Dinner @ Yoyogi

February 11, 2015 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

My friend and I came on a weekday at 7.30pm, and locating the restaurant’s entrance was a tricky task! We would have walked past the main door had I not suddenly noticed the Japanese words on the wall.

Upon entering, we were promptly led to our counter seats once our reservation was confirmed. And seeing that I had a (bulky) bag, the staff offered to put it in the locker. Which of course, I quickly took out my phone, mobile charger and camera before passing my bag over. =)

Making reservation was definitely a must. With only 20 counter seats, they were running at full house by 8pm! And most of the customers were observed to be regulars! That despite the fact that Yoyogi was pretty inaccessible unless one drove. Wow. So before I started my dinner, I had (already) concluded chef Edwin Tan must be doing something right (in order) for his regulars to follow him when he relocated the restaurant from Mohammad Sultan to the former Turf City.

I took longer (than normal) in deciding what to order cause my friend and I decided we shouldn’t do omakase together so that I could take more pictures. Haha. And while I was ‘studying’ which set to order, a staff (whom I got to learn later was chef Edwin’s wife) came over and assisted me. For the omakase, she started off recommending $168, although I went with $180 in the end.

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

1) Truffle course, $75 comprised of:-

(A) Amber jackfish with black truffle (above) – And it was from this dish that I realised for black truffle, there were also many varieties (of black truffle). I did not like the truffle which tasted a little like mushroom and did not go too well with the fish slices. Dish available on the a-la carte menu at $45 too.

(B) Signature truffle pasta (above) – With sakura ebi. Really enjoyed this cold dish of truffle-infused capellini. I liked the crunch which was introduced into the dish with (flying fish) roe, and saltiness from the small shrimp. Also available on the a-la carte at $18. A must try!

(C) Black truffle tea pot soup (above) – An average dish of soup with a piece of chicken, a slice of fish cake, scallop and slices of black truffle.

(D) Chiraishi (above) – And for our truffle course, we were supposed to be given the ohmi beef rice bowl with black truffle and onsen egg. However, as my friend and I don’t take beef, our beef bowl was replaced with rice bowl of chutoro, sea urchin and salmon roe. And this was good. I liked that every grains was coated with seaweed (not the roasted ones) with the topping separated from the rice by a bed of shredded roasted seaweed. Really good.

(E) Yuzu sorbet (above)

2) Omakase course, $180 comprised of:-

(A) Seasonal appetiser (above) – Comprised of monkfish liver, fish roe and vinegar-ed seaweed.

(B) Botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar (above) – This was requested by me after seeing pictures of this dish posted on Instagram. And this tasted as good as its visual! Give me a second serving, anytime!

(C) Assorted sashimi (above)

(D) Abalone and caviar on pasta (above) – Frankly, what’s not to love about this cold dish. I liked how every elements complimented one another.

(E) Mashed Japanese sweet potato with foie gras (above) – This was surprisingly light on the palate. Pretty tasty!

(F) 5 pieces of sushi (above) – And for this, we could choose between nigiri sushi, chiraishi (smaller portion served in a martini glass) and tempura. And I went with sushi where we had amberjack belly, stone perch with citrus sauce, chef Edwin’s creation ‘humpback grill’ of slightly torched botan shrimp, foie gras, sea urchin with caviar, Alaskan (zuwa) crab with vinegar-ed miso and eel.

(G) Tea pot soup – Same as what we had for our truffle course, but with no truffle.

(H) Musk melon (above)

3) Sake, $120 (720ml) – Chef Edwin came up to us at the start of our dinner and asked with a big smile if we wanted any beer or sake. We decided to go with sake cause it did not feel right to reject him (and his huge friendly smile). Haha. And we were recommended Tamagawa Junmai ginjo “Omachi”. But what I did not like was that wine glasses were used. But that was easily resolved by requesting for a change to sake cups. There’s a sake cellar within the restaurant which my friend observed that the smallest bottle size was 720ml.

So yes, the person behind Yoyogi was chef Edwin. I absolutely liked that he was equally warm to regulars and non-regulars. My friend and I were not sitting in his section (Ie, not in front of him), but chef Edwin made the effort to walk over and check on us a few times. And it’s not an exaggeration when I say he has eyes of a hawk! He was monitoring our progress (from the corner of his eyes) and would instruct his waiting staff to “clear dish” whenever we were done with our respective courses of the meal.

I enjoyed the ambience of the bustling restaurant which felt intimate and cosy! Although it got a little rowdy into the night when the regulars were high on alcohol, all was good.

Managed to witness an incident which only showed chef Edwin’s great emphasis on service. The waiting staff came out from 1 of the 2 private rooms to inform chef Edwin that the customers did not like the sake. Now, the customers had tasted like 1/4 worth. Yet, with no hesitation, chef Edwin instructed the staff to change the bottle and passed the staff a bottle of whiskey.

I definitely recommend Yoyogi. Saw a couple eating deep-fried kinki fish which looked so good. Was told by lady boss that deep fried was done for smaller kinki fish, while bigger ones will be grilled, steamed with sake or served as sashimi. The next time I am back, I am gonna try the kinki fish! And in case one can’t finish the alcohol, the (opened) bottle can be kept at the restaurant too.

200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand, #01-12, Singapore
6468 8826, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon
Service: 8

UPDATE: Restaurant has moved to 49 Amoy Street.