Thursday, 23 May 2019

Kai Yakitori – Ultimate Grill Chicken Experience

Toriwasa Shoyu

It started with an Instagram post from Sandrasim about yakitori & Justinfoodprints on chicken sashimi in Singapore. It seems that they rate this place highly, therefore I bookmarked the location for future reference. Out of sudden LD has a craving for yakitori / izakaya, so we decided to visit Kai Yakitori.

Kai Yakitori (‘Kai’) is a small establishment located in Orchard Plaza. The restaurant itself is very small, probably can seat less than 20 pax. We are seated at the bench, directly facing the kitchen where the chefs are working. The place is dimly lit to create a cosy dining atmosphere but not very conducive to take photos. Like a typical yakitori joint in Japan.

The Menu

The menu is one page and it is obvious chicken is the star attraction here. We start the meal Otoshi ($3) – Small dish. It is light, nicely seasoned, good to tickle your tastebuds.

Otoshi

Toriwasa Shoyu ($14) – Sashimi Chicken with Shoyu Wasabi. This dish is one reason we come. Surprisingly, the chicken tasted like Tuna, with beef tataki sauce. You can see the external part of the meat is white like it is cooked to the equivalent of "rare steak". The mushroom and spring onions gave it earthy and spark to this dish.

Toriwasa Shoyu – Sashimi Chicken with Shoyu Wasabi.

Special Fish Cake ($12). Unlike Singapore version of fish cake, the homemade fish cake here is a crisp exterior with mushy tofu like inside. It is light in flavour and the edamame inside adds a crunchy texture to the dish.

Special Fish Cake

Sunagimo ($5.50) – Gizzard. One of our favourites. Crisp and crunchy, with a generous sprinkle of salt. Almost have a similar texture with Hatsu ($5.50) – Heart. Except Hatsu is juicier internally.

Sunagimo – Gizzard

Hatsu - Heart

Bonjiri ($5.50) – Tail / bishop. My favourite part of the chicken. Crisp, juicy with a burst of fattiness. Best of all it does not have a pungent smell that usually comes with the tail. Kawa ($6.50) – Chicken Skin. It is crispy, absent of fat. Taste like chicken crackling.

Bonjiri – Tail / bishop
Kawa - Chicken Skin

LD’s favourite is Nan Kotsu ($5.50) – Soft Bone. It is crunchy and nice to chew. Meanwhile, the Momo ($5.50) – Thigh is served with the skin on. It is grilled to the point of crispy skin, while the flesh remains juicy and succulent. Amazing.

Nan Kotsu – Soft Bone.

Momo - Thigh

Moving on from the chicken we ordered off the menu special, Abalone ($18), Wagyu Beef A4 Kushi ($18) and Kurobuta Kushi ($9). Kai uses small abalone, like the one used in Korean stew. It is chewy, juicy with a nice smoky aroma from the grill.

Abalone

Abalone

The wagyu beef is good, the charcoal grill manages to seal the juice inside the cubes. It just melts in your mouth. The Kurobuta pork is just superb. Served on a plate, it is crispy, fatty and the meat just melts in your mouth. The chopped spring onion and dipping sauce help to balance the richness from the Oink Oink.

Wagyu Beef A4 Kushi 

Kurobuta Kushi

For the finale, we ordered Tori Ramen ($10) and Oyako Don ($10). The ramen broth is made from chicken bones and filled collagen. The ramen is thin and al-dente. The flavour is good to complete your meal here.

Tori Ramen

The Oyako Don serve here is more of a modern version instead of the traditional version. The pearl rice at the bottom is covered with chicken and scramble egg cooked in chicken stock. It is then partially covered with perfectly poached egg and seaweed. A nice rice dish to end the meal.

Oyako Don

Oyako Don

The drinks menu here is limited. They only have Asahi Beer ($10), Whiskey Highball ($10), Sake and Ice Tea ($2). For service, the chefs behind the counter are super friendly. However, we find the service staff is a bit stern, especially towards non-regular like us.

Overall, it was indeed an amazing Yakitori experience. The control of fire by the head Yakitori Chef is flawless and the skill to chicken preparation is at Master level. The Toriwasa Shoyu (Chicken Sashimi with Shoyu sauce) is a must try. YOLO. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Food & Drinks: 9/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person:  $51 - $80, $81 and above.

Kai Yakitori
150 Orchard Road
#03-16 Orchard Plaza
Singapore 238841

T: +65 6245 7292 / 8836 4546
IG: @Kaiyakitorisg
OH:
Mon – Sat: 18.00 – 23.59
Closed on Sunday

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Ginett Singapore – Dry Aged Beef [MEDIA INVITE]

Charcoal Grill Steaks @ Ginett Singapore


Ginett Singapore is a contemporary European restaurant and wine bar located Hotel G. Ginett is a concept by R&B Lab, a recognised restaurants and bar management company headed by Michelin-Starred Chef Sylvain Royer.

Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar

In April 2019, Ginett Singapore introduced A Dry Ager Fridge usually found in a modern steakhouse and specialised butcher. With dry-ageing, the meat goes through a natural stage of tenderising itself with its own enzymes to reach the perfect texture and flavour. The optimum period of dry ageing is between four to six weeks.

Dry Ager Fridge

We tried 3 different types of steak to taste the difference between dry aged and non-dry aged steaks. Australian 30 to 36 months Pasture Fed Angus Beef Rib Eye MB3+ (Natural free range, antibiotic and hormone free, $36 for 250 gram); Australian Black Angus MB3+ Rib Eye dry aged for 3 weeks and 6 weeks ($48 for 250 gram)

Top: Béarnaise, Pepper Sauce and Blue Cheese
Bottom: Left to Right Australian Black Angus MB3+ Rib Eye dry aged for 6 weeks and 3 weeks;
and Australian 30 to 36 months Pasture Fed Angus Beef Rib Eye MB3+

All of the steaks are grilled on Mibrasa Charcoal Oven, where the steaks will have a nice seared and smoky flavour to it. We started with the non-dry aged beef. In each bite, you can taste the meaty texture of the beef and it has a slight chewiness as the steak is not that fatty.  A very flavourful beef.

Australian 30 to 36 months Pasture Fed Angus Beef Rib Eye MB3+

For the 3 weeks dry aged Australian Black Angus MB3+, you can taste the juiciness of the steak. Although it is more tender compared to the non-aged steak, there is still a solid bite of meatiness on the steak. Meanwhile, 6 weeks dry aged Australian Black Angus MB3+ will make you go WOW. The meat is juicy and succulent, and as it slowly melts in your mouth the intense flavour of the beef will make you go MOO MOO. Awesome!!

Australian Black Angus MB3+ Rib Eye dry aged for 6 weeks and 3 weeks

The steaks come with 3 different sauces Blue Cheese Sauce, Pepper Sauce and Béarnaise. My personal preference is the béarnaise as I like the creaminess in the sauce.

Mushroom Fricassée

Price includes choice of any 2 sides: Creamy Spinach, Mesclun Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Ratatouille, Mushroom Fricassée, Potato Wedges. We tried the Creamy Spinach, Ratatouille and Mushroom Fricassée. All three are equally good; however, the creamy just stands out for me. It was creamy, delicious and addictive.

Ratatouille

Creamy Spinach

Thursday night at Ginett is also known as Oyster Night. Each Fine de Claire oysters (regular price $26 for 6 pcs, $48 for 12 pcs) is selling for $1 on that night. It is juicy and brainy like you can taste the ocean in your mouth.

12 pcs of Fine De Claire Oysters

Fine De Claire Oysters

For another main, we ordered Scottish Salmon ($32). Nicely cooked thick cut of salmon fillet, the skin is seared until it is crispy, while the flesh remains moist and flaky. The creamy spinach paired nicely with the salmon.

Scottish Salmon

While we are waiting for the main dishes, we were served the sourdough bread. It is crisp and chewy. I suggest trying to eat the bread with creamy spinach. I made it like canapes, the bread absorbs the cream nicely and softens the sourdough as well. Yummy. 

Sourdough Bread with Butter

Sourdough Bread with Creamy Spinach Canapes
by Chubby Botak Koala

It is best to save some space for desserts, they are sublime. We tried Baba au Rhum ($14), Paris Brest ($18) and Chocolate Tart ($12).

Baba au Rhum is light and refreshing. The yeast-risen cake swimming in the middle of vanilla infused rum syrup. The combination of bread like cake with chilled syrup is just light and refreshing.

Baba au Rhum

Paris Brest has a nice crispy pastry, filled with delectable hazelnut cream. The nut on top is a bit strong, as the peanut butter taste slightly overpowered the hazelnut.

Paris Brest

Meanwhile, the chocolate tart is made from solid dark chocolate. It has a rich chocolate bitterness and nicely balanced with the crunchiness from pecan ice cream. A must try for chocolate lovers.

Chocolate Tart

The décor of Ginett is modern with the bar as the centre of the attention in the room. However, the new dry ager fridge steals some thunder from the bar. The combination of artistic photograph, plants and wine & cheese board made the dining feels like a European restaurant. The service is attentive and friendly.

Part of the Dining Area
The Bar

Overall, it was nice to return to Ginett. The new dry aged steak menu is definitely something to look forward to. I am impressed with the overall dining experience in Ginett. The $1 oyster on Thursday night is indeed a lucrative offer. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Ai Ling and Ginett Singapore team for the hosting us.

Food & Drinks: 8.5/10
Value: 8.25/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50, $51 - $80.

Ginett Singapore
200 Middle Road
Ground Floor, Hotel G Singapore
Singapore 188980

T: +65 6809 7989
IG: @Ginettsingapore
OH:
Sun – Thu: 07.00 – 23.30
Fri & Sat: 07.00 – 00.30
Menu is available online


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Tasty Court – Delicious Nanyang Cuisine

Crispy “Dong Tok” Roasted Chicken 

It was an accidental visit instead of a planned visit to celebrate Little Devil’s Birthday with the family. At first, we wanted to visit another restaurant that serves Peking Duck. Alas, due to a booking system error, we were almost stranded without a dinner place. Luckily, we manage to find Tasty Court nearby.

Tasty Court by Chef Pung - Entrance

Executive Chef Pung Lu Tin is a respected chef in Singapore’s Chinese cuisine dining scene. He has more than 39 years of experience as a Chinese cuisine Chef and holds many respectable positions in local and international Chinese Cuisine associations.

Chef Pung

While waiting for the rest of the family members to arrive, we decided to order Double Boiled Soup for the Day, Cordyceps Boiled with Pork Soup ($10). The soup consists of pork soft bones, cordyceps flower and yu zhu (Solomon’s seal) and cooked for 6 hours. The result is consommé like robust pork soup, naturally sweet and delicious.

Cordyceps Boiled with Pork Soup

Cordyceps Boiled with Pork Soup - The Ingredients

“Hua Diao” Drunken Chicken Thigh Roll ($12). A modern plating of drunken chicken. The chicken is firm and succulent; however, it can do with more generous dose of Hua Diao wine. The ginger and spring onion paste added aroma and refreshing taste to the chicken roulade.

“Hua Diao” Drunken Chicken Thigh Roll

Crispy Baby Squids with Orange Lime Sauce ($12). The baby squids are deep fried till crispy, then tossed with orange lime sauce. It is sweet, crispy and crunchy. Other than appetizer, it is also good to snack to accompany beer and wine.

Crispy Baby Squids with Orange Lime Sauce 

Crispy Fried Prawn Dumplings ($12). More like prawn balls instead of dumplings. The exterior is crispy, while the interior is juicy and succulent. The generous fillings are made from fresh prawns and pork. LD and I love the super tangy pickled vegetables on the side. It just cuts through any “jelakness” of fried dishes.

Crispy Fried Prawn Dumplings

Crispy Fried Prawn Dumplings

Crispy “Dong Tok” Roasted Chicken ($24). One of the signature dishes at Tasty Court. The skin is paper thin, the flesh of the chicken is tender and succulent. The overall chicken itself is very tasty and you can eat it without the salt and pepper dip. Yummy!!

Crispy “Dong Tok” Roasted Chicken

Roasted Duck with Fresh Fruits and Mango Sauce ($25 for half / $50 for whole). We ordered half duck as we got a lot more dishes coming. Instead of simple roast duck, it is served with fresh fruits and mango sauce made this dish more “atas”. The combination of crispy skin, fatty duck and juicy meat is just delicious.

Roasted Duck with Fresh Fruits and Mango Sauce 

Baked Flower Clam with Three Mix Wine ($16). I find this dish plain compare to the rest of the dish. The clam meat is springy and juicy; however, it is lacking flavours to enhance the flavours of the clams.

Baked Flower Clam with Three Mix Wine 

Salted Egg Yolk Prawns ($24). Big, juicy and crispy prawns. Each of the prawns is evenly coated with salted egg sauce. Watch out for the finely chopped chilli padi, as the burst of spiciness just enhance the salted egg flavour in this dish.  One of the best salted egg prawns I ever tried.

Salted Egg Yolk Prawns

Seafood with Poached Rice ($86). Before you go gaga about the price, this dish is worth it. The seafood broth is robust and infused with the freshness of sliced fish, prawns, clams and female crab. According to Kim, the Service Manager (Maybe one of the Boss as well), the crab they use is the same grade for cold crab. No wonder the crab is plump and fresh. The portion of the broth is so generous, they even offer us more rice if needed. Wow, Yum Yum!!
 
Seafood with Poached Rice

Seafood with Poached Rice - The crab

Seafood with Poached Rice - The Rice


For vegetable, we ordered sambal kangkong ($12). However, they cooked it with garlic instead. We decided to just keep and eat the dish. It is well executed as the kangkong is fresh and crunchy.

Kangkong with Garlic

Desserts are Yam Paste ($5), Chilled Herbal Jelly ($5), and Hasma with Red Dates ($10). Don’t expect a dessert house standard as the yam paste and herbal jelly are likely to be factory made. The hasma surprisingly is good. The portion of the hasma is very generous, and the sweetness is just right making it a refreshing dessert.   

Hasma with Red Dates

Hasma with Red Dates

The setting of the restaurant is simple and functional. The white colour wall creates a sense of modern and clean feel to the restaurant. We visited them on Monday night, Tasty Court is crowded, filling around 5 to 6 tables. Although only Kim and another colleague handling the front of the house, they remain friendly, informative and not pushy. Kudos to them.

Part of the Dining Area

Overall, LD and I enjoyed our meal there. The ingredients are fresh, the dishes are innovative and excellent. We’ll definitely come back to try the rest of their dishes. Cheers!!

Food & Drinks: 8.5/10
Value: 8.25/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Tasty Court By Chef Pung
1 Figaro Street
Singapore 458322

T: +65 6538 3533
OH:
Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 14.30; 18.00 – 22.30
Sat & Sun: 11.30 – 14.30; 17.30 – 22.30


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