Archive for the ‘1.3 Casual Restaurants’ Category

Niku Katsumata–Delicious yakiniku minus the smoke

Niku Katsumata (20)

Niku Katsumata Singapore at Duxton Road is the 1st offshoot of the original Niku Katsumata in Ebisu Tokyo. Lucky for us that they have opened a branch in Singapore because it’s an invite-only restaurant in Tokyo, ie you need to know some celebrity or big shot before you can dine there.

Niku Katsumata specialises in lean Japanese beef, although they also have well marbled cuts of Wagyu. Wait a minute, haven’t we been trained that when it comes to marbling, the more the merrier right? But because these leaner cuts have been selected from cattle who have been bred and managed under the “highest Japanese standards”, these leaner cuts taste exceptionally good too.

Another special thing about Niku Katsumata is that it’s probably one of the few places you can have yakiniku without your clothes and hair stinking like hell. The meat here is cooked over a special clear crystal plate. This crystal plate is so special, hardly any smoke is produced so you can enjoy your grilled meat meal without smelling like you’ve just worked 24 hours in a kitchen. Apparently, if you dine there on a full moon, together with the crystal, this creates good Feng Shui….. I don’t know about that but then again you never know…

Niku Katsumata offers a choice of 2 set menus, the Katsumata Course $128++ and the Ebisu Course $198++. There is also an ala carte menu but this is for topping up of the set menu. I had the Katsumata Course when I was there, and there was so much food, I can’t imagine even wanting to order anything else! You can see the full menu here.

Niku Katsumata (14)

This is the special crystal plate. Although you can grill the meat yourself, I highly recommend that you leave it to the experts because you don’t want to be burning or overcooking those expensive morsels of meat.

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Izy Dining and Bar–The most eye-catching Japanese roll you will find!

At first glance, Izy Dining and Bar might strike you more as a drinking joint than a restaurant that serves proper Japanese food. But do not be thwarted by the long bar counter that takes up practically the entire front section of the restaurant, there’s good food to be had if you venture forth. Food that will not only please the taste-buds but also the eyes. And if you venture further in literally, you will reach the table seating area, which in my opinion is more comfortable for consuming lunch and dinner.

On the menu are the usual suspects for any Japanese restaurant such as sashimi, sushi, rolls and cooked dishes. However it’s the little touches here and there, and the creative use of ingredients that really set Izy Dining apart from the usual Japanese restaurants you find in malls. Everything just looks so delicious!

The piece de la resistance for Izy Dining and Bar has go to be this.

Izy Dining & Bar - Japanese Nokke Roll (Uni, Ikura, Crab, Negitoro, Veg) $45 (2)Japanese Nokke Roll (Uni, Ikura, Crab, Negitoro, Veg) $45

If this doesn’t catch your eye, I don’t know what will. Basically all the Japanese dream ingredients presented on one dish. It will disappear into the stomach all too quickly, so my only advice is to savour it slowly! It’s a must order if you love all these ingredients!

Izy Dining & Bar - Mango Salsa Roll (Tempura shrimp, raw salmon & avocado topped with mango salsa sauce) $18

Mango Salsa Roll (Tempura shrimp, raw salmon & avocado topped with mango salsa sauce) $18

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[Chinese New Year 2017] Gu Ma Jia’s homey and affordable CNY fare

And just like that, Christmas and New Year are over and it’s time to think of how to celebrate Chinese New Year. This year, Chinese New Year falls on 28 – 30th January 2017 (Saturday – Monday), that’s like less than 4 weeks away! This means you have to start planning for your reunion dinner pretty quickly.

If you are looking for a restaurant serving casual homey fare that is affordable, for your reunion gathering, you might want to consider Gu Ma Jia restaurant located at Tai Thong Crescent. Gu  Ma Jia prides itself on serving food with less oil and less MSG. Two set menus will be available during this CNY festive period.

The “Peace” set at $599++ includes

  • Yu Sheng
  • Crab Meat and Fish Maw
  • Steamed Red Grouper with Soya Sauce
  • Braised Duck and Sea Cucumber
  • Broccoli with Macadamia Nuts & Fresh Scallop
  • Stir-Fried Prawns with Superior Sauce
  • Steamed Lotus Leaves Rice
  • Dessert – Longan Wolfberries Sea Birds Nest

The “Prosperity” set at $768 includes

  • Yu Sheng
  • Cold Platter
  • Sea Cucumber, Crab Meat & Bamboo Fungus
  • Stir-fried Broccoli with Chinese Mushrooms & Abalone
  • “Ginseng Fortune Chicken” – Double-boiled Chicken, Roasted Pork, Scallops, Sea Cucumber and Fish Maw with Ginseng in a Claypot
  • Steamed Prawns with Gu Ma’s Home Made Sauce
  • Steamed Red Grouper with Soya Sauce
  • Seafood Fried Noodles
  • Dessert – Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts

Session Timings for set menu on Chinese New Year Eve (27th Jan 2017):

  1. 12pm – 2pm
  2. 2.15pm – 4.15pm
  3. 6pm – 7.45pm
  4. 8pm – 9.45pm

I had the opportunity to sample some of the dishes from the two CNY set menus. I have to agree that the cooking style is more homey and less seasoned as compared to other Chinese restaurants in Singapore. If you want to taste the natural flavours of the food and not have them obscured by heavy sauces, Gu Ma Jia would be up your alley.

Gu Ma Jia CNY 2017 - Longan Wolfberries Sea Birds Nest

Longan Wolfberries Sea Birds Nest 

The dessert was one of my favourites not only due to visual appeal but because of the generous amount of jelly. And as can be seen from the colour of the jelly, it’s flavoured as compared to some versions out there where the jelly is tasteless.

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[Christmas 2016] Festive Italian classics with a British twist at Jamie’s Italian

If you’re looking for homey and hearty dishes this festive season instead of the usual turkey, you might just want to consider making a reservation at Jamie’s Italian. You can feast on dishes such as Porchetta, Roasted Baby Chicken, Seabass and even Wild Mushroom Pappardelle/Gnocchi if you go for their festive lunch/dinner menus at only $49.90/$65.90 respectively. The festive set meals also come with a glass of bubbly upon your arrival which I am sure will set you in a very Christmassy mood.

You may also want to know that Jamie’s Italian Singapore will be donating a portion of the proceeds from all kids’ meals sold to the Singapore Children’s Society. Jamie’s Italian Singapore will also spread some Christmas cheer with a children’s Christmas party for youths from Sunbeam Place. Customers are invited to donate gifts for the less fortunate during this festive season at designated toy-banks set up with easy access at both restaurants.

Check out the following pictures and description of the dishes to help you make your choice! Some of the dishes are only available for lunch while some are available only for dinner. Check with www.jamiesitalian.sg for the full set menus.

Jamie's Italian Christmas - (22)

The Christmas menu will be available from now all the way to 31 December 2016

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Kaiserhaus–Enjoy Game meat at Singapore’s only Central European restaurant

Did you know that Kaiserhaus is Singapore’s only restaurant serving classic dishes from Central Europe? If you’ve been to Germany, Austria or Hungary and want to reminisce, you just might want to check out Kaiserhaus. And if you do so by 24 November, you’ll also get the opportunity to sample their Game menu dishes.

The game meat used at Kaiserhaus is sourced from sustainable free-ranging farms in Europe. These farms boast vast expanses of land, allowing the animals to forage on a natural diet, thus improving the quality and flavours of the meat. People who don’t like strong flavours tend to shy away from game meat, thinking game to be reeking of animal smell. Personally, the game dishes I tried at Kaiserhaus are not so exotic tasting that you need to steel yourself in advance. In fact, it is a good thing to have more flavourful meats, why would you want bland tasting food? (Can never understand people who say lamb tastes “lamby”, well don’t eat meat then?!)

Kaiserhaus - Ungarische Entenleber (Linguine in lemon butter sauce with Hungarian duck liver, drizzled with a trifle of cranberry glace) $25

Ungarische Entenleber (Linguine in lemon butter sauce with Hungarian duck liver, drizzled with a trifle of cranberry glace) $25

Doesn’t strike me as a game dish, but nevertheless a very good version of duck liver aka foie gras. I seldom come across duck liver served with pasta, but it was a very good idea to pair the 2 together as they complimented each other very well, with the tart and sweet cranberry glace helping to cut through the greasiness.

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