Homemade Chirashi Don & Beef Don on 6Mar2016

homemade chirashi don

homemade chirashi don

wife went on skiing trip with a friend at rusutsu hokkaido, and brought back some fresh sashimi.

we made a japanese don dinner this evening on 6.3.2016. ^^

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

i used my usual chawanmushi 茶碗蒸 recipe. 🙂

2cups water. add 2tsp mirin, 2tsp light soy sauce, 1tsp sugar (basically to taste) & whisked with 3 eggs. steam for 15mins. & that’s it!

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

i did not have prawns & decided not to use chicken breast. instead i marinated with fish sauce & white pepper some frozen hokkaido scallops (not sashimi grade) & also some cheap sutchi white fish fillet.

uni - sea urchin

uni – sea urchin

the uni was super sweet, melt in the mouth, lingering..

hotate - scallops

hotate – scallops

hotate also very sweet & with the wonderful slight gummy texture, the best!

ikura - salmon roe

ikura – salmon roe

ikura slight salty…bursting with flavours…

atlantic surf clams

atlantic surf clams

was surprised by the atlantic surf clams…the ones i remembered taking in singapore were the frozen kind, dry with little taste. these ones were tender & sweet. not in the league of uni & hotate though, for me.

angus beef ribeye medium rare

angus beef ribeye medium rare

i did an angus ribeye using my recent oven method – this one 2 hrs at 60degC then chargrilled 1 minute on each side.

homemade chirashi don

homemade chirashi don

the chirashi don was just wonderful & the beef too.

c.h.e.f andy

Kind of Below Expectations @ Ginzawa on 8Nov2015

chirashi don

S$45 chirashi don

celebrating an occasion. had 5pax family dinner at ginzawa at palais renaissance on 8.11.2015. ^^

this the same restaurant as sushi kuu previously. there is no change of ownership so it is just a rebranding. 🙂

i called & they told me that they serve the donburi items like chirashi don, bara chirashi don, wagyu don etc on the set lunch menu for dinner, at the same price but w/o the set, just the donburi + soup.

there was also a S$130 set menu for 2 & omakase priced at S$80, S$120 etc.

we decided not to take the set or omakase, and ordered 2 chirashi don, 2 wagyu don & a A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki.

chirashi don

S$45 chirashi don

the S$45 chirashi don looked impressive as in the photos on the menu (& above photos). there was a botan ebi, a bit of uni, akami? (lean toro), tai, maguro, hamachi, salmon belly, hotate, tamago on a huge portion of sushi rice.

first look was great but in actual fact the sashimi cuts & quantity were very much inferior & pales in comparison to those at mikuni & kuriya dining.

chirashi don

mikuni’s chirashi don

mikuni’s chirashi don, also S$45 after 50% feed at raffles discounts, by comparison has 2 chutoro,heaps more uni, & 2 pieces for every quality sashimi cut.

chirashi sushi zen set

kuriya dining’s chirashi sushi zen set

& kuriya dining’s S$62 chirashi sushi zen set, a much larger set than mikuni’s is also top quality with more than double what ginzawa served.

wagyu & onions don

S$50 wagyu & onions don

the wagyu for the wagyu don was tasty but the sauce was superfluous & only serve to kill the taste.

wagyu & onions don

S$50 wagyu & onions don

& the slices were really thin. it was doable, but nothing great at S$50. i would take the S$88 uni ikura wagyu don at kuriya dining anytime c/w this.

A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki

S$50 A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki

the S$50 A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki was very poor (completely thumbs down!). beef was overcooked, very small serving & thin, hardly much to eat.

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

mikuni’s kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

just compare this with mikuni’s kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe. that is S$24 after 50% feed at raffles discounts, less than 1/2 the price of ginzawa! & beef are thick slices & sweet & tasty, the beef & the entire dish & experience is miles ahead of ginzawa.

chirashi don

chirashi don

overall, i would say that ginzawa’s chirashi don was one of the better ones, but totally pales by comparison with mikuni & kuriya dining.

the wagyu don was ok but not worth eating at S$50. i must go try sumiya’s S$30 wagyu don lunch set but i suspect it would be much better.

as for the S$50 wagyu sukiyaki, forget about it.

c.h.e.f andy

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Ginzawa

390 Orchard Road

Palais Renaissance #01-07

Singapore 238871

Reservations:

Tel: +65 6736 0100

SMS: +65 8201 2730

Email: info@ginzawa.com

Open Tuesday – Sunday

Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner  6:00pm – 10:30pm

(Closed on Mondays)

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

Nice Birthday Lunch for a Good Friend on 27Apr2015

grilled cod

grilled cod

bought early birthday lunch for a close friend today at mikuni on 27.4.2015. ^^

they do not serve the grand tour tasting menu for lunch. for simplicity & ease i ordered the premium bento “miyabi” from the lunch set menu.

prawn crackers

prawn crackers

salad

salad

we had the usual prawn crackers to start, and for the bento, a salad, simple & quite nice.

premium bento miyabi

premium bento miyabi

sashimi - toro, salmon, hotate

sashimi – toro, salmon, hotate

the sashimi that came with the set was quite good standard – with toro, hotate & salmon.

tempura moriawase

tempura moriawase

the tempura here was quite ok standard, but not my favourite.

kagosima wagyu robatayaki

kagosima wagyu robatayaki

the kagoshima wagyu robatayaki was good, nicely marbled & tasty.

grilled cod

grilled cod

& there was a very good quality grilled cod.

simmered veg

simmered veg

the simmered veg side dish was ok to complement the lunch course & meat dishes.

unagi don

unagi don

& there was an unagi don & a clear soup.

dessert

dessert

dessert was nice.

this friend is quite busy guy & i don’t get to spend much time with him except during chinese new year. so it was a very good lunch talking about family, children, his work etc.

the food at mikuni is always pretty ok. however the premium bento “miyabi” at S$120pax (even with 50% discount to S$60pax) was to me below par.  e.g.-

the robatayaki set at S$68 here at mikuni (vs S$120) offers the same kagoshima wagyu skewer & the teppanyaki set at S$68 also offer cod, beef & golden prawns

the chirashi don at S$90 is very much superior.

likewise the S$62 chirashi don set at kuriya.

not everything is directly comparable of course…we were more interested to catch up & did not pay much attention to the menu, but they must have changed the menu as we did not get the golden prawns & bara chirashi. maybe i will write to mikuni to ask about it.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Lunch Sets @ Kuriya Dining on 25Mar2015

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

had an excellent lunch with wife & daughter at kuriya dining, great world city on 25.3.2015.^^

sake

sake

wife always have sake with japanese food.

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

we ordered a very nice S$68 jap wagyu uni ikura don. you can also order the set which comes with ebi tempura, chawanmushi & udon for S$88. we were happy just to have the beef don.

wagyu was so marbled & flavourful. uni was very sweet & smooth.

chirashi don set

chirashi don set

we ordered 2 sets of chirashi don.

it came with a double-decker bamboo tray like tiffin carrier.^^

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

one tray had anago (conger eel or sea eel), tam ago (egg roll), ikura, tobiko etc.

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

the other tray had uni, negi toro (minced toro), ama ebi (sweet prawns), and many fish over bed of vinegared sushi rice.

the sashimi was top quality. it was as good as the chirashi don at mikuni. it did not have the botan ebi & otoro like mikuni’s but had bigger serving of uni. there were many slices of hotate & lots of sashimi including salmon, hamachi, maguro, kajiki, tai

chawanmushi

chawanmushi

there was chawanmushi, good quality.

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

fruits & sashimi ice cream + a very poor mochi.

coffee

coffee

and coffee.

mikuni chirashi don is still my favourite at S$90 (S$45 after 50% feed at raffles discounts) & i don’t really need a set, ala carte is good enough.

however at S$62, this chirashi don had very good sashimi cuts & larger (maybe 25% more) so it was a very good match for mikuni & i will be quite happy to have this again.

c.h.e.f andy

Hotate Ikura Don on 7Mar2015

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

wife brought back hotate sashimi, ikura, uni & hairy crabs from hokkaido after her skiing holiday yesterday.

we took the uni earlier as that could not keep.

this evening, we made our own hotate ikura don, plus hotate sashimi & hairy crab.

i made some tamago – japanese pressed egg omelette.  tamago texture & taste was very good, but the shape was not yet right. need some more practice, haha!^^

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

we had very good wasabi. we did not have the sushi rice vinegar, so the sushi rice was not ideal, but overall it was an excellent don.^^

we also used the nori (seaweed) to make a temaki (hand roll).^^

hotate sashimi

hotate sashimi

the hotate was plump & so incredibly sweet. 🙂

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab was also excellent. very tasty & juicy.

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

Family Dinner to Remember @ Mikuni on 26Oct2014

chirashi don - 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

chirashi don – 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

had 5pax family dinner at our favourite restaurant, mikuni, on 26oct2014. an occasion to remember for me. 🙂

we came mikuni quite a few times. the most recent which i blogged on was on 23.6.2014.

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

we ordered 4 chirashi don & 1 kagoshima wagyu don as main courses, and had few other dishes to share. 🙂

we had the superb sous vide & deep-fried tako to share. this still the best octopus dish i have tried, better than all the very nice grilled octopus dish at alle darsene lake como & miky at monterosso cinque terre.

chirashi don - 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

chirashi don – 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

& i think this the best chirashi don (2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura) in singapore for quality & price. don’t think there is anything better. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu don

kagoshima wagyu don

we tried a new dish, kagoshima wagyu don. wagyu was very good. quite surprisingly to me, the rice was not great. hmmm, any of the  kamameshi (釜饭) at sun with moon wheelock or unagi chahan at zen japanese dining was tastier than this.

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

& another new dish – kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki. i estimated the 6 cuts to be about 80g or 100g. beef was excellent of course, very nicely marbled. JH said reminded him of hida beef 飛騨牛 on a hoba leaf 朴叶 or magnolia leaf he had at takayama. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

& kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe, our favourite. 🙂

drawer dessert tray - pick your own

drawer dessert tray – pick your own

drawer dessert tray - pick your own

drawer dessert tray – pick your own

they served complimentary dessert in drawer dessert tray – pick your own. 🙂

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

daughter collected a nice chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton. they do very nice cakes these days, not too sweet & very nice choc mousse. the cake not really my favourite though.

c.h.e.f andy

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

So Very Nice 4pax Family Dinner @ Mikuni on 23Jun2014

oysters - S$28

oysters – S$28

dinners at mikuni are always so very enjoyable. see recent post on a wonderful mikuni dinner on 31.3.2014.

we were there again on 23.6.2014. this time we ordered the chirashi don, oysters & golden prawns, in addition to the usual.

the oysters were good. at 50% discounts, it was S$14 for 3 pieces. the ones we had recently at chikuwatei was better but more ex – 2 large ones for S$22. 🙂

chirashi don - S$90

chirashi don – S$90

chirashi don - S$90

chirashi don – S$90

the chirashi don was so, so very nice. this must the best in singapore or anywhere for S$45++ after 50% feed at raffles (FAR) discounts. 🙂 needless to say, it was far, far better than sun with moon or chikuwatei. not only there was uni, 2 pieces of chu toro, & a huge botan ebi, all the other cuts like salmon, tai, hamachi, hotate were so sweet & fresh & so very many. 🙂

it was kind of a late discovery for us, as we dined quite a bit at mikuni but we tend to take the cooked food rather than sashimi.

botan ebi - S$42 for 3

botan ebi – S$42 for 3

botan ebi - S$42 for 3 pieces

botan ebi – S$42 for 3

we had the usual botan ebi sashimi (S$42 for 3 pieces) & had the head deep-fried.

sous vide octopus tempura - S$30

sous vide octopus tempura – S$30

& we all loved the sous vide tako kari kari age.

cold sake - S$50

cold sake – S$50

the sake was ex… S$50 & only 25% discount.

golden prawns - S$40

golden prawns – S$40

golden prawns - S$40

golden prawns – S$40

& the golden prawns (basically teppanyaki large prawns with lots of mayo) was really good! each of us had about 5 prawns, so there must be 20 pieces. we took very little mayo but this mayo taste was very good. 🙂

lobster uniyaki - S$48

lobster uniyaki – S$48

lobster uniyaki - S$48

lobster uniyaki – S$48

the lobster uniyaki today was below the usual standard. i had always liked the lobster but somehow this time the lobster meat did not have the usual bouncy fresh texture. couldn’t say it was bad but c/w the golden prawns, it was substantially poorer.

kagoshima wagyu konabe - S$48

kagoshima wagyu konabe – S$48

& the kagoshima wagyu konabe was as good as ever.

the bill came to S$239nett for 4pax (c/w S$205 for 4pax at chikuwatei & such huge guff in quality of food). excluding the sake, it would be S$195nett or S$165++ for 4pax, really good deal. 🙂

i think i gonna go back just for the chirashi don. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Sashimi & Unagi don Set @ Sun with Moon Wheelock on 22Jun2014

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

my wife & i were in between meals & decided to have “tea” (more of 2 meals dinner & lunch into 1, save time, money, calories..haha) @ sun with moon at wheelock. this is becoming our favourite restaurant. 🙂

we were not really interested in their tea menu. likely we were not the only ones so they provided full meal sets in their “tea” menu.

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80 (addition chawanmushi S$3.50, salmon sashimi S$3)

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80 (addition chawanmushi S$3.50, salmon sashimi S$3)

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

i was already thinking of the sashimi at sun with moon after the not entirely fulfilling chirashi don dinner at chikuwatei on 17.6.2014, so 1 ordered a sashimi & unagi don set S$34.80. we did not want to have 2 sets so we added another sashimi moriawasse for 2pax at S$29.80.

(P.S. subsequently i had dinner at momoya on 6.7.2014 & it was 1 of the best value sushi & sashimi bento).

the sashimi moriawasse that came with the set had 9 pieces c/w with the ala carte sashimi for 2 (only missing 1 ama ebi & 2 slices of hotate in comparison) , and cost S$5 more. i would consider both quite reasonably priced & vis a vis each other. 🙂

as i mentioned on my post on chikuwatei, the salmon sashimi were sweeter, tastier here. the cut was also quite thick but perhaps just somewhat thinner c/w chikuwatei. the kajiki (swordfish) was a lot sweeter & there were ama ebi & hotate (missing in chikuwatei). for me it was a lot more shiok here. we also added a salmon sashimi side (3 thinner slices for S$3) & a chawanmushi (S$3.50). 🙂

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

the set also came with the unagi don which i liked, side dish (vinegared unagi which my wife liked), soup, pickles & a drink.

we also added 1 small green tea parfait S$6.80.

there was a 15% card discount for ocbc, however it only applied to the ala carte order. since i had the members card (cost S$20 & you get back S$20 in points for redemption) which entitled to 10% discount for the whole bill, which came to S$82nett. its somewhat more ex c/w chikuwatei which was an overdose (not complaining!) of average to just above average thick cut sashimi for a S$25++ chirashi don.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Affordable Eats @ Kyoto 17-21May2013

super-value Japanese beef (国产牛) teishoku (set) at 900yen

super-value beef teishoku (set) at 900yen

not every meal has to be kuroge wagyu, teppanyaki course or expensive sashimi. there are lots of great value meals to be had in Kyoto, Tokyo or anywhere in Japan. 🙂

DSCN5101 DSCN5102

on the first night of our arrival on 17.5.2013 we chanced upon a very interesting eat at Teramachi/Kawaramachi corner just opposite Takashimaya called 百练 (it is at level 2 of a small building). It  was kind of a family-style izakaya 居酒屋- we were the only non-Japanese around. we visited again at dinner on 21.5.2013, and we were still the only non-Japanese around..haha. 🙂

I ordered this super-value beef teishoku (set). I asked for medium rare & it was nicely done & tasty. It came with the gohan aka rice set including pickles & miso soup.  the beef was served with some pasta (which were ok but irrelevant) – all these for just 900yen. 🙂

DSCN4916

pork shabu shabu for 1500yen

DSCN4917 DSCN4915

my sis ordered a pork shabu shabu for 1500yen. It was NOT kurobuta but it was really good, very sweet & tasty. 🙂

thick-cut bacon with asparagus for 500yen

thick-cut bacon with asparagus for 500yen

I saw that our neighbour, a Japanese couple, ordered what looked like ham & asparagus dish, so when we went back 2 nights later, I managed(despite the lack of communications) to get the chef to do up this dish – which was a thick-cut bacon & asparagus for 500yen – it was very good! 🙂

DSCN4907 DSCN4905 DSCN4906

on arriving on 17.5.2013, we visited Tofukuji then Uji. 🙂 on the way back to Uji JR station about 3+pm, we decided to share a set as a late & light lunch, & was lucky to pick out this rather nice 1580yen set at a 中华料理. the tempura was good, and so was the sashimi & the 2 side dishes – one was just egg, the other was rather more elaborate, and nice too! 🙂

DSCN5115

690yen set @ Yayoiken-kakuni (belly pork), saba, potato croquette, tofu, egg & vege etc

DSCN5113

690yen set @ Yayoiken-kakuni (belly pork), saba, potato croquette, tofu, egg & vege etc

DSCN5111DSCN5118DSCN5112

on 20.5.2013, before setting off for our hike from Kurama (鞍马) to Kibune (贵船), we were looking for a place for early lunch and found this joint Yayoiken @ Kawaramachi. 🙂

the meal was just 690yen, and was quite good too, with kakuni (belly pork), saba, potato korokke (croquette), tofu, egg & vege etc 🙂 maybe Singapore should consider this meal ticket machine system common in Japan. it’s very labour efficient & staff have no need to manage cash too. 🙂

DSCN5177

mini chirasi don set with 5 delightful side dishes for 1190yen

DSCN5179 DSCN5178

returning from the hike, we took the train to Keihan Shijo & walked across Kamogawa (鸭川) to Kawaramachi (河源町) side. we found this restaurant on the 7flr of OIOI building along Kawaramachi across the road from Takashimaya.

this fabulous mini chirasi don set with 5 delightful side dishes was just 1190yen & they provide a very tasty soup which you later add to the rice like ochazuke. the mini chirasi don came with amaebi, crabmeat, ikura, 2 pieces hotate, maguro, tamago. the 5 delightful side dishes were ikan bilis, braised beef, tamago & tofu PLUS a  red bean/jelly dessert. 🙂

DSCN5180 DSCN5181 DSCN5175

we had another set which was somewhat less good (by comparison) also for 1190yen. it was a salmon tekkadon(鉄火丼) – this was quite good – with 4 side dishes.

so good food were aplenty in Kyoto & at very affordable prices too 🙂

c.h.e.f andy