The inspiring Travelling Gourmet tries the cuisine of Singapore’s newest Japanese restaurant…
MANY love Japanese food and cheerful Chef Takuma Seki serves up authentic Japanese delights in his restaurant which only opened on 1 January 2012!
I savoured fruity Momo Peach Sake as my aperitif before embarking on the Grand Omakase Menu. With only 11% alcohol by volume it is a light tipple to whet your appetite.
The 1st course was like playing Japanese style Russian Roulette because Fugu (puffer fish) Skin sprinkled with appealing orange globes of Salmon roe was placed before me, as well as Roast Duck “Pastrami” and chewy abalone-like Jelly Fish. Fugu is very deadly if not prepared well. Fortunately I survived!
Chef Seki has worked in LA in the Beverley Hilton and also in Bound on Avenue George V inParis, which explained the nuances of French and American cuisine found in his dishes. Almost all the ingredients here are air-flown in from Japan twice a week.
A clear glass ice cream coupe appeared but inside was not gelati, but sexy Sashimi of Blue Fin Tuna and Salmon. I wrapped the fish in the fresh Shisho Japanese Basil) leaf and popped it into my mouth. Yummy! It goes nicely with Kaiun Iwai Sake (“Kaiun” means to welcome luck in Japanese)
The green Shisho leaf resembles basil. The yellow Chrysanthemum flower is also edible
The exotic 3rd course was Tempura. However, it was no ordinary Tempura…succulent & sensuous Fish-sperm in a light batter plus green stalks of See Yang Meo was an aphrodisiac treat fit for gourmets.
Appetising “pas de deux”
The meat course was served…fork tender Tajima Wagyu Beef from Kyushu, so succulent and juicy with Ponzu sauce plus Lamb from theUKwith Pommery whole grain French mustard. Chef grates some Yuzu skin on top before serving for that lovely aroma. An epicurean ‘pas de deux’ of tasty flavours and textures! I recommend Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1999 with these meats.
Chef Seki also made Sashimi of Japanese Flounder & Geoduck. He cautioned, “Do not add soy..I have already seasoned, neh!”
The Sushi is also nice with O-toro, Kimmedai, Amberjack, Ikura and “melting” textured Anago. It is noteworthy that the Japanese enjoy sushi and sashimi with soy plus a little dab of wasabi. Singaporeans, on the other hand dunk huge amounts of wasabi in the soy to put on their sushi. Too much wasabi actually overpowers the flavours of the fish and vinegared rice. I recommend you try too the Hokkaido Octopus Sushi marinated in Mirin, Soy & Sake. Perfect with a glass or two of effervescent Gosset Grande Rose Brut Champagne!
I loved the trio of desserts. This is the only restaurant that has them. Others serve mundane green tea ice cream.
Smooth as silk Soya Pudding with a dollop of red bean is the Japanese answer to “Tau Huay”. Silky Tofu Chesecake tastes very different from New York Cheesecake & transclucent Yuzu (Japanese citrus) Umeshu Gelee is refreshingly good! As Chef Takama Seki says, “I want to bring the freshness of Japan to YOU!”
Itada Ki Mas! (Bon appétit in Japanese) ENJOY!
In the newly renovated Rendezvous Hotel Gallery
9 Bras Basah Road
Hours: 12 to 3pm Lunch & 6 to 11pm Dinner
Ambience **** Cuisine **** Service ****