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

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

ctopus tempura & cauliflower

octopus tempura & cauliflower

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

babette

babette

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

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

octopus tempura

octopus tempura

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

octopus tempura

octopus tempura

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

cauliflower

cauliflower

cauliflower was ok i guess but non-descript.

cauliflower

cauliflower

passable i guess.

bara chirashi don

bara chirashi don

this barachirashi don must go down as the worst ever!

bara chirashi don

bara chirashi don

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

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

chilli crab linguine

chilli crab linguine

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

chilli crab linguine

chilli crab linguine

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

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

duck confit don

duck confit don

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

duck confit don2

duck confit don

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

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

steak & foie gras don

steak & foie gras don

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

steak & foie gras don

steak & foie gras don

the steak was very good.

steak & foie gras don

steak & foie gras don

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

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

chicken wings

chicken wings

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

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

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

we had a bad experience though-

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

the bill

the bill

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

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

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

macha lava cake

macha lava cake

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

c.h.e.f andy

Great Mazechirashi Don @ Aoki Restaurant on 10Dec2014

mazechirashi don

S$40 mazechirashi don set

a friend bought me chirashi don lunch@ aoki today on 10.12.2014. 🙂

this like the gold standard of chirashi don, according to many reviewers. ^^

well was it for me? must say it was very good.

otoshi

otoshi

otoshi

otoshi

we were served an otoshi. very nice. not sure what it was. some shellfish maybe. mirugai (geoduck)?? texture yes but didn’t look quite like.

salad

salad

salad

salad

nice salad with ponzu sauce.

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S$40 mazechirashi don set

& the main event mazechirashi don.

there was uni (not much), chutoro (seemed quite a bit), & the usual hamachi, salmon, maguro, tamago, bits of anago (conger eel), and ikura, also some pickled ginger.

the sashimi amount was substantial & very tasty eaten with the rice.

basically it was a barachirashi don. it would beat tatsu’s very expensive & ordinary S$40 chrashi don hands down.

ginza kuroson S$20 chirashi don lunch set didn’t have uni or chutoro, so not really up for comparison but that was just S$20!

if i am just looking for a very tasty barachirashi don set, then the one at sun with moon was pretty good. it came with an excellent salmon fish head miso soup too. again w/o expensive uni & chutoro.

and recently i had very good chirashi don lunch set at sumiya for just S$18.80. it had thick cube cuts so it was more of a chirashi don than a barachirashi.

so i guess indeed aoki would ace them all. all except mikuni for me.

mikuni’s chirashi don had 2 thick slices of chutoro, hotate, uni, botan ebi, aburi salmon etc at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts). for me even aoki’s very nice barachirashi don was no comparison.

& it is available for dinner also. but of course feed at raffles 50% discounts only for up to 5pax on sundays & mondays & for only 2pax other days. no perfect deal.

pickles with gohan

pickles with gohan

nice pickles (not salty) & ginger.

trio of dessert

trio of dessert

jelly

jelly

trio of dessert

trio of dessert

quite nice dessert, a plum jelly, nice penna cotta & ice cream. 🙂

for S$40, i can definitely do this again!

c.h.e.f andy

Sumptuous Alluring Omakase @ Hachi on 22Nov2014

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

my wife’s good friend couple bought us a wonderful super delicious omakase dinner at hachi on 22.11.2014. 🙂

my wife & i had been to hachi several times. we introduced the restaurant to them & said we would buy them dinner there, but they sprang this superb omakase on us & bought us instead.

in fact we had never take this S$188pax premium omakase here (restaurant said it’s a new menu started 2014). every time we just took the S$118pax (now increased to S$128 pax) omakase, which was also pretty good. well no complaints. ^^ 🙂

#1 japanese persimmon with persimmon leaf

#1 japanese persimmon

#1 japanese persimmon with persimmon leaf

#1 japanese persimmon

#1 first course was a japanese persimmon came shielded with persimmon leaf. dish was beautiful & exquisite, feeling of koyo (autumn colours). persimmon was very sweet but could not recall the other items. there was goma (sesame) sauce.

#2 ayu fish, tam ago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tam ago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 second course was ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, dish of seaweed. such delicate & beautiful plating. 🙂

ayu is a tasty but flaky (falling apart) fish, not my favourite but ayu shioyaki (鮎塩焼) is a very popular dish (see photo of the open grill here). in small bites for this starter, it was quite nice.

#3 steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu

#3 steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu

#3 third course was a steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu. sea bream was very sweet & tasty. tofu was excellent, very crispy outside & smooth consistency inside.

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 the next course sashimi moriawase for 1pax kinmedai 金目鯛 (japanese golden eye sea bream – see photo here), tai (sea bream), hamachi>> was a real treat. i have not taken sawala before & probably not kinmedai (as sashimi) too.

the kinmedai was really good. 🙂 and of course the chutoro, botan ebi etc etc. ^^

we had really good sashimi moriawase just last week at sumiya on 16.11.2014 which included uni, awabi & akami.

and of course mikuni’s chirashi don sashimi quality was top draw.

but to have this sashimi moriawase as part of an 11-course omakase was truly luxurious, sumptuous. 🙂

the sashimi moriawase for GOTO’s kaiseki was not too bad, but it was expensive & not as good value.

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 fifth course was crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake in a very tasty starchy mountain yam soup. simply yummy. i drank the whole thing.

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 sixth course was a large (3in), firm & tasty oyster. 1 of us found it sandy. it was ok for the rest. it was evidently good enough though as we finished the oysters before i thought of asking the restaurant to replace the oyster. i like this dish very much.

#7 excellent tempura - anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura - anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper

#7 next course was an excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

the konbu (昆布) which japanese use for dashi (clear soup stock) is not edible.

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with xavier, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with xavier, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 eighth course was ohmi wagyu (近江牛) – among the top 3 japanese wagyu – with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes.

taste was simply sublime, out of this world. ^^

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes - a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes - a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser

#9 next was hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser.

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 the server brought us a tray of 10 to 12 sashimi. each diner can pick 3 types of sushi. my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni. the hotate was really good, very huge, plump & sweet. the uni & kinmedai too of course. 🙂

wife had uni, negi toro & kinmedai. the 2 friends each had botan ebi, hotate & uni. 🙂

#11 dessert - yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert - yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 i guess dessert was the least tantalising of the omakase – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice. it was a bit more quantity than quality, good standard & substantial, but not like say japanese melon.

overall this hachi premium omakase was much superior in quality of ingredients & taste c/w the kaiseki we had at GOTO on 23.10.2014, which cost a lot more.

c.h.e.f andy

Very Good Chirashi Don Set @ Sumiya on 13Nov2014

S$18.80 chirashi don set

S$18.80 chirashi don set

in search of good chirashi don. 🙂

today fundonate friends met to discuss some matters. decided to meet for lunch at sumiya, level 12 orchard central on 13.11.2014.

i thought it might be the previous kuirya penthouse location, & it was. anyway sumiya is owned by the same RE&S group, which owns kuriya dining & also ichiban boshi, kuishinbo etc.

S$18.80 chirashi don set

S$18.80 chirashi don set

ponzu salad

ponzu salad

chawan mushi

chawan mushi

S$18.80 chirashi don set

S$18.80 chirashi don set

the photos of the lunch set, in particular, the chirashi don looked exciting. & it was.

it came in a set with chawan mushi (not so good), a ponzu salad, pickles, miso soup & a mochi, quite similar to ginza kuroson. 🙂

the chirashi don was excellent. 3 fish (salmon, maguro & hamachi) cube-cut sashimi & heaps of ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying fish roe) & avocado. the sashimi were very fresh & sweet.  the cube cut made it looked like bara chirashi. this were quite big cubes though, really good sashimi. vinegared rice was very good too.

2 other friends ordered anago don & fish of the day (maybe amadai?). forgot to take photos.

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

they had this 12 pieces amaebi for S$14.80, so i had to order it. 🙂

there was a shelling fee of $5 if we wanted it shelled. we of course decided to D-I-Y! 🙂

i never knew amaebi looked kind of anaemic & unappetising with shell on. but they were good, very fresh & sweet when shelled & eaten, like any good amaebi. 🙂

overall i was very impressed & would certainly come back for more.

this S$18.80 chirashi don set was definitely superior to the S$25 barachirashi don set at flying squirrel (no comparison i think), better than the S$17.90 chirashi don lunch set at tonkichi (also no comparison).

i couldn’t decide if this was better than the S$20 chirashi don set at ginza kuroson! i think both were equally good, and though kuroson had better quality cuts, this one at sumiya was really very enjoyable.

with tatsu, though it was not quite like for like, but as an overall dining experience, i think this set was more enjoyable than the S$40 expensive chirashi don at tatsu.

compared with chikuwatei & momoya, this quantity was smaller, but hey the flavours & freshness were better even. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy