Posts Tagged ‘Tanjong Pagar’

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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Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl – Let the chef decide what you should eat!

Choice can be a double-edged sword if you haven’t a clue what it is that you desire. Leaving the decision making to the chef when you’re at a restaurant and thinking of what to eat, in this case can actually pay off.

At Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan, instead of choosing off a menu, diners are invited to cross out what ingredients they would like to avoid. The entire meal will then be left to the chefs to prepare and serve based on the freshest produce of the day. The Japanese have a term for it, “omakase”. And yes, the chefs, not the waiters will serve you so that they can explain to you the inspiration behind their creations.

I had the privilege of checking out Chef’s Table some time back and I must say that the food served is indeed delicious, innovative and stylishly presented. Even the fish dish was delicious to me, and I am usually very fussy about fish as it tends to be too dry or stringy. So it did seem like the gamble to leave it all up to the chef paid off.

The only issue I have is with the pricing. For our 6 course meal costing $128++, I would have expected some sort of a steak for one of the courses to make the entire meal feel more substantial. Although there was a veal dish, the veal was diced into cubes, which doesn’t give the same impact.

Scroll down for pictures of the meal we had.

Chef's Table by Stephan Zoisl - Crabmeat

The meal was off to a good start with this crab dish that was just bursting with flavour, literally from the salmon roe, to the juicy diced cucumbers and the sweet crab flesh, helped along with a gazpacho sauce of cucumber and yoghurt.

Chef's Table by Stephan Zoisl - Hamachi (1)

The first of the two fish dishes, the hamachi was lightly seared on the outside while still being raw on the inside, allowing its freshness to be tasted.

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Roosevelt Cafe at Outram

Previously, it was quaint and delightful to be able to chance upon new cafes located in off the beaten path locations, the more hidden, the better. But sometimes, you just want a cafe conveniently and centrally located for days when you just can’t be bothered to travel so far. One such cafe comes to mind, Roosevelt Cafe situated at Dorset Residences Hotel, just outside the Outram MRT station exit (NE Line). The location is quite hard to beat, but in the several times that I’ve been there, it’s never seen a full crowd, which is a pity in my opinion.

Roosevelt Cafe (2)

Well the fact that Roosevelt cafe is not on most cafe hopper’s radar, is also the reason why I love being able to spend quiet afternoons at Roosevelt, sipping my cuppa without having to worry about knocking into the neighbouring diner’s elbow, or having someone breathe down my back in the hopes that I’d vacate the seat faster. I like the tasteful decor at Roosevelt too. It has a bit of a motoring theme, but thankfully no more of that nostalgic old school decor, which frankly is getting so common it’s almost irritating.

I also like it that Roosevelt’s menu is quite wide, with choices ranging from various permutations of eggs benedict, to waffles, to pastas, sandwiches and mains. I don’t know about you but it sucks whenever I encounter a cafe with like only 2 items on the menu.

Roosevelt Cafe - Ham and Triple Cheese Waffles with smoked ham, mozarella, cheddar and parmesan $14 (2)

Ham and Triple Cheese Waffles with smoked ham, mozarella, cheddar and parmesan $14

Roosevelt has a nice lunch deal going on where if you get the sandwiches or the mains, the coffee is on the house. It’s not just the black coffee, but also all the coffees in their menu such as lattes and cappucinos, without any additional cost. So for something like $12, you could get lunch and coffee, quite a decent deal I must say.

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Burlamacco Ristorante

2 year old Burlamacco is one of those restaurants where I would genuinely love to return again to sample more of what the restaurant has to offer. I was glad to have the opportunity to dine there on a Sunday afternoon. Not many people think of going to the CBD area on a weekend, let alone a Sunday. Those who work in the CBD would probably abhor the thought, but you will be rewarded for coming to this part of town as you will be able to enjoy a laid-back, slow-paced and more personal atmosphere which you simply wouldn’t get on a bustling weekday. Oh and did I mention that there are no ERP charges on Sunday and parking is a breeze?

Burlamacco Ristorante

The Partner and I were the 1st to arrive for lunch at the restaurant, so we had the luxury of picking the best seats in the house. I like the cheery decor of Burlamacco, as well as the pictures of clowns decorating the restaurant. This restaurant in a conservation shop house row boasts a skylight, which allows natural light to permeate the restaurant. Just in case you were wondering, Burlamacco refers to the clown-like figure which presides over the carnival in the Tuscan town of Viareggio, and is the town’s mascot.

Burlamacco - Crostata - Chocoalte Tart Eruption with Vanilla Ice Cream $16 (1)

As always, before I delve right into the what we sampled at Burlamacco, let me first tempt you with a picture of the decadent molten chocolate tart we tried. Yes, you heard me right, MOLTEN chocolate tart, a first for me and for many people I’m sure. Click Read More to find out more!

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Drury Lane Cafe

Drury Lane is one of the most recent cafes to open in Singapore. It’s located along Tanjong Pagar Street (next to the Duxton Hill area), but it’s easy to miss it as they don’t really have a big sign to say that they’re there. Many soon to be married couples will be familiar with Tanjong Pagar street as that’s where the most number of wedding bridal studios are located. The restaurants and cafes are mostly on the opposite side of the street facing the bridal studios. It’s a pity that the brides to be are unlikely to be found gorging themselves on the good food easily available there!

If Drury Lane sounds familiar, that’s because it is a famous street in London with much history. You can read more about Drury Lane’s history here, such as it being the location of the 1st Sainsbury store. The most notable landmark residing on Drury Lane now is the Theatre Royal, which has been there since the 17th century. For me, Drury Lane is more than just Theatre and stories of rebellion and gin palaces. For me, my 1st thought when I heard about the new Drury Lane cafe in Singapore was, did the owners previously hail from the London School of Economics? This is my most vivid memory of Drury Lane because when I was still a poor student visiting London, I bunked in with my friend at her LSE hostel next to Drury Lane. 2 girls squeezing onto the same single bed in a bid to save money. Ah well, memories of my younger days.

Drury Lane - Flat White $4 (1)

Flat White $4.50

Nowadays I don’t expect to be served a bad cup of coffee anymore. Thanks to the intense competition amongst all the new cafes that have opened in Singapore recently, its easy to get a good cup of java. I can almost safely say that most of the new cafes that have opened in recent months do serve good coffees.

Drury Lane - Cloud 9 $10 (1)

Cloud 9 – Fluffy cream cheese pancakes with daily fruit compote $10

The Partner ordered the fluffy pancakes and proclaimed it to be very good. You know a lot of cafes will have menus listing their pancakes to be fluffy, and the reality is that they are rather flat. I’m glad to report these pancakes from Drury Lane were really fluffy, like at least 1 cm thick! The daily fruit compote and sliced pears were delicious too and the Partner polished the entire dish.

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