Good Japanese Alacarte Buffet @ Momoya on 28Jan2016

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the sashimi was very average quality, very average.

gyu itame (stir-fry beef)

gyu itame (stir-fry beef)

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

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

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

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

buta kimchi

buta kimchi

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

mentaiko (明太子) pasta - cod roe pasta

mentaiko (明太子) pasta – cod roe pasta

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

salmon teriyaki

salmon teriyaki

salmon teriyaki quite good.

saba shioyaki - grilled saba with salt

saba shioyaki – grilled saba with salt

saba shiyaki not bad too.

sishamo (pregnant fish)

sishamo (pregnant fish)

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

spider maki (soft shell crab)

spider maki (soft shell crab)

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

tempura moriawase

tempura moriawase

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

smoked duck breast salad

smoked duck breast salad

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

marinated seaweed & baby octopus

marinated seaweed & baby octopus

marinated seaweed & baby octopus ok la..

buta miso soup

buta miso soup

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

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

zaru soba - cold buckwheat noodles

zaru soba – cold buckwheat noodles

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

hamachi sushi (mayne it was kampachi)

hamachi sushi (mayne it was kampachi)

i ordered the hamachi sushi…liked it!

uni & kajiki sushi

unagi & kajiki (swordfish) sushi

also liked the unagi & kajiki (swordfish) sushi.

edamame

edamame

edamame very good for just munching (& beer)

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

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

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

anago cheese sushi & ika sushi

ika was just average, not the thick gummy type.

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

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

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

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

i will certainly have this again.

c.h.e.f andy

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

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

Kaiseki Dinner @ Beppu Seikai 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海 on 27Jan2015

sakizuke先附

sakizuke先附

after visiting beppu’s hell umi-jogoku海地獄, we collected our bags at beppu ski & took a taxi to our ryokan beppu saikei 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海.

after a good rest we went to the onsen before going for dinner kaiseki.

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

seikai is a bit modern type, with high rise hotel rooms & english menu.

sake

sake

we ordered sake (chargeable).

poor porridge starter

poor porridge starter

the porridge started was a spoiler, quite tasteless & unnecessary, added nothing to the experience & made us worry about the quality of the kaiseki.

pressed tamago

pressed tamago

ikura+radish etc

ikura+radish etc

the sakezuki (先附) was ok – pressed tamago (egg), some side dishes. i would say quite average.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

the sashimi moriawase looked ok but was actually very poor. i couldn’t decide if this sashimi was worse than the 1st night at Gettoan on 25.1.2015. everything was very tough. was it bad cut or the chef did not know how to cut? i am clueless.

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

we ordered an additional aji sashimi at 5000yen+8%.

i could not understand why the aji was also very tough. it was a live fish, something must really be wrong either with the fish here in kyushu (but we had excellent sashimi from the supermarket at fukuoka later) or with the way it was cut. aji should be very sweet (it was ok sweet not too bad) & not tough. for me, taka’s supermarket aji at 1/3 the price or less, is better than this.

deep-fried aji fish head

deep-fried aji fish head

the deep-fried aji fish head was not nice too.

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

they had asari (littleneck clams or la la) chawanmushi. it was pretty ok. 🙂

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

some radish i think in the chawanmushi.

mayo prawn side dish

mayo prawn side dish

there was a mayo prawn dish, nothing much there.

sushi with ginger flower

sushi with ginger flower

a sushi with pickled ginger flower (which i like).

yuba side dish

yuba side dish

a yuba side dish. this was quite good.^^

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 with soy bean shabu

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 with soy bean shabu

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

there was an interesting soya bean shabu shabu with the local bungo wagyu 丰后和牛. this was very good. but by comparison the 2nd night kaiseki at Gettoan on 26.1.2015, with lots more beef & other shabu items, was much better.

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

the usual gohan (rice) with pickles.

noodles in clear broth

noodles in clear broth

this time there was cold noodles in a clear soup. pretty ok.

strawberries + pineapples

strawberries + pineapples

& there was fruits & jelly for dessert.

i guess this kaiseki would be above average, but nothing special & kind of below expectation for the ryokan price. for me, for both Gettoan & Seikai, for the ryokan price they were charging, every kaiseki dinner should be at a standard equivalent to Gettoan’s second night kaiseki! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Ohmi Wagyu & Early Valentine Dinner @ ME.OUE on 12Feb2015

A4 ohmi wagyu

A4 ohmi wagyu

decided to do an early valentine dinner with wife on 12.2.2015. 🙂

we do that usually, no point paying through the nose on 14feb for poorer food & service.^^

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

there were quite good reviews for me@oue at OUE Bayfront. this place offers a choice of 3 cuisine – french/european, japanese & chinese. & of course it offers spectacular views on the roof terrace.

parking was S$3.21 after 6pm.

service was quite good, friendly not the top professional type which could be overly formal.

we asked for recommendations. server suggested red lobster & lamb (chinese), miso cod, the signature A4 ohmi wagyu (japanese) and pan-seared dorade (a fish) & tenderloin (french). for appetisers, he recommended crystal prawns (chinese), poached egg (french).

we enquire about sashimi moriawase. i showed the server a blog photo on sashimi moriawase which included chutoro, otoro, uni etc. the server returned to say that they were having maguro, sea bream etc (probably hirame, hamachi etc). well, it pays to ask. this nothing like what was written & not exciting at all!

squid ink brioche

squid ink brioche

we were served a squid ink brioche & butter.

tuna tartare

tuna tartare

we ordered the maguro tartare. this came to akami (lean toro), hotate & avocado. the starter was very nice, though i agreed with my wife that it was not very fine (or refine). it was a good cut so it was very tasty, but no better than the S$18.80 chirashi don at sumiya.

scallop carpaccio

scallop carpaccio

the scallop carpaccio was very fresh & tasty, a reasonable serving.

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

the server recommended the red lobster (S$55). i saw the photos before & thought it was 1/2 lobster but in fact it was a full whole lobster. the lobster was fresh, bouncy, very tasty & the chilli crustaceans sauce was excellent, better than many indifferent chilli crab places.

A4 ohmi wagyu

A4 ohmi wagyu

the signature A4 ohmi wagyu (S$145) was quite expectedly, superb!

this was japan standard, better than most of the bungo wagyu 丰后和牛we had in kyushu (yufuin, beppu, fukuoka) during our recent trip.

it was better than what we had at arossa previously & also about same as the kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki at mikuni. it cost nearly 2x what we paid at arossa (but arossa is closed now & even just prior to closing, palate privileges 50% discount was withdrawn & the wagyu cut was no more on the menu).

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

i ordered the S$16 lava cake because it had good reviews. that was a mistake. it was competent but i think no better than my own lava cake, though lately i don’t do that much so fumbled couple times when i tried to do it. i must try it again!

MBS skyline

MBS skyline

marina square skyline

marina square skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

after dinner, we went to the roof terrace outside for the nice night views of MBS & the marina bay. it was windy, there were very few people & it was a very pleasant & brief stop.^^

overall, price was S$193nett (inclusive of a S$20 red wine with no discount) after 50% palate discounts for 2pax, including japanese A4 ohmi wagyu & a whole lobster.

for me that was a very good deal. i would certainly come back for both the red lobster & also the ohmi wagyu. it was not quite fine dining yet, but it was overall pretty good & the 2 mains were just awesome!

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

Fabulous Omakase Lunch @ GOTO on 1Oct2014

sakizuki - a selection of small appetizers

sakizuke(先附) – a selection of small appetizers

GOTO is closing for renovations on 26.10.2014 & reopening on 11.11.2014.

i had wanted to go GOTO all these while but somehow did not get to do. a friend suggested recently & 5 of us decided to go for the  S$68pax omakase lunch on 1.10.2014. there was no GST so it was just S$75nett! 🙂

GOTO at 14 ang siang road is currently a kaiseki only restaurant. lunch is 6-course at S$68pax & dinner S$180pax & S$280pax. the chef owner GOTO HISAO, was previously the personal chef to the japanese ambassador to singapore.  after the renovation it will be remodelled to a casual restaurants. according to the server lunch sets would be like S$40 onwards.

we were wondering about the economics of a straight kaiseki restaurant where the dishes & ingredients were limited,  vs a normal restaurant with an extensive menu, dishes & ingredients. we were of course out of our depths, no expert in f&b, but perhaps the main objective was to increase traffic & customers. kaiseki restaurant would have a limited number of patrons. a casual restaurant would attract a larger customer base & the sitting could be doubled from the current 20?

seems the restaurant name would be changed as well to G-One. couldn’t figure out G-One, but we were kidding the place change from GOTO to GONE? is that good? 🙂

who cares as long as food is good right? & it was, quite excellent! 🙂

sakizuki - a selection of small appetizers

sakizuke(先附) – a selection of small appetizers

ikura on enoki mushrooms

ikura on enoki mushrooms

we had the first course sakizuke(先附) – a selection of small appetizers. it had a delicious pickled sanma (秋刀鱼), a equally delicious tofu, pickled ika (squid), some vege, and ikura on enoki in small bowl. really good! we were saying if every dish could be like this.  they were, quite! maybe minus the rice. 🙂

sashimi moriawase = maguro, hirame, hamachi, hotate, anago

sashimi moriawase = maguro, hirame, hamachi, hotate, anago

the sashimi moriawase = maguro, hirame, hamachi, hotate, anago was just incredible! they told us its maguro, but it was so sweet its like akamai (lean toro). hotate was just 1/2 a piece but very sweet. same for hirame (flat fish) & hamachi (yellow tail). the anago (conger eel) was an expensive item too but actually that was my least preferred among the quality sashimi.

tempura moriawase

tempura moriawase

the tempura moriawase was served differently w/o the dip & radish & wasabi. there was a lemon & a dish with what looked like green tea powder but actually salt. the server missed out explanation at our table for this dish, so we were guessing the lemon should go on the salt (lemon juice with salt is a very good dip for yakiniku), anyway a few of us including myself was too quick & just squeezed the lemon on the tempura. there was shisamo (pregnant fish), asparagus, 2 like fish cakes etc. very good dish. 🙂

a simmered kamo (duck) dish

a simmered kamo (duck) dish

we have a simmered duck dish. i liked it very much. 1 friend felt the duck had too gamey taste. the rest didn’t. a few thought the duck was tough. 1 said the sauce a bit sweet (japanese like to add sugar to their dishes).

for me though it was quite perfect – duck, yam etc. 🙂

gohan (rice) set

chicken & mushroom gohan (rice) set

a friend said that the mushroom smell was really good. & indeed it was. however i & a few of us did not think this good was great. it did not really had the wok hae of a good chinese fried rice, nor the flavours of a good japanese unagi chahan (fried rice) like say in zen or its sister restaurant en japanese dining. nor is it flavourful c/w the very nice kamameshi at sun with moon.

of course we were just picking bones. haha! 🙂

dessert - mochi, fruits, black sesame ice cream

dessert – mochi, fruits, black sesame ice cream

dessert was good too. kochi i liked, good quality fruits & a great black sesame ice cream.

i think this a very good lunch for S$75. i consider this perhaps more refine & better than the S$68 omakse lunch at hachi & about same as (or sometimes better than depending on menu) the S$68 monthly lunch special at kuriya dining. anyway i have booked to go back next week. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Just OK Lunch @ Ichiban Boshi on 9Sep2014

bara chirashi don

S$15.90 bara chirashi don

a friend bought lunch at ichiban boshi @ great world city on 9.9.2014.

i had been to ichiban boshi a few times some time ago. more recently i went mostly to sun with moon wheelock. looking at the internet menu, and comparing with the dinner & lunch sets available at sun with moon wheelock & say tonkichichikuwatei, momoya & kuroson, my view is that by comparison ichiban boshi is not value-for-moeny.

i decided to order a bara chirashi don (they called it chirashi don but it was actually bara chirashi don) because the bara chirashi don set at sun with moon wheelock was really very good, even better than a chirashi don at say tonkichi.

but it was a mistake (i would be better off if i ordered the S$19.90 seafood don, which was actually a chirashi don). the rice was nothing like the very tasty rice at sun with moon wheelock & the sashimi cut & amount were poorer in quality & quantity.

gyu yaki set

gyu yaki set

bara chirashi don

bara chirashi don

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

my friend ordered a beef yaki set for himself & he added a sashimi moriawase. not quite sure how much but i guess maybe S$25.90. it had good quality ingredient like mirugai (geoduck) and so-so hokkigai (atlantic surf clams). salmon was average, hamachi was good.

in my opinion it would be much better value-for-money to pay 25% or 35% more at sun with moon wheelock & get a lot more quality food. at the very least, sashimi is probably not the food to try at ichiban boshi since it is serving kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi 回転寿司, quality likely mediocre, so perhaps it maybe better to try the cooked food. however just looking at the photos, the kamameshi for example does not look anything like the appetising ones at sun with moon wheelock.

the point here is that even though ichiban boshi is cheaper than sun with moon wheelock, but if you add a dish say like sashimi moriawase, then the cost maybe S$35pax which is equal or more than the cost of a good set at sun with moon wheelock, but i had a lot more satisfaction with the wheelock set.

c.h.e.f quak

OK Japanese Food @ Miz Japanese Restaurant on 11Aug2014

S$20 beef sukiyaki

S$20 beef sukiyaki

i was somewhat hasty when i bought 2 groupons S$28 for S$60 for miz japanese restaurant.  i got a bit apprehensive after reading the largely negative reviews on hungrygowhere. the reviews on openrice & trip advisor though were pretty ok.

i recce on miz the day we went to praelum wine bistro at duxton hill on 1.8.2014. the place did not look so impressive.

anyhow my 2 groupons expire on 12.8.2014 so no option but to go today, on 11.8.2014.

sashimi moriawase

S$30 sashimi moriawase

as it turned out the food was really quite good. 🙂

the S$30 sashimi moriawase included 5 cuts of hotate (scallops), shake (salmon), maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellow tail) & kajiki(sword fish). all including hotatet were very fresh, certainly if you c/w say the quite poor kajiki & sashimi i had at olive restaurant on 15.1.2014. S$30 for a lot of quantity may not quite match sun with moon’s superb sashimi moriawase at S$29.80, but at <s$15, there’s=”” nothing=”” to be=”” said. it’s like=”” cheaper=”” than=”” buying=”” from=”” taka=”” or=”” <span=”” class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”or ” data-mce-bogus=”1″>meidi-ya at liang court. 🙂

we wanted to change our S$14 kaki furai order to the S$16 salmon belly after seeing our neighbour ordering the very fresh & tempting sashimi, but the proprietress mariko-san asked the kitchen & they had already started preparation, so we forgo that as we already hit the S$120 voucher value.

ebi tempura

S$18 ebi tempura

the S$18 ebi tempura had 6 prawns & the batter was good, crispy & light, a very competent to good tempura. 🙂

unagi kebabyaki

S$18 unagi shirayaki

we ordered the unagi kebayaki – i think it was 1 of their signature dish. it was ok edible but to me not a unagi kebayaki dish at all, so i would not recommend this dish at all. when i saw the bill, i realised that they took the wrong order & it was shira yaki, so it was my fault. when in doubt, query!

kaki fry

S$14 kaki furai

another signature dish was oyster dynamite – 3 oysters for S$18. sounded expensive to me & not sure how the dynamite sauce & cheese turned out. so i opted for the usual kaki furai – 5 oysters fritters for S$14. this was good ok, not the standard of zen japanese cuisine ones we had recently on 21.7.2014, but ok.

total bill after discounts = S$65.25nett

total bill after discounts = S$65.25nett

S$20 beef sukiyaki

S$20 beef sukiyaki

we had ika teriyaki whole squid grilled (forgot to take photo). wouldn’t say it’s poor. jut so-so & not worth ordering as you could order other items like salmon belly etc.

the S$20 beef sukiyaki was ok, competent. S$20 would be expensive but <$10 after discount was pretty much ok. 🙂

our bill came to S$129.25 include 10% service & no GST. so since i paid S$56 for 2xS$60 groupons, i topped up S$9.25 & the meal for 3pax was S$65.25. that would be like S$18++pax & i think more than fair.

i chatted with mariko-san the proprietress. she was a busy, somewhat harried, competent lady, and in no way rude or unfriendly.  i asked her which days were best to come for sashimi. she said tuesday & friday at first but then added that they had fresh sashimi every day as everything was sold. i quite believe her.

not sure if i would come this joint for ala carte if fully priced w/o groupon discounts, but they also have sets, bentos & lunch promotions etc, so i may explore a little more.

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Lunch Kaiseki @ Kuriya Dining on 16Nov2013

tokusen (特选) sashimi moriawase

tokusen (特选) sashimi moriawase=chutoro, akaebi, mirugai, uni wrapped with tai

had a most enjoyable lunch kaiseki at kuriya dining @ great world city with my wife on saturday 16.11.2013. they served an excellent daily S$58 lunch kaiseki (there was also a S$48 option which has sushi instead of sashimi). 🙂

this lunch was even better than the S$138 kaiseki dinner on 4.6.2013 i had here! the only caveat is that as the menu changes monthly, some months’ menu maybe more attractive than others, so it makes sense to check the website menu. for this day everything was par excellence!

kuriya dining november lunch kaiseki menu

november lunch kaiseki menu

sensai (前菜)=fish liver, chestnut, pumpkin jelly, reef squid, mushroom

sensai (前菜)=fish liver, chestnut, pumpkin jelly, reef squid, mushroom

angler fish liver

angler fish liver

chutoro

chutoro,mirugai(geoduck) in foreground

sashimi =maguro, kampachi, sake

sashimi moriawase =maguro, kampachi, sake

akaebi (red prawn) head

akaebi (red prawn) head

grilled prawn & fish with superb truffle sauce

grilled prawn & fish with superb truffle sauce

simmered cod in plum sauce

simmered cod in plum sauce

the first course, sensai (前菜) consisted of angler fish liver, chestnut, pumpkin jelly, reef squid, mushroom. angler fish (ugliest in the world?) liver was such a fine sublime dish, simply delish! the other items – bigfin reef squid etc were all good too. 🙂

the sashimi moriawase (maguron, sake, kampachi) was very good, sweet & fresh. for 1 set we topped up S$20 for the sashimi & got an exquisite tokusen (特选) sashimi moriawase with chutoro, akaebi, mirugai, uni wrapped with tai (top photo). this was super good value upgrade. the akaebi was the size of botan ebi (or bigger for this one) but not as sweet. we asked for the head to be deepfried. it was excellent every time. perhaps next time we would ask for aburi (torched) chutoro. 🙂

the grilled prawn & fish were good if ordinary but the truffle sauce was super.

the simmered cod with plum sauce was another par excellence dish. sweet, firm cod with slight sour sauce, the best! 🙂

ikura sake chirashi don set

chirashi don set (ikura, sake, tai)

dessert=macaron,fruits & vanilla ice cream

dessert=macaron,fruits & vanilla ice cream

& after so many quality dishes we got a very nice chirashi don (with loads of ikura, sake & tai) to finish off. this lunch was so gooood!

i always wonder why japanese cuisine had such a wide menu & yet almost no dessert, like only fruits & ice cream & maybe jelly…my impression is all japanese dessert are tea dessert of the red bean kind, and the best dessert in tokyo, shinjuku etc are all the western dessert which the japanese do so well, maybe better than most western places.

anyhow we had a good combination of western dessert – a macaron with vanilla ice cream (instead of jam), fruits & 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream).

this an excellent lunch menu that i would return for everytime. c/w keyaki’s weekend S$60pax brunch mini kaiseki, i would consider both the S$58pax menu & the upgrade S$78pax menu at kuriya dining a much better offering. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy