Lunch @ Mizuki Tempura and Sushi

August 10, 2017 in Japanese

It was through sheer luck and pure randomness that I got to know about Mizuki from instagram. And it being Japanese cuisine, the first person that came into my mind was my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend). Not surprising. Keke. And reservation was made for a Saturday lunch. And between sushi and tempura, we went with sushi first because I know my IGGF loves her sushi.

And yes, when there’s a first, it means there’s a second. My IGGF and I headed back for their tempura too. Keke.

Mizuki was conveniently located in Ngee Ann City (or better known as Takashimaya to some). It’s a 8 to 10 minutes walk from Orchard MRT station. A cool walk too since it’s air-conditioned throughout. Keke. And if one is familiar with Ngee Ann City’s layout, one should take the lift that’s facing Takashimaya Square, from the Food Village side. By exiting the lift on level 5, Mizuki would be on one’s immediate left.


Sushi counter

And from the sushi lunch menu (pages 1, 2, 3), my IGGF and I ordered:-

1) Matsuba, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Seasonal appetizer (above)

(B) Sashimi #1 (above) – Sea urchin from Kyushu.

(C) Sashimi #2 (above) – Japanese spotted prawn (botan ebi).

(D) Sashimi #3 (above) – Flounder (hirame) served with its liver.

(E) Sashimi #4 (above) – Yellowtail.


(F) Steamed egg (above)

  
  
  
  
  

(G) Nigiri sushi (10 pieces) (above) – Assortment of baby white shrimp (shiro-ebi), giant clam (ishigakigai), big eye snapper (kinmedai), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), aburi premium fatty tuna (otoro), striped jack (shima-aji), marinated tuna (maguro zuke), violet sea urchin (murasaki uni), short spine sea urchin (bafun uni) and scallop (hotate). For the striped jack, Taiwanese chef Angus wrapped it (together with ginger, shiso leaf and chives) with thinly sliced cucumber instead of seaweed. And it was my first having the scallop of my sushi soaked in hot soya sauce before it was pressed flat. Nice! I really enjoyed it.

(H) Roll sushi (above) – This was awesome; Thick maki roll with various cuts of tuna (otoro, chutoro, akamiand negitoro), pickled radish and chive. I really liked that it was so big that a piece would fill up my entire mouth. It was an explosion of flavours in my mouth. Really good.

(I) Miso soup (above)

(J) Dessert

Because my IGGF and I truly enjoyed our lunch at the sushi counter, we were unanimous about returning to Mizuki for their tempura. So right after we finished our sushi lunch, my IGGF and I made reservation for our next meal at the reception. Keke.


Tempura counter

Similar to our first meal at Mizuki, my IGGF and I arrived on a Saturday. However, instead of meeting at our usual 12pm, we arrived at 1pm as I had an appointment prior. Which unfortunately caused us to miss out on the abalone tempura (only available on the a-la carte menu) as it was sold out when we reached. Sob.

And from the tempura lunch menu (pages 1, 2, 3), my IGGF and I ordered:-

1) Sea urchin tempura, $40 (above)

2) Koubai, $100 comprised of:-

(A) Seasonal appetizer (above)

(B) Seasonal vegetable (above) – Lotus, fish cake, sweet potato, yam and egg plant.

(C) Seafood tempura #1, #2 (above) – Prawn.

(D) Seafood tempura #3 (above) – Flathead (megochi).


  

(E) Seafood tempura #4 (above) – Crayfish (zarigani).

(F) Seafood tempura #5 (above, left) – Squid.

(G) Seafood tempura #6 (above, right) – Scallop. We were a little bummed when ours were served a little overcooked. Our neighbours’ scallops were served raw in the middle.

(H) Seafood tempura #7 (above) – Sea eel.

(I) Vegetable tempura #1 (above, left) – Pumpkin.

(J) Vegetable tempura #2 (above, right) – Lotus.

(K) Vegetable tempura #3 (above, foreground) – Corn.

(L) Vegetable tempura #4 (above, background) – Green chili


  

(M) Kakiage with rice and miso soup (above)

(N) Dessert

And for dessert, we were allowed to choose between ice cream and pudding. And it’s only natural that my IGGF and I ordered different items in order to try more. Keke.

  
  

So yes, we managed to try (clockwise) pumpkin jelly, yam ice cream, tomato jelly and houjicha ice cream.

Would I recommend Mizuki? A big yes from me. And if I really must choose, I would say their tempura fared better than the sushi. The tempura batter was thin, crispy and not greasy. Definitely one of the better tempura restaurants in Singapore.

But don’t get my wrong. We enjoyed our sushi meal too. Although the only grip I had was that thee sushi was only served individually for the $250 course. My IGGF ordered the Midori set ($48) and her 8 nigiri sushi were served together on a plate. Though it may not be much of a deal to others.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend Mizuki!

MIZUKI TEMPURA AND SUSHI
391 Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City Podium Block, #05-32, Singapore
6734 6308, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 11:30 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ Keria Japanese Restaurant

July 27, 2017 in Japanese

Despite having gone to Cuppage Plaza at least 10 times, I have not finished checking out all the Japanese eateries in Cuppage Plaza. There are just so many! Some of which have very little social presence; One would only know about them if one walked past these shops.


In the case for Keria, I got to know about them through instagram. However, information about them on the net was also very limited. Curious to check out this fairly old izakaya, I got my friend to go with me. Not just once. But twice. Keke. Reservation is a must too!

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), we ordered:-

  

1) Otoshi, $3.80 (above) – This would be like a compulsory pre-appetiser that’s chargeable at $3.80.

2) Tai shirako with shuto, $15 (above)

3) Natto tempura, $7.90 (above)

4) Porku kushi yaki, $12 (above)

5) Tonkatsu, $15 (above)

6) Tai arani, $18 (above) – This was seriously very good! My friend and I enjoyed the braised fish head very much.

7) Napolitan spaghetti, $12.50 (above) – We ordered this on our second trip after seeing a group of Japanese businessman ordered it during our first visit. It smelled really good, but it’s ultimately a dish with tomato sauce and sausages.

8) Nabeyaki udon, $14.50 (above)


9) Omu rice set, $25 (above) – A case of reality not matching our expectations. Having seen Keria’s video of their omurice, I was expecting a ball of omelette to be placed on top of my rice where I get to slit the omelette open for it to fall nicely and wrap around the rice. Unfortunately, this came simply as omelette wrapped rice. Sob. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the dish where the rice was coated with tomato sauce.

Would I recommend Keria? I would. It’s a cosy izakaya with a wide range of affordably priced food. And for seating arrangement, one could state one’s preference for table, counter or tatami seats.

KERIA JAPANESE RESTAURANT
5 Koek Road, Cuppage Plaza, #B1-28, Singapore
6733 0654, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 01:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Service: 6
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Aoki Restaurant [Revisit]

July 14, 2017 in Japanese

It has been a while since I last dined at a sushi restaurant (in Singapore). But afraid to be disappointed by new places, I decided to return to restaurants which I previously dined at.

And it was through Aoki’s website that I learnt the restaurant was in the midst of renovation and was scheduled for re-opening in mid June 2017. Perfect! That would be akin to eating at a new restaurant although it really wasn’t. Haha.

Reservation was made for a weekday dinner. And as per my previous dining experience at Aoki, I requested for chef-owner Kunio Aoki.

My friend and I arrived a little late for our reserved time of 8.30pm. At 8.40pm, the restaurant called which I quickly updated we were making our way down from the carpark. Oops. And as requested, we sat at head chef Aoki san’s end of the counter.

While most sushi-yas are increasing their prices, I was surprised to see friendlier prices on Aoki’s omakase sets. During my last lunch at Aoki, omakase was priced at $200. But this now cost $125 instead on their current lunch menu. Wow.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) which included seasonal menu (pages 1, 2), my friend and I ordered:-

1) Omakase course, $200 comprised of:-

(A) Pre-appetiser, $7 (above) – Otoshi. A cold dish of cooked tuna.

(B) Appetiser #1 (above)

(C) Appetiser #2 (above)

(D) Appetiser #3 (above)

(E) Sashimi #1 (above)

(F) Sashimi #2 (above)


(G) Soup dish (above)

(H) Grilled dish (above)

(I) Tempura (above)

  
  
  
  

(J) Sushi (above)

(K) Miso soup (above)

(L) Dessert (above)

2) Thin sliced white fish sashimi with truffles, $115 (above) – Not too sure where the extra $5 came from since the menu stated the dish cost $110. So I am guessing head chef Aoki san may have adjusted the portion and included an additional slice to allow my friend and I to have 3 slices each. I think. And for me, this was always a ‘must order’ dish.

It was a nice dinner at Aoki. I wouldn’t say it was fantastic as the food served were ‘safe dishes’. But for the amount we were paying, the omakase course was value-for-money. The only gripe I had was no introduction of the dishes were given. Except for the obvious (dishes) like marinated tuna (zuke maguro) sushi, my friend and I didn’t know what we were eating. And compared to the new decor of black-gold wallpaper against the brown furniture, I actually preferred the previous decor of Aoki which was more Japanese.

AOKI RESTAURANT
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #01-17, Singapore
6333 8015, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7