Dinner @ G-ONE // CLOSED

May 23, 2015 in Japanese


I have always been curious about G-ONE after chef Hisao Goto closed GOTO for renovation to change their concept from high-end traditional kaiseki to casual dining. And with that, my Jap-foodie-GF and I decided to drop by G-ONE on a weekday evening.

Upon entry, I immediately noticed the restaurant was dimmer than what it used to be. More tables were added with the removal of some cabinets and the small counter.

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


1) Appetizer 5 kinds for one person, $18 (above)

2) Tempura scallop with sea urchin, $38 (above) – Fresh creamy sea urchin sandwiched between thick slab of succulent scallop that’s wrapped with seaweed. This was so good. I liked the contrast between the crispy and slightly salty seaweed with its tempura batter against the sweet scallop. And when I bit into this, I was surprised to find more sea urchin at the bottom of the ‘ball’. A must try!

3) Assorted sashimi (for 2-3 person), $128 (above) – I would say the variety given for sashimi platter was good for 3, but quantity meant for 2 (since only 2 slices were given for each type). And variety included flat fish, different cuts of tuna except chutoro, etc. The fishes were fresh and good. Although the colour of the sea urchin did not look too appetizing, it tasted okie.

4) Kanpachi (amber jack), $30 (above) – And from the grill section of menu, we ordered the kanpachi cheek. Fresh and juicy. A simple but well executed dish.

5) Hot himi udon from Toyama, $15 (above)

6) Hosomaki, $12 (above) – Sushi roll with mentaiko fish egg.

7) Brown sugar parfait, $12 (above)

8) Dessert of the day, $12 (above) – And the texture of the milk pudding was not what I had in mind. I expected pudding to be smooth and silky, but the one at G-ONE had texture very similar to freshly made tofu. Out of curiosity, I enquired with the staff and was told that the pudding is made of milk, sugar and gelatin. And served with the milk pudding was carrot sauce.

Was it a good move by chef Goto to go casual? Well, I personally preferred GOTO over G-ONE. For some odd reason, G-ONE came across as an izakaya rather than a casual eating joint. When my Jap-foodie-GF was looking at the menu, we had a pretty hard time choosing what we wanted. I imagined it will be worse had I come with my family since they probably would want to order interesting mains like bento or chirashi too. But the mains at G-ONE are pretty limited. There’s only 4 types of noodle (of which most are plain) and 1 rice dish. I won’t really call it a rice dish too cause it’s grilled rice ball.

So in that sense, G-ONE makes a good upscale izakaya.

G-ONE RESTAURANT & BAR
14 Ann Siang Road, Singapore
6438 1553
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 11:30 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7

Dinner @ GOTO // CLOSED

September 19, 2014 in Japanese

And so the story goes… My friend and I were going through a phase where we wanted to check out restaurants which serve traditional kaiseki. As such, I managed to come up with a pretty long list of places for us to go. Keke. And this time round, we were off to GOTO.

Our original plan was to check out GOTO in end of September 14, but we hurriedly brought forward our dinner date to mid September when I came across an online article stating that GOTO will be closing on 26 October 14 to renovate and change their high-end traditional kaiseki restaurant into a casual Japanese dining called G-ONE.

Nooo…

We arrived on a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm. Reservation is definitely required cause they were running at full house! And having been spoilt by the other kaiseki restaurants, the interior design of GOTO is more straight forward. There were only 2 counter seats which I wouldn’t consider them being counter seats cause the chef spent most of his time in the kitchen.

There’s no menu at GOTO. And with that, we started our omakase dinner priced at $280:-

1) Appetizer (above) – Anti-clockwise, this platter comprised of radish topped with salmon roe in a cup, jelly fish with mushroom and shredded cucumber, prawn, sweet fish (which had lots of egg), chestnut, tofu and finally, spinach.


2) Tea-pot soup (above) – Within the pot, there were fish (sliced and ball), prawn covered in jelly and mushroom. To drink the soup, pour it into the bowl that’s placed upside down on the tea pot.

3) Sashimi (above) – Two sauces were given. With the radish and spring onion, we were told to dip the flat fish into the saucer that’s placed further from us. For the remaining sashimi, we were to dip them into the soya sauce with wasabi.

4) Grilled fish (above) – And we had sea perch for our grilled dish. And this was really good. I liked how succulent the meat was.


5) Millet (above) – What we thought was chawanmushi was actually millet and sea eel in a sauce that was made gooey with starch. Millet is a vegetable but looked and somewhat tasted like rice. This was pretty interesting. I liked that thinly sliced black fungus was included which introduced a crunch to the dish. We were also told by the lady boss that they don’t always have this dish on the menu. We were fortunate (to be able to try this dish) as they recently hand-carried back 10 kg worth of millet from her trip back to her hometown 2 weeks ago.

6) Tempura (above) – Fig (right at the bottom of the bowl, hence not photographed), green gingko, eggplant, prawn, baby ladyfinger with yuzu miso sauce. This was really good! I liked how the tempura batter was light and slightly crispy, and of how the ingredients went really well with the sauce.

7) Duck loin (above) – I did not like this although my friend really enjoyed it. I thought it was a little too raw, and preferred if the duck was sliced a little thinner as it was too chewy. However, preparation for this duck is no easy feat. We were told the duck meat was pan-seared, steamed and marinated for two days before served. Wow.

8) Sticky rice (above) – Topped with chestnut and gingko nuts.


9) Desserts (above, top) – Anti-clockwise, we had fruits (melon and grapes), black sesame ice cream, custard pudding and yuzu jelly

10) Desserts (above) – Green tea with Japanese mochi. I really liked the mocha! I was so tempted to ask for second servings. Keke.

We left the restaurant 3.5 hours later with very full and happy stomachs. Oh yes! Our dinner took that long. And it was the same for everyone. Thus, reservation is not the only thing recommended. One must come by 7.30pm! Unless one does not mind dinner becoming dinner and supper. Keke.

Service was wonderful too. The staff were polite and ensured our cups were never empty. And they never hesitated to explain anything with our never-ending questions like “Erm, what is this?” “Sorry, what’s that again.” Haha.

So yes, please check out GOTO for a kaiseki experience before they revamp themselves into a casual Japanese dining restaurant!

GOTO
14 Ann Siang Road, Singapore
6438 1553
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sat : 19:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon, Sun
Service: 8

Dinner @ Lolla

June 21, 2013 in Spanish

My girlfriend and I found ourselves at Lolla on a Thursday night, all prepared to wait as we heard they don’t accept reservation and that it gets really packed. But much to our pleasant surprise, we were able to secure two seats at the L-shaped counter on the ground level where we could see the chefs at work.



And situated in the basement are the bar, a large communal table and the restroom. Restroom which is beautifully decorated with butterflies.

And from the menu which came in the form of booklet and with specials written on a chalkboard, we ordered:-

1) Sea urchin pudding, $19 (above) – With all honesty, I came to Lolla to check this dish out. And it certainly did not disappoint. It’s a cold dish which has a very interesting taste. A taste which we could not put a finger to. The squid ink pudding (which I initially thought was century egg due to its colour. My bad. Ha!) tastes like very dense custard. And that’s a tea spoon, not a spoon in the picture. A must try!

2) Tuna belly “chutoro” tartare, $39 (above) – Tossed in dressing, I guess I found how I prefer my tuna belly served, and that’s (unfortunately) sashimi style. And while the tuna belly was fresh, it lacked the melt-in-mouth sensation. There were inconsistency in the sizes of the pieces. But I guess I have to be lenient as this is not a Japanese restaurant. But hey, some of the pieces could be chunkier for more satisfactory bites.

3) Candied foie gras & kumquat, $30 (above) – This is one of the specials. Though the exterior was slightly crisp, the foie gras did not have the melt-in-mouth sensation which I was going after. But I enjoyed the combined taste of the foie gras and fruits. Nice.

4) Char grilled octopus, $24 (above) – Another dish ordered from the specials. This came across as a little strange for us. There was this slime with every piece. Not sure if it was intentional, but we preferred it without. Other than that, the octopus was nicely done; Not chewy.

5) Smoked pork belly & brussel sprout, $24 (above) – This was recommended by the staff under the specials. And I like this! Though my girlfriend found it a little salty.

6) Spanish tortilla with smoked eel, $19 (above) – Chunks of potato are placed along the perimeter with the centre of the tortilla being creamy, moist egg.

7) Doughnut with lemon curd, $12 (above) – Another highlight of our dinner. Plain choux puffs which is light and went well with the puree served on the side. I finished more than half! A must try for desserts.

So while I had better for Spanish tapas, the place has a very nice and laid back atmosphere for friends to catch up. It gets a little noisy, but it’s great that way as everyone is doing their own stuff within their own groups. My girlfriend and I enjoyed the additional entertainment, which came along from sitting at the counter, of being able to watch the chef prepare the food. Especially when they are preparing someone’s dish which is the exact dish which we were eating.

In fact, it’s ironic that I spied them taking out a packet of foie gras from their chiller (under their preparation table) when they were closing the kitchen. It was in the type of packaging where one can easily find from the super mart. Hmm…

Service wise, the staff were pleasant. So while they were prompt in filling up my wine, they overlooked my girlfriend’s water. But hey! If the bottle of water is placed with us, I guess it falls onto us to top up our water.

LOLLA
22 Ann Siang Road, Singapore
6423 1228, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:45 (Dinner)
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun