Dinner @ Ginza Yoshino Sushi

October 26, 2017 in Japanese

“Have you heard of this restaurant?” my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) texted. “No. How did you even hear about them?” I replied. I like that we always think of each other first whenever we chanced upon a new Japanese eatery. Keke.

And with that, my IGGF assisted to call the restaurant to make reservation for the immediate Friday evening.

It was a first for us to explore level 6 of Cuppage Plaza. One can say we were filled with curiosity and anticipation. And we entered into a space which was fully taken up by a L-shaped counter.

And through our interaction with chef-owner Tokio Endo, we learnt that he came from a family with at least 100 years of sushi-making. 130 years to be exact. Head chef Endo san decided to move from Japan to Singapore upon his friend’s recommendation.

And from the menu, I ordered:-

1) Chef’s choice course – Star, $260 comprised of:-

(A) Otoshi, Complimentary (above) – Tuna.

(B) Dish #1 (above) – Bonito (katsuo). There were 5 slices.

(C) Dish #2 (above) – Clam (asari) soup.

(D) Dish #3 (above) – Sashimi platter of sea bream with kelp (rausu kombu), abalone and squid. And the kelp was interesting. Each chew on the tough seaweed brought out its savoriness which complimented the sea bream very well. No need to dip the dish with soya sauce. Yum!

(E) Dish #4 (above) – Dried sheets of white bait and sakura shrimp (tatami style), and grilled squid served alongside mayonnaise sauce.

(F) Dish #5 (above) – Medium fatty tuna (chutoro) with grated yam.

  
  
  
  
  
  

(G) Dish #6 (above) – Nigiri sushi assortment comprised of lean tuna (akami), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), sea bream, scallop, gizzard shad (kohada), tiger prawn (kuruma ebi), horse mackerel (aji) with ginger flower and oyster, rolled sushi assortment of mullet roe and gourd, and rolled egg omelette (tamago). Head chef Edo san said his sushi is edomae-styled. So I guess maybe that explained why he brush any soya sauce on the sushi before serving. Instead, we were each given a saucer with soya sauce. Yeah. Do it yourself.

(H) Dish #7 (above) – Clam (hamaguri) soup.

(I) Dish #8 (above) – Yuzu sorbet.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed with my $260 omakase meal. With (more affordable) options of $160 and $210 for the omakase, my IGGF and I couldn’t help but wonder what would be served for those since there was neither premium fatty tuna (otoro) nor sea urchin in the most expensive omakase menu. Like what? Instead, my IGGF and I agreed my IGGF’s sushi combo ($98) which comprised of 9 nigiri sushi and 1 hand roll was a better deal.

That said, head chef Endo san was very friendly. My IGGF was travelling to Japan in 2 weeks from our dinner, and although he couldn’t speak much English, he was giving us many recommendation excitedly. He reminded me very much of The Big Friendly Giant (by Roald Dahl). Don’t ask me why. It’s just so.

If one is in Somerset in the evening, has craving for sushi and prefers somewhere rustic, Ginza Yoshino Sushi is a good place to head to. But stick to their sushi combo sets. Skip the omakase courses.

GINZA YOSHINO SUSHI
5 Koek Road, Cuppage Plaza, #06-03, Singapore
9753 8710, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 02:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 6
* Closed on Sun
Service: 6

Dinner @ Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant

September 26, 2017 in Chinese

When 2 people happened to recommend Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck over a course of 2 weeks, that was a sign that I had better check out the restaurant. And the opportunity came when my colleagues and I were to arrange a get-together, and the cuisine had to be Chinese for the uncle colleague in the group. Keke. Thus, with everyone’s consensus, reservation was made for 5 for a weekday dinner.

Located conveniently in Paragon, one need not worry about finding parking lot if one chose to drove. Instead, one just need to worry about the expensive parking fee. zZZz.

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


1) Fried century egg with shrimp paste, $12 (above) – This was like the Chinese’s version of scotch egg. Pretty good.


2) Chinese yam with blueberries sauce, $12 (above) – Served as a cold dish, this unfortunately tasted weird. We couldn’t make out of the unique combination.

3) Fried squid with pepper & salt, $12 (above)


4) Barbecue pork with honey sauce, $27 (medium) (above)

5) Stewed pork collar & lettuce with shrimp sauce in claypot, $20 (small) (above)


  

6) Braised spinach beancurd with assorted mushrooms, $20 (small) (above)

7) Steamed turbot fish with superior soy sauce, $15/100g (above)

8) Beijing style roasted duck, $88 (whole):-

  
  

(A) Style #1 (above) – Wrapped with pancake. Advanced order is required for this dish. And unknown to me, the chef actually stationed himself near our table to skin the roasted duck. I didn’t know because the action took place behind me. Sob! And it’s weird that we specially came for the duck dish but we were not too impressed by it. Uncle colleague said the meat texture felt slightly powdery.

(B) Style #2 (above) – And we chose to have the remaining meat fried with e-fu noodles.


  

9) Double boiled fish maw soup with shark’s cartilage, $30 (above) – One of my must orders at Chinese restaurant is double boiled soup. And I went with the fish maw soup as it’s also the restaurant’s signature dish. And the soup was thick and rich with a generous amount of ingredients. Really good. Strongly recommended.

10) Double boiled hashima with lotus seed, $10 (above)

Although we weren’t impressed by every dishes, it was a satisfying dinner for us at Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant. Though I would strongly encourage one to look at the ‘advanced order menu’ before making reservation; There were a few dishes (like the charcoal grilled quail and crispy chicken stuffed with glutinous rice) which interested me but we couldn’t order as advanced order was required. Sob.

IMPERIAL TREASURE SUPER PEKING DUCK RESTAURANT
2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #03-05, Singapore
6732 7838, Website
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Fri : 11:30 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Sat : 11:00 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Value: 7
Sun : 10:30 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Service: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)

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