Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki

Upon knowing that a new Kaiseki restaurant has opened in Singapore, I quickly called to make a reservation for my family and I. I called on a Weds/Thurs and wanted to book for dinner that Saturday but it was already full! The restaurant only has 14 seats you see. Hence I quickly made a reservation for next Saturday's dinner. The restaurant is located next to Watson's in this obscure corner near the escalators!

Entrance of the restaurant

Very unassuming and the interior is not very welcoming when you first enter imo. Everything's really dark haha

The seating area of the restaurant from where we sat!

That's Chef Yoshi Kashiwabara who used to work at the Japanese Embassy! He's really polite and smiley, his English is quite good too!

They'll give you a welcome sake in that small cup :)

Menu for the night

This is the ONLY menu for now, $288++.

(means appetizer similar to amuse-bouche)
Homemade sesame tofu

You can really taste the sesame that was used to make this but the taste is not like super strong till you think you're eating sesame curd or something. Its more of a subtle sesame taste. Very light viscous broth to go along w the tofu. Quite average this dish. 3.5/5

(this course sets the seasonal theme, typically one kind of sushi and small side dishes)
Top left: Persimmon with Tofu Dressing
Bottom left: Eggplant w sweet miso
Middle: Ika Chrysanthamum Sushi
Top right: Chestnut & Gingko Nuts

Persimmon w Tofu Dressing: honestly you cant tell that you're eating persimmon at all? 2/5
Chestnuts: this was super super fragrant + sweet! It tastes like it was steamed. Very good chestnut!! Reminds me of Japan. 4.5/5
Gingko nuts: lightly salted on the outside, this was q average haha. But not as soft as the gingko nuts in chawanmushi though which I liked. 3.5/5

Ika Chrysanthemum Sushi

I really liked the way they moulded the ika into the shape of a chrysanthemum! That's a blob of wasabi on top fyi. Ika was not too chewy, quite QQ (crunchy but soft kinda texture) and fresh. 3.7/5

Eggplant w sweet miso

This was very normal only 3/5

Tai w tamago and Matsutake in Clear Soup

Tai is a type of fish. The tamago was more like a steamed egg. The soup was light, seafood broth kind of taste you'd associate with Jap soups. Fish texture was something in btwn of rough and smooth but definitely not a chore to eat. Simple soup 3.5/5

Part 1 :Katsuo Tataki

Semi-seared katsuo fish. This came w a sauce for you to dip it in and I felt the sauce went really well with the dish 'cos the sauce is sourish and somehow brings out the flavour of the fish! I like it w the sauce instead of without. Nicely seared. Sth like seared tuna kinda texture/taste. 3.7/5

Part 2: Hirame, Maguro

Hirame is flounder and its the one on the left. It was wrapped arnd cucumber and something else which I couldnt tell. Slightly crunchy in texture, slightly sweet, this was not bad. But we felt that the rendition we had at Tatsuya was better. 3.7/5

Maguro is tuna and this one though smooth and without tendons, it wasn't sweet tasting nor did it have any particular taste! What a letdown :( 3.5/5

Grilled Kamasu

I've never seen this kinda fish before and I was truly intrigued to try it! Doesnt it seem like it'll have a melt in your mouth, fatty kinda texture? But this totally isnt the case. It's kinda like grilled mackerel but a little softer!

I preferred the side dishes for this dish though haha. The pumpkin was very sweet and below the pumpkin was this green shishito pepper that was insanely good. I love the smokiness from the grilling and the light veg taste of this pepper. All of us loved it :) 3.8/5

Chrysanthemum Turnip with Hokkaido Crab

Cant taste any chrysanthemum in this dish though the turnip was definitely quite good, not too soft like those in yong tau foo as it still retained a certain degree of crunchiness! Hokkaido crab in the middle wasn't particulary sweet or anything, more like textural contrast only. 3.6/5

Pork Kakuni

This was good! One of the better dishes of the night. Look at the amount of fat on that piece though. Nevertheless, a damn good stewed pork dish. The texture of the flesh is not like melt-in-your-mouth but this is definitely not a bad thing 'cos it still retains some of the rough kinda texture you'd associate w eating meat but just a littttttle bit, overall its soft. I like this instead of the steamed san ceng rou (3 layered pork) you get in hokkien mee or dimsum which is the same throughout texturally. The fat provides the melt in your mouth part of the meat and complements the flesh very well. Definitely go for the pieces with the good fat:meat ratio. Think the kitchen shouldnt have served that one w the fat >>>> flesh piece!! 4.4/5

Accompanying the pork are yam pieces which barely tasted like anything and some long beans which were crunchy. 

Do note that we asked for our menu to be no beef, hence we got this pork dish. Otherwise the standard dish served here will be beef!

Scallop, tofu skin

The main star was this fat plump scallop wrapped w tofu skin and deep fried. This was a little too oily for us and the scallop barely had any taste. Only redeeming factor was that it was plump and kinda juicy. 

The other star was of course the shishito pepper which appeared again :) That's a tempura eggplant to the back which was average. 3.4/5

Before the rice dish was served, another type of green tea was served to us, this one was roasted brown rice tea I assume (the cup at the back). The one in front is the green tea that comes when you order it at the start.

Pickles to the left to accompany the rice dish.

Mixing the rice dish in front of the customers before serving it. It was mixed in a pot reminiscent of clay pots that the Chinese use! But the aroma loses to that of Chinese claypot rice haha. This one's much lighter in terms of seasoning and taste!

Ayu rice, Miso Soup, Pickles

The rice wasn't v sticky, ayu fish that accompanied the rice didnt have much taste. Subtle sweetness to the dish as a whole. 3.5/5

Gourd shaped tofu in the miso soup!

The rice in the claypot served to your table will definitely be more than enough and the chef will shape them into onigris and wrap them in a banana leaf for you to bring 'em home! Super innovative and a nice way to be environmentally friendly :)

Japanese Sweets & Matcha

I loved this dish! Those are poached figs that were so soft and quite sweet. The jelly on it was like slightly sour, so a good contrast of tastes! The cakes in front are sweet potato cakes!!! Liked this cos of the sweetness of the sweet potato and the smooth texture. 4/5

Matcha tea to end the meal which came w the dessert.

This is a hallmark that the restaurant's kaiseki is traditional, the frothy green tea. The one we had at Goto is more bitter though so am not sure what its supposed taste like! But I liked the Goto one better to complement the sweet dessert!

Interior decor of the restaurant on the "other" side!

The restaurant as a whole is actually quite big, but the seating area for dinner is just what I've shown you on top. The rest is something like a bar? Wasnt in use when we were there though. And there was like another room or something adjacent to where we were all seated and the voices coming out of there were quite loud, and we could totally hear them during dinner. 

One thing I dont really like about the restaurant is that even though its shaped in such a way that you can see what the chef is doing and how your food is prepared, food is not really prepared much in front of you. Most of the time, everything is already done in the kitchen/pre-prepared and the chefs just bring them out to the front and then plate it. So most of the time, the chef's not really in front and you dont really see him in action. Even the ika sushi was already done and just plated. So I think this concept doesnt really work here. 

Service on the whole was polite and friendly. Some overlaps in service eg someone alr served us the welcome sake, then another waitress came over and introduced the welcome sake to us and asked if we wanted any? Then sometimes the green tea isn't topped up and dishes served arent explained.

Overall, we felt that the dinner was quite average, enough to satisfy but not enough for us to go back.

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki
B1-39 Forum The Shopping Mall
8188 0900
Tues-Sun 7-11pm
Call the number to make reservations! Do note that you have to provide your credit card details upon confirmation of reservation and that there is a policy whereby you have to notify them of any changes (time, no. of pax, cancellation etc) at least 2 days before else charges will be incurred!!

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