Dinner @ Sushi Kondo

September 15, 2017 in Japanese

Except for reading that Kondo Masayuki was the head chef at Nogawa from 2005 to 2012, there was not much information of Sushi Kondo on the internet. Being curious, I got my my friend to check out Sushi Kondo with me.

Located in Sentosa Golf Club, my friend and I arrived punctually at 7.30pm. So while I know it isn’t easy to get to the restaurant, I was still surprised to see we were the only diners at Sushi Kondo that night. Actually… There were golfers but they chose to sit at the alfresco area.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), my friend and I ordered:-

1) Omakase course, $130 comprised of:-

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Appetiser.

(B) Dish #2 (above) – Sushi assortment of yellowtail, smoked big eye snapper (kinmedia), sweet shrimp (ama-ebi) and scallop.


(C) Dish #3 (above) – Clam (hamaguri) soup.

(D) Dish #4 (above) – Grilled belt fish. This was tricky to eat because the fish had way too many bones.

(E) Dish #5 (above) – Braised octopus and yam.

  
  
  

(F) Dish #6 (above) – Sushi assortment of horse mackerel (aji), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), seaweed-marinated kish fish, salmon roe, tuna hand roll and rolled egg omelette (tamago).

(G) Dish #7 (above) – Fig and grape.

2) Omakase course, $200 comprised of:-

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Appetiser.

(B) Dish #2 (above) – Sushi assortment of sea bream, squid, geoduck and medium fatty tuna (chutoro).


(C) Dish #3 (above) – Soup with tuna belly.

(D) Dish #4 (above) – Braised golden eye snapper.


(E) Dish #5 (above) – Radish served with foie gras, fungus, salmon roe and water shield.

(F) Dish #6 (above) – Seaweed-clam tempura.

  
  
  

(G) Dish #7 (above) – Sushi assortment of horse mackerel (aji), premium fatty tuna (otoro), seaweed-marinated kish fish, sea urchin, hand roll of premium fatty tuna and pickled radish, and rolled egg omelette (tamago).

(H) Dish #8 (above) – Peach and melon.

Our meal at Sushi Kondo wasn’t a fanciful one with the restaurant’s interior being pretty dated. But we were satisfied with our dinner nonetheless. My friend and I happened to dine at Sushi Kondo a week after a disastrous Japanese meal elsewhere. So yes, we were happy we could enjoy decent Japanese food at reasonable prices.

Head chef Kondo Masayuki was like a caring father as he would dearly watch over us whenever we took the first few bites of our dishes. When I was having my radish with foie gras dish, he must have realised I was struggling with just a pair of chopsticks because he silently passed me a spoon. So sweet.

And if one’s interested, Sushi Konda has lunch menu (pages 1, 2) too.

SUSHI KONDO
27 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore
6373 7120, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sun : 11:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 6
Tues – Sun : 17:30 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7

Dinner @ Syun

February 18, 2015 in Japanese

My friend and I meant to head off to another place for dinner. But with my not-so-good habit of making reservation at the very last minute (at times. Ha), we were left stranded when we were informed they were full for the night. And with my mind fixed on wanting Japanese, I suddenly remembered Syun, a new restaurant which had opened in Sentosa in December 2014.

And yes, we were successful in making reservation just 30 minutes prior to arriving at the restaurant. Keke. Guess not many have heard of the newly opened restaurant yet?

Quoting Resorts World Sentosa’s website, Syun is helmed by celebrity chef Hal Yamashita who hails from Kobe, Japan. It’s his first venture outside of Japan (after nine restaurants in Japan), and the menu is rooted in Kobe cuisine but presented with a modern twist.

Upon entering through the sliding door, I was a little taken aback to see the counter seats on our immediate right. My first impression of the sushi counter was that the area was slightly small and cramped. And with its counter top built (much) higher than our eye level, the design did not allow / encourage interaction between chefs and customers. Situation was not helped with piles of dishes put on the counter top which further blocked our view of the chefs.

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

1) Premium 7 course, $120 comprised of:-

(A1) Chef’s selection (above) – Part 1 of 2, we were served half an onsen egg and braised kurobuta pork belly which was a beautiful balance of tender meat and fats.


(A2) Chef’s selection (above) – Part 2 of 2 was a cold dish. I thought I heard it wrong when the staff introduced it as “assorted fish”, but when I queried again, she explained that various fish were used. Meat was deep fried, braised before served cold. I did not quite like this dish though. I guess I would have preferred if the fish was fishes were served warm.

(B) Chef’s signature (above) – And chef Hal Yamashita’s signature would be the sea urchin rolled by wagyu beef. Also available on the a-la carte menu at $15. However, as we don’t take beef, the beef was replaced with flounder. And I loved the entire ensemble, although the flounder was slightly stretchy (note, stretchy and not crunchy). I would imagine this would taste better when paired with melt-in-the-mouth wagyu beef.

(C) Assorted sashimi (above) – Clockwise (from front), 2 slices of tuna in spicy garlic sauce, yellow tail in kabachu sauce and salmon in yuzu sauce respectively.

(D) Grilled cod with saikyo miso, yuzu miso sauce and dried mullet powder (above) – Available on the a-la carte menu at $28 (1 person) and $48 (2 person). My friend and I thought the dish smelled a little weird with the fish further topped with parmesan cheese, which the staff said was to further bring out the taste. But surprisingly, the dish tasted fine. We were cautioned against soft bone, and we thought it was interesting (or should I better say, slightly off?) that baby kailan was used.

(E) Charcoal grilled seabream with vinegar egg yolk sauce (above) – We were given 2 options and we chose sea bream over wagyu beef, which would be served with brandy soy sauce and wasabi. However, after having had a fish dish before this, it did feel as though there was an overload in our fish dishes.


(F) Assorted sushi with miso soup (above) – And for our nigiri sushi, we were given eel, flounder, tuna and swordfish. Except for the tuna, I was not too impressed with our sushi. And to sit at the sushi counter, I had hoped to see a little sushi-making actions. However, as with the design of the place, our sushi were not made one by one and placed onto our plates. As such, even though I could see that the tuna was treated (it being a deep rich brownish red with brown edges), I was not able to fully appreciate our sushi since I have no idea of what went into the preparation of our sushi.

(G1) Chocolate and azuki bean terrine (above)


(G2) Matcha monaka ice cream (above) – Served with a piece of maple leaf too.


  
  

2) Kurobuta pork shabu-shabu, $35 (1 person) (above) – With spicy ponzu and yuzu sesame sauce. And the staff assisted to cook and serve the pork and vegetables for us. I liked how they served the first bowl with no soup, and our second serving with soup.

3) Sea urchin sushi, $20 (above)

Besides the non-interactive chefs, service by the waiting staff was good. Although we were the only customers at the sushi counter (since most chose to sit at the table which was at another area), I appreciated that the waiting staff would always be around to make sure we were taken good care of. You know like how some staff would disappear, assuming there’s nothing to be taken care of just cause there’s only a few customers.

So while Syun was opened by a celebrity chef, I liked that he did not choose to head down the fine dining path. Allowing their food to be more affordable with their wallet-friendly prices. And thus, more accessible. However, variety on their dinner menu was a little limited. One would have tried almost everything if one came in a group of 3. Or a pair of big-appetite eaters, like my friend and I. Ha.

I read that Syun offer a yamashita-styled sukiyaki where diners dip wagyu beef in sea urchin instead of raw egg. Only available in Singapore! So one may want to try that for dinner. Else, one can read fellow blogger DanielFoodDiary‘s post on his take of Syun’s lunch. The lunch menu is pretty different from the dinner’s.

However, cause I am one who prefer a more intimate dining experience and that there’s nothing more on the menu to entice a second visit, I wouldn’t be coming back. Unless I am in Sentosa, and am craving for Japanese without wanting to spend too much.

SYUN SINGAPORE
8 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, Festive Walk, Level 2, Singapore
6577 6688, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7

Dinner @ Sabio By The Sea

October 24, 2014 in Spanish

Having not had Spanish cuisine recently, my friend and I decided to head down to Sabio By The Sea. A restaurant which has been on my list of places-to-check-out for a long while now.

As Sabio By The Sea is located within Sentosa, we drove in. Did not like the hassle of having to take the train in and walk or take the Sentosa buses lah. =) But while trying to find a parking lot within Quayside Isle, we kept thinking we missed the entrance to the carpark when one will (just) need to keep driving along the long stretch as the entrance is nearer to W Hotel.

And it could be that we came on a weekday evening that the restaurant was not too busy.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), we ordered:-


1) Croquetas de jamon, $14 (above) – Ham croquettes. Crust was crispy and fried to a beautiful shade of golden brown while filling was creamy. However, the heat was not handled properly as 2 of the 5 were served, burst.

2) Esparrago, $18 (above) – Grilled asparagus, serano ham, soft egg, paprika & sherry vinaigrette. Asparagus were overgrilled. Or simply, burnt. 80% of each asparagus was black. A great pity cause this would have been a must try as we really liked the combination of crunchy aspargus, cured ham and half-cooked egg.

3) El pulpo, $21 (above) – Grilled octopus leg, “viola” mash potato, sauce paprika. Again, this was overcooked. Restaurants have to understand the power of social media. Comparing the other nicer photographs (of this dish) shared by others on instagram, I was disappointed to see ours was nowhere near those. A sign of inconsistent cooking? The texture of the octopus was so mushy that my friend thought he was eating chicken! And the paprika was brown-purple instead of a vibrant shade of purple as shared by others.

4) Vieiras en salsa de cava, $18 (above) – Sea scallops with sparkling white wine sauce. This was okie, although my friend felt the sauce was a little too salty.

5) Paella negra, $26 (small) (above) – Mixed seafood in black ink squid. Paella comes in 2 sizes; $26 for small and $45 for large. Having had tried paella in Spain before, this was nowhere near the authentic taste. We concluded it could be due to the wrong type of rice used. This was too mushy.


6) Crema catalana, $6 (above) – Catalan custard.

7) Pina asada, $14 (above) – Roasted marinated pineapple served with vanilla ice cream. It tasted almost like the pineapple grating of the pineapple tarts baked for Chinese New Year, but slightly more bitter. Thus the pairing with sweet ice cream. I thought this was okie but my friend was really not impressed.

8) Churros, $12 (above) – Crunchy fried dough Spanish doughnut. It’s stated on the menu there’s a choice of either chocolate or caramel sauce. However, it could be that our order (for desserts) was taken during last order that the waiting staff assumed we wanted chocolate sauce in the rush of taking our orders. However, that aside, this has to be the highlight of dinner. Long, thick churros which were served warm were chewy. Nice.

Generally, we were not too pleased with our dining experience. Food was not executed well. Most of our dishes were over-cooked. Burnt asparagus, burst croquette and overcooked octopus. It felt as though the restaurant was not taking pride in the food they served. I would expect the chef to re-do the dishes instead of sending burnt food to the table.

Service was lacking too. When we arrived at the restaurant, we waited at the entrance as we thought we probably need to wait to be seated. However, a particular waiting staff made eye contact with us twice and ignored us. So we thought we could walk in on our own. However, as we walked in, the staff then quickly walked over and re-led us to another table. Hmm…

I won’t recommend Sabio By The Sea. There are other options for Spanish, and at more accessible locations. The other options may not have a water view but good food and great service are more important.

SABIO BY THE SEA
31 Ocean Way, Quayside Isle, #01-02, Singapore
6690 7568, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 5
Mon – Thur : 12:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 6
Fri – Sat : 12:00 – 00:00
Value: 6
Sun : 10:30 – 22:00
Service: 6