Dinner @ DSTLLRY

June 30, 2015 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

It being a (special) friend’s birthday, I was feeling the pressure of finding the ideal venue for dinner. And top on my list of requirement, it had to be a place serving Japaneae cuisine. One would normally find places according to the birthday person’s preference, but for me, I wanted to introduce him to my favourite cuisine. Haha. Aiyoyo!

So while I planned for us to have Japanese, the meal shouldn’t be too expensive or too cheap. And not forgetting my additional condition of wanting the place to be dim too. Hahaha. *Cheeky grin* So yes, I did think of going for yakitori but that would mean no (proper) sashimi. But thankfully, just as I was getting exasperated, someone recommended me DSTLLRY. And DSTLLRY fitted my bill perfectly. Keke. And with that, reservation was made! =)

And from their Facebook posts, one would learn that they offer a-la carte menu at the bar or omakase menu (priced at $99 per person, which is also updated monthly). Although there’s no difference between bar or non-bar seats. A U-shaped counter smacked right in the centre of the space was the only dining area. With 2 seatings, we chose 8.30pm over 6.30pm.

Located at 21 Media Circle (Infinite Studios), DSTLLRY was tricky to get to without private transport. So thank goodness for my partner who drives. =p However, the unfortunate fact is that if one reaches too early, there’s no place to hang out at. The other 2 cafes housed at the same building close by 6pm! So yes. We reached a little too early at 7.30pm and headed off to Rochester for coffee instead of chilling at the bar of DSTLLRY since we don’t drink. And the thing about 2 seatings, we had to arrive punctually in order for everyone to start their omakase courses together. By 8.35pm, the staff called to check if we were reaching.

And with that, our $99 omakase dinner started with:-

1) Smoked pineapple salsa with clams (above)

2) Chilled tofu with crispy soybeans (above)

3) Tartare & ‪otoro‬ platter (above) – We were recommended to go from right to left, although the staff said it’s not necessary. Hmm… And the platter included spicy salmon tartare, meat ball of negitoro, botan ebi tartare, hotate tartare and a thin slice of otoro.

4) ‎Foie gras‬ with nutella espuma (above) – This was good. And a my word of advise, don’t ‘break’ the foie gras into smaller pieces for consumption. Pop the entire slab into one’s mouth for maximum enjoyment. Keke.

5) Onsen tamago with ‪ikura‬ in ponzu (above) – And we were told the egg was cooked for 1.5 hours at 63.5 degrees. And we really enjoyed this. I especially liked the contrasting texture between the smooth egg and crunchy strips of fried wanton skin. Too good!

6) Gindara with hoisin glaze (above)

7) Kimchi kani ramen (above) – And for the broth, we were told shells of the prawn and crab were used. However, I did not like this. I probably would have preferred (much) less noodles cause they were not too generous with the portion of kimchi and Alaskan crab. The crustacean broth was a little too bland for my liking although I observed (all) the other diners emptied out their bowls.

8) Mozambique ‪‎lobster‬ mantou (above) – This was really good! I especially like the deep fried mantou which was crispy and sinfully oily. Haha. I wished I had more mantou to wipe clean my bowl with. The staff also introduced this dish as their version of deconstructed lobster roll.


9A) Miyazaki a4 ‪‎wagyu‬ on koshihikari ‘bun’ (above, right)

9B) Eel‬ on koshihikari ‘bun’ (above, left) – This was their alternate dish for me since I don’t take beef. And as a neighbouring diner accurately put it, the ‘bun’ reminded us of MOS Burger’s rice burger. Tasty! But of course, it was a little unprofessional that the staff came up to us with my dish and went “Who huh?” when he had difficulty remembering who among us don’t take beef.

10) ‎Truffle‬ ice cream with ‪‎uni‬ & shiso (above) – I thought it was pretty odd to have sea urchin (savoury) paired with ice cream (sweet). But the ice cream was so good on its own. When the staff was plating the ice cream, it looked like durian ice cream from afar cause of its texture. Haha.

Needless to say, we enjoyed our dinner. I wouldn’t say the food blew me away. But because I wanted the meal to introduce my dining partner to Japanese cuisine, I would say the food was good (based on that expectation). I would recommend trying DSTLLRY for their unique dining concept. Oh yes, remember how I wanted the venue to be dim? Haha.

But of course, we did get a little restless having to sit on the high stools for our 2-hours long meal. It would have been good if seats with backrest were provided. Although I reckon they wouldn’t want customers to get too comfortable since they would need the 6.30pm batch to clear out for the 8.30pm’s.

But I am impressed with the staff’s memory skill. For every dishes, they had to give us essay long introductions. Which we were often lost in the midst of it. Haha. And cause of the setting of the place, we were seated quite closely to one another. Which wouldn’t be a good thing if one wishes to have a private conversation. But we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless as we happened to have a foodie seated next to us. Language of food brings people together. Right? =)

However, I did notice they were slightly inconsistent with their servings. The food portion for me was always smaller than my dining partner. I guess they assumed females must be smaller eaters than their male counterparts. Well, I would have preferred the bigger plate of foie gras. o_O Haha.

21 Media Circle, #01-01, Singapore
6334 4816, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7