‘The day I made a chef …’

[This post is guest written by my travel blogger friend who blogs here. The following is her experience at the same omakase that we shared. I am posting it here as-is so readers can read about the same experience but from two different points of view. Her signature style is no capital letters at the beginning of  sentences. Enjoy!]

The Day I made a Chef Cry (well, almost)

that was not my intention, i promise. my friend (owner of this food blog) and I wanted to try out the omakase dinner at this japanese restaurant. she had been there for a meal and liked the food. we arrived at the restaurant from different places but were the same, late. anyway, my friend said they called when i asked her to let them know we would be late. when we finally stepped inside the restaurant, we were ushered to a private room (meant for six people)! ooh, i liked the service already… we ordered their hot yuzu drink and the wait staff told us she would inform the chef to start preparing our starter. in an omakase meal, you get served what is available for the day. after a short wait, the starter came. it did not disappoint. for starters (pardon the pun), it was visually stunning and it tasted as good as it looked. 

Minced pork and chicken on mini baguette slices

  after a promising start, we were then treated to chawanmushi with sea-urchin, oyster tempura and springrolls… that was when it started – i ate the springrolls and steamed egg but left the sea-urchin and oyster untouched. the wait staff was surprised. i told them it was my fault that I did not alert them that I didn’t like sea-urchins and oysters. 

the next course was delicious – it was a croquette of crab meat in an amazing sauce, with a side of salad (I couldn’t tell what it was. perhaps it was hollandaise, but I could only guess). it was absolutely superb. 
 

Real crab meat inside

 


sashimi next. Nothing to write home about but it was fresh and it was asthetically pleasing. chomped them down with fervour. Loved the wasabi – wondered if they made their own? 

 
the pièce de résistance finally arrived! slices of wagyu beef, sandwiched between two slices of foie gras, flanked by this delicate piece of daikon which was filled with rice (i earlier thought it was sauteed onions. seriously. how embarrassing.) and cherry tomato halves. unfortunately, i had to give the foie gras a miss. not eating foie gras is a choice and a dietary consideration. that got sent back as well. again, the wait staff gave me a look, as if to ask, why?? we were really full by then, but as i told my friend, i always have room for dessert. and rightly so. 

 
it was matcha madness – matcha crème brulee, matcha ice-cream and slice crepe on a matcha cake base. green tea heaven, luckily we didn’t order green tea earlier as we loved the hot yuzu drink, which was served in a glass teapot and refilled once with hot water. 

of course, the spanish (or in this case, japanese) inquisition was inevitable. the young japanese chef wondered why i did not eat the stuff that i had left behind. were they unpalatable? we asked if we could meet him so we could thank him for the meal and also explain why i had passed on the sea-urchin and the rest. he was apologetic, i was even more apologetic and had to reassure him that i enjoyed his wonderful culinary creations. he understood and soon left as it was the end of his day. i get that chefs are kinda egoistic when it comes to their creations and want people to appreciate them. but I did not send the food back uneaten intentionally. woah. next time, i have an omakase meal, i will have to tell the chef the long list of food I do not eat… yes, there will be a next time. we have decided we will eat here again. i hope the chef reads this.

Issho Izakaya, 1 Stadium Place, #01-13/K5, Kallang Wave@Sports Hub. Tel: 6702 4708.

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Omakase a la française

It was only recently that I was at Issho Izakaya for dinner and their food was good enough that I asked if they did omakase for dinner and the chef said ‘Yes’. Then, a friend asked me if I knew of a place that served good Japanese food and I told her about this place and how I wanted to try the omakase. So we came here. It was a quiet Thursday evening and they gave us our own tatami room. Now that, I call service! We ordered the genmaicha at first thinking that it was not very strong until I realised that that tea had kept me awake the whole night the last time I had it. So we switched to yuzu tea instead. Whew! If this was lunch, I would have ordered the genmaicha as the tea was really fragrant the last time I had it. After calming ourselves down with yuzu tea as we had rushed to the place, we were then ready for dinner.

Before the omakase, we were asked if there was any food that we do not eat. Both of us do not really fancy eels and so I thought it was the end of the ‘forbidden food’ list. Unknown to me though, there were more things that my friend does not eat and I have asked her to post her experience after this post.

Yuzu tea

Sukini which consisted of chicken and pork on baguette, lotus root and renkon chips. I thought the renkon chips tasted like berlinjau and perhaps it is the same item but known by its Japanese name. Who knows? The lotus root was crunchy as were the chips. The meat on baguette was nicely seasoned and the baguette too was crunchy.

Next, we were served uni tofu chawan mushi, oyster tempura and pork springroll. I have not had sea urchin in a while and was rather pleased to be served it.

What a unique chawan mushi!

This was a rather standard sashimi platter. Small but adequate. We were given raw tuna, salmon and scallop.

This was another unique dish – kani croquette with tartar sauce. The crab was a real leg of crab meat which had been deshelled. The croquette was pretty well sealed with a lovely rich creamy sauce inside the crusty exterior.

I never thought we would be given wagyu but here it was. Wagyu with foie gras. What we thought was grilled onion on the side turned out to be rice encircled by daikon which was absolutely delicious and balanced out the meal perfectly. The rice also provided the necessary carbohydrate to our meal, for me anyway.

The dessert was a piece of art in itself. It seems that is the way with Japanese omakase. It always seems to end on a high. We were served creme brulee, crepe with a matcha cake base and matcha ice-cream. The matcha ice-cream was delicious. I did not appreciate the crepe as much. The rock melon had not ripened sufficiently but perhaps that was the intention or dessert may have turned out a little too sweet had the rockmelon ripened further. It was refreshing nevertheless and I liked the sourness of the strawberry at the side as well. The creme brulee had a little surprise inside – matcha mochi! A lovely end to the evening indeed.

What I like about Japanese omakase is that one never knows what one will get. This is now the fourth omakase I’ve tried. All four omakase have been different. There are those who stay more true to authentic Japanese food and others who venture out and combine it with other types of food. Tonight’s omakase clearly had French influence in it which I did not mind at all as I hardly eat French food. Foie gras, which I have not had before, was a completely new experience for me. The other thing I liked was the presentation. It was like being served art! The whole meal was at an affordable price of $80++ per person, not including the yuzu tea. I would definitely come back here and hope that I am given my own tatami room again. Just be sure that there are no major events going on at the arenas or stadiums at the location or you would not enjoy your meal in a relaxed, unhurried manner like we did that day.

Gochisosamadeshita!

Issho Izakaya, 1 Stadium Place, #01-13/K5, Kallang Wave@Sports Hub. Tel: 6702 4708.

Issho ni taberu

Issho in Japanese means ‘together’. I named the post ‘issho ni taberu’ which means ‘let’s eat together’.

We came here for dinner after an event at the Sports Hub. It was crowded but we were fortunate to get two seats at the sushi counter.

It was supposed to be a quick dinner before going home. We ended up ordering a little more than planned.

The genmaicha was really fragrant as it had roast grains in the tea.


Prawn tempura with rice.


One of their signature dishes – buta or pork shabu salad with goma or sesame seed dressing.


Ise Kushi set of ten grilled sticks as we were feeling rather peckish still.


Another signature dessert dish – Blacmange, black sesame panna cota with black sesame ice-cream. This was truly a piece of art.

All in all, we ordered three of their signature dishes. The food was fresh and of good quality, enough for me to enquire if they also serve omakase, to which they said, ‘Yes’. That will be for another time, hopefully when the place is not so crowded.

Issho Izakaya, 1 Stadium Place, #01-13/K5, Kallang Wave@Sports Hub. Tel: 6702 4708.

Dessert shop that opens till late!

We were looking for a dessert place that opened till late on the eve of a public holiday and we found this place that opened until 11p.m. They even serve local coffee!

Mango Sago with chempedak! I think the mango sago with pomelo was better. I wish they had added more chempedak so that the taste was stronger.

Chocolate snowed ice with chocolate ice-cream

Waffle with fruit and chocolate ice-cream

There were many happy children that night! I’ll try the crispy durian pancake the next time!

Something Sweet Dessert House, 8 Jalan Legundi, Singapore. Tel: 6481 1978.