Dinner @ Rang Mang Shokudo

June 10, 2018 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

I love my fried chicken. I absolutely love it. But every time I crave for it, it’s difficult to satisfy my craving properly; Arnold’s is in the (far) East while the few Korean restaurants which do better fried chicken are too far from home and I am usually in Orchard if I am out. Haha. So imagine how happy I was when I finally found a dependent eatery in town! So good that I went back thrice within two weeks!

As taken from their website, Rang Mang Shokudo uses free-range chicken. With a 6-hours buttermilk marinade, the chicken are fried twice in low heat. The restaurant’s signature double frying at low heat allows the chicken to remain super crispy even when eaten cold.

For my three visits to Rang Mang Shokudo, I dined at the restaurant on weekday evenings. Yes, fried chicken and beer are great to wrap up a hard day at work. Keke. And although my friend and I arrived on weekdays, the place was really packed. For walk-ins, I recommend reaching by 7pm latest to get seats without having to queue.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-

1) Edamame, $3.50 (above)

2) Value set, $10.90 (above) – Catered for solo diners or diners who want a balanced meal, one could opt for the value set which includes 1 (chicken) flavour, normal or 16 mix grain rice (went with white only because the mixed grain was sold out), potato salad and some greens.

3) Large, $18 (above) – Between small (5 pieces, $6) medium (12 pieces, $12) and large (20 pieces, $18), greedy us naturally went with large. And for large, one gets to choose 3 flavours.

4) Chicken flavour with options of:-

(A) Cod roe mayo (above)

(B) Curry, honey mustard, green onion salt chili oil (front to back) (above)

(C) Black vinegar, yuzupon oroshi, salt (left to right) (above) – And it’s with this order that I realised not all flavours are served in the form of sauces to be paired with the chicken pieces. ‘Salt’ (on smaller plate) being one of them.

(D) Katsuo ume, wasabi cream, soy sauce (left to right) (above) – ‘Soy sauce’ is similar to ‘salt’ where the chicken pieces were served seasoned. Ie, no sauce. Whereas for ‘katsuo ume’, the chicken batter was slightly different with bonito flakes and had an accompanying (plum) sauce too. Which also explained why the chicken were served separately. ‘Katsuo ume’ on smaller plate, plain chicken (for the ‘wasabi cream’) separated from the ‘soy sauce’ seasoned chicken with lettuce on the bigger plate.

5) Yuzu beer, $10

6) Frozen lemon sour high, $12 (above)

7) Frozen yuzu + soda, $4 (above)

The chicken pieces were indeed fried to perfection; Crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. And as what they claimed with their double-drying at low heat, it was indeed nice not having to rush finishing our food since fried chicken loses its crisp when it’s cooled.

Personally, I preferred flavours like ‘soy sauce’ and ‘salt’ where the chicken pieces are marinated/seasoned with it. Although if I have to choose my favourite among the sauces that I tried, I would go with ‘honey mustard’. Whereas for my choice of drinks, I kept choosing those which came with the slushie. Keke.

I would definitely recommend Rang Mang Shokudo. And I really like how accessible the eatery is being located in Wisma Atria’s Japan Food Town.

Instead, I wish I shared my dining experience at Rang Mang Shokudo earlier because I heard that Katsu Shinichiro, in charge of the overseas outpost in Singapore, has just ended his contract and went back to Japan. Am not too sure if the quality is still as good as what I last had. Although, news has it that they will be sending another (Japanese) staff to take over.

RANG MANG SHOKUDO
435 Orchard Road, Wisma Atria, #04-54, Singapore
6262 3504, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Fri : 11:30 – 23:00
Ambience: 6
Sat – Sun : 11:00 – 23:00
Value: 8
Service: 6 

Lunch @ Ki-Sho [Revisit]

March 17, 2018 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

After a re-visit to Saint Pierre, I decided to re-visit Ki-Sho next. And my string of re-visits should be surprising since it’s known (by now that) I prefer checking out new eateries. Just saying. Keke. But I guess one can say I was curious about Ki-sho’s lunch menu. And because Ki-sho only does lunch service on weekdays, I only managed to drop by when I applied leave to extend the long (Christmas) weekend longer. Haha.

I arrived at the restaurant punctually for my 1pm reservation. And from the lunch menu, I ordered:-

1) Taihaku, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Seaweed with ark shell, scallop and vegetables.

(B) Dish #2 (above, left) – Yellow tail (buri).


(C) Dish #3 (above) – Crab, tofu, sea urchin, mushroom, lotus root and salmon roe (ikura) with dashi vinegar jelly.

(D) Dish #4 (above) – Tilefish (amadai) with its scales fried to crisp and battered baby yam from Kyoto served in yuzu-plum sauce.

  
  
  
  
  

(E) Dish #5 (above) – It’s stated on the menu that the $250 course includes 8 pieces of nigiri sushi, 1 aburi otoro sushi and 1 aburi hida beef sushi. Mine had a slight variation since I don’t eat beef. For my 8 pieces, I was served lean tuna (akami), Spanish macakarel, striped jack (shima aji), spotted prawn (botan ebi), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), premium fatty tuna (otoro), charcoal-grilled (aburi) black throat sea perch (nodoguro) and sea urchin. As for the beef, it was replaced with tuna-yolk-urchin which I honestly enjoyed very much. However, it was disappointing that while I was seated at the correct half of the counter where head chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto stood, my sushi was made by chef Tohru san instead. I wasn’t aware there was more than 1 chef in-charge of the food, especially sushi making, since there was only chef Hamamoto san when I previously came for dinner.


(F) Dish #6 (above) – Rice bowl of chopped spotted prawn (botan ebi), tuna, salmon roe and sea urchin.

(G) Dish #7 (above) – Soup with sesame-soy tofu.

  

(H) Dish #8 (above) – Warabi mochi, matcha chocolate, wafer with ice cream within and musk melon.

Was I happy with my lunch at Ki-sho? Well… It was a good meal. But I ain’t going to lie. I arrived with the expectation that I would be served by chef Hamamoto as with my previous meal at Ki-Sho. So I was disappointed when I wasn’t. I guess I need to be very specific in my future reservations.

And because I was sitting beside a group who went for the $450 omakase, I left the restaurant regretting having not opted for the more expensive course. My neighbours were served precious ingredients like 1-week aged wild caught baby tuna (meiji) and wild caught ‘lost bonito’ (mayoi katsuo). Of course, one wouldn’t know what seasonal ingredients the restaurant have for the day. But ah… I couldn’t help but feel it was such a waste. It’s not everyday that one get to eat such rare delicacy even if one goes for the $450 omakase. Sob.

KI-SHO 葵匠
29 Scotts Road, Singapore
6733 5251, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Kitcho 吉兆割烹壽司 (Taipei, Taiwan)

February 26, 2018 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Common phrases that I get from my foodie friends include “You must eat seafood in Taiwan” and “Taiwan is the next best place to eat sushi after Japan.”

So with that, I started my hunt for a sushi restaurant to dine at in Taiwan. But without the luxury of time to research, I decided to go with what was trending on my instagram feed. Yes, Kitcho. And it was a good thing Kitcho could accept my reservation request through their Facebook page.

Two days prior to my dinner, I received a whatsapp text to re-confirm my reservation.

Arriving punctually at 8.30pm, I occupied the last empty seat at the counter. With no (physical) menu, the staff (verbally) informed me of the menu choices; NT3000 and NT3500 courses, or omakase which ranges from NT4000 to NT7000. The staff continued to explain the exact amount for omakase will only be known at end of the meal.

I did a quick conversion (in my mind) and went with omakase cause it really wasn’t too expensive (compared to Singapore’s dinner omakase). And after stating my dietary restrict (no beef), I started my omakase dinner with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Gingko nuts.

2) Dish #2 (above) – Flatfish (鰈魚).

3) Dish #3 (above) – Geoduck clam (mirugai).

4) Dish #4 (above) – Striped jack (shima-aji).

5) Dish #5 (above) – Japanese spotted prawn (botan-ebi).

6) Dish #6 (above) – Hairy crab topped with caviar.

7) Dish #7 (above) – Red sea urchin (aka uni) from Kyushu. I wanted to ask chef the reason for serving the sea urchin on wood instead of plate since the wood didn’t serve as a spoon, but my poor grasp of Chinese held me back.

8) Dish #8 (above) – Rock fish.


9) Dish #9 (above) – Hand-roll with minced tuna.

  
  

10) Dish #10 (above) – Sushi assortment of 愛魚女, big-eye snapper (kinmedai), baby snapper topped with chicken egg which was prepared with vinegar and sugar, and flounder (hirame).

11) Dish #11 (above) – Abalone served with sauce made with its liver.

  
  
  
  

12) Dish #12 (above) – Continued sushi assortment of lean tuna (akami), arctic surf clam (hokkigai), fin of flatfish (鰈魚的鰭邊), gizzard shad (kohada), premium tuna belly (otoro), sea urchin and egg omelette (tamago).


13) Dish #13 (above) – Chef asked if I was full and I shook my head. So he made me a special dish of caviar, minced tuna sandwiched between wafers. Wished he used something else besides wafers since I don’t like how it stick to the lips. Ha. But that aside, this was such a treat!

14) Dish #14 (above) – Fish tempura.

15) Dish #15 (above) – Clam soup.

16) Dish #16 (above) – Fruits and pumpkin pudding.

My omakase meal came up to NT6600. I reckon the special (item 13) jacked up the cost by quite a bit. So was I happy with my dining experience at Kitcho? Well… I wouldn’t say I was unhappy, but neither would I say I was extremely happy. It was a mediocre experience.

First being my poor grasp of Chinese. And that’s in no way the restaurant’s fault, of course. I had much difficulty understanding the chef. So that probably robbed me (much) of the full pleasure in knowing and enjoying what I ate. Secondly, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the food. Yes, it was good. But somehow, it wasn’t any different from my dining experience at other (equally reputable) sushi-ya. I admit, I’m stricter because it’s an overseas meal.

So if one is traveling to Taiwan, has only 1 slot for Japanese cuisine, and is looking for the sushi-ya, Kitcho may not make the cut. At least for me personally. It was a good dining experience, but not special. And knowing that I’ll be back to Taiwan again, I won’t stop hunting for that sushi-ya which impresses and is worth using our limited meal slots for when traveling in Taiwan.

That said, I am very appreciative that the staff responded to my messages when I enquired the names of (a few of) the fishes after dinner. Yes, I sent them my pictures via whatsapp. Keke.

KITCHO 吉兆割烹壽司
No. 48, Lane 181, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan
+886 2 2771 1020, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Taipei 2018.