Posts Tagged ‘tonkatsu’

Ginza Bairin–Where to find great Tonkatsu!

Living in the East, I was really in two minds as to whether to accept this invitation to try out a new Tonkatsu restaurant at JCube in Jurong. Mention Jurong to us Easties and it’s akin to telling us to travel to Malaysia! Well almost. So I had really high expectations of Ginza Bairin, and to cut the story short, I have to say Ginza Bairin does a mean Tonkatsu!

Ginza Bairin boasts an illustrious 85 year history. Established in 1927 by Nobukatsu Shibuya, Ginza Bairin was the very 1st Tonkatsu restaurant ever launched in Ginza Japan. And get this, it appears Ginza Bairin “invented” the Katsu Sandwich decades ago, when there was a severe shortage of rice after World War II. Today, it is helmed by Masaya Shibuya, the great grandson and 3rd generation owner of Ginza Bairin.

I didn’t know about all this before I tried the dishes and I was thinking to myself, wow this is pretty good. I mean the place looks pretty casual, maybe slightly better than a fast food outlet, yet the food was vastly different!

***Special promotional teaser right at the bottom of this post. Don’t miss it!***

Ginza Bairin’s Special Katsu Don (Pork Katsu) Awarded No. 1 Donburi in Japan - Copy

Special Katsudon (1958/Apr) – $16.50

The Special Katsudon was one of the dishes we tried. You don’t even need to eat it to tell that it is more unique than the usual Katsudon because instead of just pork and omelette, there is a sunny side up waiting for you too! Why I have not come across any other restaurant doing Katsudon this way baffles me because now I think I’m ruined for all Katsudon without sunny side ups!

Needless to say, the additional egg incorporated more flavour to the already flavourful dish. The pork was very tender and juicy, without tasting oily as Katsu don can sometimes be due the batter. The rice was also piping hot and fluffy. Is it any wonder that this dish was awarded the No1 Donburi in Japan?

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Daikokuya at myVillage

*Part Bloggers’ Invite, part secret visits*

As part of the not so long ago invite to sample the delights of myVillage at Serangoon Gardens, the best of the best Singapore Food Bloggers including 365days2play 🙂 got acquainted with Daikokuya at myVillage. It’s one of the smallest restaurants I’ve ever seen, with about 10 tables of 4! It can get a little cramped if you are in a big group. We were introduced to the the Chef, who explained that the miso paste used in the soup stock is painstakingly made with great care.

Little bowls of ramen were then dished out for us to try. I normally am quite picky with ramen. Many ramen places disappoint me with their bland and lifeless soup. True to what Daikokuya’s Chef was describing, the ramen that we tried that day, I believe is the Stamina Ramen as well as the Original Miso Ramen, was very delicious. The soups tasted rich and had an oomph. I don’t really know how else to describe it except to say that the taste makes you want to keep slurping up more, which I suppose is the ultimate taste test.

So I kinda had pretty high hopes when I brought my parents to try out Daikokuya several weeks after the media event. Unfortunately, because we’re such ardent fans of Sushi Tei for it’s quality sushi/sashimi and value for money prices, we naturally compared Daikokuya to Sushi Tei. Scroll through the photos to read more about our experience.

Daikokuya - Daikokuya Original Salad Daikokuya - Daikokuya Original Salad (2)

Daikokuya Original Salad $7.90 – Salad of salmon slices, avocados amongst a huge bed of vegetables. For $7.90, we were quite wowed by the size of the salad. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy. The light sauce also tasted very nice and was a refreshing difference from the heavier sushi tei dressing we are used to. However, we felt that the amount of salmon served was pretty paltry. For $3 more at Sushi Tei, we would have been able to get many more thick slices.

Daikokuya - Stamina Ramen

Stamina Ramen – This was one of the ramen we tried during the media invite. Don’t you think the little bowl looks so cute? In western restaurants, they have mixed platters for you to try out all the house specialities. I think it would be great if Daikokuya could come up with something similar. Like 4 bowls of small ramen. I would love to try that. Then I can finally taste Shio, Shoyu, and Miso soup bases all in 1 sitting.  Btw I think Stamina ramen is only available at the myVillage outlet.

 Daikokuya - Homemade Special Miso PasteDaikokuya - Special Chilli Vinegar

Homemade Special Miso Paste plus the special chilli vinegar which you can add to your ramen to up the oomph.

Daikokuya - Vegetable Miso Ramen

Vegetable Miso Ramen $12.80 – You know, I’ve never heard of ramen without any meat before. Was quite apprehensive when ordering this, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I forgot to ask if the stock is vegetarian as well, but it sure tasted very rich and flavourful despite that. The vegetables had a nice crunch and added sweetness to the broth. For those who don’t fancy chomping on Cha shu, this vegetable miso ramen would be a good option.

Daikokuya - Original Miso Ramen

Daikokuya Original Ramen $13.80 – I have no complaints about the broth. It’s really flavourful and makes you want to take sip after sip after sip. It is on the heavy side so I wasn’t able to finish it all in the end. However, I didn’t like the noodle texture. I’ve always been a fan of the springy Q Q type of noodles (think Marutama and Tom Ton) and the one at Daikokuya is the chewy type.

Daikokuya - Seafood Shio Ramen

Seafood Shio Ramen $13.80 – Don’t believe you can get seafood ramen easily in Singapore? It’s a refreshing change although there was nothing particularly spectacular about the prawns in this case.

Daikokuya - Unagi Don

Unagi Don $6.80 – Thought this was one of the most value for money items at Daikokuya, and especially good for light eaters.

Daikokuya - Tonkatsu and Ebi Fry Curry Rice

Daikokuya- Tonkatsu Curry Rice

Tonkatsu and Ebi Fry Curry Rice $14.80 – We had this on 2 separate occasions. The experience from the 1st time was pretty good. The meat itself is very tender and doesn’t taste oily even though it has been coated in batter and deep fried. The curry was also pretty tasty and together with the tonkatsu, made for a good meal. I would skip the Ebi Fry though as the prawns are super tiny when compared to the amount of batter used.

However, on the 2nd occasion, there seemed to be a weird taste coming from the curry. The weird taste was so strong it was detectable just by sniffing at the curry! The staff said it was due to the special blend of spices in the curry which we may not be used to. They gave us a new serving of curry but the weird taste was still there. As a hunch I took a sip from the glass of water I’d been served earlier, and the weird taste was there too, albeit less strong. I think perhaps Daikokuya should consider changing the dishwashing liquid used as it’s permeating through the food and drink?

Conclusion: Go because of the ramen. Other items in the menu are a hit and miss.

Check out all the other posts on myVillage!

Daikokuya Ramen Dining

Serangoon Garden:
1 Maju avenue #01-01, myVillage
Serangoon Garden Singapore 556679
Tel: 6509 1690
Operating Hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm daily

http://www.daikokuya.com.sg/

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