Category Archives: review

Unagiya Ichinoji, Robertson Quay

No.

I’m a huge unagi fan. I highly raved Man Man Unagi at Keong Saik so when I heard that another unagi specialty restaurant with a long list of credentials (125 years of history, Bib Gourmand 2018 awardee, Tokyo’s famous unagi Restaurant with 20 outlets across Japan) opened it’s first overseas outlet in none other than sunny Singapore, I was stoked.

Expecting a super long queue like Man Man, I was there slightly before 530pm for its dinner hours. Not much people, and I was seated rather quickly.

The layout is similar to Man Man’s. There’s a tank of live eels swimming around and a counter overseeing the kitchen via glass panels. If you want to see the chef in action, pick the counter seats. It can be a little hot though.

Chef starting to grill the eels. I read that they steam their eels before grilling them to give that crispy texture.

Hitsumabushi (small), $19.80.

Hitsumabushi (medium), $26.80.

The Hitsumabushis can go up to $77.80 for the XL size. While that makes for a good family size, I prefer having my own set to indulge in. For those who need a refresher, you can eat the Hitsumabushi in three ways: Plain old unagi and rice, unagi and rice with the side condiments, and unagi and rice with dashi (provided in a little jar). My favourite is the one with side condiments because it gives the unagi an added layer of taste.

Close up shot of the unagi.

On to the taste of the unagi, the reason for this post. The unagi was horrible. Although it was grilled, there wasn’t any char taste, not to mention any decent crispy texture. The meat itself was rather tough and it felt like I was eating a gummy candy. I dreaded eating piece after piece. Thankfully I ordered the small portion. I also drenched my meal in the separate unagi sauce provided to give it more taste.

I just noticed that the difference between a small and medium is just two slices of unagi and more rice. Not sure if this justifies a $7 difference.

30 Robertson Quay, Riverside Village Residences, #01-05, S(238251)

+65 6732 1970

Daily: 1130am to 3pm, 530pm to 10pm

Facebook here

Follow me on Instagram here

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japan, Japanese, review

Gyu Bar, Stevens Road

Go!!

Gyu Bar sits within the premises of Novotel and Mecure Hotel along Stevens Road. It can be easy to miss if you’re driving quickly along the main road, so I hope with the picture below you’ll find it easier to locate it.

As the name suggests, Gyu Bar specialises in beef. The main attraction of this place is that it brings in A4 Kumamoto Wagyu from Japan, which they proudly serve during dinner along with a glass of sake. Unfortunately, I visited this place for lunch and it only offers rice bowls during daytime.

Interestingly, the menu has Korean starters, and some of the rice bowls are rather Korean-ish.

Assorted Namuru, $16.

Kimchi, $10.

Signature Beef Salad, $26.

Signature Roast Beef Don, $35.

This bowl lives up to its signature title. Slices of slow roast beef alongside a special gravy by the chef, need I say more? The beef slices had that melt in your mouth texture and the gravy was simply delicious.

Sukiyaki Don Set, $30.

I’ve honestly never eaten sukiyaki in a rice bowl before. The sukiyakis I’ve eaten thus far were all cooked in those shallow sukiyaki pot, a bit like hot pot style. So this was definitely interesting for me.

Yakiniku Chicken Don Set, $24.

This rice bowl came infused with truffle! What a pleasant surprise. The chicken pieces were also juicy and tender, just the way a good yakiniku chicken should be.

Ishiyaki Bibimbap Set, $22.

For the bibimbap, the staff will actually help you to mix the rice and spread it against the hot stone bowl. You are to wait for a couple of minutes for the rice to “chao ta” before digging in. Super fun to watch.

All rice bowl set comes with salad and miso soup. Each bowl also comes with an onsen egg which you have to mix into the rice, making the whole bowl really creamy. Now imagine having that with the slow roast beef slices (Signature Roast Beef Don). Oishii!

That said, Gyu Bar is not a place where you would have lunch at everyday because of the price, and also because the lunch menu is pretty much as above. I would definitely drop by for dinner one day if I feel like indulging though.

30 Stevens Road, #01-08, S(257840)

Closed Mondays.

Tuesdays to Sundays: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

+65 6732 0702

Facebook here

Follow me on Instagram here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, Korean, review

Kai Garden, Marina Square

Go!!!

Okay so in my world of dim sum I’ve only regarded Imperial Treasures Nan Bei Takashimaya as the place to go to for great dim sum. I can now add another place to that — Kai Garden.

Kai Garden at Marina Square is opened by chef Fung Chi Keung, previously from Paradise Group, the people behind the famous colourful Xiao Long Bao. The Cantonese restaurant prides itself on their Peking Duck, known for different flavoured wraps and dips. I was excited to try it, until I saw their executive set lunch.

Without second thoughts I ordered Set Lunch A to share with my partner. No point having two of the same set, plus, Kai Garden’s dim sum menu looked too appealing. So I added some dim sum to the lunch.

Honey BBQ Pork, Deep Fried Beancurd Roll with Prawns, Sliced Peking Duck with Condiments.

Daily Double Boiled Soup.

Baked Cod Fillet with Teriyaki Sauce with Enoki Wrapped in Kurobuta Pork.

Pan Seared Glutinuous Rice with Egg and Black Truffle.

Chilled Fresh Coconut Puree.

I looked forward to every dish, and for sure I wasn’t disappointed. Every dish was well executed and tasty.

While the dishes sound ordinary, it was the little touches that really made the dish a notch higher. For example, the baked cod fish was placed on a crispy biscuit of sorts. Very innovative.

I particularly liked the fresh coconut puree because this was my first time having something like that at a Chinese restaurant for dessert. It was refreshing and cooling, perfect way to end the meal on a light note.

Deep Fried Scallop with Mango Roll, $6.80.

The mango roll was really light and crispy! The sauce within also complemented it really well, not too much not too little. Highly recommend this dim sum.

Steamed Prawn Dumpling (Ha Gao), $6.50.

The skin of any Ha Gao is always the hardest to get right. I gave this a thumbs up because of that reason. The prawns within were big and crunchy as well but the skin was the winner for me.

Crispy Cheong-fun with Minced Mushrooms, $5.60.

When I saw crispy cheong-fun I immediately thought it was you tiao wrapped in cheong-fun skin and topped with minced mushrooms. Nope, it wasn’t like that. Instead, the insides of the cheong-fun were filled with fluffy and crunchy bits alongside the minced mushroom. To help maintain the crispyness, the cheong-fun sauce is left by the side and you should only dip a piece into the sauce before eating. I highly recommend this dish as well.

By now you would have noticed that Kai Garden comes with a steep price tag. It may seem that a $6.50 Ha Gao is too much for dim sum but think about the other dishes. For its creativity, exquisiteness and ambience, I’d say Kai Garden is worth every penny and calorie.

6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, #03-128A/128B, S(039594)

Weekdays: 1130am to 330pm, 6pm to 11pm

Weekends: 11am to 4pm, 6 to 11pm

+65 6250 4826

Website here

Facebook here

Follow me on Instagram here

Leave a comment

Filed under Chinese, Food, review

Rubato Italian Kitchen and Bar, Greenwood Avenue

Go!

On a quiet Wednesday afternoon my colleague brought me to the hidden makan place of Greenwood Avenue. We had Rubato, an Italian restaurant, for lunch.

Rubato has a fixed menu as well as a seasonal menu. If you’re not particularly craving for anything, I suggest hearing them out as the do have dishes of the day which are not on the menu.

Sauteed Fresh Clams with Chardonnay, $29.

The best part about a clams with white wine dish is the broth. This dish had a very pleasing and addictive flavour. The broth was gone before the clams were done. Wicked!

Slow Braised Spanish Octopus, $32.

I’m not a fan of squid and octopus because it’s hard hard to get them right; most of the time they end up rubbery and overly chewy. However, the octopus in this dish were so soft! Almost couldn’t tell I was eating octopus really. The sauce tasted quite similar to satay sauce, a surprise for me because it looked so heavily tomato based.

Hand Picked Crab Meat and Angel’s Hair Pasta, $40.

I’ve cooked Angel’s Hair Pasta before, and it turned out a disaster. It cooks really quickly, and gets lumpy once you take it out of the pasta water. For that reason, I don’t really eat dishes with Angel’s Hair Pasta. For this dish, I still don’t quite fancy the texture of the pasta, but the sauce was great! Sweet overtones and chunky crab meat aplenty. Yums.

Mushroom & Co Risotto, $22.

The risotto was done Al Dante. My colleague felt that it was a bit undercooked, which admittedly I did feel that the grains were slightly too hard. Nevertheless I loved the truffle aroma and the porcini mushroom puree really gave this mushroom dish a higher kick.

12 Greenwood Avenue, S(289204)

Weekdays: 1130am to 3pm, 530pm to 12am

Weekends: 11am to 12am

+65 6252 3200

Website here

Facebook here

Follow me on Instagram here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, review

Hajime Tonkatsu and Ramen, myVillage at Serangoon Gardens

Go!!!

Tonkatsu. Simple looking dish that’s difficult to execute well. I’ve eaten Tonkatsu from various places, and none of them had ever come close to Tonkichi. Until I tried Hajime.

I personally think that Hajime’s tonkatsu is nicer than Tonkichi’s.

Premium Pork Loin, $21.90.

They were running a promotion when I was there, using Kurobuta (black pig) instead of normal pork. No doubt it’s Kurobuta, but the thickness, doneness, crispyness, juicyness and flavour of the pork cutlet was never like I’ve eaten before.

My cutlet remained crispy all the way, and I enjoyed my pork cutlet right till the very last bite. The only thing that’ll keep me from visiting Hajime frequently is it’s location. myVillage at Serangoon Gardens is not exactly accessible, and after your meal there’s nothing much to do around the area.

1 Maju Avenue, myVillage at Serangoon Gardens, #02-7/8/9, S(556679)

Weekdays: 1130am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

Weekends: 1130am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm

+65 6509 9952

Website here

Facebook here

Follow me on Instagram here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, review

Rang Mang Shokudo, Wisma Atria

Go!!

I’ve always thought that the Japanese eateries on the 4th floor of Wisma Atria were underrated. I suspect they may be hidden gems, so I aim to visit and write about all the eateries there someday. First up, Rang Mang Shokudo, famous for their Japanese fried chicken. It was actually recommended by a friend who swore by the flavour and texture of the fried chicken.

If you’re not in the mood for fried chicken, this is definitely not the place for you. It has only one main dish on the menu, and that is, you guessed it, fried chicken.

Large (20 pieces), $18.50. Comes with 3 sauces of your choice.

Rang Mang Shokudo does have sets which comes with fresh salad, potato salad and rice but after sharing the entire plate above with my friend, I can see why he recommended me to just go for the fried chicken and a bowl of rice.

Because you won’t be able to get enough of the chicken.

Rang Mang Shokudo’s fried chicken is not only juicy and tender, but most importantly the batter is thinly coated, just enough to give that crunch. I loved that it’s bite sized, easy to eat with my hand while sipping my beer with the other.

You get to choose from a wide variety of sauces, but if you’re there for the first time, go for the salted chicken. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s their top flavour for a reason.

Rang Mang Shokudo is one of the most underrated restaurants I’ve tried thus far. Now I’ve got a favourite karaage. You?

435 Orchard Road, #04-54 Wisma Atria, S238877

+65 6262 3504

Weekdays: 1130am to 11pm

Weekends: 11am to 11pm

Website here

Follow me on Instagram here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, review

Tea Lounge Weekend High Tea, Regent Hotel

Go!!!

How not to have your hopes up high when you see something like that greeting you as you step into Tea Lounge at Regent Hotel for their weekend high tea?

Fortunately, Tea Lounge lives up to the hype, and is worth every penny.

Tea Lounge’s weekend high tea is buffet style. While this means that you don’t get that atas feeling of being served little bites on a three tier fancy cake stand, but what you get in exchange is a whole selection of exquisite staples and sweets.

The Cold Dishes

Top left clockwise: Pistachio Crusted Tuna Salad with Avocado Cream, Pork Belly Salad with Anchovy Mayonnaise, Barbecued Duck Salad.

I liked the duck salad of the three. It’s wrapped in a thin slice of cucumber which makes the whole canape very refreshing.

Savory Bites

Top left clockwise: Roasted Wagyu Beef with Truffle Mayonnaise, Smoked Duck Breast and Mango Sandwich, Chanterelle Mushroom and Raclette Cheese Tart, Champagne Poached Tiger Prawn on Squid Ink Toast.

The Chanterelle Mushroom and Raclette Cheese Tart was mind blowing. The unassuming savoury tart was really flavourful and fragrant. On the contrary, the Smoked Duck Breast and Mango Sandwich was a little off. It was wrongly paired, and the components on its own were unflattering as well.

Caviar Station.

Surprise after surprise. Caviar madness! They have a good variety of condiments to go along with the caviar. I had mine with the raspberry dressing. Yums.

Local Delights

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.

From left: Kueh Pie-Ti, Braised Pork Belly, Fried

Laksa.

Wagyu Beef Rump.

Seafood Congee with Pork Meat Ball.

Surprise surprise. The best local delight was actually the Seafood Congee with Pork Meat Balls. Just look at the colour of the congee. Orange! Imagine the amount of prawns they had to put in to achieve this colour. So simple yet so delicious.

You can forgo the laksa. As tempting as it may look, the laksa wasn’t nice at all. I couldn’t bring myself to eat another spoonful of this.

Bonus dish! Char Siew with Passionfruit Sauce.

Halfway through the buffet the chef came out and started handing this dish out to everyone. The outermost layer was superbly well caramelised, and the fat to lean pork ratio was just nice. The Passionfruit Sauce cuts the oilyness very cleanly, making you crave for piece after piece.

Desserts

Yay, the highlight of any high tea — cakes!

From left clockwise: Poached Pear with Sugar Syrup, Citrus Cheesecake Tart, Caramel Apple Yuzu with Tarte Tatin.

From top left clockwise: Raspberry Lychee Religieuse, Cassis Montblanc, Tahitian Vanilla Caramelised Pecan Eclair.

From top left clockwise: Vanilla Panna Cotta, Passionfruit Vanilla Macaroon, Caramel Chocolate.

Sauces for scones and waffles (not in picture), Croquembouche, assorted macaroons.

Asian desserts and assorted fruits.

Vanilla Gelato, Raspberry Sorbet.

This is where I feel that Regent Tea Lounge’s Weekend High Tea Buffet is worth your every penny. Just the cakes alone is enough to impress. And true to my expectations, the cakes were multilayered, just like those designer cakes you eat outside.

The bill came up to be about $150 for two pax. I know, with this amount you can eat a full fledge dinner buffet at a proper restaurant, but just consider the amount of effort required to make the dishes, and the exquisiteness of it. I don’t think you can get such food creativity in a single place elsewhere in Singapore. At least I can’t.

Tea Lounge, Regent Hotel Lobby

1 Cuscaden Road, 249715

Weekends: 12pm to 230pm, 3pm to 530pm

+65 6725 3246

Website here

Follow me on Instagram here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, High tea, review