duck was tough. 1 said the sauce a bit sweet (japanese like to add sugar to their dishes).

for me though it was quite perfect – duck, yam etc. 🙂

gohan (rice) set

chicken & mushroom gohan (rice) set

a friend said that the mushroom smell was really good. & indeed it was. however i & a few of us did not think this good was great. it did not really had the wok hae of a good chinese fried rice, nor the flavours of a good japanese unagi chahan (fried rice) like say in zen or its sister restaurant en japanese dining. nor is it flavourful c/w the very nice kamameshi at sun with moon.

of course we were just picking bones. haha! 🙂

dessert - mochi, fruits, black sesame ice cream

dessert – mochi, fruits, black sesame ice cream

dessert was good too. kochi i liked, good quality fruits & a great black sesame ice cream.

i think this a very good lunch for S$75. i consider this perhaps more refine & better than the S$68 omakse lunch at hachi & about same as (or sometimes better than depending on menu) the S$68 monthly lunch special at kuriya dining. anyway i have booked to go back next week. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Asahi Sushi Shinjuku Sumitomo 50F Course Dinner on 9Apr2013

Kinki - a fatty Japanese delicacy

Kinki – a fatty Japanese delicacy

arrived Tokyo on 9apr2013.

had dinner arranged with my daughter & JH. they were already travelling Japan. decided to book a course dinner in a comfortable environment & easy to locate place, so booked Asahi Sushi at 50F, Shinjuku Sumitomo Building. They had a few course menu promotions for the month & great views up there. 🙂

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JH & I had the 7-course with kuroge wagyu beef dinner. My daughter had a 10-item sushi moriwase set.

for the course dinner, we also had a small veg salad with mayo otoshi. The 7 courses were-

  1. hokkaido crab claw with unagi & vinegared pickles (below photo left)
  2. maguro & tai sashimi (above photo middle)
  3. chawanmushi (above photo right)
  4. kinki (japanese delicacy & chef’s favourite here)
  5. kuroge wagyu grilled
  6. 8-item sushi moriwase
  7. miso soup

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the veg salad, chawanmushi & miso soup were non-events. the crab & unagi vinegared dish was very tasty. the sashimi were very average even for Singapore.

the kinki was fabulous. this very sweet tasting fatty fish is like between a cod (not as fatty) & chilean seabass (the latter is my perennial favourite). super! 🙂

kuroge wagyu (黑毛和牛) rare

kuroge wagyu (黑毛和牛) rare

the kuroge wagyu was good I guess but kind of underwhelming. I always felt Japanese wagyu were so good they were best eaten teppanyaki or yakiniku style rather than western fine dining style. When Andre Chiang was at Jaan years back, we use to frequent there a bit more. he had this kagoshima wagyu done in this Gordon Ramsay style similar to what’s done here in the above photo. It was good of course but I would much rather have it sizzling hot & with the freshly seared aburi marbling flavour. 🙂

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10-piece sushi platter

my daughter was not too impressed with her sushi platter (above photo). It had anago, 2 pieces maki, hamachi? (not sure), ikura (these were small & I much preferred the large ones so maybe it was not ikura), tai, aji, prawn, hotate, maguro uni & akamai (lean toro). after I later tried the very good quality sushi at Daikokuya 大黑屋 kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi, I had to agree with her that you could get equal or better quality sushi at much lower price but of course ambience and view was a world apart. 🙂

her set also included the vinegared crab dish & miso soup.

8-items sushi moriwase

8-items sushi moriwase

for the course dinner, we had a 8-item sushi platter-maguro, saba, akamai, hotate, amaebi, uni, ikura (small ones) & anago. It was good but same observations as my daughter. 🙂

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was the dinner worth it? my daughter’s set cost 2730yen=S$30++. good kaiten sushi not withstanding, S$30++ for a plump, succulent, sweet hokkaido crab claw + 10 piece sushi including akamai, uni, anago, ikura, hotate would  really be nothing to complain about in Singapore.

the 7-course dinner cost 6090yen=S$67++.  here with kinki & kuroge wagyu thrown in, I would say it was still a very good set c/w say Kuriya Dining which offer very good monthly S$88++ set but my usual eat at Mikuni would beat this hands down in terms of overall satisfaction if not value of ingredients. 🙂

& that was before factoring in the free view of Shinjuku night skyline, privacy & quiet ambience.

c.h.e.f andy

Asashi Sushi @ 8F Mylord Building Shinjuku South Exit on 9Apr2013

I was early for 2pm check in at Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. My Scoot flight TZ202 touched down on time at Narita 11am. I travel only with handcarry (nothing to shop or cart back) for the longest time, and so got on the NEX (Narita Express) by 11.30am and arrived Shinjuku 12.40pm and at Sunroute soon after.

So I decided I might as well have a bite. As I was getting out of Shinjuku South Exit, I noticed that there was a Asahi Sushi outlet at Mylord Building there. So I took the short walk (300m) & got on the lift to 8th floor.

Asahi Sushi @ 8F Milord Shinjuku South Exit

Asahi Sushi @ 8F Milord Shinjuku South Exit

As I was meeting my daughter & her friend later for dinner (they were already travelling in Japan), I decided to just take sashimi.

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tokusen sashimi moriase

There was an impressive looking Tokusen sashimi moriwase which meant specially selected mixed sashimi (see photo above) at 1800yen, so I decided to just have that.

tokusen sashimi moriwase

tokusen sashimi moriwase

This was what I had-

  1. 5 slices of aji (horse mackerel)
  2. 2 slices of hamachi (yellow tail)
  3. 2 amaebi (sweet prawn)
  4. 2 tai (sea bream or snapper)
  5. 1/2 a awabi =5 slices of abalone
  6. negitoro (minced tuna belly)
  7. 1 whole slug I ate several times before but didn’t know the name (I found out later name was tsubugai)
  8. 2 centrepiece akamai (lean toro)

The aji was very good & went very well withe the dash of ginger. We get very good aji in Singapore as well. The hamachi were quite ok but I had much better plump ones before. The tai was average but at least not those with much residue, The amaebi was good.

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The awabi was fabulous (though the photo was not as I was unable to focus well). I had Japanese abalone sashimi before but usually they were a bit tough & chewy. & they were expensive and not great so I wouldn’t usually order them. These were not tough at all & very sweet, a really nice treat!

The negitoro was also very sweet (I later tried a pair of negitoro sushi at a conveyor belt sushi place & though they looked beautiful they had very little taste).

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the slug thingy (tsubugai) was ok but still a bit tough, never my favourite but quite ok here. and the akamai – lean toro – was also good.

The 1800 yen price (=S$20++) was of course extremely cheap for the items offered. In Singapore it would be difficult to get this for S$80++.

tokusen sashimi moriwase

tokusen sashimi moriwase

So as we all already know, good Japanese food is a lot more expensive in Singapore on a quality-price comparison. There were many other good sets at Asahi Sushi like a good chirashi don for 1490yen – and it looked as good & more in quantity c/w the one at Ginza Kuroson, which to me offers the best priced quality chirashi don in Singapore at S$20++ for lunch inclusive of salad, dessert & ice tea.

c.h.e.f  andy