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

Wonderful Set Lunch @ Pollen on 22Jul2013 (Part 1)

pickled anchovies, orange salad & olives & chilled fennel soup

pickled anchovies, orange salad & olives & chilled fennel soup

i first dined at Pollen Street Social at Pollen Street Mayfair in Oct2011 when my wife & i were visiting our son in London. at the time Jason Atherton had just started the London restaurant for 1/2 year & already gained his 1st michelin star. while he did have pedigree association/partnership for 10 years with various Gordon Ramsay restaurants including Maze, he obviously collected quite many accolades in his own right & we had excellent lunches at Pollen & revisited it a few times. the set lunches were GBP22 for 2-course & GBP25.50 for 3-course then. I checked the website – it is GBP26 & GBP29.5 today.

on this day (22.7.2013), my dining quartet decided to lunch at Pollen @ Gardens by the Bay.  Pollen offered a S$55pax 3-course lunch inclusive of admission to Flower Dome (S$12). with DBS card there was a free wine (which cost S$18) or mocktail for each (promotion till Dec2013),  together it was a rather good deal. and so it was even better when the food was truly good, and the service too (they have a free buggy from carpark A pick-up point to restaurant doorstep as well). 🙂

Pollen Restaurant @ Gardens By The Bay.

Pollen Restaurant @ Gardens By The Bay.

Pollen was just located with the Flower Dome, so ambience was great!

S$55pax 3-course set lunch menu

S$55pax 3-course set lunch menu

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& nice crockery. 3 of us had a red, 1 friend took a mocktail.

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there were bread (with apple mustard puree, black sesame butter & herb butter) & some small bites to get started – crispy pig skin & risotto croquette with truffle & aubergines. nice! 🙂

texture of potatoes

texture of potatoes

3 of us took the pickled anchovies & chilled fennel soup, & 1 took the texture of potatoes & clearly enjoyed it. i liked the combination of somewhat salty & savoury anchovies with the chilled soup.

aussie ocean trout, gnocchi, pea puree, shimeji, garlic emulsion

aussie ocean trout, gnocchi, pea puree, shimeji, garlic emulsion

for the main i picked the pan-seared trout. the crispy skin was done very well. i generally enjoy sea perch, chilean seabass or cod better than salmon (which i find one gets satiated easily), but this trout was very flavourful.  i liked it. 🙂

roast kurobuta pork belly & asparagus, black sesame, miso

roast kurobuta pork belly & asparagus, black sesame, miso

my other friends all opted for the kurobuta pork belly with miso & black sesame. it was very good too. i thought then i would try out a miso pork belly at home.

thai peanut, green apple, kaffir lime

thai peanut, green apple, kaffir lime

banana with madras curry ice cream

banana with madras curry ice cream

70% dark choclate, coffee, rum raisin, truffle honey

70% dark chocolate, coffee, rum raisin, truffle honey

all the desserts were very good. i liked my banana & madras curry a lot. the thai peanut & kaffir lime was very refreshing & the dark chocolate everyone liked even if it was more common place. 🙂

petite fours

petite fours

we had petit fours (chocolate, nougat, pastilles & cookie)  & coffee. 1 friend was educating us that petit four meant “small oven” nothing to do with 4 items. indeed she was right & it was a good fun thing to learn while enjoying a great meal. 🙂

i will do a separate post on the complementary visit to Flower Dome, which i enjoyed very much.  my friend made a very good lunch choice with Pollen indeed. even w/o free wine, 3-course+coffee & entrance to Flower Dome was a fair deal. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Oven Slow-roast Pork Belly

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oven slow-roast pork belly

I have NOT been too successful when it comes to cooking belly pork. First, it is really not so healthy to be eating belly pork often & my family members are not really crazy over it. The more successful pork belly dish I have made is kakuni – Japanese slow-braised pork belly.

Anyhow I wanted a wider selection of dishes for my homecooked makan (meal) gatherings, so I still somewhat doggedly try out different cooking methods for pork belly. I find GR (Gordon Ramsay)’s crackling skin pressed pork belly too difficult to make, so I try out various slow-roast to get a dish that is good enough for my purpose.

The best version I have created is in the top picture. I did that when my youngest 19-year old daughter invited 14 friends to the house for lunch on the 3rd day of the recent Chinese New Year, 2013.

I use a square-cut block of belly pork, place it in boiling water for like 10seconds, then place it in cold water, wipe it clean & dry with kitchen towel or airdry in fridge. I then rub the belly pork with white sugar (but not the skin), place it in a baking dish skin-side up, drizzle Chinese old shaoxing wine (陈年绍兴酒) & then olive oil over it. I cover the baking dish with aluminium foil & place it in a preheated 175degC oven for 1/2 hr. I remove the dish from the oven, turn over the belly pork so it is skin-side down & drizzle 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, & letting the oven cool. I then preset the oven to 90degC on the low heat function and leave it for 3/4hr, turnover once again for another 3/4hr. So the total time is 2hrs.

The end result is the picture above, though the belly pork is looking pretty with a nice pink, it is fully cooked. That is my best production with this method so far.

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oven slow-roast pork belly

I tried it again for my recent gathering of friends, with a slight variation. Instead of the low heat function, I use the normal function still set to 90degC. The result is the one below. The texture of the fat & meat is still as good & soft, the skin is just very little bit tougher. One addition I made is the Spanish spicy mustard sauce. This is a really nice concoction & together with the original sauce from the belly pork (after passing through a sieve) made 2 very nice dipping sauce for the belly pork. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 block square cut belly pork (about 350g)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese old shaoxing wine (陈年绍兴酒)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

For spicy Spanish mustard sauce:

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cut chilli padi
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare the belly pork – place it in boiling water for like 10seconds, then place it in cold water, wipe it clean & dry with kitchen towel or airdry in fridge.  rub the belly pork with white sugar (but not the skin), place it in a baking dish skin-side up, drizzle Chinese old shaoxing wine (陈年绍兴酒) & then olive oil over it.
  2. Cook the belly pork – cover the baking dish with aluminium foil & place it in a preheated 175degC oven for 1/2 hr. remove the dish from the oven, turn over the belly pork so it is skin-side down & drizzle 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, & letting the oven cool.  preset the oven to 90degC on the low heat function and leave it for 3/4hr, turnover once again for another 3/4hr. total time is 2hrs. remove from oven, rest & serve.
  3. Make spicy Spanish mustard sauce – put a teaspoon of dijon mustard in a small bowl, add 1 cut chilli padi, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, and 2 teaspoon olive oil. mix well.