Great Lunch @ Mikuni on 27Nov2015

mikuni business bento

mikuni business bento

went lunch with a friend to mikuni on 27.11.2015. ^^

mikuni is my favourite japanese restaurant, along with kuriya dining.

if i want kaiseki or omakase, it would be hachi.

& for a cheap & really good chirashi don (or maybe it is large cube cut barachirashi) don then sumiya.

mikuni robatayaki counter

mikuni robatayaki counter

today we wanted to take the teppanyaki or robatayaki set, so we sat at the robatayaki counter.

it’s quite an excellent seating actually, very private corner area.

robatayaki 炉烧 is like a charcoal bbq where skewered meats are barbequed. the chef then serves the food with giant oars to reach over the counter.

kinki

kinki

i was chatting with the chef before my friend arrived.

this ugly fish is kinki, a quite tasty japanese delicacy, a bit expensive.

kinki

kinki

looks a bit like the kinmedai, golden eye snapper.

lobster & king prawn

lobster & king prawn

they was lobsters & king prawns. cannot tell from photo but the lobster was 650g size & the prawns were very large king prawns.

alaskan king crab & oysters

alaskan king crab & oysters

& there was the alaskan king crab & large oysters.

sous vide kurobuta belly

sous vide kurobuta belly

the kurobuta belly were sous vide before bbq.

i am testing one belly now (being pressed with weights) in the fridge (tea brined & 16hrs in the oven at 70degC), and will pan fry skin side tomorrow. let’s see how that goes. 🙂

prawn crackers & salad with goma dressing

prawn crackers & salad with goma dressing

my friend ordered the teppanyaki set.

i had the teppanyaki set previously so i decided to try out the business bento (top photo) this time.

1/2 lobster uni yaki

1/2 lobster uni yaki

server told me lobster uni yaki was 1/2 lobster.

but then this a very tiny lobster, maybe 350g size, so 1/2 very small serving.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi was good standard but not special, just 2 pieces salmon & a hotate.

futomaki

futomaki

futomaki was ok.

tofu, daikon & shimeji

tofu, daikon & shimeji

yam & mushrooms

yam & mushrooms

the small sides were very average, nicely presented.

if you take the menu prices before discount, 1/2 lobster = S$24, so the remaining almost nothing dishes added up to S$44=S$68-S$24, i would say the set is not worth at all, might as well order a lobster to share.

of course if you take the whole lobster business bento set at S$34 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts) in such a restaurant. i guess it’s ok.

but i would take the chirashi don anytime.

chawanmushi for teppanyaki set

chawanmushi for teppanyaki set

my friend’s teppanyaki set included a chawanmushi. 🙂

golden prawns, miso cod, tenderloin, garlic fried rice (teppanyaki set)

golden prawns, miso cod, tenderloin, garlic fried rice (teppanyaki set)

the golden prawns one of the popular dishes here, & miso cod was also good.

the tenderloin was so so here (i tried previously). my friend thought so also. garlic rice was ok.

caramel mousse ice cream

caramel mousse ice cream

the dessert was a mousse ice cream. quite nice really & my friend liked it.

i prefer the previous panna cotta though.

ambience was super & we had good time together. overall the food & place were great for the price. not the best i had at mikuni. but it ‘s good to try different dishes also.

c.h.e.f andy

Advertisements

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

Worst Barachirashi Don & Chilli Crab Linguine in Singapore @ Babette on 18Sep2015

ctopus tempura & cauliflower

octopus tempura & cauliflower

daughter bought dinner @ babette on 18.9.2015 to celebrate an important occasion for her. ^^

babette

babette

ambience was quite cool i guess, though a much lower level of decor c/w say foc. the table & chairs were like canteen sitting.

service was really poor because of shortage of staff. we waited very long to be served even after signalling to the servers several times. 😦

octopus tempura

octopus tempura

octopus tempura was poor. octopus was tough, batter was not tempura standard.

octopus tempura

octopus tempura

but perhaps that is to be expected. octopus are usually sous vide (eg our favourite tako kakiage at mikuni) or slow braised & grilled. octopus done by this preparation will almost certainly be tough. 😦

cauliflower

cauliflower

cauliflower was ok i guess but non-descript.

cauliflower

cauliflower

passable i guess.

bara chirashi don

bara chirashi don

this barachirashi don must go down as the worst ever!

bara chirashi don

bara chirashi don

yes!! the worst barachirashi don in Singapore! they have pickled carrots & radish mixed in the barachirashi don??? made the don overly sour unlike a sweet vinegared don. never had such preparation before.

even the photos may look quite pretty, but in terms of taste, this would be 1 if sumiya’s is 7 & sun with moon@wheelock’s is 8.

chilli crab linguine

chilli crab linguine

the chilli crab linguine was also the worst i ever had.

chilli crab linguine

chilli crab linguine

chilli crab sauce was overly sweet. crabmeat had not much taste probably the very cheap frozen stuff.

it’s the standard of any fast food or cheap pasta joints. 😦

duck confit don

duck confit don

the duck confit was very good though. may not be better than saveur or concetto but it had good crispy skin & the meat was very flavourful & not very sinewy.

duck confit don2

duck confit don

the don was not much taste also, but at least the duck confit was a saving grace. it was very expensive though at S$28 c/w saveur & concetto!

afterall, duck confit at saveur & concetto were just S$13.90! ie 1/2 the price!

steak & foie gras don

steak & foie gras don

the steak & foie gras don was the best of the lot!

steak & foie gras don

steak & foie gras don

the steak was very good.

steak & foie gras don

steak & foie gras don

think the steak was an average cut so the preparation was really quite good to give it nice bbq flavours & not tough texture.

i made my own steak don the next day. my steak was very good but a better cut, 150D grain-fed black angus striploin, so quite commendable for the steak don here.

chicken wings

chicken wings

chicken wings was surprisingly good. better than what my helper makes, which is a very good chicken wing. we added the order at the end & it took forever (like another 20mins) to arrive. 😦

chope's promotion - does not honour chope's offer of complimentary lava cake for every S$50 spent frown emoticon

babette does not honour chope’s offer of complimentary lava cake for every S$50 spent!

we had a bad experience though-

restuarant did not honour the chope’s black & white offer of a complimentary macha cake for every S$50 spent!

the bill

the bill

we spent S$257 & got only 1 complimentary macha lava cake! 😦

i asked for just a second macha lava cake (afterall we spent 5x the every S$50) but the restuarant refused.

i guess the management & staff are not properly schooled in service recovery. 😦

macha lava cake

macha lava cake

i did not like the macha lava cake either. macha was very sweet & very strange combination of flavours unlike the macha parfait kind of flavours which i like (say) at sun with moon. one good thing though was that my youngest daughter liked it. just as well we only had 1 complimentary cake.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Tapas @ FOC on 27Aug2015

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg

son was back for summer holidays. this evening we went to FOC for a family dinner on 27.8.2015.^^

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

restaurant has a chic ambience.

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

it is supposed to be for fine food & fun dining from barcelona. for us, it’s tapas. 🙂

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

FOC supposed to be fire in catalan.

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg was a good start. its was a good tasty dish, the egg gave it a silky texture. maybe its a bit like my spanish omelette but deconstructed, no?

ham croquettes

ham croquettes

like the ham croquettes.

mushroom croquettes

mushroom croquettes

at first taste, the mushroom croquettes had much more intense flavours & bested the ham croquettes by comparison. but i tried the ham croquettes again & it had a very nice lingering flavour. i like both. ^^

patatas bava

patatas bravas

the patatas bravas, a deep-fried potato dish was very good too.

patatas bravas

patatas bravas

really well done enjoyable dish.

pork trotters carpaccio

pork trotters carpaccio

the pork trotters carpaccio was delightful.

pork trotters carpaccio

pork trotters carpaccio

especially with the condiments & sauce it came in.

slow braised & grilled octopus

slow braised & grilled octopus

the slow braised octopus was excellent too.

slow braised & grilled octopus

slow braised & grilled octopus

taste & texture wise, it was almost comparable with the very good ones i tried recently –

the grilled cotopus dish at da luca

the octopus dish at zafferano

& i still prefer the tako kakiage at mikuni. ^^

squid ink paella

squid ink paella

i think this squidink paella is the best of all squidink i had. really flavourful, smooth & buttery. good enough for us to order a second serving.

squid ink risotto

squid ink risotto

i think it is better than (maybe) the dish i squid risotto i had at follia (which was outstanding).

& my own very good squidink pasta.

kith’s squidink pasta would be quite behind by comparison.

scampi fiduea alio olio

scampi fiduea alio olio

the first serving of scampi fiduea alio olio was excellent, very sweet, tasty, intense. unfortunately there was a hair in it!

scampi fiduea alio olio

scampi fiduea alio olio

restaurant did the right thing & replaced it with a new dish. again unfortunately the new dish was not tasty as before. i guess hair made a difference to the taste? :-p

rack of lamb

rack of lamb

rack of lamb was pretty ok.

rack of lamb

rack of lamb

it was very tender yes, but actually flavour-wise, my own pistachio crusted rack of lamb was a lot better!

iberico pork rack

iberico pork rack

the iberico pork rack was superb!

iberico pork rack

iberico pork rack

not only it was fork tender & yet not sinewy, it was very flavourful, excellent!

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

the hanging sculpture.

chocolate galaxy

chocolate galaxy

daughter wanted to try the chocolate galaxy.

it’s the chocolate bomb i thought of trying for my anniversary dinner but didn’t.

apple tart

apple tart

we tried the apple tart. it was ok, nothing special & can do without. nothing like da luca’s crispy apple tart!

french toast

french toast

the french toast was good. looked at a dessert i may try myself at home.

i think minus the drinks it was about S$50pax. not cheap but doable.

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

Great Value Teppanyaki Lunch @ Mikuni on 4May2015

penna cotta

penna cotta

had a great teppanyaki lunch today with a friend at mikuni on 4.5.2015.^^

we were seated at the robatayaki counter as you could only order the special S$68 teppanyaki set OR S$68 robatayaki set if you are seated at either and Not at the main dining area.

the last time i came with my god-sis and my good friend’s daughter, i had the robatayaki set. today we both picked the teppanyaki set.

it was really good value for the quality of food. 🙂

prawn crackers

prawn crackers

we had usual crackers to start.

salad

salad

a nice salad with coma (sesame) sauce.

chawan mushi

chawan mushi

chawan mushi

very good chawan mush, soft, tasty, pieces of chicken, mushrooms inside.

golden prawns

golden prawns

golden prawns was quite a popular ala carte item here, prawns were fresh, succulent, had nice tobiko. i tried not to have too much mayonnaise. 🙂

cod

cod

cod & golden prawns

cod & golden prawns

cod was good as cod goes. 🙂

teppanyaki beef steak

teppanyaki beef steak

teppanyaki beef steak

& the teppan beef was pretty good too, very well charred. i love the crispy garlic & of course the tau gays.

garlic fried rice

garlic fried rice

garlic fried rice was standard. i took 1/2.

penna cotta

penna cotta

the penna cotta was really quite excellent.

lunch was very good value at S$34pax after 50% FAR (feed at raffles) discount.

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

Marvellous Robatayaki & Teppanyaki Set Lunch @ Mikuni on 30Mar2015

golden prawns

golden prawns

mikuni has marvellous new robatayaki & teppanyaki lunch sets. it’s a better deal the the regular lunch teppan set, only that you have to sit at the robatayaki table or teppan table.

i went there with my god-sis & daughter of a close friend on 30.3.2015.^^

prawn crackers

prawn crackers

we were served the usual prawn crackers. 🙂

the teppan menu included great dishes like golden prawns, miso cod & australian tenderloin.

the robatayaki set had scallop, mackerel, & kagoshima wagyu & kurobuta robatayaki, and ended with a nishin soba. quite excellent!

i ordered the robatayaki set & the 2 ladies ordered the teppan set.

salad

salad

we had the salad greens with the usual goma (sesame) sauce.

chawan mushi

chawan mushi

and a good chawan mushi too. 🙂

sauce dips

sauce dips

sauce dips & a variety of salt, like yuzu, nori (seaweed) etc.

robatayaki chef doing bbq

robatayaki chef doing bbq

chef doing robatayaki 炉(端)烧.

scallop, fish & asparagus

scallop, fish & asparagus

robatayaki set included hotate (scallop) butter yaki, a mackerel & asparagus.

fish & asparagus

fish & asparagus

fish & asparagus

fish & asparagus

mackerel & asparagus were good.

scallops

hotate butter yaki

hotate butter yaki was ok. for me, this preparation though can never compare with pan seared or sashimi.

kagoshima beef & kurobuta robatayaki

kagoshima beef & kurobuta robatayaki

kagoshima beef & kurobuta robatayaki

kagoshima beef & kurobuta robatayaki

there was an excellent kagoshima wagyu skewer.

kagoshima beef & kurobuta robatayaki

kagoshima beef & kurobuta robatayaki

the kurobuta tsukune skewer was tasty too & i like the silky egg yoke dip like in sukiyaki.

nishin soba

nishin soba

the set included a nishin soba. nice. the cured herring was ok & soba was usual, something i like.

teppan set

teppan set

the teppan set had all the favourite dishes like miso cod & golden prawns (top photo).

australian beef tenderloin

australian beef tenderloin

& also the australian tenderloin.^^

cod

cod

excellent taste, the cod, can’t go wrong really.^^

garlic fried rice

garlic fried rice

& it came with a fragrant good wok hae garlic fried rice.

fruit penna cotta

fruit penna cotta

fruit penna cotta

fruit penna cotta

and we all love the penna cotta. really good.

the teppan set would be an easy winner for most diners. both the cod & gold prawns were very good. the robatayaki set had japanese wagyu, but it was a small portion, so overall the teppan set gave much better balance all round.

the lunch set was S$34++pax after 50% feed at raffles (FAR Card) discounts, quite a steal!^^

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

A Tale of 2 Dinners Part 2 The Good Ending – A Marvellous Kaiseki Dinner @ Gettoan on 26Jan2015

excellent uni

excellent uni

after the excellent ryokan breakfast this morning, we now had cause to anticipate a nice kaiseki dinner on 26.1.2015.

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

this time we were not disappointed.

hence i had termed these 2 dinners on 25.1.2015 & 26.1.2015 “a tale of 2 dinners”

what a difference a menu change made.

see the sub-par dinner on 25.1.2015

with a good kaiseki dinner & breafast, Gettoan 月灯庵 did fully meet our expectations of a good ryokan.

umeshu梅酒

umeshu梅酒

for this evening, dinner started with umeshu梅酒.

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

the chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) was outstanding. there was bits of minced ginger on top. the texture & flavours were exquisite. maybe i will try this at home.

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

the braised wagyu & tendons was just superb. texture was almost like gelatinous, had bite yet dissolving in the mouth, and nice mellow beefy flavours, mildly sweet. this was par excellence! ^^

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

grating own wasabi

grating own wasabi

ika

ika

fish sashimi

fish sashimi

we grated our own wasabi roots!

sashimi moriawase was nothing like last evening’s which was below those at sun with moon, or for that matter any supermarket basement sashimi picks in japan!

this time we had good serving each of uni, very sweet! ika was pretty good & the fish slices were very good too. the same lady server initially said it was swordfish, but when i mentioned it did not look remotely like kajiki, she corrected herself but we did not understand what fish it was actually. whatever, what counted was it’s good!

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

& we had an excellent tempura!

the 2 large pieces each of anago (sea or conger eel) was a large helping. the tempura batter was just great & the whole experience wonderful.^^

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

& we had a wonderful bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 shabu shabu. there were 10 large thick slices of wagyu for 2 pax, beef was well marbled and flavourful, very good indeed!

shabu shabu

shabu shabu

noodles, mushrooms, veg

noodles, mushrooms, veg

we had the usual noodles, mushrooms, vegetables.

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

i can have this again! 🙂

if we were to make a comparison with mikuni’s excellent kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe, certainly what we have at Gettoan was much more marbled & better beef quality. in terms of satisfaction, mikuni’s was almost as good & a good approximation to this.

pickles

pickles

we had pickles with the gohan (rice).

cake dessert

cake dessert

dessert was ok. we did not have much interest for the butter cake. it maybe that gettoan indeed is trying to be fusion, with the foie gras tofu last evening (tonight’s chawanmushi would beat tat hands down), and these cake stuff, which some restaurants in Singapore like kuriya etc does too.

anyway, we were immensely satisfied with the kaiseki dinner this second night. ^^

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

Excellent Yakiniku @ Omakaseya Azmaya on 15Jan2015

wagyu karubi

wagyu karubi

See also update on 23.1.2015.

bought some S$10 for S$20 qoo10 coupons, so went with wife to omakaseya azmaya yakiniku for dinner on 15.1.2015. 🙂 restaurant is tucked away in one corner on level 2 of robertson walk, 11 unity street. restaurant was crowded. service was disorganised & totally ineffective (i basically had to walk in & out of the room to get our orders delivered after waiting for 30mins after ordering with nothing happening). the japanese guy did make some effort to deliver “jap-level” service though the gap was enormous.

omakaseya azmaya yakiniku

omakaseya azmaya yakiniku

yakiniku grill

yakiniku grill

they used a drip grill exactly same as what i had at home. i had not used that lately as we did more of teppanyaki with the hot plate. this was inferior to the recessed smokeless charcoal grill at aburiya. also w/o the powerful ventilation suction, we came out after dinner smelling of bbq all over.

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

wagyu sirloin

fortunately the kagoshima wagyu sirloin was excellent. it was priced at S$65++ for a steak that looked >120g (maybe 150g), so at 50% off, it was really very good c/w (say) kagoshima wagyu sirloin i had recently at mikuni, my favourite restaurant.

wagyu karubi

wagyu karubi

wagyu karubi

wagyu karubi

& the wagyu karubi (beef ribs) was also excellent. the wagyu sirloin thankfully came last so w/o direct comparison, the wagyu karubi was really very good, very marbled & flavourful. just look at the top photo makes one salivate. ^^ if the wagyu sirloin was heavenly then this was 1/2way to heaven. ^^

wagyu karubi + belly pork

wagyu karubi + belly pork

belly pork

belly pork

belly pork

belly pork

belly pork

belly pork

leek

leek

the pork belly was surprising poor & tasteless. this is really odd as the sister restaurant down the road, azmaya (shabu shabu) serves an excellent tasting pork belly. fortunately the leek was an excellent dip & condiment & the pork (S$16) tasted pretty ok with the dip. there wasn’t much on the menu that we liked other than the few meats. we love the complete meal experience at aburiya because it has the kimchi chigae & the bibimen that we like very much. here the meat was superior for the price but no kimchi chigae & my wife was not keen on bibimbab (they did not serve bibimen).

omakaseya azmaya yakiniku

omakaseya azmaya yakiniku

omakaseya azmaya yakiniku

omakaseya azmaya yakiniku

after dinner we learned that we could actually get 50% discounts for all food items at our next visit. while for a complete meal experience i would go back to aburiya, this is a good alternative venue & an excellent place for very good wagyu yakiniku (of comparable standards to the average yakiniku in japan). i should be going back shortly with some friends. 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.

10346535_10152882837094494_3550865762275599733_n

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

Enjoyable Kurobuta Kimchi Nabe @ Shirokiya Cuppage Terrace on 12Oct2014

kurobuta kimchi nabe - groupon S$22.80nett

kurobuta kimchi nabe – groupon S$22.80nett

had a nice kurobuta kimchi nabe at shirokiya cuppage terrace on 12.10.2014. 🙂

last time i came here was on 11.6.2014.

we had a groupon voucher at S$22.80. the usual price of a nabe (there were 3 choices) was S$38.80++ = S$45.70.

my wife & i love kimchi chigae, so we selected the kurobuta kimchi nabe.

additional order of kurobuta (S$9) for kurobuta kimchi nabe

additional order of kurobuta (S$9) for kurobuta kimchi nabe

we later added an extra order of kurobuta pork at S$9++.

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

we didn’t want carbs, so decided against the bibimbap & the dons like ikura shake don, and ordered the broiled kurobuta. it was like a very tasty chashu that came with a good chashumen. 🙂

kurobuta kimchi nabe - groupon S$22.80nett

kurobuta kimchi nabe – groupon S$22.80nett

the sake were expensive & my wife decided against ordering them. iced water was free.

service was great, and there was a tablet order pad which you could also call for service.

dinner including my groupon voucher was about S$46nett, and we had 3 servings (90g per serving) of kurobuta (2 for the nabe + 1 added).

it was good price. the other items on the menu other than kurobuta though did not excite us. sashimi, maki were expensive c/w what we could get at better restaurants like mikuni & sun with moon wheelock etc. overall, we had better satisfaction at aburiya, though that was more expensive. the kimchi chigae at aburiya was small & actually tastier (of course with very little pork) & we love grilled meats. shirokiya though is not a yakiniku restaurant.

it was pretty ok just for a change.

c.h.e.f andy

Below Par (for the Price) 4pax Dinner @ Restaurant Home on 25Jun2014

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

was truly disappointed with the S$59.80+ ala carte buffet at restaurant home on 25.6.2014. 😦

probably had to do with wrong expectations, as the award winning chef tan yong hua has so many accolades, not least the first singaporean chef to win against iron Chef Thailand. also the price of S$59.80+pax would be quite ok if the dishes were good & not just mediocre.

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

#1 the mini buddha-jump-over-the-wall(bjotw) had a light decent soup base (not intense & maybe that was intended), a good flower mushroom, a quite small abalone which was ok & lots of chicken plus a cheap fish maw (not 花胶). i supposed average ingredients were quite ok if the soup was really tasty. it was not a bad soup. 1 of us commented any lie tong (例汤) soup of the day by tunglok or imperial treasure would beat this, so there was nothing much to say.

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

#2 the bite/texture & flavour of the 8-head abalone & also the flower mushroom were quite good. the spinach was just average, and perhaps it was more the method of preparation, but any brown sauce braised chinese abalones (ah yat, tunglok, xin restaurant etc) would be a better overall taste experience than this (not a better abalone). i guess this dish would be above average to good whereas the mini bjotw was just average.

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

#3 the salmon & maguro (tuna) sashimi were ok, the lobster was buried in mayo. a wasabi or salted egg prawn would be better. the dish was ok but nondescript.

herbal drunken prawns

herbal prawns

#4 the prawns were big & fresh & quite tasty. i guess it was about as good as a herbal prawn could be. it was not a dish i would much fancy though, unlike the wow factor with the golden prawns at mikuni.

deep-fried soon hock

deep-fried red garoupa

#5 the deep-fried red garoupa was competent, good even. but as 1 diner commented, it was no better than ah yat though the garoupa tasted better than soon hock. i also thought it was not much better than peach garden miramar, not counting ban heng’s deep-fried soon hock which was very average.

roast duck

roast duck

#6 the roast duck was to me about the best dish for the evening (& it was not among the chef selected dishes above limited to 1 serving). skin was crispy, meat was tender, moist not overcooked & very flavourful.

cabmeat brocoli

crabmeat brocoli

#7 the crabmeat broccoli was another better dish, looked good, tasted great, more like the standards of tunglok or imperial treasure.

sichuan beef with rice crackers

sichuan beef with rice crackers

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

#8 the sichuan spicy fish fillet (i forgot to take a photo) was ok edible not good but as 水煮鱼 it was a disaster! even the NUS canteen foodgle hub just above average S$6 水煮鱼 was better than this.

#9 the sichuan spicy beef with rice crackers was worse than the fish! beef was bad by any standard, the sinewy quite tasteless like rubber type. even the artificial tenderised beef at coffeeshop zi char stalls were better! not sure the thai type rice crackers qualified as 锅巴. if it were any zi char stall, i guess one could argue that’s just a choice of words.

osmanthus jelly

osmanthus jelly

#10 the osmanthus jelly was pretty good, i guess not so far off timhowan which was better, but it’s just jelly.

fruit jelly

rosella jelly with diced mango

#11 the rosella jelly was ok for a jelly but really a poor dessert c/w any of tunglok, xin, imperial treasure, i guess better than having red beans & green beans at ah yat.

#12 3 of us ordered the almond jelly (no photos). this was good restaurant standard.

i had earlier booked en japanese dining @ alocasia to try their S$56++pax queen crab wagyu ala carte buffet, but had canceled that to try this new restaurant. it was a manifestly wrong decision to take this ala carte buffet. it was not near as good as peach garden miramar’s (S$30.80++pax 3 paying 1 free) which was 1/2 the price. this 4pax dinner cost S$264nett. my recent fabulous 4pax dinner at mikuni cost only S$195nett. there was totally no comparison at all regards the food! 😦

1 Facebook friend who dined there recently commented that the ala carte orders –  lychee wood smoked peking duck, claypot steamed fish, tofu egg, braised pork knuckles vermicelli in oba leaf – were pretty good. i guess a sound opinion & i am not totally ruling out trying ala carte here if there are takers among my friends(but i think not likely), but the ala carte buffet is totally out for me! & i think really the organisation is still not in groove to put up this below par level of cuisine for a S$59.80 ala carte buffet. 😦

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

Great Kurobuta Kimchi Nabe Dinner @ Shirokiya on 11Jun2014

kurobuta kimchi nabe

kurobuta kimchi nabe

bought a groupon voucher for a japanese hotpot at shirokiya cuppage terrace branch (S$22.80 voucher for a S$38.80++ nabe) & went with my sis for a 2pax dinner on 11.6.2014. 🙂

there were 3 choices of nabe for the S$38.80 price option, 2 were chicken.  we picked the kurobuta kimchi nabe.

kurobuta kimchi nabe

kurobuta kimchi nabe

there were about 10 large slices of kurobuta belly pork (the restaurant said 160g for 2 servings), and you could add another serving (80g) for S$9++.

kurobuta was quite excellent. nabe also came with 4 mussels (ok la..), tofu, lots of vegetables & kimchi. it was a good tasty & satisfying nabe.

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

the other menu items though did not attract me. sashimi salad at S$20.80++, sushi & sashimi were quite ex, assorted sushi maki was S$25.80++. i would rather take these at mikuni or sun with moon at wheelock.

there was a (limited order) S$17.80 grilled salmon belly that looked great but was too large for 2 of us. we considered a S$13.80++ ishiyaki kurobuta don but decided we didn’t need the carb & selected the S$10.80 broiled kurobuta. this was really good! 🙂 a very tasty, flavourful, generous helping.

both items were very good. dinner came to S$35.50 nett (S$22.80+S$12.70). i bought 2 more shirokiya vouchers when i got home. 🙂

not sure i would do this at the usual price of S$38.80++, but at 1/2 price S$22.80, it was very good value. the very good kimchi chigae at aburiya cost S$13.80 for <1/2 portion & <20% pork (& not kurobuta) by comparison. azmaya used to offer 50% discount for pork shabu shabu ala carte buffer at S$12++. currently there is only a S$17.50 pork shabu shabu set, which comes to S$35 for 2pax c/w S$22.80. so shirokiya’s groupon offer great value. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy