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

Recipe = Teriyaki Cod

#6 teriyaki cod

teriyaki cod – on a high baking rack

first attempt at teriyaki cod on 28.2.2014, practising for dinner for friends later. it was pretty good, good alternative to Nobu miso cod which i had been serving out in past dinners.

i had very good teriyaki cod at keyaki & a bit more frequently at mikuni. actually bought some teriyaki sauce, but decided to do the sauce marinade as offered in several online recipes.

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teriyaki cod

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pan-seared teriyaki cod

also decided to marinade in a ziplog bag for 3 days, in the fashion of my very good nobu miso cod, hopefully to derive a more intense flavour. it did! 🙂

cod is really an excellent fish & just simple pan-grilled or barbeque or oven roasted would deliver a delightful dish, so i do simple pan-grilled also as alternative with miso cod.

with this equally great recipe (thoguh i am still partial to miso cod), there is 1 more variation on offer.

teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

likewise in addition to pan-grilled, an oven roasted teriyaki cod (12mins in preheated 250degC oven) is equally wonderful.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients –

500g frozen cod from ntuc or giant or sheng shiong (IQF individual quick freeze)

sauce marinade :

  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (30ml)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (2-3cm)

Directions –

  1. combine marinade in sauce pot & heat to dissolve the sugar.  cool the marinade & place in a zip log bag together with the cod (cut 4 or 5 pieces) & press out the air. leave in chiller for between 2 and 3 days.
  2. take out cod 1 hr before cooking to get to room temperature.
  3. place on a high baking rack in a 250degC preheated oven for 12 mins (see top photo).
  4. OR pan grill the cod over high heat in non stick pan with 1 tbsp oil. watch of colour change to opaque white on the sides (about 2 minutes) & turn over & sear for another few minutes. serve.

Very Good Dinner @ Fukuichi Level 2 Triple One on 30Oct2013

good bento S$40

good bento S$40

very good friend of mine insisted on buying me birthday dinner. i had many meals already last few days so suggested crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao etc. he would have none of it. he wanted to go nandaman or keyaki. i was not keen for him to spend money at those places (nandaman i didn’t want to go at all, and i would only go for nice sunday brunch mini kaiseki at keyaki &  very occasionally for kaiseki dinner depending on what was served on the menu). i told him if he was buying me dinner he should at least listen to what i wanted, but he just waived away & said when i made those suggestions, it was to be discounted & not to be listened to..hahaha. 🙂 anyway the compromise was fukuichi. 🙂
Fukuichi was located at level 2 of triple one. we arranged to meet at 8pm on 30.10.2013 as he had to finish a phone conference. i was having repeated problems with my dell pc even though it was only 1.5yrs into a 3yr warranty & the motherboard had already changed once. i had to make 3 factory image restore and wasted away hours. that was the last straw & i decided to get a mac. i arrived 20mins early & walked over to epicentre @ 313 just across the road. good side trip & i kind of decided on which mac i wanted. 🙂
fukuichi @ triple one level 2

fukuichi @ triple one level 2

fukuichi @ triple one level 2

fukuichi @ triple one level 2

kobachi - complimentary chopped tuna appetizer

kobachi – complimentary chopped tuna appetizer

salad with ponzu dressing

salad with ponzu dressing

bento (sashimi, sushi, maki)

bento (sashimi, sushi, maki)

kani tofu

kani tofu S$6

hoba beef S$38

beef hobayaki S$38

hoba beef

beef hobayaki S$38

we decided to order a bento each. my friend was not satisfied & insisted to order a sake (he was evidently in greater birthday mood than i & took 90% of the sake as i told him he would)  & beef hobayaki S$38. i ordered a S$6 kani tofu to share as i read about it & wanted to try.

we were served a complimentary kobachi to get started – a small dish with chopped tuna. this was tasty, a good appetizer. the bento also came with a salad, simple cut cabbage that was very refreshing & enjoyable with the ponzu dressing. the kani tofu (basically pitan tofu with crabmeat) was good, tasty though i thought the one with tobiko at hokkaido sushi was better.

the bento was good quality. the sashimi (maguro, ika, sake) were all very sweet. the sushi & maki were competent. the pan-fried salmon was good, very tasty. the tempura were above average. 🙂

the beef (aussie) hobayaki(朴叶烧) with shitake mushrooms was quite good. i first came across this preparation at takayama. the local hida beef (飞弹牛) was an excellent wagyu, and was served on a magnolia leaf (朴叶). i would rate this beef as equal to that served at dozo, not as good quality as that served at the clan. 🙂

in all, a very enjoyable dinner. though we meet often, we had very good chat before calling it quits for the night.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Brunch Mini Kaiseki @ Keyaki (quick update) on 27Oct2013

teriyaki cod

teriyaki cod

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(we had a superb S$58 november lunch kaiseki @ kuriya dining on 16.11.2013 & the food was much better than this).

a quick update. last had excellent brunch here on 18.8.2013. everything was good as before. the mini kaiseki brunch was truly good quality & great value. thumbs up! 🙂

kobachi 小钵 - some pickled radish

kobachi 小钵 – some pickled radish

sake

sake

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

good tempura moriawase

good tempura moriawase

aussie beef teppanyaki

aussie beef teppanyaki

kagoshima pork

kagoshima pork – better than beef!

maki

maki

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kuro goma ice-cream

kuro goma ice-cream

menu items same as before. sashimi (kajiki, sake, maguro) were good quality – sweet & fresh! cahwanmushi was very good – very smooth & tasty! tempura also was among the good ones. the teriyaki cod was the best – good helping & really nice! i must try this at home! 🙂

the teppanyaki beef tenderloin rare was good, but the kagoshima pork was better! 🙂

& we had 3 pieces of maki. nice too.

we asked, & they let us changed to black sesame ice cream, but the macha ice cream was good here too! 🙂

for S$60++pax, it was really very good value for the quality of food. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Kaiseki Lunch @ Keyaki on 18Aug2013

teriyaki cod

teriyaki cod

see also keyaki update on 27.10.2013.

pan pacific hotel had undergone a period of retrofitting last year.  we used to head for kaiseki at keyaki especially during year end where the menu items were more attractive (with lobster, Jap wagyu etc). i had not been back to keyaki since end 2011. the only other time i visited pan pacific was for the buffet lunch at the edge, though at S$58pax i did not find it a compelling offering even with 1 free for 3 paying.

recently i noticed that keyaki has a S$60 8-course weekend kaiseki brunch (we had tried the brunch there a while back but didn’t find reasons to return). this time i also had added incentives to redeem some accumulated points which would expire Jan 2014, it was an excellent lunch (or brunch?) – don’t quite see how was it brunch? 🙂

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

we had a otoshi starter – a small simmered pickled fish dish. next was mixed sashimi comprising salmon, hamachi & akamai (lean toro). it was good. 🙂

chawanmushi

chawanmushi

the chawanmushi was good too – very smooth & tasty for a ordinary chawanmushi though many places like (say) hokkaido sushi serves one with ikura which is much sweeter.

20130818_140929 20130818_140915

the tempura came with 1 prawn, 1 fish & 2 vegetable items. it was a good tempura, the batter was light, fluffy & crisp. 🙂

the teriyaki cod (top photo) was best! i don’t like sweet teriyaki sauce much but this was lightly flavoured which enhanced the very flavourful cod.  excellent dish! 🙂

beef teppnyaki

beef teppnyaki

the beef teppanyaki was good too. on this day though the service, usually impeccable, left much to be desired. the kitchen had somehow missed our order (or misplaced the beef? haha) & they served it to 1 of us while the rest (4pax) waited good part of 1/2 hr before we were served the dish.  we had all ordered medium rare but it came all effectively well done. still surprise, surprise the USA sirloin was tender and tasty, not superb but quite ok really. 🙂

maki

maki

maki was quite ok too,

the set came with macha ice cream (& it was good here NOt the cheap sweet variety).  i asked for 2 kurogoma (black sesame) ice-cream & they served to us. that was really good 🙂

the food items were of good quality & standard, & good value for S$60++. will probably go back again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy