Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki Kyoto Cuisine

By Friday, March 24, 2017 , , , , , , ,

To the uninitiated, Kaiseki is often confused with Omakase. The former is Japan's top fine dining cuisine which consists a prescribed set of courses dependent on the freshest seasonal produce; the latter is a style of dining that can be found at several types of Japanese restaurants and dishes served are up to the chef. In order to learn about Kaiseki, the best way is to eat it of course, and we recommend you do it at Kaiseiki Yoshiyuki, one of the very few restaurants in Singapore that specialize in this cuisine. 
If you're looking for punchy and wow, Kaiseki cuisine is not. Well, it takes more than your palate to understand and appreciate the beauty and intricacy that goes into planning and cooking the meal. It is an art form. There are no high tech kitchen aids in Chef Yoshiyuki's kitchen, the food is prepped by knives (no peelers even), true to his kaiseki training at the respected Kyoryori Hosoi in Saitama prefecture. 

For 2017, Chef Yoshiyuki will be serving seasonal menus tied to the Cultural Festivals of Japan. We sampled the Hina Matsuri (Girls' Day) menu, which is the first of the series of seasonal menus this year. 
We started our meal with a Shirozake, the first variety of sake and the most important element of Hina Matsuri. It was followed by the Hassun「八寸」course, an appetizer that brings together the mountain and the sea. Broad bean with fried gluten puffs, Temari sushi (river shrimp), stuffed squid, and fried white bait, were exquisitely presented on this plate.
Dashi is the elemental pillar of most Japanese cuisine and every chef's dashi is unique. We enjoyed the sweetness in this special Hamguri (venus clam) dashi for the Suimono「吸物」courseThe konbu and bonito combination provides the smoky and umami flavor. Clam is used here as it symbolizes happy and peaceful marriages. Did you know that only an original pair of clam shells can fit perfectly with each other? #TIL

Sashimi was next in the Tsukuri「造り」course.
The Tai (red snapper) was served with skin on.  The meat was clean tasting and crunchy. A light plum sauce was served in place of the usual shoyu.
My favorite tuna cuts of Chutoro and Otoro were served with a soy sauce foam which had a soufflé texture.
Go easy on the foam as it can mask the taste of that buttery tuna. Another way to eat this is to wrap the fish up with the wasabi leaf. Don't worry, it tastes nothing like wasabi. My advice is to sample the toro on its own though.
Onto the Yakimono「焼物」course, we had the grilled Sawara Bunka Yaki. Spanish mackerel is grilled and comes topped with Bunka Yaki, an egg yolk and oil emulsion. Think of it as Japanese mayonnaise sans vinegar. The fish was lovely but I thought the bunka yaki didn't contribute much flavor (only oil) to the fish. 
A veg dish in between to cleanse our palate. Rape blossoms and Bamboo shoots are served in dashi. Here we could taste the dashi in its purest form and it was amazing how that crystal clear water could be so flavorful.
We enjoyed more of the dashi in the Shiizakana「強肴」course, where buttery slices of A5 Omi Wagyu from Kagoshima was given a quick bath in the nabe. Give me a giant pot please!! 
Of course, the main meal concludes with rice i.e. Shokuji「食事」The Sakura Ebi Rice with pickles is truly spectacular despite the lack of fancy ingredients. The rice is well flavored with the umami scent of the shrimps and you get bursts of sweetness when you bite into the crunchy ebi.
Can't finish your rice? We had our leftovers made into onigiris and wrapped in bamboo husks. These make perfect breakfast for the morning after!
Of course, seasonal fruits to end the meal and we had musk melon and strawberries from Shizuoka. Only the best ingredients are served at Yoshiyuki.
Lastly, the Mizugashi「水菓子」course of Japanese sweets and matcha. As with the rest of our meal, the matcha was prepared right before us.
We could not resist the Salted Vanila ice cream and red bean wafer sandwich when we heard it's on the menu. Well we made the right decision to stuff ourselves because it was damn freaking amazing. Best wafer ice cream I've had really. 

Throughout the year, Kaiseki Yoshiyuki will be celebrating various festivals and customs of Japan, such as Shunbun-No-Hi (Spring Festival), Hanami (Cherry Blossom Festival), Hachiju-Hachiya (88 Night), Kodomo Nohi (Children's Day), and Gion Matsuri. Regular menus start from $98 for lunch.
Kaiseki Yoshiyuki is also offering donburi lunch sets priced at $25 to $35 at its neighboring sister bar, the Horse's Mouth! Each set includes an appetizer, a don, miso soup and pickles, an a dessert. Donburi selections include Sakura Ebi don, Tendon, Gyudon, and Maguro Zuke Don.
The Chirashi don is a little on the sweet side but we loved the smokiness in the hay-smoked yellowtail, along with sweet shards of crab, and buttery toro.

Japanese fine dining at its finest. Make sure you make a reservation at Kaiseiki Yoshiyuki.

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki
#B1-39, Forum The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road Signapore 238884
Tel: +65 8188 0900

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