Homemade Chirashi Don & Beef Don on 6Mar2016

homemade chirashi don

homemade chirashi don

wife went on skiing trip with a friend at rusutsu hokkaido, and brought back some fresh sashimi.

we made a japanese don dinner this evening on 6.3.2016. ^^

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

i used my usual chawanmushi 茶碗蒸 recipe. 🙂

2cups water. add 2tsp mirin, 2tsp light soy sauce, 1tsp sugar (basically to taste) & whisked with 3 eggs. steam for 15mins. & that’s it!

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

chawanmushi 茶碗蒸

i did not have prawns & decided not to use chicken breast. instead i marinated with fish sauce & white pepper some frozen hokkaido scallops (not sashimi grade) & also some cheap sutchi white fish fillet.

uni - sea urchin

uni – sea urchin

the uni was super sweet, melt in the mouth, lingering..

hotate - scallops

hotate – scallops

hotate also very sweet & with the wonderful slight gummy texture, the best!

ikura - salmon roe

ikura – salmon roe

ikura slight salty…bursting with flavours…

atlantic surf clams

atlantic surf clams

was surprised by the atlantic surf clams…the ones i remembered taking in singapore were the frozen kind, dry with little taste. these ones were tender & sweet. not in the league of uni & hotate though, for me.

angus beef ribeye medium rare

angus beef ribeye medium rare

i did an angus ribeye using my recent oven method – this one 2 hrs at 60degC then chargrilled 1 minute on each side.

homemade chirashi don

homemade chirashi don

the chirashi don was just wonderful & the beef too.

c.h.e.f andy

Hotate Ikura Don on 7Mar2015

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

wife brought back hotate sashimi, ikura, uni & hairy crabs from hokkaido after her skiing holiday yesterday.

we took the uni earlier as that could not keep.

this evening, we made our own hotate ikura don, plus hotate sashimi & hairy crab.

i made some tamago – japanese pressed egg omelette.  tamago texture & taste was very good, but the shape was not yet right. need some more practice, haha!^^

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

hotate ikura don

we had very good wasabi. we did not have the sushi rice vinegar, so the sushi rice was not ideal, but overall it was an excellent don.^^

we also used the nori (seaweed) to make a temaki (hand roll).^^

hotate sashimi

hotate sashimi

the hotate was plump & so incredibly sweet. 🙂

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab

hairy crab was also excellent. very tasty & juicy.

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

Protected: RI G20 14pax Monthly Dinner @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

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Lobster, Crab & Average Buffet @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

a friend organised the monthly RI schoolmates dinner at spices cafe, concord hotel yesterday on 31.10.2014. it was a really fun evening with a lot of interesting conversation. i am just quoting our great philosopher-

the analogy we cooked up to explain our senior moments. it was triggered by a friend’s reference to cloud storage as in the IT terminology eg Dropbox. our memory storage is in the cloud. it is just that we forget the password at times to unlock the specific memory storage. that’s why it helps to have shared storage in the cloud. if one forgets, another remembers. we need all the help we can get when our own neurons refuse to do the job.

see how fun our get-togethers are…with genius like this spewing jewels of wisdom…haha! 🙂

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

the dinner buffet came with 1 order only of 1/2 cheese baked gratin lobster (or alternatively abalone). they said 200g though it looked bigger. the preparation though was so-so, the meat didn’t feel bouncy so either it was not a live lobster or maybe slight overdone.

the abalone was small c/w say the 2in size & more importantly excellent tasting abalone at ah yat abalone restaurant in a 5-course dinner groupon deal costing only S$28.80.

pepper crab

pepper crab

butter baked crab

butter baked crab

thai basil crab

thai basil crab

the buffet also included unlimited order of crabs prepared 5 ways – thai basil, pepper, chilli, salted egg & butter baked.

the preparations were ok. for me, thai basil & salted egg were best, pepper ok, butter baked so-so. i did not try chilli.

the crab were the indonesian mud crab type or maybe vietnamese, not the large sri lankan crab. meat was sweet, not the very firm standard, but not falling apart also. i think “boleh la” – ok & really i seldom eat crab as they are really expensive in seafood restaurants, so it may actually make sense if you want to “whack” the crabs to come & makan here! 🙂

we were too busy talking & having fun & did not even order a second round, but i made sure i tasted most of it, well except the chilli crab. 🙂

cold appetizers - oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

cold appetizers – oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

appetizers - smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

appetizers – smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

the cold appetiser section had oysters(good), mussels(ok), scallops on shell(i did not want to try, it looked like just taken out of deep freeze & thawed just as 1 blogger commented), salmon belly sashimi (good), maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi (the last 4 i likewise did not want to try. the sushi looked like the supermarket type).

i also took smoked salmon (so so, i should say poor actually), and a marinated saba (ok). did not try the prawns & cold pasta.

fortunately, salmon belly sashimi was really quite good, and the oyster too, so that was quite enough for me.

satay

satay

satay was good, and they actually had the pineapple sauce (not so common these days).

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good, lemak. as good as any of the “katong laksa” around & the sungei road laksa. i had a second helping, maybe should have gone for a third.

i did not touch any of the cooked food. did not attract me, anyway, with lobster, crab, 2 helpings of oyster & sashimi & laksa, it was kind of enough, not too bad. 🙂

cheese & salad bar

cheese & salad bar

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

the cheese & salad bar was ok if limited. i took the brie & the blue. 🙂

the fruits were good. i had 2 helpings of pineapples & watermelon, and they had a lot of dried fruits like figs, apricots & prunes that i liked.

===============

overall, i find spices cafe buffet rather expensive, at S$54++pax for friday & weekend dinners. fortunately there was a 3paying 1 free promotion, so we paid about S$49pax nett for 13pax + 1pax vegetarian alacarte.

if you consider that a good 1/2lobster cost between S$20 and S$30, i guess then the buffet was not overly expensive.

buffet doesn’t attract me, and other than the lobster & crab (which were also so so for me), i would not normally do this buffet.

i would rate this as slightly above olive tree restaurant @ intercontinental hotel (S$34++ after 1 for 1 promotion) & the lunch buffet at edge @ pan pacific (S$43.50++ after 3paying 1 free) but not by much, and of course edge has far superior ambience & in a “higher class hotel” if that is even important haha.

anyway i would only go if i want the crab (i don’t need the lobster), & spices cafe has lunch buffet for senior citizen at S$23pax, so if i really want buffet i can go lunch w/o the lobster & crab. 🙂

for buffet, my favourite is still the semi buffet at equinox (after 50% feed at raffles discounts, that is), and even then i have not been there for the longest time! the view over marina bay skyline & F1 circuit is superb, and the main courses (which i avoid in other buffet) are ala carte orders & of fine dining standard.

the same goes for one ninety mezzo lunch at four seasons, another superior semi buffet. one ninety has better quality of buffet spread than equinox, & the main courses are also ala carte orders of fine dining standard. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Value Sushi & Sashimi Bento Dinner @ Momoya on 6Jul2014

tempra & udon sey

tempra & udon set

went to friend’s house in the east again to watch wimbledon finals between djokovic & federer on 6.7.2014.

we decided to go another place for dinner. we had been going to east coast lagoon food village the last few times. 1 friend suggested momoya at jalan pari burong.

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$5 sashimi upsize - 9 pieces

S$5 sashimi upsize – 9 pieces

S$5 sashimi upsize - 9 pieces

S$5 sashimi upsize – 9 pieces

must say they have very good & inexpensive sets here. momoya also serves ala carte buffet, S$31++pax for lunch & S$35++pax for dinner (same buffet menu).

1 friend ordered the tempura & udon set. the tempura moriawase included 3 prawns, i guessing 1 fish & 2 vegetables. i tried 1 prawn, it was ok, the batter just average not so great.

another friend & i ordered the sushi & sashimi set. there were 12 pieces of sashimi – 4 slices each of salmon, maguro (tuna) & hamachi (yellow tail). salmon was very good, comparable with sun with moon at wheelock & might be better than or about same as chikuwatei. hamachi & maguro were quite standard, probably about same as chikuwatei not as good as sun with moon wheelock. the 6 pieces of sushi were pretty good quality – salmon, maguro, kajiki, eel, amaebi & ebiko. the set included soup & chawamushi (very average not great). at S$17++ for 12 pieces of sashimi & 6 pieces of sushi of above average to good quality, it was really good value for money.

we added 2 upsized portions of sashimi. this was same as the sashimi in the set except that there were 3 slices each so total 9 pieces sashimi for just S$5.

i would say the sashimi was about comparable with chikuwatei so S$17 set for 18 pieces was a much better deal than the S$25++ chirashi don at chikuwatei, and adding the upsize 9 pieces sashimi, it was just S$22++. the sashimi were good enough that greedy me enjoyed the overdose of 27 pieces for just S$22++. the S$20++ chirashi don set at ginza kuroson offered better quality sashimi but portion wise would be 1/2 this mount.

i would do this again when visiting my friends in the east.

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Sashimi & Unagi don Set @ Sun with Moon Wheelock on 22Jun2014

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

my wife & i were in between meals & decided to have “tea” (more of 2 meals dinner & lunch into 1, save time, money, calories..haha) @ sun with moon at wheelock. this is becoming our favourite restaurant. 🙂

we were not really interested in their tea menu. likely we were not the only ones so they provided full meal sets in their “tea” menu.

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80 (addition chawanmushi S$3.50, salmon sashimi S$3)

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80 (addition chawanmushi S$3.50, salmon sashimi S$3)

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

i was already thinking of the sashimi at sun with moon after the not entirely fulfilling chirashi don dinner at chikuwatei on 17.6.2014, so 1 ordered a sashimi & unagi don set S$34.80. we did not want to have 2 sets so we added another sashimi moriawasse for 2pax at S$29.80.

(P.S. subsequently i had dinner at momoya on 6.7.2014 & it was 1 of the best value sushi & sashimi bento).

the sashimi moriawasse that came with the set had 9 pieces c/w with the ala carte sashimi for 2 (only missing 1 ama ebi & 2 slices of hotate in comparison) , and cost S$5 more. i would consider both quite reasonably priced & vis a vis each other. 🙂

as i mentioned on my post on chikuwatei, the salmon sashimi were sweeter, tastier here. the cut was also quite thick but perhaps just somewhat thinner c/w chikuwatei. the kajiki (swordfish) was a lot sweeter & there were ama ebi & hotate (missing in chikuwatei). for me it was a lot more shiok here. we also added a salmon sashimi side (3 thinner slices for S$3) & a chawanmushi (S$3.50). 🙂

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

the set also came with the unagi don which i liked, side dish (vinegared unagi which my wife liked), soup, pickles & a drink.

we also added 1 small green tea parfait S$6.80.

there was a 15% card discount for ocbc, however it only applied to the ala carte order. since i had the members card (cost S$20 & you get back S$20 in points for redemption) which entitled to 10% discount for the whole bill, which came to S$82nett. its somewhat more ex c/w chikuwatei which was an overdose (not complaining!) of average to just above average thick cut sashimi for a S$25++ chirashi don.

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

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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

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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

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

teriyaki cod

teriyaki cod

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

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

kobachi 小钵 - some pickled radish

kobachi 小钵 – some pickled radish

sake

sake

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

good tempura moriawase

good tempura moriawase

aussie beef teppanyaki

aussie beef teppanyaki

kagoshima pork

kagoshima pork – better than beef!

maki

maki

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kuro goma ice-cream

kuro goma ice-cream

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

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

& we had 3 pieces of maki. nice too.

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

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

c.h.e.f andy

Great Lunch Kaiseki @ Hokkaido Sushi on 4Oct2013

kagoshima wagyu 3 small pieces

kagoshima wagyu 3 small pieces

hokkaido sushi at M Hotel had a wagyu kaiseki groupon promotion. i always like hokkaido sushi but it is kind of ex w/o promotions. 🙂

they had the S$46.50 for 7-Course kagoshima wagyu sirloin kaiseki & a S$62.80 5-course kagoshima & ohmi wagyu set. there were 6 of us & we arranged to have the S$46.50 lunch. they charged S$1 for refillable tea & S$0.50 water, quite fair. 🙂

pitan tofu with tobiko

pitan tofu with tobiko

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

ebi & fish tempura

ebi & fish tempura

ginkarei shioyaki

ginkarei shioyaki

kagoshima wagyu

kagoshima wagyu

bara chirashi don

bara chirashi don

the 7 courses included a pitan tofu with tobiko (flying fish roe), and it was very well done here, as always. next was a sashimi moriawase. this time there was no botan ebi, being replaced by a small truffle kampichi item. the other sashimi – salmon, hamachi, tai & maguro were all good, very fresh & sweet. 🙂

the fish + 2 ebi tempura were good, nothing special. the ginkarei shioyaki was very good, and a good helping too. the kagoshima wagyu (star of the show) was very good, but a very small helping just 3 pieces. the bara chirashi don with salmon, tai & ikura toppings was good too, though not special. it was really 6 course & not 7 (they just count the soup as 1 course). 🙂

i thought it was very good value, though a smaller set c/w with previous offers & having kagoshima wagyu replaced a bigger portion of australian wagyu.

truffle sashimi

truffle kampachi

kagoshima wagyu & ohmi wagyu

kagoshima wagyu & ohmi wagyu

wagyu fried rice

wagyu fried rice

i had earlier gone for a lunch with my family & 2 of us took the $62.80 set. the truffle kampachi was ok but i thought the cheaper set sashimi moriawase which then included 1 botan ebi was far better. when it came to wagyu though, there were both kagoshima wagyu & the more ex & fatty ohmi wagyu sirloin & a good portion (100g) & they were just fabulous. when the promotion is back i will certainly do it again especially the ohmi wagyu set. it is best paired with the cheaper 7-course set to share among 2pax. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Kaiseki Lunch @ Keyaki on 18Aug2013

teriyaki cod

teriyaki cod

see also keyaki update on 27.10.2013.

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

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

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

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

chawanmushi

chawanmushi

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

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

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

beef teppnyaki

beef teppnyaki

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

maki

maki

maki was quite ok too,

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

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

c.h.e.f andy

Japanese Dinner @ Mikuni at Fairmont Hotel on 24Mar2013

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truffle kampachi sashimi

Note – see also update = FAR Card 50% for up to 5pax. 🙂

I go to Mikuni a lot as my wife & I really enjoy the food there, and with Feed@Raffles discounts (50% discount for 2pax), that is the best value eat we can get anywhere. 🙂

We always order ala carte so we pick only dishes we like and also it is much better value than ordering the Seasons Menu or the Grand Tour Tasting Menu. We explore the menu quite a bit & zero in on the dishes we like. In fact, we have now taken the same few dishes so many times that I can almost call it a “Andy Kaiseki Menu”..haha…just kidding. 🙂 It is just 5 course, but while it may not have like 10 courses to be a full kaiseki menu, every dish is very substantial when compared with individual course of a kaiseki or mini kaiseki.

My selected courses (shared by 2pax) as follows-

  1. truffle kampachi (S$28)
  2. botan ebi sashimi (3 large prawns for S$35)
  3. united nations futomaki (9 ingredients 6 pieces maki S$28)
  4. sous vide then deep-fried octopus (S$30)
  5. 2xkagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe (individual hotpot at S$48 each)
  6. 1 plain rice to share – they will split for you (S$5)

As you see, the price comes to S$222, and at 50% discount, it is S$111 or S$55.50++pax. 🙂

Now to the dishes.

The first dish, a truffle kampachi is a wonderful, wonderful dish, and as you can see in the top picture, it is so pretty. It is in a small way a fusion sashimi dish by the Korean Chef with kampachi sashimi fanned out in probably tsuyu sauce as the sauce is not so salty, and a dash of truffle oil – so very fragrant, fresh, sweet & tasty! 🙂

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botan ebi sashimi

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botan rbi heads deep-fried

The second dish is botan ebi sashimi – you get 3 prawns for sashimi & 2 if you order sushi. These are large (3x the size of regular ama ebi), plump & sweet prawns with the same pleasant slightly sticky to the bite texture as regular ama ebi.

and they deep fry the large prawn heads. We eat up almost the entire crispy deep-fried prawn heads every time so no need to elaborate la…haha. 🙂

united nations futomaki

united nations futomaki

Next the united nation futomaki. The name sounds like a disaster but there are 9 ingredients (I can see there are unagi, ebi, tamago, avogado, different fish roes, maybe crabstick etc) & it is good – may not be the best as there are many specialist maki in many restaurants these days, but it is good!

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Then we have the tako (octopus) sous vide & deep-fried in light batter. This is really very good as the meat is totally tender & consistent throughout because of sous vide (vacuum low temperature slow-cooking). it goes very well with just a little wasabi mayo (provided) – we always add more wasabi on our own.

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kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe (小钵)

& the the finale – kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe (小钵).

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It is very, very good! there are 3 pieces of wagyu, and you can see from the photos that they are large & thick pieces – I reckon the 3 pieces to be at least 80g, probably 100g! these are Jap wagyu NOT australian wagyu, & they are so, so tasty,  the sukiyaki also comes with the usual vegetables, thick Japanese glass noodles & mushroom, and oh such great flavours! you can add the soup to the rice afterwards (and remember to add wasabi to it as well).

c.h.e.f andy

Lunch @ Tonkichi at Orchard Central on 22Mar2013

chawanmuchi (茶碗蒸)

chawanmushi (茶碗蒸)

had a simple pleasant lunch with my sister at Tonkichi @ Orchard Central today.

we were both eyeing the Friday special chirashi don lunch set when we passed by the other day, so we just ordered that – 2 sets.

the shortage of foreign workers is  showing up clearly in many economic sectors in Singapore, not least the restaurant service sector. we saw only 2 waiting staff, they were both well-trained and efficient but very busy as there were quite many tables taken up even though it was just 12.30pm – that maybe a good thing actually.

we were quickly given our chawanmushi – to keep us occupied. this was good. texture was very slightly dense but of smooth consistency, sweet-tasting and the chicken was good, no ginkgo nuts.

chirashi don

chirashi don

it was a rather long wait after the chawanmushi starter, just about 1/2hour. luckily we were not in a hurry.

chirashi don

chirashi don

the chirashi don has 7 pieces of sashimi – 2 salmon (good), maguro (ordinary), 2 tamagos (good) & 1 amaebi (good), and the vinegared rice was good too. I would consider it a good quality chirashi don set at S$15.90++ by most comparison. However the S$20++ chirashi don set at Kuroson would beat this hands down in terms of both sashimi quality & quantity & overall set quality which also includes free refillable green tea (hot or cold).

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Tonkichi @ Orchard Central

the set also included a tiny soba – quite irrelevant carbo load but no harm having.

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watermelon – looked slight pale but was sweet & juicy

the watermelon was juicy & sweet.

given a choice, I would always go to Kuroson, but if I am in the area (Orchard Central), I might just do this again.

c.h.e.f andy

Restaurant Week $35nett Lunch @ Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant on 19Mar2013

Menu-Restaurant Week $35nett set lunch at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant

Menu-Restaurant Week $35nett set lunch at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant

A friend bought lunch today. We had great time chatting about the charity he was actively leading last 25years, travel & food.

As it was DiningCity Restaurant Week (18-24mar2013), I suggested the $35nett lunch set at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant. There was just a little confusion as many restaurants were awarded DiningCity Star (and Kumo Kaiseki was 1 of them), and this meant they charged additional S$15 & S$20 respectively on top of the standardised S$25++ lunches & S$35++ dinners. Most if not all ‘Star’ restaurants would simply indicate lunches as S$40++ & dinners as S$55++ to avoid confusion but Kumo did not. So we called up to make sure that we would be paying S$35nett and NOT S$50++ & that was indeed the case (good to be certain than have wrong expectations and be disappointed..haha..). 🙂

I have stopped going for Restaurant Week these days as there is nothing much on offer. S$40 lunches & S$55 dinners at the ‘Star’ restaurants like Oso, Gaia, Absinthe etc are not cheap and also usually restrictive on the menu items especially mains c/w their daily lunches. Last year for example, UOB had very good 1 for 1 Young Chef Creation Menu in many restaurants and you get a 4-course S$68 1 for 1 menu at Gaia vs a S$40 3-course Restaurant Week menu at the same restaurant! Even at La Cicala Gastrobar (which has no Star), the usual S$25 set lunch menu is to me better than the same-priced Restaurant Week menu.

This Kumo S$35nett menu looks good though.

I had a kaiseki dinner only once at Kumo using a $50 Kitchen Language (which owns Kumo, Salta, Ochre, Saltwater cafe) voucher. Kumo’s food is good but not great for the price c/w say Hachi, and if you are not overly enameled with kaiseki presentation, I think Kuriya Dining’s monthly sets offer better value. For me, none of them can compare with Mikuni using the Feed@Raffles card with 50% discount for 2pax, so I usually frequent Mikuni, but it is good to have a change once a while.

The first course, tai (sea bream) sashimi topped with ikura (salmon roe), was truly delightful in all departments – taste, colour, presentation! the jelly  (can’t remember what it is) went really well with the tai sashimi. every item (broadbean, petals & all) was edible. This dish was very impressive even for a full course kaiseki! 🙂

tai sashimi topped with ikura - so pretty (every item edible!)

tai sashimi topped with ikura – so pretty (every item edible!)

The lotus & prawn dumpling were ok & tasty, nothing to wow about. the bonito soup was also ok with a nice after taste.

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lotus & prawn dumpling in bonito soup

The main course comprised a braised saga wagyu shank & some vegetable items in batter & the usual gohan set of rice, pickles & miso soup. This really was quite so-so, very average taste wise.  As a braised item, one could not tell much between wagyu (& Japanese wagyu at that!) & normal beef.

braised saga wagyu shank & yasai furai

braised saga wagyu shank & yasai furai

also done this way it is more commonly served as an appertiser item (eg Dozo serves a japanese braised beef as an appertiser item in their 6-course lunches which maybe tastes same or better), and is no comparison with the modern european braised lamb shanks served in many restaurants here.

braised saga wagyu shank in miso

braised saga wagyu shank in miso

The yasai (野菜) furai (not a tempura batter) was a good complement to the braised beef.

yasai furai

yasai furai

Well at S$35nett (S$30++ just for comparison though Kumo actually does not charge 10% service) for such a lunch, I guess there was little to complain about except for the parking costing S$10 at neighbouring Amara Hotel. 🙂

sakura mochi with Japanese strawberries

sakura mochi with Japanese strawberries

The dessert was a nice red bean mochi which I liked & 1/2 a strawberry.

Overall, it was a very pleasant meal and also nice way of keeping up with a friend.

c.h.e.f andy