Pretty Decent Lunch Sets @ Watami Ion Orchard on 24May2016

salmon stone pot set S$13.90

salmon stone pot set S$13.90

my good friend arranged to watch x-men apocalypse 3D Imax at shaw lido on 24.5.2016. 3 of us went for the movie.

we are all x-men junkies. the movie was very enjoyable. story-wise i thought en sabah nur (the first mutant) story could be better developed, overall storytelling & character development quite superficial for me & the fighting sequence also less impressive relative to cpt america (civil war). but i enjoy all the x-men movies & this movie would be more not less…

the 3D experience also quite good… glasses were large & sat comfortably than of old…..

not sure about the imax don’t really have the immersion right at the centre experience..not too hot about the S$14 vs normal SC (senior citizen) S$4 ticket…anyway parking at shaw was $15.50 (almost 5.5hrs including lunch & coffee) so whole thing quite ex…

after the movie, we first tried bangkok jam, but the 40% discount only starts at 5.30pm, so we settled on watami.

the stone pot set includes salad & drink. we ordered all 3 & all were good.

a friend had the salmon. i tried. it was very flavourful & of the 3 this the one i liked best, and i did not even have the ikura.

pepper beef stone pot set S$9.90

pepper beef stone pot set S$9.90

another friend had the pepper beef. flavour also very good.

i did not want to take tis as it looked like th food court pepper lunch, but actually it as very flavourful.

pork stone pot set S$12.90

pork stone pot set S$12.90

i had the pork stone pot set.

pork stone pot set S$12.90

pork stone pot set S$12.90

i liked it too.

it had more ingredients than the pepper beef but both were ok with me.

pork stone pot set S$12.90

pork stone pot set S$12.90

the salad was quite standard, simple but still quite nice.

coffee

coffee

for the drink, a friend had hot yuzu tea. 2 of us had the coffee which was quite ok.

lunch came to S$43nett for 3 pax, pretty good. anyway my parking already cost more than lunch or 3D Imax movie la…

c.h.e.f andy

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

Watami @ Ion Orchard

Opening hours: 11:30 – 22:00
Address: ION Orchard #B3-23
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6509 9366
Fax: (65) 6509 9368
*Our ION Orchard outlet is available for reservation from Sunday to Thursday only.

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

Prawn Capellini Alio Olio

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

prawn capellini was done alio olio style. i also did not have uni & ikura (nor mentaiko).

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

still my own prawn capellini was a very tasty pasta.

i guess nothing so unusual, and no better than my regular seafood alio olio, but it was a different & drier style,  adding butter like for my mentaiko pasta or squid-ink pasta.

king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

stellar’s king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

didn’t have the top ingredients of stellar’s king crab, uni, ikura & sakura ebi pasta (above photo).

but just the taste of the pasta alone, i think mine was just as good though differernt (w/o the unique salty uni & ikura flavours).

we had this for our homegourmet adventure 4-course dinner on 15.11.2015.^^

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

i prepared the usual browned garlic in olive oil with nice aroma. added cut chilli padi, then white wine, 1 tsp sugar & prawn stock & reduced.

for the prawns, i used my dry wok prawns method to produce a very tasty prawn with great texture, then cut them into small pieces & left a few whole prawns.

then i off the fire, added butter & tossed the capellini.

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

it was a simple & easy dish to prepare.

the pasta was al dente & very tasty. i did not have basil to garnish this evening, so i guess it is a shorthand & slightly different style from my usual seafood spaghetti alio olio.

c.h.e.f andy

Homegourmet Adventure 4-course Dinner on 15Nov2015

had great fun discovery yesterday experimenting several “first” for a wonderful 4-course dinner on 15.11.2015. ^^

truly a homegourmet adventure. 🙂

all 4 dishes had some new elements-

  • prawn veloute was an accidental invention.
  • gazpacho was completely first attempt.
  • prawn capellini was a new preparation &
  • slow-braised pork collar was my second try on a new preparation

in a sense, my recent dinner at stellar at 1-altitude spurred my interest, not so much an inspiration (excepting the gazpacho at stellar which was really good!), as i thought the food was expensive & not value-for-money. i thought i could recreate something similar. ^^

first course was pan seared scallops in prawn vegetable veloute. 🙂

i did not do the pan-searing well this evening. still the scallops were very good, plump & tasty & very good texture, not really the standard of disgruntled chef’s 100gourmet scallops, nor the stellar’s scallops.

the prawn vegetable veloute though was an accidental discovery. it was just so good! ^^

intense yet very smooth, and very tasty, and just the right body & texture. this really is an excellent recipe & among the best soup i have made.

i would say for myself, though the scallop itself was not comparable to stellar’s, but the overall taste experience including the prawn veg veloute was better than stellar’s, but not comparable with disgruntled chef’s 100gourmet scallop dish (above photo).

my second dish was entirely new.

gazpacho not my favourite & i hardly take gazpacho by choice but stellar’s gazpacho was just so good!

so i googled online recipes & produced 2 gazpacho just like stellar’s – a red tomato gazpacho & a white cucumber gazpacho.

& the result of my first attempt was a really wonderful gazpacho. so refreshing, smooth, & you could really taste the coolness of the cucumber & also tangy tomatoes.

not quite the standard of stellar’s (above photo) for sure, but almost there.

prawn capellini was done alio olio style. i also did not have uni & ikura (nor mentaiko).

still my own prawn capellini was a very tasty pasta.

i guess nothing so unusual, and may not be better than my usual seafood alio olio, but it was a different & drier style, adding butter like for my mentaiko pasta or squid-ink pasta.

king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

stellar’s king crab uni & sakura ebi capellini

didn’t have the top ingredients of stellar’s king crab, uni, ikura & sakura ebi pasta (above photo).

but just the taste of the pasta alone, i think mine was just as good though differernt (w/o the unique salty uni & ikura flavours).

the slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce was my second attempt, it was as good as the first, and a really great recipe i created myself.

the pork was very flavourful & so tender yet not sinewy & falling apart like the usual braised meat texture.

i think this is really an excellent recipe. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Chirashi Don Set @ Kuriya Dining on 9Jun2015

uni, negi toro, maguro, hamachi, amaebi

uni, negi toro, salmon, tai, maguro, hotate, hamachi, amaebi

wife bought me an excellent chirashi sushi zen set at lunch at kuriya dining on 9.6.2015.^^

it was for early father’s day.

we had a mother’s day lunch at gurnard’s head on 10.5.2015 and a mother’s day dinner at mackerel sky at newlyn, cornwall.

salad with goma dressing

salad with goma dressing

set started with a salad with goma (sesame) dressing.

salad with goma dressing

salad with goma dressing

there was a lot of salad, a bit little dressing. we asked for more. of course to be added in moderation. it was good. 🙂

snow crab chawanmushi

snow crab chawanmushi

the chawanmushi was excellent, especially with the very tasty snow crab sauce, though i felt the sauce was a bit starchy.

chirashi sushi zen

chirashi sushi zen

this was an excellent chirashi don for S$62++.

chirashi sushi zen

chirashi sushi zen

i still cannot decide if this is better or mikuni’s better. i guess overall i still favour mikuni’s chirashi don but this was really really good too.

anyway, i like them both.

uni, negi toro, maguro, hamachi, amaebi

uni, negi toro, salmon, tai, maguro, hotate, hamachi, amaebi

you have in one bamboo holder uni, negi toro, salmon, tai, maguro, hotate, hamachi, amaebi on a bed of cubed salmon & maguro (like in barachisrashi don).

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

on the other there was anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago on sushi rice.

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

a most wonderful, satisfying lunch.

dessert - strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

dessert – strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

there was dessert & coffee too.

dessert - strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

dessert – strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

dessert was strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, and fruits. 🙂

it’s actually kind of huge set for lunch, but on some days we are permitted to spoil ourselves.

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 Food at Saveurs @ Purvis on 1Mar2015

capellini, minced prok sauce, sakura ebi

capellini, minced pork sauce, sakura ebi

wife was away skiing in hokkaido. SKI=Spending Kid’s Inheritance.^^

eldest daughter organised a 3pax family dinner at saver @ purvis on 1.3.2015. 🙂

we had very good family dinner recently at concetto (another saver restaurant) on 18.1.2015.

& this place was just as fun.

the next day i came with my godsis & a good friend’s daughter for the set lunch at S$22.90, & it was just as good. the set lunch menu here is more attractive than that at concetto, which really had very limited choice (they really should review that!).

saveur @ purvis

saveur @ purvis

saveur @ purvis2

saveur @ purvis

the restuarant had 2 adjacent dining area. this one was absolutely packed. we were not able to get sitting at the other side where the sitting was more spacious even though we booked beforehand. i booked the next day lunch, making sure i could get the other, but that turned out to be unnecessary as we were the only table. what a difference lunch & dinner!

 chef preparing cold capellini

chef preparing cold capellini

capellini, minced prok sauce, sakura ebi

capellini, minced prok sauce, sakura ebi

this saveur pasta was different from concetto pasta. that had crab bisque & ikura, this one minced pork sauce & sakura ebi & priced cheaper at $4.90 (vs S$6.90). i liked both (& was quite happy to take it again the next day).

capellini, minced prok sauce, sakura ebi

capellini, minced prok sauce, sakura ebi

one reviewer said it tasted like bakchormee? it didn’t to me, but it was nice, very al dente & flavourful.^^

belly pork, lentils, poached egg

belly pork, lentils, poached egg

belly pork, lentils, poached egg

belly pork, lentils, poached egg

the belly pork was excellent, very tender, moist & still having the texture, excellent low temperature cooking. the crackling skin was not crackling like the chinese roast pork, but totally edible. love the lentils.

pan-seared seabass, potato, crabmeat

pan-seared seabass, potato, crabmeat

the seabass was excellent too! this was really a very good pan seared seabass! liked the potatoes too. 🙂

duck confit, mased potato, shitake

duck confit, mashed potato, shitake

the duck confit was very good, just like that at concetto.

cookie dough ice cream, cherry kirsch, peanut butter

cookie dough ice cream, cherry kirsch, peanut butter

the cookies & milk ice cream was good, but no wow factor for me, & it was more expensive.

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cottaEx

the pistachio panna cotta was lovely. my doughtier liked it very much. maybe i will try this at home.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Set Lunch @ Concetto by Saveur on 10Feb2015

concetto pasta

concetto pasta

had lunch with a friend at concetto by saveur at the cathay on 10.2.2015. 🙂

i had a nice 4pax family dinner here recently on 18.1.2015.

she ordered the concetto pasta & the kurobuta pork cheek, plus a ice lemon tea.

i ordered the S$20.90 3-course set lunch + S$1.50 for ice lemon tea. i picked the concetto pasta, beef oyster blade & as the server recommended, the pistachio panna cotta.

concetto pasta

concetto pasta

the concetto pasta was a chilled capellini with crab & prawn tartare (tiny morsels) tossed in lobster oil & topped with lobster foam & ikura (salmon roe). it’s a very tasty appetiser though i was less blown away as the last time.

perhaps some truffle oil? but maybe cannot mix too many ingredients. the lobster bisque made it very flavourful already.^^

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

i had the 36hr sous vide beef oyster blade.

beef was tender & consistent. it was not sinewy like a braised beef dish. still i thought taste was bland & lacking, and still basically a braised item c/w very flavourful grilled steaks. i am not sure if the beef was charred first before sous vide-that should add some flavours. there was french mustard with seeds layered on top, and the coffee soil provided some taste when taken together.

overall i would think the kurobuta or the duck confit would be better.

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

my friend had the braised kurobuta pork cheek with gnocchi.

i had this the least time. the kurobuta was flavourful & tender, very good. between duck confit (which was also very good) and kurobuta i would take kurobuta.^^

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

the last time we had the dark chocolate tart. i asked the younger server (she just finished A levels & waiting for results). she recommended the pistachio panna cotta. good recommendations!

i thought this was a very good dessert. it was not the flavourful panna cotta we had at tremezzo lake como, but it was a very good one, & the plus over the plain one (even a very good one at tremezzo) was that this came with pistachio crumble & salted pistachio. i also tasted strong black pepper flavours which strangely made the whole combination really nice!

i would order this panna cotta again if i dine here next time!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Daughter Bought Excellent Family Dinner @ Concetto by Saveur on 18Jan2015

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

daughter wanted to buy 4pax family dinner again & brought us to this happening place concetto by saveur at The Cathay on 18.1.2015. 🙂

i must say i am very pleasantly surprised, far exceeding my expectations. ^^

concetto by saveur

concetto by saveur

we had a reservation were there early at 6pm & were among the first few customers, but the place filled up quite quickly.

we ordered 2 appetisers & 4 mains/pastas to share. i liked everyone of them! ^^

grilled octopus caeser salad

grilled octopus caesar salad

grilled octopus caeser salad

grilled octopus caesar salad

the caesar salad was very good, not too creamy, nice bacon tips & overall flavours especially enhanced by the grilled octopus.

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

the chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura lagi best.

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

chilled capellini, crab & shrimp tartare, lobster foam & ikura

i can have this all by myself, excellent lobster foam, wonderful flavours, texture & looks.

funghi risotto

funghi risotto

funghi risotto was very good, a good restaurant standard, intense aroma and taste.

crab risotto

crab risotto

i like the crab risotto even better than the funghi.

duck leg confit, pesto tagliatelle

duck leg confit, pesto tagliatelle

duck leg confit, pesto tagliatelle

duck leg confit, pesto tagliatelle

& i am usually not so hot on duck confit but this was good, nice crispy skin & tender, soft meat, not sinewy which was often with braised meat & some duck confit, the reason braises are not my favourite.

i liked also the pesto tagliatelle, though pesto can be overpowering if taken much, but this was an excellent accompanying portion.

kurobuta pork cheek with gnocchi

kurobuta pork cheek with gnocchi

the kurobuta pork cheek with gnocchi was another pleasing dish. i liked the tender & flavourful pork & also the gnocchi.

the bill

the bill

dark chocolate tart

dark chocolate tart

we had a dark chocolate tart to share. nice too. deconstructed.

the bill for 4pax include 1 glass of wine (S$6) was $107 about S$27pax nett,  a perfect family evening out, nice food & ambience.

food was mostly better or as good as petite menu, which my daughter said was now closed, and some chef had gone on to start portico, a new eatery. i guess that would be our next family go to place to try out.

c.h.e.f andy

Most Enjoyable Autumn Course Dinner @ Mikuni on 11Dec2014

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

had another splendid dinner at mikuni with wife on 11.12.2014. 🙂

we had the excellent autumn course menu, like a mini kaiseki.

i have never taken a course menu or kaiseki since the name changed from inagiku to mikuni some years back. instead we had been exploring the ala carte menu, creating our own Andy’s kaiseki (just in jest). and lately i am quite sold on mikuni’s chirashi don (i would say almost choutokusen 超特選 chirashi don). 🙂

cracker appetizer

cracker appetizer

mikuni autumn mini kaiseki

mikuni autumn mini kaiseki

we were very pleased though with this autumn course menu. 🙂

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

uni inside - #1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 there was uni inside – hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura – taro was just so so. the uni, ikura tofu was of course very nice. did not taste much of the sesame though.

#2 sashimi - hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi – hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi - hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi – hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi – hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar – sashimi was good cuts but otherwise ordinary except white prawn but that was kind of smallish.

#3 shell grilled scallops, & kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 shell grilled scallops, & kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 shell grilled scallops

#3 shell grilled scallops

#3 shell grilled scallops, & kagoshima beef robatayaki – kagoshima beef was heavenly. scallops was very nicely done too. quite excellent! 🙂

#4 chestnut tempura & sillago fish tempura

#4 chestnut tempura & sillago fish tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura & sillago fish tempura – the sill ago (whiting) fish tempura was par excellence. chestnut was ok, quite nice really if non descript.

#5 osaka styled barachirashi don - uni, maguro, tai, kampachi, kajiki, ikura, lily bulb

#5 osaka styled barachirashi don – uni, maguro, tai, kampachi, kajiki, ikura, lily bulb

#5 miso soup with gohan

#5 miso soup with gohan

#5 the osaka styled barachirashi don – uni, maguro, tai, kampachi, kajiki, ikura, lily bulb was superb. came with pickles & miso soup

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew was ok. i prefer yuzu ice cream & black sesami ice cream, and of course japanese rock melon to honey dew.

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

mikuni offered very good complimentary drawer tray dessert. 🙂

the 6-course dinner cost S$158pax. after 50% feed at raffles discounts, it was S$79pax exceeding sake/drinks. a quality & very good value dinner. 🙂

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

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

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. 🙂

DSCN4166 DSCN4169 DSCN4176

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

DSCN4168 DSCN4172

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. 🙂

DSCN4170

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. 🙂

DSCN4178 DSCN4177

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