Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Weekender Food Mania Awards- Japanese Cuisine

Find me a Singaporean who doesn't love Japanese food for i believe it's quite impossible. Sushi, dons, ramen, sashimi, yakiniku, yakitori, shabu shabu... all these delicious Japanese food are so readily accessible to us and it's practically part of our diet! No doubt we had many contestants for the Japanese cuisine category for the Weekender Food Mania Awards 2016 but somehow all our favorites failed to make the list :/ We are left to judge 3 very surprising finds, each of a different style! Headache.. Oh well.

Tenkaichi- Yakiniku
6 Raffles Boulevard #03-129 Marina Square Shopping Mall
I have my regular yakiniku haunt and that is Gyu Kaku and fellow judge Tim also has his own fav Tajimaya. Well Tenkaichi exceeded my first impression of this place (it looked like a cheap bbq place despite being in Marina Square). We were tantalized with some premium Wagyu Beef (HELLO A5 Miyazaki Wagyu) and some other glorious cuts of beef (no special treatment for us really). Tenkaichi's Premium Wagyu Buffet only costs $98/pax; the regular yakiniku buffet which includes the Australian beef (all pretty decent) alongside pork, and some seafood goes for $78. There is an ongoing promotion that takes 35% off the stated price! Do check their FB page for promotional updates.
A5 Miyazaki Wagyu Tokujo Karubi ($45.90) also available a la carte.
Wagyu Nakaochi ($19.90) Marbling Grade 9 Australian Wagyu Sirloin. YAASSS. 
Add $5 for the weekend buffet, and also $10 for free flow drinks and Haagen-Dazs ice cream (GO FOR IT). I think it's certainly value for money here, considering that i'd be paying the same amount for a set at Gyu Kaku. Just get ready some deodorizing spray for after.  

The Sushi Bar 
Far East Plaza #04-28, 14 Scotts Road
Takashimaya #05-35
Well i've heard of The Sushi Bar when they first opened in Far East and how one could get generous cuts of fish on rice at TSB. Of course the notorious queue stopped me from checking them out since i could also get my generous thick cut chirashi fix by Chef Peter (currently now at Kaiware). 
So here's what you may not have noticed about TSB, and that is their Wagyu Tataki Steak ($42.90)and Wagyu don ($34.90)! Seriously that soft onsen egg and sweetish sauce that coat the pearl grains. And that tender meat with slight char, lightly spiced by the fried onion and leeks. I would have finished the entire bowl had i been less disciplined. 
The Salmon-Soft Shell Crab-Mentaiko Aburi Roll ($18.90) had all the right textures and flavors- crispy, salty, creamy, crunchy. It's a decent roll, but if i were to be really picky, it's that it could do with a little more sauce or sorts.. like that SHIOK Maki from Koh Grill.. Heh. It's also a bit pricey hur.
Would i come back? If there's no queue for the Wagyu don? SURE.

Izakaya 95
3 Punggol Point Road #02-05 The Punggol Settlement
Sorry but the people who voted for Izakaya 95 ought to be slapped for wasting our time and effort in going down to this ulu end of Singapore which is almost Malaysia (Punggol Settlement is about as bad as Woodlands). I may have discounted it if the prices are super cheap but it wasn't. For the same price i would have gotten better calories. The above Izakaya 95 Signature Set of lamb rack, pork belly, foie gras, hotate, and octopus was $50 for this tiny portion. Grilled to perfection it was not. Everything was a tad overcooked and dry-ish. We also had a dish of Garlic Fried Rice for $6, and a bastardized Yaki Udon for $15 (nobody adds capsicum to yaki udon hello).
The food was so meh and unsatisfying that we had to settle for Menya Musashi after this particular judging. #HANGRY

So obviously you can tell which of the 3 restaurants is certainly not getting a repeat visit. The toughest part of this judging is that the restaurants are serving different types of food at different price points. The pains of food judging. Sheesh. 

Watch this space for the other 2 categories on European and International Buffets!

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