Good Japanese Alacarte Buffet @ Momoya on 28Jan2016

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

went to my friend’s “sound studio” to watch federer vs djokovic australian open semi-finals on 28.1.2016.

for me, for us, this was the finals la..& federer was playing so well enroute to SF that we thought maybe got some fight as the “borg”kovic machine (“resistance is futile” my friend messaged)..

but alas..there was no return of the jedi roger maestro..the dark side of the force lagi too strong la..djok vader overwhelmed jedi master roger..

there was no fight at all in the first 2 sets…federer was actually playing well but he had no aswer to the djoker..so many forced “unforced errors” man…every winner was returned…vader was simply unplayable!

so in the end though it was a 4 setter it was NOT the epic of the nadal federer days with djokovic closely behind with wonderful long rallies exploring every angle won by outright winners NOT unforced errors.

after the 4-setter, we decided to go back to momoya. we had been there several times after such matches, the most recent on 6.7.2014.

this time, there was a DBS/POSB promotion, 3paying 1 free alacarte buffet @ S$39++pax (so about

the sashimi was very average quality, very average.

gyu itame (stir-fry beef)

gyu itame (stir-fry beef)

the gyu itame (stir-fry beef) was ok, passable, don’t make much impression.

buta itame (stir-fry pork) ginger with bean sprouts

buta itame (stir-fry pork) ginger with bean sprouts

buta itame (stir-fry pork) ginger with bean sprouts was quite nice.

buta kimchi

buta kimchi

i always liked the buta kimchi…this one the kimchi not great.

mentaiko (明太子) pasta - cod roe pasta

mentaiko (明太子) pasta – cod roe pasta

i liked the mentaiko (明太子) pasta – cod roe pasta. not my friends’ favourite, so good that it was a small portion. i sapu most of it. 🙂

salmon teriyaki

salmon teriyaki

salmon teriyaki quite good.

saba shioyaki - grilled saba with salt

saba shioyaki – grilled saba with salt

saba shiyaki not bad too.

sishamo (pregnant fish)

sishamo (pregnant fish)

sishamo were quite big. my friends liked it. this not my favorite & for choice i rather have saba or sanma.

spider maki (soft shell crab)

spider maki (soft shell crab)

my friends were asking for soft shell crab but they don’t serve that as a dish, so we ordered spider maki, which was just average.

tempura moriawase

tempura moriawase

tempura moriawase also average. my friend was talking about the oldest guy in japan serving tempura. i had some supposedly very good tempura(just marginally good for me) in shinjuku, but tempura not really my favourite so i won’t pay the very high price (4000-5000yen) for good tempura.

smoked duck breast salad

smoked duck breast salad

smoked duck salad don’t make much impression also. now that one can get very cheap smoked duck in ntuc etc, interest lowered liao…

marinated seaweed & baby octopus

marinated seaweed & baby octopus

marinated seaweed & baby octopus ok la..

buta miso soup

buta miso soup

the pork belly miso soup just the usual not great miso soup with maybe 3 pieces of pork belly.

2 friends had the asari (clam) miso soup. they didn’t like it also.

zaru soba - cold buckwheat noodles

zaru soba – cold buckwheat noodles

the zaru soba or cold buckwheat noodles i didn’t like. a friend liked it though.

hamachi sushi (mayne it was kampachi)

hamachi sushi (mayne it was kampachi)

i ordered the hamachi sushi…liked it!

uni & kajiki sushi

unagi & kajiki (swordfish) sushi

also liked the unagi & kajiki (swordfish) sushi.

edamame

edamame

edamame very good for just munching (& beer)

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

i liked the anago (congel eel or sea eel) cheese sushi. some friends didn’t take cheese so i had 3 pieces.

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

ika was just average, not the thick gummy type.

overall i think it was  avery good deal at like S$29.50pax.

though i said most things were just average, but that is just by comparison with really good quality jap food. for an alacarte buffet, this was as good as any, had very good menu spread and very good for the price.

say before we took the S$17 sashimi+sushi set & add $5 sashimi, so that’s S$22++, and we were happy with the food.

so for S$29.50 alacarte buffet, definitely worth it.

i will certainly have this again.

c.h.e.f andy

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

A Tale of 2 Dinners Part 1 – Disappointing Totally Below Par Kaiseki Dinner @ Gettoan on 25Jan2015

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

we were booked for 2 nights at Gettoan ryokan 月灯庵 at yufuin 汤布院. Gettoan ryokan & its kaiseki dinners had very good reviews, and we were expecting a very good dinner on the first evening we checked into the ryokan on 25.1.2015.

it turned out to be really disappointing. i would say this dinner was below just about every ryokan dinner i had in tohoku (we visited just before the tsunami, sadly cannot go back now), and way below (say) mikuni or hachi or kuriya in singapore.

i need to add here though that the japanese breakfast the next day was excellent (& the day after too) & the shabu shabu kaiseki on our second night 26.1.2015 was just exquisite, par excellence, so i term this a tale of 2 dinners. ^^

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/a-tale-of-2-dinners-part-2-the-good-ending-a-marvellous-kaiseki-dinner-gettoan-on-26jan2015/

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/wonderful-breakfast-a-redemption-gettoan-ryokan-yufuin-kyushu-on-26-1-2015/

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/another-wonderful-breakfast-to-savour-gettoan-ryokan-月灯庵-yufuin汤布院-kyushu-九州-on-27jan2015/

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

sensai

sensai

sensai-seaweed wrapped mentaiko

sensai-seaweed wrapped minced salmon?

sensai - fish roes

sensai – fish roes

the sensai was ok, but really unexciting for this class of ryokan (i.e. very expensive ryokan). the mini kaiseki lunch at kuriya had far better sensai (前菜). and the omakase lunch at GOTO had just as good sakizuke(先附).

tofu dish with foie gras

tofu dish with foie gras

the foie gras flavoured tofu dish was a nice dish, but really average by japanese kaiseki standards, non descript really.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

the sashimi moriawase (kampachi, tai maybe?? & hirame) was an immense let down, completely substandard. for me, even sun with moon sashimi is much better standard than this! sashimi was not sweet & was tough – a really low grade cut!

yuba pot

yuba pot

there was a egg, yuba pot with veg. i would give same assessment as the foie gras tofu…underwhelming, just like the entire dinner.

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

the clear soup came with a nice tasty piece of fish, maybe snapper? anyway for this dish alone, maybe one could say “normal service resumes??” but this was a non-substantial by-the-way dish in a kaiseki.

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

of course the bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧 was just excellent. like my wife said, ishiyaki is self service & they did gave a very good beef cut. in a good or at least par-for-the-course kaiseki, one expects to taste good cooking, some creativity & great matching of taste. those were non existent in this dinner!

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

other than the bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧, the ochazuke (お茶漬け) was the only other dish throughout the dinner that we consider of good standards. the kampachi cut was good & could be taken as sashimi or slightly poached with the rice. the yuzu miso paste was great & the dashi 上汤was just excellent! a very good dish.

deseert

deseert

the dessert was just as bad. any dessert in sun with moon would be better!

one comment on the service. the overall service of the ryokan was top notch as expected of any ryokans of this standard. we were assigned a server who spoke very good english & we were kind of expecting top level service.

but the service was really superficial! the server tried to get us to order red wine instead of sake claiming that the dishes suited wine better. i would say none of the dishes qualified at all as western or fusion & why would one take red or white wine instead of sake for a japanese dinner, they were just not very good japanese food! & it was quite blatant way to get us to spend more money. this the first & only time we encountered that in japan. even in Singapore these days, server will advise you NOT to order things you don’t need/want!

and worse, after the beef before ochazuke she asked us whether we wanted tea. we asked for ocha & was later billed 950yen! of course it was not about the money. she did not tell us it was chargeable, and the way she asked it was evident that she did not intend to reveal it was chargeable. immediately after the ochazuke, we were served another ocha, this one free. does that make any sense??

for me it was a lowly tactic suited for yesteryears, like london chinatown in the 1970s, not a top class ryokan in Japan, or for that matter any ordinary restaurants in Singapore.

fortunately for us, the ryokan redeemed itself the next few meals. we were asked again the next dinner if we wanted tea by the same server, again w/o telling us it was chargeable! some bad habits just do not go away!

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