Dinner @ Kamoshita

June 15, 2017 in Japanese

One can say I was trying to find and try more oden places in Singapore. Thus the visit to Kamoshita. In fact, I’ve gone back twice. During my first visit, my friend and I ordered the omakase course which was frankly a let down. But I decided to head back despite the disappointment because the dishes ordered by the other customers (from the a-la carte menu) looked really good. We couldn’t order additional dishes then because we were required to order the same priced omakase course. Ie, We couldn’t order a $60 and a $100 omakase course each. Neither could I order the omakase course while my friend go a-la carte. So yes, we were too full during our first visit to order anything more.

Reservation for both dinners were made over the phone. And Kamoshita must have a database of customers’ information because they were able to mention my name after obtaining my contact number when I called the second time to make reservation. Nice.

As requested, we were given counter seats. Yeah! And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), my friend and I ordered:-

1) Omakase course, $60 comprised of:-

(A) Starter (above) – Boiled edamame.

(B) 3 kinds of appetizer (above)


(C) Bagna cauda (above) – Assortment of vegetables served with dipping sauce.

(D) Marinated seafood (above) – Sweet soy sauce soaked tuna with ikura.

(E) 3 kinds of Japanese flavour cheese (above) – Cream cheese soaked in miso, crab butter cheese cracker and smoked radish stuffed with cream cheese.



  

(F) 3 kinds of premium oden (above) – Prawn cake, tomato and half boiled egg.


(G) Fried dish (above)


(H) Cold inaniwa udon (above)

2) Avocado, $6 (above) – It’s my first to see avocado on oden menu. I didn’t even realise it was on the menu until the staff prepared the dish for a group of customers. And I must say it was quite a sight to see 6 halved avocados floating in the pot. So when I returned on my second trip, I just had to order it. I thought it would taste weird, but it was surprisingly tasty.

3) Tofu, $5 (above)


4) Lettuce & Iberian pork belly, $7 (above)


5) Potato salad from oden potato, $8 (above) – Another dish that was ordered because of my first trip where a slightly drunk customer raved about how good the potato salad was to her friends as she placed order for it. So yes, I ordered it out of curiosity. And she was right. It’s really good. Drizzled with yoke, I loved the texture and the addition of sprouts and bacon. A must order.

6) Rice yeast marinated salmon, $12 (above)


7) Ham cutlet stuffed with blue cheese, $12 (above) – Give this a miss.

8) Iberian pork spare rib dressed with spicy sauce, $12 (above) – This was really good. The meat was so tender that we easily removed it from the bone. My friend especially liked the sauce.

9) Kabayaki-grilled eel, $39 (above) – Wouldn’t recommend this too. This was average. Save the stomach space for other dishes.

10) Marinated salmon & sake lees soup, $15 (above)


  

11) Sea urchin, ikura & tuna masu bowl, $28 (above)

12) Inaniwa udon with oden soup, $8 (above)

  

13) Clay pot steamed rice with sea bream, $29 (above) – It’s written on menu that this would take 40 to 50 minutes. Thus, one should order this right at the start of the meal. And we liked this. We were also surprised at the nice packaging when we requested to pack our unfinished rice.

14) Green tea & red bean shave ice, $8 (above)

15) Home made cream pudding, $8 (above)

Would I recommend Kamoshita? I would. Honestly, there ain’t many Japanese restaurants that focus solely on oden in Singapore. So I was glad Kamoshita is one such restaurant. And I am even more glad that they served delectable dishes. And I am not referring to just the oden items. But yes… Just refrain from ordering the omakase course. Though the $89 and $100 omakase courses may be better than our $60′s.

In fact, if one is going to visit Kamoshita for dinner, do also order their miso grilled Iberian pork collar ($22). My friend and I didn’t get to try this. But the benefit of sitting at the counter was that we got to watch the staff preparing other customers’ dishes. And the smell of the grilled pork collar was divine. It’s a pity my friend and I were again too full to order and try it for ourselves.

KAMOSHITA
5 Neil Road, Singapore
6221 3950, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 00:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 8
Service: 7

Dinner @ Manpei

October 10, 2016 in Japanese

While doing my usual homework of sniffing out searching for new eateries, I got to learn about Manpei from the online Japanese magazine, Oishii. It wasn’t an article about them. Instead, Manpei had placed an advertisement. Good marketing move. Keke.

With my recent interest in oden, I got my InstaGram GirlFriend (IGGF) to have dinner with me. And coincidentally, she had also read about Manpei from Oishii too! Great (foodie) minds think alike. Keke!

Reservation was made for Friday, two days prior to our dinner.

However, when we arrived on Friday, we were told our reservation was made for Thursday! Impossible. When the lady repeated our reservation details over the phone, I clearly heard it was for Friday. Hmm…

But thankfully my IGGF and I always meet for early dinner. We were the first to arrive at 7pm, and decided to go with table seats instead of our favourite counter seats.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), we ordered:-

1) Cream cheese, $9 (above) – I love my cream cheese, and this was served with fermented fish liver. It was a first for me to see such a combination, and it surprisingly worked out even though both fish liver and cream cheese were salty. Yes… Somehow, the dish wasn’t overly salty. Instead, the saltiness was balanced out by the creaminess of the cream cheese. But my IGGF didn’t enjoy this as much as I did.


2) Nattou aburaage, $7 (above) – Nattou, fermented soy beans, is really an acquired taste. It’s either one enjoys it, or don’t enjoy it. We ordered this because we know how to appreciate it. Keke. But my IGGF said this taste better with some fermented fish liver (from our ‘cream cheese’ dish).


3) Oden soup takoyaki, $8 (above) – And these would be octopus balls; Ball-shaped Japanese snack made of wheat flour batter with filling of octopus. This was certainly different when served with soup.

4) Deep fried squid leg, $7 (above) – Before my IGGF and I ordered this, we spied to see what other tables (of Japanese patrons) had ordered. Haha. We like to check if we are trying the ‘must order’ dishes. However, we were a little late cause we only saw empty black rectangular plates. So when our second round of orders were served, we were very excited to see we had found our answer. Yes, deep fried squid legs served on black rectangular plate. Keke. And this was really good! A must order.

5) Chicken tar tar sauce, $12 (above) – This was ordered upon the staff’s recommendation. And yes, this is a must try! Even the shredded cabbage tasted great!

6) Clam with butter, $10 (above)

7) Grill yellowtail neck, $14 (above) – Unfortunately this, which was from the special menu, was a let down. The fish was not fresh. Needless to say, we chose not to finish this and saved our stomach space for other dishes.

8) Fish soup, Complimentary (above) – We were surprised when we were served this. “From the kitchen”, said the staff. And it was really good although it wasn’t easy eating this as there was lots of bones. My IGGF and I joked that this must have been given to make up for the disappointing yellowtail neck cause the complimentary fish broth was not an item from the menu. Hmm…

9) Oden with options of:

  

(A) Steamed cabbage roll, $4 (above)

(B) Yam cake ($3), white radish ($4), egg ($3) & boiled kamaboko ($3) (above) – Skip the egg. I was expecting soft boiled (ramen) egg, but this was hard boiled.

(C) Chikuwa fishcake ($3), kombu seaweed ($2), kurumafu ($3), mochi kinchaku ($3) (above)


10) Custard cake, $6 (above) – This was pretty unique. Don’t think I had something similar unless I forgot with my goldfish memory. Ha. And what I thought was made with tapioca flour should be sago skin.

It was a pity we ordered the grilled yellowtail neck. Cause if we didn’t, our dining experience at Manpei would have been awesome instead of great. (^^lll) But I would still recommend Manpei. Go easy on their oden and stick to the cooked dishes. Their oden items were average. Ie, not outstanding. I had better elsewhere. It’s also a personal preference that I preferred the items to be served individually. But their cooked dishes were good!

If I need a place to go for supper, I would definitely return to Manpei. There are still items on their menu which I would like to try if my IGGF and I weren’t already feeling full. Like the hokke atka mackerel, salmon fried rice, deep fried gyoza and stir fry squid with ink! =p

MANPEI 万平
59 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore
6222 2983
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 04:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Nobu-ya

April 17, 2015 in Japanese

One can say I needed a change from (dining at) sushi-ya. Haha. And with that, my Jap-foodie-GF and I headed off to Nobu-ya, an izakaya. Yes, if you noticed, I have given this particular girlfriend of mine a special title of Jap-foodie-GF. Haha.

Reservation was made for 2 for a weekday dinner. And my tele-conversation took a little longer than normal cause I had trouble understanding Chef Nobukawa Yoshiyuki’s accent. When he repeated the details of my reservation, I kept hearing his “Thursday” as “Saturday”. We finally understood each other only after he spelled out Thursday for me. Haha. And yes, one of the questions asked was “Are you drinking?” Having read that chef Nobukawa turns away customers who’re not drinking, I answered “Yes”. Not that I was lying. My Jap-foodie-GF and I came with the intention to drink! I mean, what’s eating at an izakaya without drinking!

One piece of information which I did not tell my Jap-foodie-GF was that I forgot to request for counter seats. But luckily we were assigned counter seats upon arrival. Phew! And personally, the best seat in the house was the counter seats! We had full view of the kitchen with bowls of cooked items placed in front of us on the counter top. Thus, besides choosing what to order from the menu, one can also pick what one fancy from the bowls of food placed on the counter top. Although these can also be found under ‘Display Food Items’ section of the menu. But I am more of a visual person lah!

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

1) Hijiki, $3 (above) – Soy braised hijiki seaweed. And I always enjoy kick-starting my meal at an izakaya with these seaweed. And I liked that pieces of fishcake were also mixed with the soy braised seaweed. Nice.

2) Shutou, $4 (above) – Salt preserved fish guts. I would say it’s an acquired taste to enjoy this dish. I only had 1 small piece because it was way too salty (to be consumed on its own) while my Jap-foodie-GF finished everything! To better enjoy this, one should have the preserved guts with rice and beer!

3) Tako wasabi, $4 (above) – Wasabi marinated octopus.

4) Nakaochi, $12 (above) – Fatty tuna refuse. Minced Roughly chopped tuna was a little on the dry side. But one shouldn’t expect premium sashimi at an izakaya since sashimi wouldn’t be their forte. But I liked that crispy seaweed was given to wrap the tuna with! I had mine with lots of the chopped spring onion too. Keke

5) Sashimi mori, $38 (above) – Market sashimi mix. And we were given a variety which included tuna, yellow tail and different parts of snapper. And the yellow tail was unexpectedly superb! It had a good amount of fats with a rich and sweet aftertaste. So good. The next time I am back, I would order just the yellow tail sashimi. It’s that good.

6) Dashimaki tamago, $4 (4 pcs) (above) – Japanese omelette.

7) Anago, $12 (above) – Light grilled sea eel with soy broth.

8) Buri gobou, $6 (above) – Soy braised yellowtail and burdock. And what looked dry on the exterior was in fact moist and juicy on the inside. A must order.

9) Kabocha-ni, $5 (above) – Soy braised pumpkin and chicken.

10) Kodai shio-yaki, $18 (above) – Salt grilled young snapper. I always appreciate how a dish could be simple yet delicious. Meat of fish was sweet and juicy. A must order.

11) Tai kabuto-ni, $14 (above) – Soy braised snapper cheek. And this was ordered by pointing to one of the many dishes placed on the counter top. I would say being able to order this would be akin to a game of ‘fastest finger wins’ as there’s limited portion for the day. We were lucky and managed to order the first of the 2 pieces. Haha. And this was really good. And we saw the friendlier side to stern-looking chef Nobukawa when he rotated our plate to show us the correct side-up to take picture of the fish head. Ha! A must order.

12) Oden mori, $12 (above) – Assorted oden stew. And this was what we ended our dinner with. A warm bowl of soup consisting of several ingredients. I enjoyed the light soy-flavoured dashi broth, although it got a little spicy when we neared the bottom as the mustard which was placed at the side of the bowl had slipped into the soup. The chicken wing was a little dry.

For me, izakaya is not just about the food. It’s also of the ambience. And frankly, with our backs facing the corridor, we did feel as though we were in Japan as snippets of conversation carried out in Japanese drifted within our hearing range. Ha. And it was interesting as we watched the staff within the kitchen get busy with the food orders and Chef Nobukawa (only getting) busy with drink orders. Ha. One can tell the cooked dishes were prepared way before opening hours as the staff scooped out components of the dishes from big containers. Nice.

I definitely recommend Nobu-ya! And it definitely helps that the prices were very wallet-friendly. Even if one isn’t sure what the item is, one can just go ahead and order without worrying about breaking the bank.

NOBU-YA
190 Middle Road, Fortune Centre, #01-05, Singapore
6338 3450
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 8
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7