Wonderful Matsutake Autumn Bento @ Mikuni on 20Sep2015

mikuni autumn matsutake bento

mikuni autumn matsutake bento

mikuni a favourite destination for me.

mikuni’s chirashi don is still the best in singapore for me.

matsutake lunch special bento

matsutake lunch special bento

i wanted to try the autumn matsutake bento set, so today 3 of us came for lunch on 20.9.2015. ^^

it’s F1 race day, so many roads were closed. i googled and saw that bras basah road entrance to raffles city was open & also i could returned by beach road in the direction to middle road which was also opened.

i drove through orchard road with some traffic, but overall it was perfect. & carpark was empty.

matsutake (pine mushrooms) otoshi

matsutake (pine mushrooms) otoshi

it’s a pine mushroom set, so every dish had some matsutake. 🙂

matsutake (pine mushrooms) otoshi

matsutake (pine mushrooms) otoshi

it was ok.

excellent sashimi=chutoro, hotate, kampachi, uni

excellent sashimi=chutoro, hotate, kampachi, uni

sashimi was excellent! chutoro & hotate were fantastic cuts.

excellent sashimi=chutoro, hotate, kampachi, uni

excellent sashimi=chutoro, hotate, kampachi, uni

chutoro really melt in the mouth & hotate had incredible bite. kampachi were very sweet too. wish they gave more uni, haha! 🙂

tempura

tempura

tempura was lovely. chestnut really nice.

tempura

tempura

matsutake has a bit of woody? mushroom flavour. daughter didn’t like it so much.

sea bream teppanyaki & snow crab legs

sea bream teppanyaki & snow crab legs

teppanyaki sea bream seemed to be the dry treated type like many japanese fish including salmon & cod. you get them in japan a lot, in bentos, restaurants, supermarts.

i liked it but not so favourite for wife & daughter.

sea bream teppanyaki & snow crab legs

sea bream teppanyaki & snow crab legs

the snow crab legs were excellent.

kagoshima wagyu

kagoshima wagyu

& the kagoshima wagyu was sublime! ^^

kagoshima wagyu

kagoshima wagyu

there’s some mustard seeds/sauce. i put a bit of wasabi on the beef also. just so wonderful. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu

kagoshima wagyu

it felt like not the very chargrilled preparation. wonder if i can do this. google a bit & see.

ikura kamameshi(釜飯)

ikura kamameshi(釜飯)

i normally don’t particularly fancy kamameshi as i used to think they tasted average until i had very good tasty kamameshi at sun with moon @ wheelock.

ikura kamameshi(釜飯)

ikura kamameshi(釜飯)

this one here though was very average.

panna cotta

panna cotta

panna cotta was very good! great texture & bite.

panna cotta

panna cotta

daughter though was still thinking of the panna cotta at pizzeria balognett at tremezzo lake como, but i think this was very good already. 🙂

with amex FAR (feed at raffles) privileges, the 7-course set was S$60++pax, very good deal i feel!

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Sashimi & Sushi from Fukuoka Mitsukoshi at Tenjin on 28Jan2015

uni 1500yen

uni 1500yen

we arrived fukuoka hakataeki by train from beppu about noon time on 28.1.2015. 🙂

after checking into our hotel JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Fukuoka on the west side of hakataeki, we decided to take the subway to tenjin to walk around & explore the area.

it was a tenjin underground city with huge shopping streets – tenjin chikagai.

we planned to go to the canal city & maybe try out the yatai 屋台 at nakasu in the evening, so decided to go back to hotel for a rest first.

my wife & i had always enjoyed sashimi & sushi from the supermarkets. this time we bought a few from mitsukoshi at tenjin to enjoy our own omakase sashimi treat in the hotel room…haha!^^

on the way back to hotel, we decided to share a ramen at ichiran at B2F of fukuoka bank bldg. in front of hakata station.^^

the uni, needless to say, was heavenly – so sweet, fragrant, melt in the mouth.

toro 900yen

toro 900yen

& the toro, it was excellent! maybe it was chutoro but it was quite fatty, & simply lovely!^^

hotate 500yen

hotate 500yen

hotate always good, plump, sweet, tasty.

sayori 500yen

sayori 500yen

we had not take sayori  (flying fish or half-beak) for long time since the good old days at unkai (tanglin road) & mezzanine as we don’t go (super rare) sushi counter nowadays in singapore. this was good though i now don’t miss it much.

shellfish sushi 1100yen

shellfish sushi 1100yen

& we had a top quality sushi platter, with akagai, torigai, awabi (abalone), hotate & atlantic surf clam etc.

all these came to 4500yen! & absolutely restaurant quality in the best jap restaurants in singapore. the box of uni alone would cost S$60++, likely S$80++.

such a wonderful feasting!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Ohmi Wagyu & Early Valentine Dinner @ ME.OUE on 12Feb2015

A4 ohmi wagyu

A4 ohmi wagyu

decided to do an early valentine dinner with wife on 12.2.2015. 🙂

we do that usually, no point paying through the nose on 14feb for poorer food & service.^^

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

there were quite good reviews for me@oue at OUE Bayfront. this place offers a choice of 3 cuisine – french/european, japanese & chinese. & of course it offers spectacular views on the roof terrace.

parking was S$3.21 after 6pm.

service was quite good, friendly not the top professional type which could be overly formal.

we asked for recommendations. server suggested red lobster & lamb (chinese), miso cod, the signature A4 ohmi wagyu (japanese) and pan-seared dorade (a fish) & tenderloin (french). for appetisers, he recommended crystal prawns (chinese), poached egg (french).

we enquire about sashimi moriawase. i showed the server a blog photo on sashimi moriawase which included chutoro, otoro, uni etc. the server returned to say that they were having maguro, sea bream etc (probably hirame, hamachi etc). well, it pays to ask. this nothing like what was written & not exciting at all!

squid ink brioche

squid ink brioche

we were served a squid ink brioche & butter.

tuna tartare

tuna tartare

we ordered the maguro tartare. this came to akami (lean toro), hotate & avocado. the starter was very nice, though i agreed with my wife that it was not very fine (or refine). it was a good cut so it was very tasty, but no better than the S$18.80 chirashi don at sumiya.

scallop carpaccio

scallop carpaccio

the scallop carpaccio was very fresh & tasty, a reasonable serving.

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

the server recommended the red lobster (S$55). i saw the photos before & thought it was 1/2 lobster but in fact it was a full whole lobster. the lobster was fresh, bouncy, very tasty & the chilli crustaceans sauce was excellent, better than many indifferent chilli crab places.

A4 ohmi wagyu

A4 ohmi wagyu

the signature A4 ohmi wagyu (S$145) was quite expectedly, superb!

this was japan standard, better than most of the bungo wagyu 丰后和牛we had in kyushu (yufuin, beppu, fukuoka) during our recent trip.

it was better than what we had at arossa previously & also about same as the kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki at mikuni. it cost nearly 2x what we paid at arossa (but arossa is closed now & even just prior to closing, palate privileges 50% discount was withdrawn & the wagyu cut was no more on the menu).

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

i ordered the S$16 lava cake because it had good reviews. that was a mistake. it was competent but i think no better than my own lava cake, though lately i don’t do that much so fumbled couple times when i tried to do it. i must try it again!

MBS skyline

MBS skyline

marina square skyline

marina square skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

after dinner, we went to the roof terrace outside for the nice night views of MBS & the marina bay. it was windy, there were very few people & it was a very pleasant & brief stop.^^

overall, price was S$193nett (inclusive of a S$20 red wine with no discount) after 50% palate discounts for 2pax, including japanese A4 ohmi wagyu & a whole lobster.

for me that was a very good deal. i would certainly come back for both the red lobster & also the ohmi wagyu. it was not quite fine dining yet, but it was overall pretty good & the 2 mains were just awesome!

c.h.e.f andy

Great Mazechirashi Don @ Aoki Restaurant on 10Dec2014

mazechirashi don

S$40 mazechirashi don set

a friend bought me chirashi don lunch@ aoki today on 10.12.2014. 🙂

this like the gold standard of chirashi don, according to many reviewers. ^^

well was it for me? must say it was very good.

otoshi

otoshi

otoshi

otoshi

we were served an otoshi. very nice. not sure what it was. some shellfish maybe. mirugai (geoduck)?? texture yes but didn’t look quite like.

salad

salad

salad

salad

nice salad with ponzu sauce.

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S$40 mazechirashi don set

& the main event mazechirashi don.

there was uni (not much), chutoro (seemed quite a bit), & the usual hamachi, salmon, maguro, tamago, bits of anago (conger eel), and ikura, also some pickled ginger.

the sashimi amount was substantial & very tasty eaten with the rice.

basically it was a barachirashi don. it would beat tatsu’s very expensive & ordinary S$40 chrashi don hands down.

ginza kuroson S$20 chirashi don lunch set didn’t have uni or chutoro, so not really up for comparison but that was just S$20!

if i am just looking for a very tasty barachirashi don set, then the one at sun with moon was pretty good. it came with an excellent salmon fish head miso soup too. again w/o expensive uni & chutoro.

and recently i had very good chirashi don lunch set at sumiya for just S$18.80. it had thick cube cuts so it was more of a chirashi don than a barachirashi.

so i guess indeed aoki would ace them all. all except mikuni for me.

mikuni’s chirashi don had 2 thick slices of chutoro, hotate, uni, botan ebi, aburi salmon etc at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts). for me even aoki’s very nice barachirashi don was no comparison.

& it is available for dinner also. but of course feed at raffles 50% discounts only for up to 5pax on sundays & mondays & for only 2pax other days. no perfect deal.

pickles with gohan

pickles with gohan

nice pickles (not salty) & ginger.

trio of dessert

trio of dessert

jelly

jelly

trio of dessert

trio of dessert

quite nice dessert, a plum jelly, nice penna cotta & ice cream. 🙂

for S$40, i can definitely do this again!

c.h.e.f andy

Sumptuous Alluring Omakase @ Hachi on 22Nov2014

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

my wife’s good friend couple bought us a wonderful super delicious omakase dinner at hachi on 22.11.2014. 🙂

my wife & i had been to hachi several times. we introduced the restaurant to them & said we would buy them dinner there, but they sprang this superb omakase on us & bought us instead.

in fact we had never take this S$188pax premium omakase here (restaurant said it’s a new menu started 2014). every time we just took the S$118pax (now increased to S$128 pax) omakase, which was also pretty good. well no complaints. ^^ 🙂

#1 japanese persimmon with persimmon leaf

#1 japanese persimmon

#1 japanese persimmon with persimmon leaf

#1 japanese persimmon

#1 first course was a japanese persimmon came shielded with persimmon leaf. dish was beautiful & exquisite, feeling of koyo (autumn colours). persimmon was very sweet but could not recall the other items. there was goma (sesame) sauce.

#2 ayu fish, tam ago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tam ago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 second course was ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, dish of seaweed. such delicate & beautiful plating. 🙂

ayu is a tasty but flaky (falling apart) fish, not my favourite but ayu shioyaki (鮎塩焼) is a very popular dish (see photo of the open grill here). in small bites for this starter, it was quite nice.

#3 steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu

#3 steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu

#3 third course was a steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu. sea bream was very sweet & tasty. tofu was excellent, very crispy outside & smooth consistency inside.

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 the next course sashimi moriawase for 1pax kinmedai 金目鯛 (japanese golden eye sea bream – see photo here), tai (sea bream), hamachi>> was a real treat. i have not taken sawala before & probably not kinmedai (as sashimi) too.

the kinmedai was really good. 🙂 and of course the chutoro, botan ebi etc etc. ^^

we had really good sashimi moriawase just last week at sumiya on 16.11.2014 which included uni, awabi & akami.

and of course mikuni’s chirashi don sashimi quality was top draw.

but to have this sashimi moriawase as part of an 11-course omakase was truly luxurious, sumptuous. 🙂

the sashimi moriawase for GOTO’s kaiseki was not too bad, but it was expensive & not as good value.

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 fifth course was crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake in a very tasty starchy mountain yam soup. simply yummy. i drank the whole thing.

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 sixth course was a large (3in), firm & tasty oyster. 1 of us found it sandy. it was ok for the rest. it was evidently good enough though as we finished the oysters before i thought of asking the restaurant to replace the oyster. i like this dish very much.

#7 excellent tempura - anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura - anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper

#7 next course was an excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

the konbu (昆布) which japanese use for dashi (clear soup stock) is not edible.

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with xavier, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with xavier, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 eighth course was ohmi wagyu (近江牛) – among the top 3 japanese wagyu – with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes.

taste was simply sublime, out of this world. ^^

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes - a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes - a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser

#9 next was hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser.

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 the server brought us a tray of 10 to 12 sashimi. each diner can pick 3 types of sushi. my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni. the hotate was really good, very huge, plump & sweet. the uni & kinmedai too of course. 🙂

wife had uni, negi toro & kinmedai. the 2 friends each had botan ebi, hotate & uni. 🙂

#11 dessert - yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert - yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 i guess dessert was the least tantalising of the omakase – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice. it was a bit more quantity than quality, good standard & substantial, but not like say japanese melon.

overall this hachi premium omakase was much superior in quality of ingredients & taste c/w the kaiseki we had at GOTO on 23.10.2014, which cost a lot more.

c.h.e.f andy

Very Expensive Kaiseki & Way Below Expectations @ GOTO on 23Oct2014

#1 sakizuki – a selection of small appetizers

#1 sakizuke – a selection of small appetizers

we had good recent experience of GOTO’s S$68 omakase lunch on 1.10.2014.

my wife wanted to buy me a good dinner & also to invite her close couple friends. since GOTO will start renovation very shortly & remodel to a casual non kaiseki restaurant, we decided to order the S$280pax omakase dinner on 23.10.2014.

food was good of course, but relative to the exorbitant price, it was really far below expectations, compared with keyaki, kuriya, hachi & of course mikuni. 😦

#1 sakizuki – a selection of small appetizers

#1 sakizuke – a selection of small appetizers

the #1 sakizuke – a selection of small appetizers 先附 was of very good standard, with a very nice pickled sanma (秋刀鱼) pacific dory which i liked, duck, a periwinkle?, prawn, cured squid, ikura, pickled shimeji mushrooms & spinach.

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi was a very good soup, very clear, tasty soup, with pieces of fish fillet, mushrooms etc.

#2 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#2 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#2 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#3 uni - sashimi moriawase

#3 uni – sashimi moriawase

the #3 sashimi moriawase was a very large serving than the usual served in a kaiseki or course meal. there were 2 chutoro, 1 botan ebi, 2 hotate, several thick cut tako, 2 kampachi, hirame & tai, & uni. it was good standard but no better, in fact the toro was distinctly poorer c/w the S$45 chirashi don (after 50% feed at raffles discounts) at mikuni.

#6 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

#4 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

#6 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

#4 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

the #4 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish) was a good tasty fish but to me it tasted like angkoli (red snapper), so i didn’t really understand why it was expensive. this was a nitsuke or simmered dish.

#5 minced prawn in lily bulb paste

#5 minced prawn in lily bulb + yan paste

the #5 minced prawn in lily bulb paste was an interesting, unique dish. the lily bulb + mountain yam paste had the slightly sticky yam texture, and the dish was very tasty overall. 🙂

#6 miso ebi tempura

#6 miso ebi tempura

#6 miso ebi tempura

#6 miso ebi tempura

as with the S$68 lunch, they served a dry miso tempura. it was very nice. 🙂

#8 kagoshima wagyu

#7 kagoshima wagyu

#8 kagoshima wagyu

#7 kagoshima wagyu

#7 kagoshima wagyu was very good, but the better marbled much tastier kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki at mikuni only cost S$37.50 alacarte after 50% discounts.

#9 gohan - chicken shimeji musroom rice

#8 gohan – chicken shimeji mushroom rice

#9 gohan - chicken shimeji musroom rice

#8 gohan – chicken shimeji mushroom rice

the #8 gohan – chicken shimeji mushroom rice had good mushroom flavours but otherwise no comparison with any kamameshi at sun with moon wheelock or a unagi chahan at zen japanese.

#10 dessert tray

#9 dessert tray

#10 dessert tray

#9 dessert tray

they offered very good dessert – very good japanese melon + grapes. yuzu ice cream, orange jelly & strawberry mousse.

macha - nice end to dinner

macha – nice end to dinner

& i always enjoyed macha.

the kaiseki dinner was very good standard, but for me price was far too exorbitant relative to other good kaiseki restaurants & it was not at all value-for-money.  one could get a very good omakase dinner at hachi for S$118pax. and at this price i would want to try kumo anytime.

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