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Taste Of Nippon

Taste Of Nippon

Japanese fare that everyone loves. Curry Don, Sushi and everything else; you name it, we have it!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua
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Happened to chance upon Unaemon at the new Gochi Church Street Japan Kitchen; located in the same grounds as Pronto Cafe & Bar, Unaemon is a new concept that specialises in charcoal-grilled live eel hailing from Yokohama, Japan with a heritage of nearly 150 years.

Available in three sizes (small, medium and large), the Hitumabushi comes served with Dashi broth on in a pot on the side kept warm with a flame. The Unagi here comes with a lighter flavour here; lightly-glazed in a savoury sauce, the sauce helps to enhance the flavours of the fish without being particularly overwhelming, while the grilling does provide the Unagi with a crisp surface though does not carry much smokiness along with it; the slices of fish being considerably plump and carried a bite whilst may be a little scaly to some. All that sits atop a bed of fluffy short-grain rice, to be had with condiments such as the wasabi, spring onion and seaweed provided at the side, at the various peppers and sauce made available at the table. Once everything is almost done, pour in the Dashi broth to have it Ochazuke-style; the broth's light flavour also helping to add some moisture to the entire dish — changes the textures without washing away the flavours of the Hitumabushi. A Hitumabushi that would fit well for those who prefer lighter flavours in general.

2 Likes

From the new Koji Sushi Bar that had recently opened its doors at Raffles City Shopping Centre, replacing the lesser known Cedele outlet located at Level 3 of the mall.

Available exclusively at this outlet and only limited to 20 portions a day, the Tokubetsu Don features premium cuts of sashimi, Nagaimo Tororo (Japanese Mountain Yam paste), and a wobbly egg yolk sitting atop a bed of short-grain rice. Sliced in pretty chunky portions, the sashimi carried a good bite; there were enough sashimi to go along with the serving of rice beneath, and the sashimi slices being sized appropriately to ensure one could taste the freshness and flavours of the fish with a good portion of the rice beneath. While all the sashimi slices were amazingly fresh, the Uni was the most memorable; none of that fishy, funky flavour — just sweet, buttery and smooth. The Nagaimo Tororo sits beneath the egg yolk; helps to provide some moisture to the bowl whilst giving a slight sweetness and earthiness — mix in with the egg yolk for a silkier touch. The price tag of $29.00++ may not be affordable for all, but certainly a bowl that was pretty much a steal considering the addition of Uni and the overall quality; comes with salad and soup on the side as well.

4 Likes

From the newly-opened Biseryu Japanese Cuisine at Far East Plaza; a franchise of Deli's Kitchen that has been operating at Sunshine Plaza for a while now.

Pretty much the same concept as Deli's Kitchen, Biseryu Japanese Cuisines is a Japanese establishment that serves up various concepts of Japanese cuisine all under one roof, serving up burgers, bento sets, ox tongue, Tonkatsu and many more. Had always liked the Roast Beef Don at Deli's Kitchen after my very first time having it; opting for the smallest sized Don at 100 grams, the beef comes encasing the portion of rice, whilst coming with greens and a sous-vide egg over the top. The roast beef was undoubtedly delicious; the main star of the dish — the roast beef was sliced thin, undeniably tender without being any but gamey, served pink without also being anything hard to chew. Mixing in the sous-vide egg into the Roast Beef Don, it provides a smooth, silky texture to both the beef and rice, binding both elements together pretty well. Even the rice is also not overlooked here; an ample amount of savoury yet spicy sauce comes drizzled on the rice for some flavour cutting through the meatiness to provide a flavour contrast to the Roast Beef Don. Very delicious, and something I would (and have been, especially for the Deli's Kitchen rendition) develop cravings for again.

4 Likes

From Nanami Izakaya, which had recently opened its doors at [email protected] between The Local Box and SOMA Coffee. Available during lunch hours, all sets come with soup, salad and dessert.

The Barachirashi Don comes with chopped sashimi such as salmon, tuna and swordfish amidst other condiments like Tamago and cucumber — the Barachirashi Don is served at room temperature; the cubes of fish being pretty fresh and carried enough bite while the other condiments give a varied texture such as the refreshing crunch of the cucumber and layered Tamago that comes along with it. The sushi rice carried a subtle sweetness whilst being pearly, laced in a savoury sauce. A pretty value-for-money bowl overall, considering it costs $16.90 as a set, whereas most would serve the same at a comparable price ala-carte.

1 Like

Premium USDA Angus Beef Slices, Sautéed Onions, Special Blend Yakiniku Sauce, Negi, Onsen Egg.

Visited Gaijin Soul Food pretty recently; a Japanese establishment that aims to serve up quality Japanese cuisine at wallet-friendly prices. The Gyu Don is pretty affordable at S$14; the slices of beef being tender and immensely flavourful considering how it had absorbed the savoury notes of the sauces pretty well, whilst not being in any way gamey. The caramelised onions helped to add a hint of sweetness, while the onsen egg, whilst being well-executed with a molten yolk within, helps to bind all the elements with the pearly short-grained rice beneath for a silkier texture. No doubt a simple dish on paper, but pretty well-executed, being pretty comforting and satisfying; a value-for-money eat around this area.

8 Likes

Dropped by Chirashi King Kong recently and thought it would be good to switch it up from my usual order of either the Unagi Truffle Bowl or the Salmon Mentaiko Bowl for the King Kong Bowl.

Featuring elements such as Bluefin Tuna Belly, Tuna Belly Minced and Salmon Roe, the King Kong Bowl did not dissapoint with different textures of tuna that were fresh, served atop their signature truffle rice which perfumes of a slight umami aroma that is pretty alluring. The bowl also comes with Ikura Roe which provides a burst of umami along with a popping sensation as well. A little more pricey than my usual order here, but works well for those who like their Tuna sashimi.

1 Like

Paid Nokkedon a visit recently; a pop-up stall that had recently started operations within Bar a Vin at Republic Plaza II during weekday lunch hours serving up Japanese Donburi.

The Otoko No Don features Hotate, Saketoro, Shiro Maguro, Tobiko and Nitamago; patrons are able to opt for individual items to be Aburi-ed, and are also able to pick between original, spicy or seasonal (unfortunately unavailable during the day of our visit) sauces for their Donburi. The seafood were all pretty fresh; sliced appropriately for enough texture and flavour. Marinated in their original sauce, the sauce does remind us of the more savoury notes found in Teppei Syukudo's Bara Chirashi Don without being overly sweet. Rice was pearly, while the Wasabi did provide the numbing kick; the Tobiko helping to add texture with its popping sensation and burst of umami flavour. The Nitamago was the element that truly impressed apart from the fish; a cured onsen egg sliced into two halved, the Nitamago was incredibly flavourful, while the yolk was still molten — pretty delicious on its own. Despite being one of the priciest bowls at Nokkedon at $18.50, it is certainly worth it for the quality and execution; the cheapest bowls start from $11 for the Salmon Salad, and patrons can also opt to Make Their Own if the pre-determined bowls off the Selections menu do not fancy them. A location worth checking out for those working in the area; and hopefully may they find a home which allows them to operate for longer hours that would allow more of us to have a taste on what they have to offer!

3 Likes

A mouthful to order given its long name, the Special Truffles Dashi Maki Tamago with Crab Japanese Sauce may be an item that probably makes less sense in English given how broken the name sounds, but certainly worth the order here.

Liked how one could feel the layered Tamago here; a rarity given how most Tamago usually have a more fluffy and spongy texture less the layering — speaks well of its execution. The infusion of truffle helps to give the Tamago a slight earthiness; not overwhelming like those of truffle fries, but just a whiff to provide a slight contrast to provide another dimension of flavours subtly. Drenched with the "Crab Japanese Sauce", the sauce carried its own sweetness and is pretty umami on its own, and pairs well with the Tamago, with bits of crab meat to chew on for added texture and flavour. A great side to order to share across the table; something which we could not get enough of.

3 Likes

From the new Chef Street at The Cathay, which is opened by the same folks behind Chef Avenue at Tai Seng. Occupying a smaller floor area where now-defunct E-Grill & Pizza was situated, Chef Street is essentially a slightly different concept where patrons would order at the counter, while the concept also features only a small selection of stalls brought over from Chef Avenue (e.g. Nasi Padang, Japanese Curry, Prawn Noodles and Sumiyaki Coffee).

Priced well below S$10.00, the Pork Katsu Ebi Curry Rice is generously portioned for its price. Whilst the Pork Katsu does take a little effort to chew, the panko-crumbed fillet was crisp on the exterior and well-sized for bigger eaters. Fried Ebi was also of decent quality, carrying a crisp exterior. Patrons can opt for the level of spiciness of their Japanese Curry from Level 1 to 4; can't remember what I exactly went for but it is something in the middle — the curry sauce, though not as thick and dense as other places would serve, was definitely pretty punchy and spicy given how it gave a kick even for those acceptable to moderate levels of spiciness, and a great accompaniment to the short-grained rice. Fried egg was crisp on the edges, with a flowy egg yolk. Pickles and shredded cabbage are included for a refreshing crunch; the former also helping to cut through all that heaviness with its tangy notes. A pretty affordable option within the mall in town!

5 Likes

From Kai Yakitori, which had moved into the premises of now-defunct Otowa at Orchard Plaza.

Whilst serving up pretty stellar Yakitori sticks, the Oyako Don at Kai Yakitori is a true stunner of its own — a dish that is almost a game changer in its own right. Coming in a portion slightly smaller than usual at $10++, the Oyako Don is unlike another. Sitting above the pearly, short-grained rice is the egg and chicken simmered in dashi broth as well as a sous-vide egg; the former being all runny and flavourful with a distinct note of the dashi broth that's absolutely delicious with its savouriness — the chicken chunks being all tender and succulent while incredibly flavoursome. The sous-vide egg was also amazingly fresh and runny as well; the yolk carrying its own natural flavours pretty evidently. Really enjoyed the Yakitori sticks and the produce used in the food served here; the Oyako Don being really on point and to die for. A pretty divine bowl that changes the perceptkon of the Oyako Don of the usually simple, comforting dish into a gourmet variant, and one that I am most likely to develop specific cravings for pretty soon — a must try!👌

2 Likes

From the new Sora Boru that took over the premises of Yoshinoya at [email protected] (which had itself moved up to a stall within Food Republic at Level 5).

Serving up Donburi as well as Soba and other sides, the Snow Beef Don is pretty customisable here in a fast food style environment, with patrons able to picked between two size options (Regular or Mini) and two options of greens (Mixed Vegetable or Beansprouts). Opted for the Mini version of the Donburi with beansprouts; the item also comes with a decent portion for those who are looking for a smaller item for a meal — the shabu shabu-style beef was sautéed with a savoury sauce, whilst being cheesy with the sprinkling of powdered Parmesan cheese over the top. The beansprouts reminded us of those that comes free flow at some Japanese Ramen joints, providing a crunch atop the short-grained rice beneath. A pretty affordable option for the mini size, considering how this came at a price point below $10.00.

3 Likes

Situated within a coffee shop at Blk 1 Beach Road, the Ryuu Don serves up possibly the cheapest Tendon in town at $6.50 which is incredibly value-for-money.

Coming with elements such as Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Meat, Okra, Kani Stick, Ebi, Enoki Mushroom and Shiitake Mushroom, the rice also comes drizzled in their signature Ryuu sauce as well. The Tempura pieces were in no way greasy; all fried with a golden brown and crisp batter, though admittedly the batter can be a little lighter for a better texture. Otherwise, most of the components worked well, though the prawns could have been a little fresher. The short-grained rice could have been a little more moist to be less clumpy, but the Ryuu sauce does help to add a lightly savoury note whilst helping to make the rice a slightly easier eat overall. Still, pretty on point given the price; a steal for Tendon I would say.

3 Likes

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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