Dinner @ Sushi Sabu-Roku

August 19, 2017 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Months back, I learnt that the sushi chef at Tamaya Dining left to open his own sushi restaurant. And I immediately shared the news with my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) so that we could check out the place together. However, she got a little too anxious and went ahead without me as she couldn’t wait for me to be back from my holidays. Sob.

So when my IGGF raved about Sushi Sabu-Roku, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed because she and I share the same taste. So yes, my IGGF said she could return and have dinner with me. However, that didn’t materialize because 1 week before our scheduled dinner, the restaurant called my IGGF (who assisted with the reservation) and asked us to change our timing from 7pm to 6pm as they received reservation for a big group for 8pm. And do note that the restaurant asked us to change and not if we could change. Like what!?!

And since my IGGF was very disappointed with the way they handled the booking, I decided to check them out with another friend as I was still very much curious about their food.


So 4 months later, I called to make reservation for a weekday dinner as I was interested to have baby gizzard shad (shinko) which I knew was in the season from their instagram.

Reaching at 7.30pm, we were the last pair of customers to arrive at the restaurant for dinner. And for that, we were seated at the end of the counter, furthest away from owner-chef Koji Koike.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3), my friend and I ordered:-

1) Omakase, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Appetiser (above) – Flat greenling, egg plant and seaweed.


(B) Dish #1 (above) – Threeline grunt (isaki). And it being grilled on skewer, the fish was oily with a nice smokey aroma.

(C) Dish #2 (above) – Mackerel.


(D) Dish #3 (above) – Shellfish (ishigakigai) from Hokkaido, served with raw eggplant.

(E) Dish #4 (above) – Corn from Hokkaido.

(F) Dish #5 (above) – Big eye snapper (kinmedai). The skin was unfortunately grilled till burnt.


(G) Dish #6 (above) – Tempura assortment of shrimp (ebi) and onion, and green chili.

(H) Dish #7 (above) – Grilled white asparagus.


  

(I) Dish #8 (above) – Soup with tuna belly and fish cake.

  
  
  

(J) Dish #9 (above) – Sushi assortment of striped jack (shima-aji), squid, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), big eye snapper (kinmedai), marinated tuna (maguro zuke), sea eel (anago) and sea urchin. Somehow, from the fourth piece, the rice in our sushi became smaller. Not sure if it was because we enquired how many more pieces there was. And the only reason we asked that was because dinner was painfully draggy. Definitely not because we were full.


(K) Dish #10 (above) – Honeydew and grapes.

Unfortunately, dinner was a huge let down. Ingredients weren’t worth the price tag and the interval between the dishes were painfully long. My friend and I got pretty impatient towards the end of our dinner because we would be waiting for our dish but head chef Koji san was deeply engrossed talking to his regulars; Waiting for 5 minutes is understandable if he needs to go one round when making everyone’s sushi. But we were waiting for more than 10 minutes with head chef Koji San not doing anything related to food preparation. It seemed that they have not adapted to what’s needed with the increased capacity. Was talking to the staff, and she happened to mention they recently added more chairs to increase capacity from 8 to 10.

And it was a great disappointment that I specially came for baby gizzard shad (shinko) after seeing many post pictures of theirs on Instagram and we were served none.

Why I recommend Sushi Sabu-Roku? I won’t totally cross them out yet. I am still trying to believe that it was an one-off incident that my friend and I had a bad dining experience. Instead of coming for their dinner menu, I would encourage one to try their lunch menu instead. Which I would return to try. Not anytime soon though. Maybe next year, same time. And I’ll be sure to state clearly in my reservation that I want to try the baby gizzard shad. Yes, by hook or crook.

SUSHI SABU-ROKU
36 Circular Road, Singapore
6532 0050
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tue – Fri : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 5
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7

Lunch @ Kogane Yama

August 13, 2017 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Was craving for deep fried food, and thus suggested to my friend to have tempura on rice (tendon) for lunch. Keke. And after doing a search on internet, we decided on heading to Bugis.

And it seemed that the selling point of Kogane Yama was their customizatiom; One could choose the type of tempura (mixed, prawn, chicken or vegetable) to the base (rice, udon, soba) and spicy level of sauce.

It was unfortunate that there was no counter seats. Only table seats were offered in the long unit. I would have preferred to see some cooking in action.

And from the menu, my friend and I ordered:-

1) Set meal (+ $2) comprised of:-


(A) Mixed bowl, $15.80 (above) – My friend decided to paired her tempura with udon.


(B) Chawanmushi, miso soup (above) – And by topping up $2, one’s meal would be upgraded into a set meal which included a steamed egg (chawanmushi) and soup. And it made sense to get the set if one is interested to get the steamed egg since it cost $2 on the a-la carte menu. The miso soup cost $1.50 if ordered separately.

2) Mixed bowl, $15.80 (above) – I stuck to the original which was tempura on rice. And for $15.80, it was a generous portion of overflowing ingredients. To the extent I thought the rice amount was too little. But of course, I realised at the end of our lunch that I was given the normal serving of 1 bowl of rice. And tempura included 2 prawns, 1 chicken, 2 long beans, 1 shiitake mushroom, 1 golden mushroom, 1 sweet potato, 1 carrot, 1 green capsicum, 1 seaweed, 1 shiso leaf and a spoonful of flying fish roe. It was also only because I was dining with my friend that halfway through my lunch, I realised they missed out my shiso leaf tempura.

I didn’t enjoy the tempura. While I finished my food, it was only because I was hungry and needed to fill up my stomach.

Yes, the batter was crispy. But that’s because it was really thick. And greasy too. My friend couldn’t finish hers and requested to pack the remaining tempura, which the staff put the leftover into a plastic bag lined with paper. And barely 30 minutes later, we noticed the paper was soaked through! With oil of course.

Do I recommend Kogane Yama? Sorry, please give this a miss at all cost.

KOGANE YAMA
200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction, #02-50, Singapore
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 5
Sun – Thur : 11:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 7
Fri – Sat : 11:00 – 23:00
Value: 7
Service: 6

Lunch @ Mizuki Tempura and Sushi

August 10, 2017 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

It was through sheer luck and pure randomness that I got to know about Mizuki from instagram. And it being Japanese cuisine, the first person that came into my mind was my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend). Not surprising. Keke. And reservation was made for a Saturday lunch. And between sushi and tempura, we went with sushi first because I know my IGGF loves her sushi.

And yes, when there’s a first, it means there’s a second. My IGGF and I headed back for their tempura too. Keke.

Mizuki was conveniently located in Ngee Ann City (or better known as Takashimaya to some). It’s a 8 to 10 minutes walk from Orchard MRT station. A cool walk too since it’s air-conditioned throughout. Keke. And if one is familiar with Ngee Ann City’s layout, one should take the lift that’s facing Takashimaya Square, from the Food Village side. By exiting the lift on level 5, Mizuki would be on one’s immediate left.


Sushi counter

And from the sushi lunch menu (pages 1, 2, 3), my IGGF and I ordered:-

1) Matsuba, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Seasonal appetizer (above)

(B) Sashimi #1 (above) – Sea urchin from Kyushu.

(C) Sashimi #2 (above) – Japanese spotted prawn (botan ebi).

(D) Sashimi #3 (above) – Flounder (hirame) served with its liver.

(E) Sashimi #4 (above) – Yellowtail.


(F) Steamed egg (above)

  
  
  
  
  

(G) Nigiri sushi (10 pieces) (above) – Assortment of baby white shrimp (shiro-ebi), giant clam (ishigakigai), big eye snapper (kinmedai), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), aburi premium fatty tuna (otoro), striped jack (shima-aji), marinated tuna (maguro zuke), violet sea urchin (murasaki uni), short spine sea urchin (bafun uni) and scallop (hotate). For the striped jack, Taiwanese chef Angus wrapped it (together with ginger, shiso leaf and chives) with thinly sliced cucumber instead of seaweed. And it was my first having the scallop of my sushi soaked in hot soya sauce before it was pressed flat. Nice! I really enjoyed it.

(H) Roll sushi (above) – This was awesome; Thick maki roll with various cuts of tuna (otoro, chutoro, akamiand negitoro), pickled radish and chive. I really liked that it was so big that a piece would fill up my entire mouth. It was an explosion of flavours in my mouth. Really good.

(I) Miso soup (above)

(J) Dessert

Because my IGGF and I truly enjoyed our lunch at the sushi counter, we were unanimous about returning to Mizuki for their tempura. So right after we finished our sushi lunch, my IGGF and I made reservation for our next meal at the reception. Keke.


Tempura counter

Similar to our first meal at Mizuki, my IGGF and I arrived on a Saturday. However, instead of meeting at our usual 12pm, we arrived at 1pm as I had an appointment prior. Which unfortunately caused us to miss out on the abalone tempura (only available on the a-la carte menu) as it was sold out when we reached. Sob.

And from the tempura lunch menu (pages 1, 2, 3), my IGGF and I ordered:-

1) Sea urchin tempura, $40 (above)

2) Koubai, $100 comprised of:-

(A) Seasonal appetizer (above)

(B) Seasonal vegetable (above) – Lotus, fish cake, sweet potato, yam and egg plant.

(C) Seafood tempura #1, #2 (above) – Prawn.

(D) Seafood tempura #3 (above) – Flathead (megochi).


  

(E) Seafood tempura #4 (above) – Crayfish (zarigani).

(F) Seafood tempura #5 (above, left) – Squid.

(G) Seafood tempura #6 (above, right) – Scallop. We were a little bummed when ours were served a little overcooked. Our neighbours’ scallops were served raw in the middle.

(H) Seafood tempura #7 (above) – Sea eel.

(I) Vegetable tempura #1 (above, left) – Pumpkin.

(J) Vegetable tempura #2 (above, right) – Lotus.

(K) Vegetable tempura #3 (above, foreground) – Corn.

(L) Vegetable tempura #4 (above, background) – Green chili


  

(M) Kakiage with rice and miso soup (above)

(N) Dessert

And for dessert, we were allowed to choose between ice cream and pudding. And it’s only natural that my IGGF and I ordered different items in order to try more. Keke.

  
  

So yes, we managed to try (clockwise) pumpkin jelly, yam ice cream, tomato jelly and houjicha ice cream.

Would I recommend Mizuki? A big yes from me. And if I really must choose, I would say their tempura fared better than the sushi. The tempura batter was thin, crispy and not greasy. Definitely one of the better tempura restaurants in Singapore.

But don’t get my wrong. We enjoyed our sushi meal too. Although the only grip I had was that thee sushi was only served individually for the $250 course. My IGGF ordered the Midori set ($48) and her 8 nigiri sushi were served together on a plate. Though it may not be much of a deal to others.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend Mizuki!

MIZUKI TEMPURA AND SUSHI
391 Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City Podium Block, #05-32, Singapore
6734 6308, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 11:30 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon