Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kacyo 花蝶 @ 46 Bukit Pasoh Road | Restaurant Week March 2016

Kacyo serves Washoku (和食) which quintessentially means Japanese cuisine with Japanese ingredients. Kacyo was found in 1927, Ginza Kabuki-cho. Since February 2016, it has a branch in Singapore at 46 Bukit Pasoh, where its neighbours include Restaurant Andre and Majestic. Chose Kacyo as one of the restaurants to try for Singapore Restaurant Week 2016, March edition. If you are driving, you may want to consider utilizing the valet services around this area. Nearest MRT would be Outram.

The restaurant exudes elegance, with private dining room, and the inner sections catering to larger groups of diners.
beautiful chopstick holder
My dining companion was ultra late for our dinner, so I was just sitting around inconspicously while the junior waitstaff would come by every so often to refill the tea. There seemed to be some event happening that night at the inner sections. Perhaps, a company function. The private room was also occupied. For counter seats, most of the dining parties would order a bottle or two of sake, or a glass of wine to have with their dinner.

The Japanese chef brought out the appetisers to our table. "Egg pudding, pumpkin soup and tofu with sesame sauce." He said. Then, he repeated, "In Japanese, this is chawanmushi, kabocha and goma tofu." Such a cute chef, he was.


Ah, forgot to ask which one to start with. Never mind, I would go with the cold items first. The pumpkin soup. Tasted natural and mild. Pleasant. The tofu was the most interesting. Its texture was more 'sticky' or 'Q' than all the tofu's that I had eaten thus far. That bit of ikura and wasabi on it, completed the tofu and the sesame sauce was really appetising. Chawanmushi was smooth and tasty and had lots of sprout-like ingredients in it that added some healthy crunch to the smooth egg custard.

interesting texture, overall good taste - おもしろいですね!

Next, was the fried items; tempura. Chef did not make his appearance here. This plate was brought out by the other service staff. Mostly vegetable items for the tempura consisting of eggplant, pumpkin and shishito pepper. Liked the prawn and shishito pepper (獅子唐辛子) the most. The style here is without sauce and instead, one could eat it with a bit of the seaweed salt. It was unfortunate that the pumpkin tempura tasted a tad undercooked.


At this point in time, our hot sake arrived. Ordered a warm sake and chose the recommended Shochikubai (Hanjozo). The hot sake tasted pleasant and deceptively mild, as the alcohol would not hit you till you are almost at the end of the bottle.

Shochikubai (Hanjozo) sake (warm) @$24++ per 300ml bottle

For mains, we ordered one of each; Japanese beef steak and grilled Japanese eel. Only when Chef brought out the dishes, did we know that the beef and eel were from the Kagoshima prefecture. 

Was dissappointed that the eel portion was so tiny. Kagoshima is said to be the biggest producers of farmed eel in Japan, and if this plate is of the farmed version, then the beef steak would offer a better value for money.

Grilled Kagoshima Eel
Kagoshima Beef Steak - medium rare

As expected, the Kagoshima beef steak was good, though I only had a slice. The accompanying greens included asparagus, broccolini, carrot and mushroom that was quite tasty as well.

Then, we were served the next course, of 5-piece assorted sushi served with a bowl of miso soup. The sushi was ordinary but it did its job to fill us up. After copious cups of sake, there was still a bit left. It had, by then, turned cold. The sake had a flowery fragrance that became very apparent, the moment its temperature went down. Interesting.

salmon ikura, hotate, prawn, hamachi and white fish

For desserts, we were served the Kacyo Original Ice-cream which was matcha flavoured. Found it to be creamy and quite milky. Nice.

Kacyo Original Ice-cream

The last surprise came, when the last cup of our green tea was exchanged with a hot one, and it turned out to be savoury! Wooo! Tasted like clear soup, but visually still looked like green tea. Magic.

Lovely place, and service was great. Expect to spend between $80 - $100 per pax for dinner.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ristorante Takada @ Alexis Condominium 356 Alexandra Road | Singapore Restaurant Week March 2016

My bro's birthday month happens to coincide with restaurant week, so prowled through the list of participating restaurants and chose one with a dining star. Can't be too shabby when buying dinner, yeah? Haha! Bro said that he seldom eat Italian food when he's with his friends or colleagues, so this dutiful sister will try to enlighten him a bit. Hmm, on hindsight, seemed like I've been bringing him to try Italian cuisne for his 3 recent birthdays including this one. Oops. Will do something different, next year.

Alexis Condominium is located near Anchorpoint, and nearby landmark is a Shell petrol station. Nearest MRT is Queenstown. The info could be handy, since my taxi uncle did not know how to get there and we were lost for a while. Ristorante Takada is one of the restaurants that reaches it fully-booked status pretty fast, so by the time I grabbed a seat, the only available seatings were for the later slots at 8.30pm. So, it was a late, late dinner.

keep calm and drink water
Takada's Restaurant Week Mar 2016 dinner menu

For the birthday boy, an upgrade to Kagashima Wagyu Steak with Red Wine Sauce would be, quite necessary. For the accomplice, I went with the Iberico Pork with Balsamico sauce. The other table had cod fish and that looked great.

Happy Birthday 哥, wish you best of health and happiness!

Antipasto was bruschetta with tomato. Served with sweet vibrant red tomatoes on super crispy toast. Tasty snack. Next up, was a mushroom cappucino. A half-cup of hot frothy cup of mushroom soup with earthy flavours. This was followed by a serving of warm bread. Liked the feeling of warm bread and while it was dense, the insides were still soft and bouncy.

Mushroom Cappucino
warm bread

Next up, was the start of our 3-course dinner; The Mix Cold Appetiser dish. Fresh greens, a blob of creamy burrata hiding underneath a slice of parma ham, a slice of hamachi on the greens, sweet cherry tomato, drizzled with olive oil and a lone olive at the side. Mild flavours of savoury, creamy, and freshness from the earth and the sea. Lovely presentation, good taste.

Mix Cold Appetiser
look at the treasures

For carbs, we chose the Risotto Foie-gras with Raspberry Bubble and Tagliolini with Hokkaido Sea urchin Ikura. My bro said that foam tasted of raspberry but after that he mixed everything into the rice before I could get a taste. -_-'''

The risotto, exceeded my expectations. Foie-gras done excellently, with all its wobbly rich goodness and not too intense in flavour. The risotto grains were well-cooked and each grain felt so compact and full, as if it can't wait to burst out of its form. That sauce, was it balsamico sauce? Not sure, but everything works well together. Yums.

Risotto Foie-gras with Raspberry Foam
Tagliolini with Hokkaido Sea urchin Ikura

On the other hand, the tagliolini seemed like it was pushed out in a rush. Not as impressive as I thought it would be, but that could be because expectations were rather high since reviews always mentioned this dish, and it being one of Ristorante Takada's recommended dishes.

Tagliolini with sea urchin was a rather light dish of cold pasta. Somewhat refreshing but at this moment, the palate needed something stronger.

Next, would be the meats. Main highlights, if you'd like. The Iberico Pork and the much anticipated Kagoshima Wagyu Steak.

The Iberico pork looked like a roulade or a super thick slice of luncheon. Indeed, it was rich in porky flavours and the meat was firm.

low temperature cooked Iberico Pork with Balsamico sauce

The Kagoshima Wagyu A5. Taste it, at least once. Beautiful, in visual and in taste.

Kagoshima Grade A5 Wagyu Steak with red wine sauce, served with grilled broccolini and baby potato
medium doneness, juicy velvety texture

Had two slices of this highest grade beef, and it was simply delightful. Will be on the look out for more of this good beef, when I travel to Japan, later this year.

Winding down, it was time for the mixed desserts; tiramisu and chocolate cake. Good intense coffee flavour from the tiramisu. The chocolate cake has a dense texture and lovely richness. Great with coffee and good for us, coffee was included in this dinner menu.

Tiramisu and Chocolate Cake

Not only that, we had a pretty plate of petit fours. The tiny baby-sized green tea macarons were so cute! Gooseberries were tangy and sour, as usual. The chocolate coating only helped a bit since it wasn't very sweet. The cookies were well baked and had a lovely crunch.

baby matcha macarons, gooseberries coated with chocolate and cookies

Ristorante Takada's Restaurant Week Omakase Dinner Menu was indeed value for money. Overall, had an enjoyable experience dining there.

Also realized that, am not a stranger to the creations of Chef Takada. Dined in his restaurant, way back some four years ago, when he was at La Luna Rossa. When I said that to Maiko, she informed Chef Takada. Though we have not met before, he was friendly and interested to know about our dining experience at this restaurant.

Just before we left, he asked, "Do you remember the lady chef?" It took me quite a few seconds before I nodded and said, "Yes." She emerged from the kitchen and we exchanged greetings. Chef Chiaki Watanabe, formerly from Arossa. 久しぶりです! Happy to know that they have reunited once more in Ristorante Takada. No wonder, the food has a familiarity to it.

ごちそうさま, ありがとございます!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fumée @ Millenia Walk

Is it a deli? A restaurant? A bar? One might say that Fumée is all of these. Sandwiches, pasta, meats, beer, whisky, they have it. Located at #01-54 Millenia Walk, the restaurant has the luxury of space. Indoor dining, alfresco or to-go? Up to your preference. 

come right in
chic interior

food menu

Expect Asian flavours executed with modern European techniques at Fumée, and reasonably priced food and drinks. 

someone mentioned, drinks?
From 1st March till 31st May, Fumée has a 1-for-1 oysters (min. half a dozen) and 1-for-1 all day cocktails promo with UOB cards. Terms and conditions apply. Please enquire with the friendy staff.

oysters from France, awaiting to be shucked (@$22++ for half dozen)

The oysters deal sounds good, and definitely something that I'd consider. Especially, when there is a Prosecco promo as well. Heh heh!

no kidding

Alright now, let's see what is on the table for dinner. After a hard day at work, how about some cold beer to cool off? Perhaps some Kronenbourg Blanc and Asahi Black?

Asahi Black and Kronenbourg Blanc @$12++ per pint

With beer, one needs some beer food, or some say starters. How about skinny crispy winglets for munchies, followed by a bowl of plump juicy NZ little neck clams and garlic prawns?

Winglets @$10++
NZ Little Neck Clams @$12++

Garlic Prawns @$12++

Loved the NZ Little Neck Clams to each succulent juicy bits! Yep, best of the lot for its strong flavours, umami jus and the plump-est clams ever. It was unfortunate that the prawns were overcooked that night, as it looked promising.

Next up, we shared two different burgers; wagyu and otak-otak. They were so good. The patty done right and tasted juicy. Actually, a quick scan of its menu revealed that it currently has about 7 permutations of wagyu burgers. Wow. The wagyu burger price ranges from $16 to $29, with Foie-Gras burger being at the top range.

Fumée Burger (@$16++) - wagyu patty, emmental cheese, bacon, tomato, onion, sesame brioche, served with a side of shoestring fries

Fish burger? Close, but non, c'est Otak-Otak Burger

Don't feel like having burger, no problem. Fumée has about 5 risotto dishes and an equivalent amount of pasta dishes on its menu currently. Sampled the Mushroom Risotto, the Chili Crab Noodle and the Red Dot Noodle and it pretty much depends on your preference. The Red Dot Noodle is a modern interpretation of the classic Hokkien mee, that is much sought after by their regulars.

Mushroom Risotto (vegetarian) @$16++
Chili Crab Noodles (with soft shell crab) @$19++

Realized that I have no photo to show for the Red Dot Noodle. Am sorry, my dear readers. However, this dish was loaded with Hokkaido scallops, tiger prawns, clams and squids and more akin to aglio-olio. 

The mushroom risotto struck me as a bold flavoured version of the usual mushroom risottos that I had eaten thus far. Strongly seasoned, earthy flavours with hints of truffle oil, and good with a glass of wine or beer. I quite liked the Chili Crab Noodles for its familiarity in taste. A more spicy version can be requested to suit your preference.

For the meatatarians out there, rejoice! Do try the US Angus Short Rib, if you have a party of 2. A good size of 700g USDA certified Angus bone-in short rib. This gorgeous hunk requires 20 minutes of preparation time.

US Angus Short Rib (for 2) @$68++

US Angus Short Rib - sliced

Lovely, tender slices of meat. Almost melt-in-your-mouth kind of good. The mash was flavourful and every forkful was a joy. The 250g of Australian Wagyu Rump Steak for just $25++? Sounds good too!

Fumée has their pastry chef., and she does quite a repertoire of interesting looking/tasting desserts. Guinness cake? A dessert that looks like a cute red apple and is named as "Love Apple"? You can try them at Fumée.


Love Apple @$9++
Look what we have in here - creamy green apple nousse and cream cheese on a spiced biscuit crumb yum

The Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (@$7++) had an interesting texture. First time tasting a panna cotta of such texture. If you happen to try it, let me know your thoughts.

Did I mention about whisky at Fumée? Not yet? Let's see some pictures.

whiskey bar
looking for Japanese whiskeys?
Auchentoshan Three Wood -  Single Malt Scotch Whisky

golden bronze colour

Learnt that Auchentoshan Three Wood, is named as the whisky has been matured in three different cask types; American Bourbon, Spanish Oloroso Sherry and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, resulting in rich, complex flavours.

How do you normally have your whisky? Neat? On the rocks? Or, with Icelandic Glacial water? 

Icelandic Glacial water for the whisky

All-in-all, Fumée is a nice place to chill, with an impressive selection of whiskies and wines. Food options are adequate with some variety for both meatarians and vegetarians friends. Oh, and there's live music as well, from Tuesdays onwards. Enjoy!

belting out the tunes

Thank you Helen and Natalie for having us, and Hungrygowhere for the invitation. Lovely place, good vibes and reasonably priced food and drinks.

check out the lunch offers

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