Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Ovenbird- Japanese inspired Omakase, City Gate Bugis

By Friday, December 10, 2021 , , , , ,

Ovenbird is a family-owned, home-style SG-Japanese fusion restaurant helmed by self-taught Chef Jeffrey Yeo. The one-man show started 2 years ago from his Yishun flat before opening in Mar 2021 at City Gate Bugis and Chef Jeffrey continued to run everything on his own, sometimes with the help of his wife. A seasonal Omakase menu ($130 nett) is served here and Chef Jeffrey calls it 'Ah Beng style Japanese food'. 
Since there's only 1 chef/waiter, the courses are served to all diners at once. So please be punctual. While waiting, we started with a Japanese Dasi Ale which Chef recommended. This is definitely a first that we had beer with omakase but it was actually good with our courses. The Chawanmushi with Sake Sujiko, Matsutake trimmings and Shoyuzuke, was first served. The egg custard was deliberately kept plain to go with the creamy marinated salmon roe. 
Then the generous Ah Beng started serving us a whole lot of fish, starting with the Katsuo Tatami- fresh line-caught (bonito). Autumn is the perfect season for bonito as the fish is super fatty. The grated daikon with chili pepper and lemon ponzu helped to cut the richness of the fish. 
Chef then whipped out the 11.1kg Hokkaido Autumn Amberjack which he has aged for 5 days. The wild caught Buri is the Wagyu of all amberjack. Junmai Daiginjo was sprayed on on the fish and then torched and served in a ponzu. 
The skin was like a thin cracker with the chunky meat. While the belly is always enjoyable, the loin has a really great meaty texture together with fats too. We had at least 4 pieces of this and seriously check out the portion of each slice!
The Steamed Kuromutsu, a 5-day aged Blue fish, steamed in chicken broth was sublime! It obviously wasn't just steamed (Ah Beng has his tricks) but the process was too complicated for me to comprehend so i simply just enjoyed it as it was. 
A 5-day aged Kinmedai sashimi in a Kagoshima pumpkin curry with mustard seed. The residual heat form the sauce cooked the fish gently and the curry brought out the savory flavor of the fish. Our gripe was that this was a tad too torched and smoky. 
Then, a truly local-ish dish surprised us. 5 day aged Hokkaido Ikejime Roughskin Sole served in a Kampot pepper sauce. The texture of the fish was like stingray but a lot fattier, thus the spicy pepper sauce was perfect with this. Chef used to serve crabs in this sauce during his home-dining days. 
We ended off the rich meal with a comforting bowl of Congee with Matara Shirako and Matsutake mushrooms. As you can tell, a whole lot of pine mushrooms went into this pot. I thought the smokiness of the claypot kind of overpowered the mushrooms though.
I was absolutely stuffed and it's impossible to leave Ovenbird feeling hungry because there are always seconds available should you require more. 
Thankfully dessert was a refreshing Japanese Autumn pear gelato with Quinta do Novel White Port and Gin and Raki. A slight minty anise flavor could be tasted and the delicate pear only kicks in later. 
The Ovenbird brand of Ah Beng SG-Japanese food was quite refreshing. Fresh seasonal Japanese ingredients are used and not always presented the typical Japanese way. The portions are not Japanese nor Singapore portions though (these are American portions pls) and we were spoiled by Chef's generosity. If there's something to complain about, it'd be that everything was torched/smoky, which became monotonous as the meal progressed. 

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the casual dining experience at Ovenbird and would certainly visit again.

371 Beach Road B1-21 S199597
Tel: +65 9699 5943

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