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

Very Expensive Kaiseki & Way Below Expectations @ GOTO on 23Oct2014

#1 sakizuki – a selection of small appetizers

#1 sakizuke – a selection of small appetizers

we had good recent experience of GOTO’s S$68 omakase lunch on 1.10.2014.

my wife wanted to buy me a good dinner & also to invite her close couple friends. since GOTO will start renovation very shortly & remodel to a casual non kaiseki restaurant, we decided to order the S$280pax omakase dinner on 23.10.2014.

food was good of course, but relative to the exorbitant price, it was really far below expectations, compared with keyaki, kuriya, hachi & of course mikuni. 😦

#1 sakizuki – a selection of small appetizers

#1 sakizuke – a selection of small appetizers

the #1 sakizuke – a selection of small appetizers 先附 was of very good standard, with a very nice pickled sanma (秋刀鱼) pacific dory which i liked, duck, a periwinkle?, prawn, cured squid, ikura, pickled shimeji mushrooms & spinach.

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi

#2 dobinmushi was a very good soup, very clear, tasty soup, with pieces of fish fillet, mushrooms etc.

#2 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#2 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#2 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#3 sashimi moriawase

#3 uni - sashimi moriawase

#3 uni – sashimi moriawase

the #3 sashimi moriawase was a very large serving than the usual served in a kaiseki or course meal. there were 2 chutoro, 1 botan ebi, 2 hotate, several thick cut tako, 2 kampachi, hirame & tai, & uni. it was good standard but no better, in fact the toro was distinctly poorer c/w the S$45 chirashi don (after 50% feed at raffles discounts) at mikuni.

#6 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

#4 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

#6 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

#4 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish)

the #4 braised kinki (expensive japanese fish) was a good tasty fish but to me it tasted like angkoli (red snapper), so i didn’t really understand why it was expensive. this was a nitsuke or simmered dish.

#5 minced prawn in lily bulb paste

#5 minced prawn in lily bulb + yan paste

the #5 minced prawn in lily bulb paste was an interesting, unique dish. the lily bulb + mountain yam paste had the slightly sticky yam texture, and the dish was very tasty overall. 🙂

#6 miso ebi tempura

#6 miso ebi tempura

#6 miso ebi tempura

#6 miso ebi tempura

as with the S$68 lunch, they served a dry miso tempura. it was very nice. 🙂

#8 kagoshima wagyu

#7 kagoshima wagyu

#8 kagoshima wagyu

#7 kagoshima wagyu

#7 kagoshima wagyu was very good, but the better marbled much tastier kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki at mikuni only cost S$37.50 alacarte after 50% discounts.

#9 gohan - chicken shimeji musroom rice

#8 gohan – chicken shimeji mushroom rice

#9 gohan - chicken shimeji musroom rice

#8 gohan – chicken shimeji mushroom rice

the #8 gohan – chicken shimeji mushroom rice had good mushroom flavours but otherwise no comparison with any kamameshi at sun with moon wheelock or a unagi chahan at zen japanese.

#10 dessert tray

#9 dessert tray

#10 dessert tray

#9 dessert tray

they offered very good dessert – very good japanese melon + grapes. yuzu ice cream, orange jelly & strawberry mousse.

macha - nice end to dinner

macha – nice end to dinner

& i always enjoyed macha.

the kaiseki dinner was very good standard, but for me price was far too exorbitant relative to other good kaiseki restaurants & it was not at all value-for-money.  one could get a very good omakase dinner at hachi for S$118pax. and at this price i would want to try kumo anytime.

c.h.e.f andy

Quite OK Bento Lunch @ The Flying Squirrel on 21Oct2014

summer chirashi don set (S$25)

summer chirashi don set (S$25)

had dental appointment today. i was in the good hands of a close friend. 🙂

post dental, 3 of us went to lunch nearby at the flying squirrel at amoy street on 21.10.2014. 🙂 the restaurant has like a hidden side road entrance, not accessible from the front.

parking at amoy street, telok ayer street & boon tat street was tricky, but we were there past 1pm and cars were moving off, & i managed to find a good lot at boon tat street.

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The Flying Squirrel, Amoy Street

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The Flying Squirrel, Amoy Street

summer chirashi don set (S$25)

summer chirashi don set (S$25)

my daughter has been talking about this place & sushi kou & i wanted to try the chirashi don. there was only a summer cchirashi don set (S$25) on the menu. i took that & my friends ordered ebi furai bento (S$19) & tori karaage bento (S$19).

when the food arrived, it looked to me like a bara chirashi don with diced sashimi, which usually was of lower quality than a chirashi don. i asked the server & he said there was actually another ala carte chirashi don for both lunch & dinner (guess it was on another separate menu) but he said this lunch set was popular. 🙂

the service was pleasant & attentive & there had a hand-written welcome card at the reserved table, so i decided to just go with the bara chirashi don.

taste-wise it was pretty good, and the sashimi quantity was good too. it also had 3 pieces of chicken karaage (not my favourite) & salad. still, this was not quite comparable to the S$20 quality chirashi don set at kuroson. and overall presentation wise, food quality & quantity it was not quite the standard of bara chirashi don & salmon set at sun with moon wheelock.

ebi furai bento (S$18)

ebi furai bento (S$19)

tori karaage bento (S$18)

tori karaage bento (S$19)

my friends were happy with their tori karaage bento & ebi furai bento which came with curry.

there was 10% service but no GST.

overall, the lunch was quite average for me, something doable but not special. my sashimi cuts were fresh & sweet, and the rice combination was quite good, & service was pleasant & good.  i may still come back to try their ala cate chirashi don during dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyable Kurobuta Kimchi Nabe @ Shirokiya Cuppage Terrace on 12Oct2014

kurobuta kimchi nabe - groupon S$22.80nett

kurobuta kimchi nabe – groupon S$22.80nett

had a nice kurobuta kimchi nabe at shirokiya cuppage terrace on 12.10.2014. 🙂

last time i came here was on 11.6.2014.

we had a groupon voucher at S$22.80. the usual price of a nabe (there were 3 choices) was S$38.80++ = S$45.70.

my wife & i love kimchi chigae, so we selected the kurobuta kimchi nabe.

additional order of kurobuta (S$9) for kurobuta kimchi nabe

additional order of kurobuta (S$9) for kurobuta kimchi nabe

we later added an extra order of kurobuta pork at S$9++.

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

we didn’t want carbs, so decided against the bibimbap & the dons like ikura shake don, and ordered the broiled kurobuta. it was like a very tasty chashu that came with a good chashumen. 🙂

kurobuta kimchi nabe - groupon S$22.80nett

kurobuta kimchi nabe – groupon S$22.80nett

the sake were expensive & my wife decided against ordering them. iced water was free.

service was great, and there was a tablet order pad which you could also call for service.

dinner including my groupon voucher was about S$46nett, and we had 3 servings (90g per serving) of kurobuta (2 for the nabe + 1 added).

it was good price. the other items on the menu other than kurobuta though did not excite us. sashimi, maki were expensive c/w what we could get at better restaurants like mikuni & sun with moon wheelock etc. overall, we had better satisfaction at aburiya, though that was more expensive. the kimchi chigae at aburiya was small & actually tastier (of course with very little pork) & we love grilled meats. shirokiya though is not a yakiniku restaurant.

it was pretty ok just for a change.

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