This is the new kid on the block for Japanese food. It opened on 31 October 2012. So, what has collagen got to do with good skin? Well, the collagen pudding that is in the stock of the soup at Tsukada Nojo is boiled over many hours until all the marrow in the chicken bones have gone into the soup. The thickened soup pudding is then placed in a pot that is heated up on an induction pad. The soup stock melts before your eyes.
One order is for a minimum of two people, at $25++ per person. In other words, don’t go alone and if you do, be prepared to pay $50++ and eat two persons’ worth of food, which is doable as the ingredients are mostly fresh and healthy. The restaurant serves other foods as well but it is well known for its bijin nabe (beauty pot).
With all the hype about collagen and how it makes one’s skin more beautiful, I think that somehow customers expect the taste of the soup to be fantastic. Well, I found it quite normal and felt that it was the whole experience of how they put all the ingredients into the soup, the order they put them in and the choices of sauces that was the real experience, instead of the collagen per se. I went with a Japanese friend who was quite satisfied with the meal so I don’t think I have anything to complain about. Singaporeans are used to food that have more flavour in it, artificial or otherwise, and the hype or perception around this soup stock remains just that — hype. It tasted like really good chicken stock to me.
For a meal for two, the restaurant offered us a complimentary starter at the next meal for two, so yes, I’m going back with a friend again, soon. But avoid the peak hours, which is around dinner time, as not only will you not be able to find a seat, but the staff may not be on hand to put the ingredients into the soup for you in a certain order when they are busy.
Tsukada Nojo, #03-81, Plaza Singapura (new wing), 60B Orchard Road, Tel: 6336 5003.