Kind of Below Expectations @ Ginzawa on 8Nov2015

chirashi don

S$45 chirashi don

celebrating an occasion. had 5pax family dinner at ginzawa at palais renaissance on 8.11.2015. ^^

this the same restaurant as sushi kuu previously. there is no change of ownership so it is just a rebranding. 🙂

i called & they told me that they serve the donburi items like chirashi don, bara chirashi don, wagyu don etc on the set lunch menu for dinner, at the same price but w/o the set, just the donburi + soup.

there was also a S$130 set menu for 2 & omakase priced at S$80, S$120 etc.

we decided not to take the set or omakase, and ordered 2 chirashi don, 2 wagyu don & a A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki.

chirashi don

S$45 chirashi don

the S$45 chirashi don looked impressive as in the photos on the menu (& above photos). there was a botan ebi, a bit of uni, akami? (lean toro), tai, maguro, hamachi, salmon belly, hotate, tamago on a huge portion of sushi rice.

first look was great but in actual fact the sashimi cuts & quantity were very much inferior & pales in comparison to those at mikuni & kuriya dining.

chirashi don

mikuni’s chirashi don

mikuni’s chirashi don, also S$45 after 50% feed at raffles discounts, by comparison has 2 chutoro,heaps more uni, & 2 pieces for every quality sashimi cut.

chirashi sushi zen set

kuriya dining’s chirashi sushi zen set

& kuriya dining’s S$62 chirashi sushi zen set, a much larger set than mikuni’s is also top quality with more than double what ginzawa served.

wagyu & onions don

S$50 wagyu & onions don

the wagyu for the wagyu don was tasty but the sauce was superfluous & only serve to kill the taste.

wagyu & onions don

S$50 wagyu & onions don

& the slices were really thin. it was doable, but nothing great at S$50. i would take the S$88 uni ikura wagyu don at kuriya dining anytime c/w this.

A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki

S$50 A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki

the S$50 A5 saga wagyu sukiyaki was very poor (completely thumbs down!). beef was overcooked, very small serving & thin, hardly much to eat.

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

mikuni’s kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

just compare this with mikuni’s kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe. that is S$24 after 50% feed at raffles discounts, less than 1/2 the price of ginzawa! & beef are thick slices & sweet & tasty, the beef & the entire dish & experience is miles ahead of ginzawa.

chirashi don

chirashi don

overall, i would say that ginzawa’s chirashi don was one of the better ones, but totally pales by comparison with mikuni & kuriya dining.

the wagyu don was ok but not worth eating at S$50. i must go try sumiya’s S$30 wagyu don lunch set but i suspect it would be much better.

as for the S$50 wagyu sukiyaki, forget about it.

c.h.e.f andy

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Ginzawa

390 Orchard Road

Palais Renaissance #01-07

Singapore 238871

Reservations:

Tel: +65 6736 0100

SMS: +65 8201 2730

Email: info@ginzawa.com

Open Tuesday – Sunday

Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner  6:00pm – 10:30pm

(Closed on Mondays)

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Great Teochew Muay @ Shi Le Yuan 实叻圆糜 on 29Jun2015

ngor soon fish-baby treadfin

ngor soon fish-baby treadfin

a RI friend organised a teochew muay this morning at shi le yuan 实叻圆糜 on 29.6.2015.^^

we had lunch & long chat 2 weeks ago at happy duck at bukit merah view food centre, and arranged to come for this teochew muay.

shi le yuan 实叻圆糜

shi le yuan 实叻圆糜

lunch started early for patrons of this market stall.

constant queue from 10am

constant queue from 10am

a queue started at 10am. my friend was already there in the queue. we arranged to meet 10.15am. i arrived just a bit later.

ngor soon fish-baby treadfin

ngor soon fish-baby treadfin

our expert teochew ah hia earlier spoke with the stall proprietor & we had the ngor soon fish-baby treadfin. this was really good. sweet, tender, tasty, especially with the tau jeoh.^^

spicy black bean minced pork

spicy black bean minced pork

earlier the teochew ah hia & i were wondering about the stall. we were thinking maybe the food is ok & the price is cheap. that would be enough reasons for a constant queue. basically i don’t think too much of teochew muay in singapore myself. i just feel that its really expensive (like >S$10pax) for very cheap ingredients & ordinary cooking.

overall, this stall is certainly very cheap. we only paid S$43 for 7pax & so many dishes. we had repeat helpings for 3 dishes – the spicy black bean minced pork, salted fish minced pork (kiam her bak) & black bean pork ribs. so its easy to tell, in addition to the ngor soon fish-baby treadfin, these were among the best dishes.

the other dishes were not like supergood but they were generally also competent. 🙂

spicy black bean minced pork was good. i may try this myself.

salted fish minced pork (kiam her bak)

salted fish minced pork (kiam her bak)

salted fish minced pork (kiam her bak) was very good. texture was slightly firmer & different from my own salted fish minced pork dish. maybe it had a bit more flour. it had less salted fish. that’s good. minced pork & salted fish should not be competing.

black bean pork ribs

black bean pork ribs

black bean sauce minced pork was good. it was not out of the ordinary but was quite good really.

kor leh - cabbage

kor leh – cabbage

the other dishes were all quite ok. kor leh – cabbage was like any other.

chim char lor

chim char lor

chim char lor nothing standing out, but it was not very salty so that’s good.

deep-fried bean curd with leek

fried bean curd with leek

fried bean curd with leek, a favourite of mine, not particularly tasty but ok. i think my sis in law did a better one for chinese new year.

fried egg

fried egg

fried egg felt a bit like my tamago (japanese egg roll) w/o rolling up. there might be a bit of sugar, which is what i do with my tamago.

salted egg

salted egg

salted egg, not the very reddish oozing with oil kind. i guess it will do.

bean curd

braised bean curd

bean curd – this was non-descript & the second poorest item among the mostly nice dishes.

somehow i did not take a photo of only 1 dish = the teochew fishcake, and that was the poorest dish, felt like a lot of starch, totally not the texture & sweetness of a teochew fishcake. strange!

mixed mushrooms

mixed mushrooms

the mixed mushrooms i think was complimentary from the proprietor to us for ordering too much. haha!^^

very good teochew muay S$43 for 7pax

very good teochew muay S$43 for 7pax

well, this teochew muay totally suit my palate, very competent food with quite a few standout dishes & very good price.

i will be back soon enough.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Chirashi Don Set @ Kuriya Dining on 9Jun2015

uni, negi toro, maguro, hamachi, amaebi

uni, negi toro, salmon, tai, maguro, hotate, hamachi, amaebi

wife bought me an excellent chirashi sushi zen set at lunch at kuriya dining on 9.6.2015.^^

it was for early father’s day.

we had a mother’s day lunch at gurnard’s head on 10.5.2015 and a mother’s day dinner at mackerel sky at newlyn, cornwall.

salad with goma dressing

salad with goma dressing

set started with a salad with goma (sesame) dressing.

salad with goma dressing

salad with goma dressing

there was a lot of salad, a bit little dressing. we asked for more. of course to be added in moderation. it was good. 🙂

snow crab chawanmushi

snow crab chawanmushi

the chawanmushi was excellent, especially with the very tasty snow crab sauce, though i felt the sauce was a bit starchy.

chirashi sushi zen

chirashi sushi zen

this was an excellent chirashi don for S$62++.

chirashi sushi zen

chirashi sushi zen

i still cannot decide if this is better or mikuni’s better. i guess overall i still favour mikuni’s chirashi don but this was really really good too.

anyway, i like them both.

uni, negi toro, maguro, hamachi, amaebi

uni, negi toro, salmon, tai, maguro, hotate, hamachi, amaebi

you have in one bamboo holder uni, negi toro, salmon, tai, maguro, hotate, hamachi, amaebi on a bed of cubed salmon & maguro (like in barachisrashi don).

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

on the other there was anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago on sushi rice.

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

anago, ikura, tobiko, tamago

a most wonderful, satisfying lunch.

dessert - strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

dessert – strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

there was dessert & coffee too.

dessert - strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

dessert – strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, fruits

dessert was strawberry mousse, black sesame ice cream, and fruits. 🙂

it’s actually kind of huge set for lunch, but on some days we are permitted to spoil ourselves.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Lunch Sets @ Kuriya Dining on 25Mar2015

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

had an excellent lunch with wife & daughter at kuriya dining, great world city on 25.3.2015.^^

sake

sake

wife always have sake with japanese food.

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

jap wagyu uni ikura don

we ordered a very nice S$68 jap wagyu uni ikura don. you can also order the set which comes with ebi tempura, chawanmushi & udon for S$88. we were happy just to have the beef don.

wagyu was so marbled & flavourful. uni was very sweet & smooth.

chirashi don set

chirashi don set

we ordered 2 sets of chirashi don.

it came with a double-decker bamboo tray like tiffin carrier.^^

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

one tray had anago (conger eel or sea eel), tam ago (egg roll), ikura, tobiko etc.

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

chirashi don

the other tray had uni, negi toro (minced toro), ama ebi (sweet prawns), and many fish over bed of vinegared sushi rice.

the sashimi was top quality. it was as good as the chirashi don at mikuni. it did not have the botan ebi & otoro like mikuni’s but had bigger serving of uni. there were many slices of hotate & lots of sashimi including salmon, hamachi, maguro, kajiki, tai

chawanmushi

chawanmushi

there was chawanmushi, good quality.

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

black sesami ice cream, mochi+fruits

fruits & sashimi ice cream + a very poor mochi.

coffee

coffee

and coffee.

mikuni chirashi don is still my favourite at S$90 (S$45 after 50% feed at raffles discounts) & i don’t really need a set, ala carte is good enough.

however at S$62, this chirashi don had very good sashimi cuts & larger (maybe 25% more) so it was a very good match for mikuni & i will be quite happy to have this again.

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

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

OK Post-movie Dinner @ Shokudo Orchard Cineleisure on 16Jan2015

unagi salad

unagi tofu salad

went with friends to watch “the theory of everything” at orchard cineleisure on 16.1.2015. 🙂

it’s a movie about the lives of stephen & jane hawkings. really nice movie – wonderful script, acting, direction. i liked it very much! ^^

after movie, we decided to have a quick dinner at shokudo (食堂or canteen in japanese) at level 2.

we ordered 4 dishes to share for 4pax as we only wanted a light meal, and one friend had to leave shortly. 🙂 later we added a parfait for remaining 3 of us to share.

we had the unagi tofu salad. somehow we were chatting & missed the wafu 和风 dressing (a vinaigrette) or ponzu sauce until we almost finished. the salad was actually quite nice with the dressing.^^

saba tamago don

saba tamago don

saba tamago don

saba tamago don

the saba don was quite tasty. saba was tasty & tender & the don (rice) was nice. 🙂

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

the ebi (prawn) mantaiko aloo olio looked anaemic when it came. my friends added the grated cheese & red chilli pepper & it looked a bit more appetising.

the truffle flavours were actually quite nice.

a deepfried tofu dish

a deepfried tofu dish

a deepfried tofu dish

a deepfried tofu dish

we had a fried egg tofu with some cheese flavours topped with mentaiko. pretty ok. felt like the tako balls type preparation.

parfaitcc

parfaitcc

parfait

parfait

i always like the parfait in japan & also sun with moon. this was good good, with yuzu sorbet. mochi, green tea jelly & cornflakes…didn’t see any chestnut? anyway i liked this best.

the food was ok. the bill S$66 also about right for the food we had. it was a fun time with friends – movie, makan & chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Family Dinner to Remember @ Mikuni on 26Oct2014

chirashi don - 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

chirashi don – 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

had 5pax family dinner at our favourite restaurant, mikuni, on 26oct2014. an occasion to remember for me. 🙂

we came mikuni quite a few times. the most recent which i blogged on was on 23.6.2014.

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

we ordered 4 chirashi don & 1 kagoshima wagyu don as main courses, and had few other dishes to share. 🙂

we had the superb sous vide & deep-fried tako to share. this still the best octopus dish i have tried, better than all the very nice grilled octopus dish at alle darsene lake como & miky at monterosso cinque terre.

chirashi don - 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

chirashi don – 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

& i think this the best chirashi don (2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura) in singapore for quality & price. don’t think there is anything better. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu don

kagoshima wagyu don

we tried a new dish, kagoshima wagyu don. wagyu was very good. quite surprisingly to me, the rice was not great. hmmm, any of the  kamameshi (釜饭) at sun with moon wheelock or unagi chahan at zen japanese dining was tastier than this.

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

& another new dish – kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki. i estimated the 6 cuts to be about 80g or 100g. beef was excellent of course, very nicely marbled. JH said reminded him of hida beef 飛騨牛 on a hoba leaf 朴叶 or magnolia leaf he had at takayama. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

& kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe, our favourite. 🙂

drawer dessert tray - pick your own

drawer dessert tray – pick your own

drawer dessert tray - pick your own

drawer dessert tray – pick your own

they served complimentary dessert in drawer dessert tray – pick your own. 🙂

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

daughter collected a nice chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton. they do very nice cakes these days, not too sweet & very nice choc mousse. the cake not really my favourite though.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Affordable Eats @ Kyoto 17-21May2013

super-value Japanese beef (国产牛) teishoku (set) at 900yen

super-value beef teishoku (set) at 900yen

not every meal has to be kuroge wagyu, teppanyaki course or expensive sashimi. there are lots of great value meals to be had in Kyoto, Tokyo or anywhere in Japan. 🙂

DSCN5101 DSCN5102

on the first night of our arrival on 17.5.2013 we chanced upon a very interesting eat at Teramachi/Kawaramachi corner just opposite Takashimaya called 百练 (it is at level 2 of a small building). It  was kind of a family-style izakaya 居酒屋- we were the only non-Japanese around. we visited again at dinner on 21.5.2013, and we were still the only non-Japanese around..haha. 🙂

I ordered this super-value beef teishoku (set). I asked for medium rare & it was nicely done & tasty. It came with the gohan aka rice set including pickles & miso soup.  the beef was served with some pasta (which were ok but irrelevant) – all these for just 900yen. 🙂

DSCN4916

pork shabu shabu for 1500yen

DSCN4917 DSCN4915

my sis ordered a pork shabu shabu for 1500yen. It was NOT kurobuta but it was really good, very sweet & tasty. 🙂

thick-cut bacon with asparagus for 500yen

thick-cut bacon with asparagus for 500yen

I saw that our neighbour, a Japanese couple, ordered what looked like ham & asparagus dish, so when we went back 2 nights later, I managed(despite the lack of communications) to get the chef to do up this dish – which was a thick-cut bacon & asparagus for 500yen – it was very good! 🙂

DSCN4907 DSCN4905 DSCN4906

on arriving on 17.5.2013, we visited Tofukuji then Uji. 🙂 on the way back to Uji JR station about 3+pm, we decided to share a set as a late & light lunch, & was lucky to pick out this rather nice 1580yen set at a 中华料理. the tempura was good, and so was the sashimi & the 2 side dishes – one was just egg, the other was rather more elaborate, and nice too! 🙂

DSCN5115

690yen set @ Yayoiken-kakuni (belly pork), saba, potato croquette, tofu, egg & vege etc

DSCN5113

690yen set @ Yayoiken-kakuni (belly pork), saba, potato croquette, tofu, egg & vege etc

DSCN5111DSCN5118DSCN5112

on 20.5.2013, before setting off for our hike from Kurama (鞍马) to Kibune (贵船), we were looking for a place for early lunch and found this joint Yayoiken @ Kawaramachi. 🙂

the meal was just 690yen, and was quite good too, with kakuni (belly pork), saba, potato korokke (croquette), tofu, egg & vege etc 🙂 maybe Singapore should consider this meal ticket machine system common in Japan. it’s very labour efficient & staff have no need to manage cash too. 🙂

DSCN5177

mini chirasi don set with 5 delightful side dishes for 1190yen

DSCN5179 DSCN5178

returning from the hike, we took the train to Keihan Shijo & walked across Kamogawa (鸭川) to Kawaramachi (河源町) side. we found this restaurant on the 7flr of OIOI building along Kawaramachi across the road from Takashimaya.

this fabulous mini chirasi don set with 5 delightful side dishes was just 1190yen & they provide a very tasty soup which you later add to the rice like ochazuke. the mini chirasi don came with amaebi, crabmeat, ikura, 2 pieces hotate, maguro, tamago. the 5 delightful side dishes were ikan bilis, braised beef, tamago & tofu PLUS a  red bean/jelly dessert. 🙂

DSCN5180 DSCN5181 DSCN5175

we had another set which was somewhat less good (by comparison) also for 1190yen. it was a salmon tekkadon(鉄火丼) – this was quite good – with 4 side dishes.

so good food were aplenty in Kyoto & at very affordable prices too 🙂

c.h.e.f andy