Rice Bowls

Rice Bowls

Simple, delish, hearty fare crammed into a single bowl.
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

The list of ingredients sound mighty tempting at first: salmon sandwiching a layer of Hokkaido cheese, maple leaf, lotus root, sweet potato, shiitake mushroom, enoki mushroom, and chestnut. All these in addition to the Kohaku’s signature prawn, dory fish, and chicken breast tempura. Oof what a mouthful, and I gotta admit they sound fantastically yummy at a first glance. However when I finally dug in, I have to say not all of the ingredients are as great in tempura-form. The chestnut for one was really really hard, not tender and sweet as I recall chestnuts to be — not that it’s undercooked, just really hard. Sweet potato was dry and crumbly, so much I had to douse it with tendon sauce to make it edible. Salmon was tasty with cheese of course, but it was 100% cooked and a tad dry. If I had a go over, I’d pick the regular tendon at a few bucks cheaper, with more of their fantastic prawn and chicken tempura instead.

1 Like

Being absolutely blunt when I say their Yakiniku Don ($14.90++) simply ain’t good, even when paying just half of its original price. The slivers — and I do mean slivers — of beef tasted rather plain and had too much chewy fat for my taste. Onions weren’t sweet, nor did they carry the flavours of the dashi they should’ve been cooked in. Worst thing though, was that there was hardly any sauce and whole bowl was rather dry. It tasted like a bunch of separate ingredients tossed together in a bowl, without that characteristic lovely sauce tying it all together. The rice was alright, but really if they could fck this up as well I don’t know what else to say.

I wasn’t 100% sure about trying this Wagyu Truffle Don ($34) cause of the steep price, and also cause I ain’t the biggest fan of truffle oil. But then I took a bite, and alright Izy Fook you got me convinced. There’s literally nothing bad I can say about this, nothing for me to pick on. First of all, they used nanatsuboshi Hokkaido rice in this and it was superbly cooked. Moist and just the right amount of sticky, if that makes any sense. Thin slices of wagyu were flavourful, tender, and juicy, with the perfect meat-to-meat ratio. Underneath that hides a slow-cooked egg with a beautiful runny yolk, and when you mix it all up that lends a wonderfully rich flavour to the whole rice bowl. But most importantly, the truffle oil wasn’t overly potent. Just enough to perfume the dish without overpowering everything — and that really sealed the deal for me.

4 Likes

Maybe it’s the fresh tiger prawns that were a stark difference to the usually halved tiny (maybe mushy) prawns; maybe it’s the perfect balance of condiments and flavours, from the spicy chilli to the rich broth, umami-packed sakura ebi, and sweet lup cheong; or maybe it’s simply how I couldn’t seem to put the spoon down till the bowl was empty. I can’t really pin it down cause all I remember was snippets of “mm this is so good” while wolfing it all down 🤷🏻‍♀️

Definitely won’t be the first or last to say this, but Izy Fook’s roasted meats is uh-maaaaazing. Period. Roast pork is well-seasoned, tasty and tender, with a good sliver of luscious melt-in-your-mouth fat and a cap of fabulously crunchy crackling. And the char siew, ooooh. Fantastically charred edges (I adore the black bits), a sticky sweet, caramel-y glaze, and such juicy meat!

2 Likes

Being around for some 4-5 years now says heaps, considering the volatility and high turnover rates of local cafes; and that @therefinerysg’s signature Refinery Gyudon’s been on the menu since day 1 shows just how reliably good this is. Each grain bowl comes topped with truffle shimeji mushrooms, tare marinated beef, pickled daikon, garlic chips, and an onsen egg. Very simple ingredients, with flavours and textures that balances out, it’s essentially a more modern take on the classic time-proven gyudon. If anything I found the rare sauce a wee sweeter than I’d prefer, but really there isn’t much to pick on with this grain bowl.

2 Likes

So many were raving about Ami Ami’s onsen egg tempura tendon awhile back, and as usual slow to the game I thought I’d give it a go recently at their parent restaurant Kuriya. And...nyeeeeh it’s aight. The tendon on its own was pretty good, tempura crisp, light, and not greasy, though nothing calling for a major woowoop. While I thought it was interesting having the onsen egg wrapped in (what I believe was) a phyllo sheet instead of the regular tempura batter, I can’t say I cared as much for its texture 🤔

2 Likes

The base itself is vastly different: featuring a mix of barley, quinoa, brown, and white rice, it’s a whole lot more nutritious and wholesome. Top that with a mix of okra, kale, murasaki imo (purple sweet potatoes), and eggplant tempura, earthy shrooms, and surprising blops of kimchi every here and there, and you’ve got yourself a fantastically interesting lunch. While I was absolutely in love with the idea of the genmaicha broth, I found it a little too bland. That toasty toasty rice fragrance came through for sure, but I’d have liked a wee more soy sauce or something — especially considering that the kakiage wasn’t exactly seasoned, neither were the other components. A great idea on the whole though, and I’d give their other grain bowls a shot any time.

4 Likes

You forget your dislike for fatty cuts (blasphemy I know) and order it anyway. I’ll be frank and say that my enthusiasm died pretty quick once my palate and preferences come kicking in; but I have to say this was pretty good while it lasted. Slices of fatty, pinky, melt-in-your-mouth grilled Japanese A3 wagyu ribeye, a silky onsen egg yolk, umami housemade yakiniku sauce and a seriously unbelievably delish bowl of sushi rice. I was honestly quite surprised at how well-seasoned and tasty their sushi rice was! Perfectly cooked, tender with a bite, it’s surprising how the most basic ingredient can make or kill a dish — leaving me impressed in this case.

6 Likes

Very similar to the zi char renditions, it’s a good balance of salty and sweet that goes really well with the tempura; though as far as tendons go, the tempura here isn’t particularly memorable. Batter was a little too thick, unseasoned and flat, though commendably not too oily. The ingredients though varied also weren’t as generous as some of its peers — the chicken was puny lol and that’s usually my fave bit!

8 Likes

Definitely slow to the game, but glad I finally got to try Don Meijin’s Chilli Crab Tendon! I must say this was a bit of an oddball for me. Not usually a fan of chilli crab already cause it’s not really spicy and just quite sweet, and Don Meijin’s take was significantly sweeter than some of the other sauces I’ve tried — plus there really isn’t a lot of sauce. Still, as much grub as I have against the variety of tempura in the bowl, it does make a really decent tendon option in town. Annnnnd it took 45min for our 2 bowls of tendon to arrive with only us in the restaurant? 😰

4 Likes

Running high risk of a public outcry when I say I’ve actually never been a fan of uni 😅 That is till I had the $98 Omakase (nett FYI) at Ryo Sushi. Pampered to the heavens and back with a range of uni dishes, paired with a variety of stellar ingredients. Their epic uni on uni on uni rice bowl (that’s uni-mixed rice, ikura, and a topping of 2 varieties of uni) is the last of the uni dishes we had, with uni-topped aburi ebi and the anything-but-plain uni roll among others we’ve tried earlier — pure indulgence. Thing is as shiok as uni is it doesn’t make everything instantly good. What made our meal at Ruo Sushi so memorable was how the chef expertly bring together quality ingredients with other well-executed components (their sushi rice is legit, possibly the best I’ve had here) to bring us dishes that are nothing short of mind-blowing. That, and their generosity, makes this omakase unlike any other I’ve tried.

2 Likes

Spending all my time eating (and eating) cause what else is there to do in small 🌞🌞 Singapore?

What To Read Next

1-for-1 Drinks: Coffee with Burpple Beyond
1-for-1 Drinks: Coffee with Burpple Beyond More coffee joints to keep you fuelled through the week.
Celebrating the Luxurious Oyster: Five Ways To Impress Everyone at PUTIEN
Celebrating the Luxurious Oyster: Five Ways To Impress Everyone at PUTIEN Thinking about where to host your dinner guests? Here’s a spot that will impress.
Say Hello and Goodbye to These Burpple Beyond Deals December 2019
Say Hello and Goodbye to These Burpple Beyond Deals December 2019 Say hey to a whole bunch of newly added cafes, restaurants and bars (updated weekly)!
1-for-1 Pasta with Burpple Beyond
1-for-1 Pasta with Burpple Beyond Stringing you along with the best pasta deals!
ADVERTISE WITH US
ADVERTISE WITH US