Early Anniversary Mini Kaiseki Dinner @ Maru 丸 on 31May2018

weekday promos

had early anniversary dinner with wife at maru 丸 at icon village 12 gopeng street on 31.5.2018. ^^

unagi & aburi hotate don lunch

the bar restaurant offers various promotions that look quite interesting…

maru omakase set dinner 1 for 1 at S$78 inc 250ml free sake

excellent food & value.

we took the special 8-course mini kaiseki  1 for 1 S$78 mini kaiseki inc free 250ml sake 👍some more…

250ml free sake

& the sake was good standard. this alone would cost like S$18 easily..

#1 sensai 前菜edamame, tuna, marinated octopus

the appetizer plate included a tuna ceviche, marinated octopus & edamame.

the  tuna was very good…the octopus was tough…edamame the usual…

#2 oyster

not the very large oyster at hachi, but neverthelessthe oyster was very fresh & sweet, not big, quite ok, and came with a tasty tomato sherbet..

#3 5 kinds of sashimi – maguro, salmon, amaebi, tai, hamachi

#3 5 kinds of sashimi – maguro, salmon, amaebi, tai, hamachi

sashimi was nothing special, still quite good standard, fresh & sweet.

there were 5 kinds = sashimi – maguro, salmon, amaebi, tai, hamachi, one piece each for the 2 of us… 🙂

#4 kappa – grilled fish cheeks

#4 kappa – grilled fish cheeks

the shio (salt) grilled kappa (fish cheeks) very good 👍👍

wife found it slightly fishy, so took only 1/2…i took all of it & her 1/2 piece too. lol!

#5 sushi (aburi salmon & anago)+ #6 bara chirashi don

the aburi sushi & barachirashi don were served together.

sushi (aburi salmon & anago)

the aburi sushi were great…salmon was good & of course anago sushi 👍was special. sauce though was a bit sweet.

the bara chirashi don was ok. fish was fresh though odd cuts letfovers like any bara, the sushi rice not that great.

& there was a #7 soup…it was good too, nice tasty clear soup with asari (la la clams)…

#8 yuzu sorbet

yuzu sorbet lagi shiok!…very flavourful & refreshing. great dessert ite….

bara chirashi don

a very enjoyable early anniversary dinner with wife…

this place i will definitely come back again..don’t mind to take this mini kaiseki set again, alaos to try the weekday special & lunch specials..

c.h.e.f andy

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

Maru Dine & Bar  丸 

Address:

Contact:

 

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

Yatai 屋台 on Nakasu Island, Ramen Stadium & Canal City on 28Feb2015

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

after a very delightful meal of sashimi omakase (haha!) in our JR kyshu blossoms hotel room, we had a good rest & took a stroll to canal city, ramen stadium & nakasu in the evening & to try out the yatai 屋台on 28.1.2015.^^

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

there are some 150 such street stalls in fukuoka. they can be found in tenjin, nagahama & nakasu.

i guess foreigners were naturally attracted to the idea of yatai 屋台. ^^

it seemed such a fun place, which locals also frequent. e.g. in the korean equivalent pojangmacha 포장마차 包藏马车, there’s a lot of socialising, people getting drunk & piggy-back home (in korea dramas..haha!). 🙂

i asked 1 of my korean friends. she said there’s pojangmacha & there’s pojangmacha. everyone has her own favourite & it really depends if you like these street food & what you order.

kushiyaki串烧@nakasu yatai 屋台

kushiyaki串烧@nakasu yatai 屋台

the yatai 屋台 we decided to try was on nakasu island by the river.

food was quite poor really, both the kushiyaki & also the ramen which was NOT even comparable to the instant mala chashu ramen & the kyushu black instant ramen i made at home.

oden- yatai屋台

oden@ yatai屋台

we did not take oden, not something we were interested.

grilled mentaiko 900yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

grilled mentaiko 900yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

we had the grilled mentaiko. so so.

kushiyaki moriawase 6 for 800yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

kushiyaki moriawase 6 for 800yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

i guess the kushiyaki moriawase 6 for 800yen was not like very expensive, but my wife said they were not 1/2 as nice as tori-q, which is the truth, not that we even eat much of tori-q. haha!^^

beef stomach 600yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

beef stomach 600yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

this was a mistake! couldn’t understand what the stall owner said, we thought it was beef tripes (there was an english menu that said beef stomach) but it was more like literally beef fat!

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

ramen at the yatai 屋台 , don’t order it!

we should have tried at the ramen stadium instead. at least those looked as good as the ramen village (拉麺小路) at level 10 kyoto station.

nakasu island

nakasu island

nakasu island

nakasu island

it was a pleasant place for a stroll in the evening.

canal city - view from nakasu island

canal city – view from nakasu island

view of canal city from nakasu island side.

canal city

canal city

ramen stadium – canal city

ramen stadium looked mighty fine.

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city was quite nice to walk through. not sure what was there to do.. shopping & more shopping.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Sashimi & Sushi from Fukuoka Mitsukoshi at Tenjin on 28Jan2015

uni 1500yen

uni 1500yen

we arrived fukuoka hakataeki by train from beppu about noon time on 28.1.2015. 🙂

after checking into our hotel JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Fukuoka on the west side of hakataeki, we decided to take the subway to tenjin to walk around & explore the area.

it was a tenjin underground city with huge shopping streets – tenjin chikagai.

we planned to go to the canal city & maybe try out the yatai 屋台 at nakasu in the evening, so decided to go back to hotel for a rest first.

my wife & i had always enjoyed sashimi & sushi from the supermarkets. this time we bought a few from mitsukoshi at tenjin to enjoy our own omakase sashimi treat in the hotel room…haha!^^

on the way back to hotel, we decided to share a ramen at ichiran at B2F of fukuoka bank bldg. in front of hakata station.^^

the uni, needless to say, was heavenly – so sweet, fragrant, melt in the mouth.

toro 900yen

toro 900yen

& the toro, it was excellent! maybe it was chutoro but it was quite fatty, & simply lovely!^^

hotate 500yen

hotate 500yen

hotate always good, plump, sweet, tasty.

sayori 500yen

sayori 500yen

we had not take sayori  (flying fish or half-beak) for long time since the good old days at unkai (tanglin road) & mezzanine as we don’t go (super rare) sushi counter nowadays in singapore. this was good though i now don’t miss it much.

shellfish sushi 1100yen

shellfish sushi 1100yen

& we had a top quality sushi platter, with akagai, torigai, awabi (abalone), hotate & atlantic surf clam etc.

all these came to 4500yen! & absolutely restaurant quality in the best jap restaurants in singapore. the box of uni alone would cost S$60++, likely S$80++.

such a wonderful feasting!^^

c.h.e.f andy

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

Good Quality Lunch Kaiseki @ Hachi on 17Jan2014

kobachi (amuse bouche)

kobachi (amuse bouche)

had a good quality lunch omakase at hachi with my wife on 17.1.2014. see also the excellent dinner omakase on 9.11.2013. 🙂

omakase is like a chef’s table, no menu but usually follows the course preparations for kaiseki. the chef selects the “freshest” ingredients of the day, checks whether you have dietary restrictions & supposedly dishes out an excellent meal to you…well they usually do..

we ordered the S$68pax lunch omakase & the S$88pax ohmi wagyu omakase.

#1 we had a very good amuse bouche of tofu toped with ikura & yuzu jelly.

sensai platter

sensai platter

sashimi moriawase (shima aji, tai, hamachi)

sashimi moriawase (shima aji, tai, hamachi)

#2 next we had a sensai (前菜) dish = tofu, sweet black beans, tasty egg plant, some vegetables & nice barley miso.

#3 a sashimi platter of shim aji, tai & hamachi followed. they were sweet & fresh, but not comparable with the sashimi in the superb kuriya dining lunch kaiseki we had on 16.11.2013.

miso soup with mochi & chicken

miso soup with mochi & chicken

7746_10152137194219494_1203201074_n 1016149_10152137194269494_565799320_n

tempura

tempura

gohan (rice) set

gohan (rice) set

my wife took the lunch omakase.

#4 a tasty miso flavourful & intense was served, with chicken & kochi.

#5 then came a large oyster sashimi (S$12 ala carte). this was similar to what we had for the dinner omakase & it was very good. 🙂

#6 next was tempura, good quality batter, and #7 the gohan set.

ohmi wagyu tataki

ohmi wagyu tataki

shabu ohmi wagyu

shabu ohmi wagyu

shabu ohmi wagyu

shabu ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

wagyu gohan set

wagyu gohan set

1522096_10152137194579494_1368668396_n 1601256_10152137194639494_1848309521_n

for my ohmi wavy omakase, i had #4 ohmi wagyu tataki. it was good, very sweet & tasty.

#5 i liked the shabu ohmi wagyu as well. its like the korean bulgogi or gyudon sliced beef but good quality & w/o the overpowering teriyaki sauce. 🙂

#6 there was also the grilled ohmi wagyu steak. the wagyu was not very marbled, but still very enjoyable & my wife preferred less marbled wagyu.

#7 the gohan set had wagyu tips, small chopped pieces. a very nice rice indeed. i though maybe i could try this dish at home actually to complete a good meal. 🙂

kuro goma (black sesame) ice cream

kuro goma (black sesame) ice cream

#8 we had the black sesame ice cream – must say i was getting tired of this or the macha ice cream & would have preferred yuzu flavour instead. 🙂

i would still rate kuriya dining’s S$58 kaiseki lunch over hachi’s S$68 omakase but not by much really, so i would go back for both. if one has a fix for ohmi wagyu i guess the wagyu omakase (which i do) is an excellent choice, otherwise the S$20 upgrade to tokusen sashimi at kuriya dining would be the one i go for.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Omakase @ Hachi on 9Nov2013

excellent kobachi (小钵) -amuse bouche

excellent kobachi (小钵) -amuse bouche

we had an immensely satisfying omakase dinner for 3pax at hachi on 9.11.2013. 🙂

omakase is like a chef’s table. there is no menu & the chef dishes out the freshest ingredients of the day. generally it is done like a kaiseki course dinner. at hachi we were served a 12-course autumn-theme dinner. the restaurant asked whether we had diet restrictions, as was customary. we of course ate anything & everything..haha. 🙂

the first dish was an excellent kobachi like an amuse bouche. i can’t really remember what it was except for the slice of japanese persimon sticking out. 🙂

sensai (前菜) platter - tofu, ginko nuts, a momiji (maple) flour cake. chestnut etc

sensai (前菜) platter – tofu, ginko nuts, a momiji (maple) flour cake. chestnut etc

sashimi moriawase (shima aji, hirame, hotate, kampachi)

sashimi moriawase (shima aji, hirame, hotate, kampachi)

oyster

raw oyster

sensai (前菜) platter was lovely – tofu, ginko nuts, chestnut & a momiji (maple) flour cake etc befitting the occasion.

next was a dobin mushi (teapot soup) which was simple & nice. didn’t take a photo though!

the sashimi moriawase consisting of shima aji, hirame, hotate, kampachi was excellent, very fresh & sweet. 🙂

we also had a very large plump juicy oyster. very good indeed!

hamachi kama (fish cheeks)

hamachi kama (fish cheeks)

steamed crabmeat, tofu, seaweed, melon dish

simmered crabmeat, tofu, seaweed, melon dish

ohmi wagyu rare

ohmi wagyu rare

hokkaido tomatoes

hokkaido tomatoes

light noodles with tempura batter

light noodles with tempura batter

next up was the hamachi kama (fish cheeks). this was among the best for this evening. i don’t order kama at japanese restaurants because it is usually quite a large helping & not everyone likes it. for this evening though it was excellent, 1 of the best kama i had, very well marinated, sweet (not too sweet) & tasty. we all liked it. 🙂

next was a simmered dish of crabmeat, tofu, seaweed, melon etc, delicate & tasty.

following that we were served ohmi wagyu (ohmi is 1 of the top 3 kuroge wagyu after matsuzaka & kobe) – the highlight of the evening. it was very flavourful & a nice rare. after that we had hokkaido tomatoes. they were super, sweet & refreshing. these are now served in many restaurants in Hong Kong & Singapore & xiyan served them as a starter dish in their rather expensive course meals.

to round off the meal, we had, in place of the usual gohan set (rice & pickles), a light noodle with some tempura batter. it was very satisfying.  after that we had a nice macha ice cream. 🙂

the price of the omakase was S$118pax. it was very good in quality of cooking & ingredients & also quantity. it was certainly a much better deal c/w the S$138pax kaiseki at kuriya dining & the S$170pax kaiseki at keyaki. c/w mikuni at 50% FAR discounts and Andy’s kaiseki (in jest only la! haha), mikuni was still the better deal. still hachi was an excellent alternative for good japanese kaiseki. will certainly be back. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy