Tuesday, 24 March 2020

MAI by Dashi Master Marusaya – Premium Sushi & Dashi Omakase Menu [MEDIA INVITE]

Hokkaido Hairy Crab (Kegani) with
Sweet Vinegar Sauce topped with Hokkaido Uni.

MAI by Dashi Master Marusaya has launched its signature Sushi & Dashi Omakase at S$88++. Located at the heritage Bukit Pasoh area, it provides a great setting for this 38-seater exquisite yet affordable restaurant.

MAI by Dashi Master Marusaya

Seated at the Chef’s table, LD and I had the pleasure to see Chef Hiroyuki Ono work his magic preparing our omakase meal. We also had the pleasure meeting Marusaya Group Executive Chef and Vice President, Shinji Hara.


Please let the Chef or service staff know if you have any dietary restrictions or any food that you don’t like. In our case, we did not have unagi, as LD does not eat it.

Chef's Table at MAI by Dashi Master Marusaya

We started the culinary degustation with Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) with Japanese Kai Lan and Katsuobushi (Skipjack Tuna) - Spring dish. These 3 weeks old mini squid are crunchy, followed with cream texture internally. The bonito and kai lan introduce a savoury and bitter flavour to the dish, while tangy sauce made with katsuobushi and vinegar gave a refreshing tangy touch to this appetizer.

Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) with Japanese Kai Lan
and Katsuobushi (Skipjack Tuna)

Black Sesame Tofu with Ikura in Dashi Stock. The black sesame tofu has a firm and dense texture, tasted earthy, creamy and smooth. LD says it tasted like savoury black sesame ice cream. The saltiness from the ikura, together with the sauce made from soya sauce, mirin and dashi added the much-needed umami flavour in the dish, together with the refreshing mint flavour of the chopped perilla leaf.

Black Sesame Tofu with Ikura in Dashi Stock

Black Sesame Tofu with Ikura in Dashi Stock

Sashimi platter consists of Akami, Chutoro, Sawara and Kinmedai. The kinmedai is smooth and fatty, with a touch of smoky umami flavour as it was wrapped in seaweed. Sawara (Spanish Mackerel) has a firm and smooth texture. While Akami gives you a solid tuna flavour and the Chutoro just melts in your mouth. All the sashimi is served at almost room temperature, where you can taste the full flavours of the fish. In between savouring each slice of sashimi, you can cleanse your palate with the Japanese kai lan leaves salad.   

Sashimi platter consists of Akami, Chutoro, Sawara and Kinmedai

Sashimi platter consists of Akami, Chutoro, Sawara and Kinmedai

Tamago in Dashi topped with Katsuobushi. Served warm, the tamago is bouncy and accompanied with katsuobushi that enhance the tamago flavour further. The dashi stock nicely binds all the ingredients together at the end. A special tamago dish indeed.

Tamago in Dashi topped with Katsuobushi

Tamago in Dashi topped with Katsuobushi

Hokkaido Hairy Crab (Kegani) with Sweet Vinegar Sauce topped with Hokkaido Uni. A mini dish that brings you the flavours of the ocean. The crab meat is sweet, while the uni is creamy and gave the super OMPH in this dish. A slight touch of sweet vinegar sauce keeps the balance in check so you won’t feel overwhelmed. Yummy!!

Hokkaido Hairy Crab (Kegani) with
Sweet Vinegar Sauce topped with Hokkaido Uni

Sakura Ebi with Ashitaba (Angelica Keiskei, also known as Tomorrow's Leaf), Matcha Salt and Japanese lime (Tempura Style). MAI version of prawn crackers. The mini sakura ebi and as chopped ashitaba is coated with batter and deep-fried. The cracker is light and crispy. I suggest you eat it in three steps. First bite, plain. Second bite, with the lime. Third bite with lime and salt. The three different flavours transition is just remarkable.

Sakura Ebi with Ashitaba, Matcha Salt
and Japanese lime (Tempura Style)

Sakura Ebi

Iwate Wagyu with Bamboo Shoot and Japanese Kai Lan in Sukiyaki Sauce. The beef is braised until tender. When you bite into it, you can taste the marbling in the beef and the sweetness of the sukiyaki sauce. Served with the stem of Japanese Kai Lan, the bitterness balances the sweetness of the sukiyaki sauce, while the bamboo shoot adds the crunchiness in this dish.  

Iwate Wagyu with Bamboo Shoot and
Japanese Kai Lan in Sukiyaki Sauce

For the sushi: MAI uses rice from Hokkaido for their sushi, seasoned with apple vinegar, rice vinegar, red vinegar, sugar and salt.

Chef Hiroyuki Ono preparing the sashimi

Sushi 1: Hotate and Uni Handroll – A jumbo size of hotate, generous cut of hotate and scoop of uni, delivering a sweet, creamy flavour and wrapped in super crispy seaweed. LD give her two thumbs up! #Unigasm.

Hotate and Uni Handroll 

Sushi 2: Wild Fresh Tai (Red Snapper) with Tai Liver. The red snapper is torched slightly, allowing it to have multiple textures. Smooth, creamy, like eating foie gras sushi.

Wild Fresh Tai (Red Snapper) with Tai Liver

Sushi 3: Marinated Akami Maguro and Aburi Otoro. The ultimate maguro experience. Two layers of maguro, marinated Akami which is firm and silky, plus the Aburi Otoro, the fatty cut that just melts in your mouth. #Sushigasm

Marinated Akami Maguro and Aburi Otoro

Sushi 4: Saba with Momiji Oroshi (Spicy Grated Daikon Radish). A firm texture fish, silky with a strong ginger taste, tangy and spicy kick from the Momiji Oroshi.

Saba with Momiji Oroshi 

Sushi 5: Ika with Yuzu. The ika is bouncy and a bit sticky. As the yuzu is very mild, you can only taste it briefly before being overpowered by the wasabi.

Ika with Yuzu

Sushi 6: Kuruma Ebi (Tiger Prawn) stuffed with Egg. Sweet, fresh, firm and crunchy tiger prawn stuffed with chicken egg yolk. Nice presentation with a colourful prawn.

Kuruma Ebi (Tiger Prawn) stuffed with Egg

Sushi 7: Maki with Cucumber, Japanese pickles, Chopped Tuna and Aburi Otoro, topped with Ikura. Exquisite maki with two different tuna texture, topped with lots and lots of ikura.

Preparation of Chopped Tuna, Aburi Otoro Maki

Chopped Tuna, Aburi Otoro Maki

Maki with Cucumber, Japanese pickles,
Chopped Tuna and Aburi Otoro, topped with Ikura

In traditional Japanese way, Miso Soup with Tofu Skin and Cabbage round out this beautiful meal. Robust with unique ingredients in the soup.

Miso Soup with Tofu Skin and Cabbage

Dessert is Daifuku. Soft and delicate mochi, stuffed with red bean fillings and strawberry. You can choose coffee or tea to be served with the dessert.

Daifuku with Coffee

Daifuku

The restaurant is very spacious. The seating area can be divided into Chef’s Table, 2 private rooms and seating in the dining area. The décor is very grandeur, paying homage to Japanese elements.

Seating in Dining Area

The Bar

Overall, it was a memorable dining experience. Chef Ono Hiroyuki is very entertaining and skilful in preparing the superb meal. Please take note that the dishes will vary depending on availability of ingredients and seasons. LD & I are impressed with the food and service here, we look forward to our next visit here. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Sushi & Dashi Course

Thank you very much Jennifer Yeo Consultancy and MAI by Dashi Master Marusaya for hosting us.

In addition to MAI, the group also owns flagship restaurant, Dashi Master Marusaya at Robertson Quay, TEN Sushi at Robertson Quay and Monte Risaia at Duxton. (Click on the link for the review of the other restaurants).

Food & Drinks: 9.5/10
Value: 9.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Tasting)
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $81 and Above

MAI by Dashi Master Marusaya
46 Bukit Pasoh Road
Singapore 089858

T: +65 6327 8414
IG: @mai_by_marusaya
OH: Mon – Sat 12.00 – 14.30 (LO 14.00); 18.00 – 23.00 (LO 22.00)

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Oscar’s – Teochew Congee Buffet [MEDIA INVITE]

Fu Rong Omelette - ala minute station 

For the month of March 2020, Oscar’s at Conrad Centennial Singapore showcasing Singapore comfort food - Teochew Congee Buffet. Chef Alex Siah, with his Peranakan background and the culinary team at Oscar’s, curated this hearty line up.

Teochew Congee Buffet - Part of the Spread (Self Service)

Let’s start with the staples, there are four flavours of congee to choose from. Plain congee and sweet potato congee are the basic options. The creative versions are Laksa Congee and Ginger Chicken Congee.

Sweet Potato Congee

The key to this laksa congee is the minimum level of the “lemak” in the congee. This allows the robust spices of the laksa to blend smoothly with the congee and minimise any “jelakness” that might incur from the lemak. Instead of getting slices of fishcakes and thick rice noodle, you get smooth congee in it with beancurd. Yummy!!

Laksa Congee

The Ginger Chicken Congee might be something you can relate to. It’s like white congee, with a few scoops of ginger chicken with red wine. The difference is the version here is blend evenly, so you can taste the ginger and red wine sauce in each slurp.

Ginger Chicken Congree

Basic 12 condiments available to accompany your congee: Sichuan vegetables, chicken floss, sesame oil, soy sauce, fried silverfish, fermented soybean, spring onion, pickled lettuce, fried shallots, century egg, salted egg and peanuts.

Basic 12 Condiments

For the side dishes you can’t go wrong with:
Wok tossed chicken with ginger and red wine sauce. A popular with ladies during confinement, but it is also nice to eat with congee. The chicken is tender and aromatic, while the ginger and red wine combination is very refreshing.

Wok tossed chicken with ginger and red wine sauce.

Wok tossed chicken with ginger and red wine sauce.

Braised pork belly. Well, my favourite cuts from the oink oink. Braised till fork-tender, the robust sauce infused into the flesh. The pork skin still a bit bouncy, providing a good bite to the pork. The dark braising liquid has excellent balance of saltiness, sweetness and umami flavour.

Braised Pork Belly and Firm Tofu

Braised Duck. Juicy, succulent with the flesh that falls of the bones. It is nicely paired with the crunchy braised beancurd skin, braised hard boil egg and braised firm tofu.

Braised Beancurd Skin, Braised Duck, Braised Hard Boiled Egg & Firm Tofu,
and Braised Pork Belly

You Tiao, Luncheon Meat and Ngo Hiang. Luncheon meat is a homely touch of Singapore way in eating congee. I disagree with the version of luncheon meat here, I think they should just fry it without the extra coating. The mini ngo hiang is tasty, while the you tiao does a good job to soaks up the flavour of the laksa congee, ginger chicken congee or braised pork belly with salted vegetables.

You Tiao

Luncheon Meat

Ngo Hiang

Wok Fried Garlic Beef Cube. The bouncy and succulent beef cube that are irresistible. The seasoning is spot on, while you can also taste the thin layer of flour coating that creates the silkiness on the beef. The clove of garlic gave the dish the necessary fragrant aroma and sweetness. Yum Yum.

Wok Fried Garlic Beef Cube

Wok Fried Garlic Beef Cube

The ala-minute station will be serving Fu Rong Omelette. I ordered two types, the first combination is crab and shrimp. The second one is lap cheong with chai poh. LD and I like the seafood sweetness that the crab and shrimp presented in the eggs. If you want the fluffier version of the omelette (although not very healthy), you can ask the chef to put in more oil and let them deep-fried your omelette.

Fu Rong Omelette - Crab Mean and Shrimp

Fu Rong Omelette - Crab Mean and Shrimp

Fu Rong Omelette - Crab Mean and Shrimp

The rest of the cooked dishes are on rotation. On the night, it was homemade tofu with chai poh, Teochew chap chye, stir-fried market vegetables, Kueh Pai Tee & wok fried ladyfinger with dried shrimp. Not available that evening are steamed fish and otah-otah.

Homemade Tofu with Chai Poh

Kueh Pai Tee Station (Fu Rong Omelette Condiments behind)

Wok Fried Ladyfinger with Dried Shrimp

Fresh salads and pre-mixed salads are available as well.

Fresh Salad

Premix Salad

Do leave some space for desserts, you are at Conrad after all. Assorted cakes, traditional kueh, chiffon cake, ice cream, cut fruits and strawberries with whipped cream are available. Not forgetting local dessert (tao suan), waffle and my perennial favourite of Bread and Butter Pudding.

Assorted Desserts

Fruits, Strawberries with Whipped Cream

Overall, it was a pleasant Teochew Congee Buffet dining experience at Oscar’s. It is missing the 
famous flair” of Oscar’s buffet like their Endless Sunday Brunch, however, we do appreciate these comforting dishes. The laksa congee is not to be missed. Don’t say I bojio, the 1 For 1 Teochew Congee Buffet promotion available until this end of March.


Assorted Cakes & Local Delicacies

Bread and Butter Pudding with Lime Sorbet

Tao Suan

1 FOR 1 TEOCHEW CONGEE BUFFET
When: Sunday to Thursday, Dinner.
Date: Now till 31 March 2020.
Time: 18.00 – 22.00
Where: Oscar’s (Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore)
Price:
S$35++ per person (Adult)
S$17.50++ per person (Child aged between 6 and 12)
Complimentary for children under 6
Thank you very much to Conrad Centennial Singapore for the tasting invitation.

You Tiao, Luncheon Meat and Ngo Hiang

Food & Drinks: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Oscar's
2 Temasek Boulevard
Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7481
OH:
Open 24 Hours for A la carte menu
Buffet Breakfast: 06.00 – 10.30
Buffet Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Buffet Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00
Supercharged Sunday Brunch: 12.30 – 15.30

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