Dinner @ Ichigo Ichie 一期一江 | Kappo Restaurant in Robertson Quay

February 14, 2022 in Japanese

Ichigo Ichie opened in February 2020 at Intercontinental Robertson Quay. And if head chef Akano Eno looks familiar, it’s because she previously worked at Sushi Kimura. Back then, chef Akano san would sometimes do Monday kappo at Sushi Kimura. So it’s very heart-warming to see the founder(s) of Sushi Kimura extending the support by backing chef Akano san with the opening of her very own kappo restaurant Ichigo Ichie. I definitely love seeing more female chefs in the food industry.

For our weekday dinner, my friend made the reservation for us. And there are 2 menus; Kurenai 紅 ($350) and Akane 茜 (from $428). She mentioned we went with the regular (Kurenai) menu. But if anyone is keen on the Akane menu, that requires at least 4 days advanced notice.

The space was a mix of traditional and contemporary; Wooden tables against a black-concept open kitchen. As we had already pre-selected our dinner course, the menu was placed at our designated (counter) seats. But it was strange that while the menu was personalised (in the sense that it even had my name printed on it), the restaurant failed to incorporate my mentioned dietary requirements into the menu. But it was thankful that chef Akano san was able to replace the beef dish. And after taking my drinks order, I commenced my Kurenai plus menu, $350 $400 with:-

1) Kakigama (above) – Persimmon, yuba sauce, naga nasu, smoked hotate, kuruma ebi, murasaki uni.

2) Matsutake & uchiwa ebi (above) – Premium mushroom, slipper lobster, gingko nuts.

3) Kue shabu (above) – Longtooth grouper, matsutake.

4) Premium sashimi platter (above) – Assortment of trout and roe, marinated bonito with pickled chilli, black throat sea perch (nodoguro), flounder (hirame) and flounder fin (engawa), horse mackerel (aji), lean tuna (akami), premium fatty tuna (otoro), abalone and adult yellowtail (buri).

5) Yaki matsutake (above) – Premium mushroom, hanayuzu.

6) Shiro amadai wakasayaki (above) – White tilefish, gingko nuts, amakusa aka uni. This was really good.

7) Dish #7 (above) – Iga (beef) tenderloin cutlet was replaced with abalone tempura.


8) Donabe rice (above) – Matsutake mushroom, koshihikari rice, kegani (hairy crab) & fukahire (shark’s fin) sauce. Miso soup with shijimi clams.

9) Dessert (above) – Xing ren (chinese almond) ice cream, jasmine & peach granite, peach gum, shiso flower.

10) Roasted tea (above)

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Ichigo Ichie. It was very satisfying. And dinner couldn’t have happened at a better time. I liked how we managed to catch the tail end of matsutake mushroom season (picked from September to October). In fact, chef Akano san shared it wasn’t easy getting these as our meal was right at season end. So I truly appreciate the length the restaurant went to provide the good handful of matsutake dishes into the meal.

And onto the menu… I thought we went with the regular Kurenai menu ($350). But if one looks at Ichigo Ichie website, we should have been served the signature ‘uni & ebi somen’ dish. However that didn’t happen. And when I was presented with the receipt at the end of the meal, it showed food alone was $400 instead of $350. I’m guessing the price adjustment was for the seasonal ingredient. Thus, me calling it ‘Kurenai plus‘ menu. Or maybe my girlfriend got it wrong. We might have pre-selected the Akane menu, but I was not charged the full ‘from $428‘ because I didn’t have the exclusive Iga beef tenderloin dish? Shrug.

Chef Akano san was very busy. It was quite a sight to see a petite her scurrying from one end to the other. Though that meant every diner weren’t left out. I appreciated her level of attentiveness. When she was grilling the my matsutake mushrooms, I appreciate how she intentionally moved the (portable) grill nearer to my end of the counter so that I could see what’s happening.

Would I recommend Ichigo Ichie? Definitely.

1 Nanson Road, Intercontinental Robertson Quay, #02-07A, Singapore
Website, 9018 2897
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 9
Mon – Sat : 12:30 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 19:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ ESORA

January 28, 2019 in Japanese

Opened in August 2018, ESORA was one restaurant which opening I was looking forward to. And as taken from their website… Set in a heritage shophouse on Mohamed Sultan Road, ESORA is a kappo-style fine dining restaurant helmed by head chef Shigeru Koizumi. And guided by chef Koizumi san’s affinity with nature, ESORA showcases modern Japanese cuisine.

However I only got to dine at ESORA in December, 4 months after their opening. You see… I prefer to wait it out a little before visiting a new restaurant. And by the time I was ready to visit ESORA (ie, in November), most of my friends had already visited ESORA. Yes, they are super fast.. So the only way to entice them to return with me was when ESORA started serving the winter menu.

It would be nice to dine in a big group. But at ESORA, one should dine in pairs because the restaurant interestingly oddly only assign counter seats to groups with 2 or less. And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) 9 course menu, $278 comprised of:-

(A) Pre-appetiser (above) – Broth made with dashi, kelp (kombu), yuzu and bonito flakes.


(B) Foie gras monaka (above) – With persimmon, kaffir lime and sesame. And for my friend who preferred not to have foie gras, she was served monaka with sea eel (anago), pumpkin and mandarin instead.

(C) Kaviari caviar (above) – With celery roots, clam (hamaguri) and yuzu.

(D) Fugu karaage (above) – Shiokombu salad and sudachi.


(E) Sashimi selection (above) – Bonito, Spanish mackerel (sawara), barracuda (kamasu) and sea urchin (uni).

(F) Steamed abalone (above) – With white maitake mushroom and yuzu.

(G) Grilled kinki (above) – With spinach.

(H) Smoked duck (above) – As we don’t take beef, the ‘omi wagyu with shiitake mushroom, onion and aged akazu’ dish was replaced with duck. We didn’t quite like this though cause of the texture.


(I) Snow crab donabe – For this, the staff came up with the claypot and showed us the crab within. And my friend had super sharp eyes because she spotted the tag on the crab. Ha! So obviously, the shells were only for display. After which, the staff brought it back to the open-concept kitchen where chef Koizumi san started portioning. And it was noticed they had done most of the works beforehand when containers of crab flesh, etc were brought out. My friend had a valid point by saying that actually gave our crab rice bowl less ‘wow factor’. Ie, they should only deshell the crab on the spot even if it meant we had to wait longer. But… I had 2 bowls nonetheless. Keke.

(J) Miso soup (above)

(K) Palate cleanser, Complimentary (above) – This was simply awesome. I would never look at pears the same way anymore. So good.


(L) Wasanbon ice cream (+ $38, Alba white truffle) (above) – Sweet potato (anno imo) and Japanese sugar syrup (kuromitsu).


(M) Petit fours (above)

(N) Matcha (above)

Although I had not dined at Odette yet, I felt a lot of familiarity between Odette and ESORA due to the largely similar colour palette used in the restaurants’ decor. My friend shared some of the staff were also transferred from Odette to ESORA, which one shouldn’t be surprised since the restaurants are managed by the same group (The Lo & Behold Group).


And as we made our way out of the restaurant, the staff were standing by at the exit with small paper bags. And in it, we were given castella cake. Such a nice gesture.

Would I recommend ESORA? I honestly loved the space and the service. I could feel the staff’s sincerity and warmth especially as they introduced every dish detailed-ly with wide smiles. So lovely! Food wise… Let’s say it was a promising start. I love the attention to details. But something just felt amiss. Couldn’t quite put a finger to it. But I am pretty sure ESORA will just get better with time. Give them a few more months! And counter seats are highly recommended for a more intimate experience. Since it’s facing the open-concept kitchen where one could watch experience everything. Keke.

15 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore
6365 1266, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Thur – Fri : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tue – Sat : 19:00 – 21:00
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon, Sun

Dinner @ Kappo Shunsui 割烹 旬水 [Revisit]

January 22, 2019 in Japanese

My siao-on instagram foodie friends were keen in visiting Kappo Shunsui for their supper menu. And since Kappo Shunsui’s head chef had changed from Tomo Watanabe to Nobu Nishi from my past visit, I thought “why not.” And since we were visiting for their supper menu, we agreed to dine at 9pm.

However, when the call was made to make our reservation, we were informed there was no supper menu. Ie, only dinner menu. Hmm… And in the same tele-conversation, the staff mentioned there’s $150 (8 courses) and $250 (9 courses) for us to choose from. Since the main difference between the 2 menus was a beef dish, we decided to go with $150.

On the day of our dinner, my ‘siao-on’-sters agreed to meet straight at the restaurant. And to enter, one was required to press the console for the staff to open the door. But regular customers would be able to open the entrance door easily just by scanning one’s finger print as the restaurant would have regular’s fingerprints registered into the digital lock system. And since we had pre-selected our menu, we commenced mizu course ($150) with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Bonito.

2) Dish #2 (above) – Fish cake with scallop, melon skin and eggplant in dashi broth.

3) Dish #3 (above) – Sashimi assortment of medium fatty tuna (chutoro) and lean tuna (akami).


4) Dish #4 (above) – Sweet fish (ayu) tempura served with seasonal vegetables (yam, corn and green pepper).

5) Dish #5 (above) – Big-eye snapper (kinmedai) and winter melon.

6) Dish #6 (above) – Rice topped with sea urchin and salmon roe (ikura) in claypot.

7) Dish #7 (above) – Miso soup.

8) Dish #8 (above) – Sweet corn pudding.

9) Brown rice tea, Complimentary (above)

Would I still recommend Kappo Shunsui? Well… I really ain’t too sure. There wasn’t many “wow” moments except for the bonito dish. I am sure the ingredients served depended on the season, but I doubt it would have been any more impressive had we opted for the $250 course. You know… Like better ingredients would be used.

But if one was in Somerset and needed a quiet-yet-can-still-impress eatery to go for late dinner or supper, Kappo Shunsui would be the place. Although walking within Cuppage Plaza to get to Kappo Shunsui wouldn’t be that quiet. Ha.

5 Koek Road, Cuppage Plaza, #04-02, Singapore
6732 0192, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tue – Thur, Sun : 18:00 – 01:00
Ambience: 7
Fri – Sat : 18:00 – 02:00
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon