OH MY OMAKASE!

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Click here to listen/ download podcast of this week’s oishii episode!

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Greetings Gluttons! Brace your bellies because this week, we bring you a multi-course experience that’s filling, affordable and absolutely delicious. Add an affable, entertaining Japanese chef and you have a wonderful, leisurely night out! Our Makan Kaki Wendy Foo of Ryan’s Grocery recommends a place she loves and has been visiting for years, especially on date night with he husband. Matsuo Restaurant has an excellent omakase experience which you must try. Here’s a sample of what Chef Hiroyuki Matsuo might serve you and rest assured everything will be super-fresh and beautifully prepared.

Pickles, Radish & Garlic
Appetizer of marinated salmon roe, tamago egg & eel, seaweed with wasabi and deep fried silver fish
Dried baby sardine & puffer fish
sashimi platter

Salad
Grilled Thornyhead Fish
Fish sperm
Grilled Wagyu Beef
Sushi Platter
Chef Hiroyuki Matsuo

You have the added bonus of the very entertaining chef-owner, who has been in Singapore for decades and speaks fluent Singlish and Hokkien! Wendy says chatting with him is always a pleasure  and definitely adds to the whole dining experience. He’s also very obliging – happy to serve more of what you require, like sashimi, for instance!

By the way, Matsuo doesn’t just offer Omakase, you can also order off their ala carte menu and do consider returning for their wonderful, amply portioned Chirashi Don & Sushi Set Lunches going for $20 & under!

TASTE:
Matsuo Restaurant
1 Goldhill Plaza #01-17 S(308899)
Open Daily: Mon – Sat 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM & 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Sun 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Tel: 63562603

Kway Chap & Ramen with a Michelin Connection

Hello Foodie Friends!

We have another new Makan Kaki to get acquainted with and chances are, you’re already well-acquainted with his delicious smash-style hamburgers. Meet creator of Omakase Burger and owner of Picnic Food Park, Cheng Hsin Yao!

As a self-confessed food geek, he’s super into R&D, perfecting recipes and finding the next big food thing – enter Seizan Uni Ramen, the latest addition to his Picnic Food Park family. Seizan is a 2-Michelin Starred Omakase restaurant in Tokyo and the same dashi used there is now being used to make bowls of decadent uni ramen here in Singapore (scroll all the way down for details)! But first, let’s get to know Hsin Yao and his food obsessions…

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Hsin Yao adores his comfort food & so when he dines out, he likes to keep it simple – it’s all about places that are good for the heart and good for the soul. Case-in-point, this hawker stall he’s been eating at since he was seven years old.

To-Ricos Kway Chap at Old Airport Road food centre has been a long-time stalwart & recently hit the headlines when the Michelin guide gave it a Bib Gourmand mention earlier this year. This is a well-deserved accolade that Hsin Yao whole-heartedly agrees with. He believes that this is by far the best Kway Chap in Singapore.

Why? First of all, the sheer level of execution when it comes to the preparation of all the innards – stomach, skin, intestines & more – is such a labour of love to clean all the innards well and To-Ricos does a great job. Secondly, it tastes phenomenal. Here, in one saucy, braised bowl of piggy parts, you get a perfect lesson in balance – salt, heat and acidity all come together beautifully.

Continue reading “Kway Chap & Ramen with a Michelin Connection”

Ra-Ra for Ramen!

Meet our new Foodie Friend, Head Chef at Jamie’s Italian (Vivocity), Ashley Lim! First of all, with the sad news of the branches in England going into administration, the good news for Singapore foodies is that it’s business as usual at both Jamie’s Italian outlets here. As such, Chef Ashley and his team continue to serve their customers with passion and pride.

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In our interview:

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As a first recommendation, Chef  Ashleyshares with us his favourite Japanese noodle place in Singapore. This might be a point of contention for ramen lovers, because everyone has their go-to restaurant, but in his humble opinion, he thinks Sanpoutei has the best ramen in Singapore. This Japanese ramen chain is always reliable and has different options for noodle-lovers. Continue reading “Ra-Ra for Ramen!”

Amazing Akashi & Ebi Tempura Maki Mono!

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How lucky we are in Singapore to have such great access to great Japanese produce & spectacular Japanese restaurants. And while there are a good many top quality Japanese restaurants that specialize in one thing, from Ramen to Sashimi, there is something to be said about this week’s recommendation.  Our Makan Kaki Chef Ming Tan‘s go-to Japanese restaurant, while not a specialist eating place, still manages to serve up a whole variety of really solid dishes, whether it’s a hot bowl of Gyudon (Udon, sliced beef in broth) or Chirashi or Sushi that you want.

Akashi is an old stalwart that has been around for a good amount of time, delivering consistent quality across the board, yet is still accessible and won’t break the bank. Time and again, Chef Ming is impressed by Akashi’s ability to please and surprise with the quality of the produce they obtain and he is always happy and satisfied when he dines there.

Continue reading “Amazing Akashi & Ebi Tempura Maki Mono!”

Tantalising Tonkatsu


He’s back! Chef Daniel Tay, who was last here in 2015 during Chinese New Year, returns with more goodies to share. His family bakery, Old Seng Choong, has a newly-opened store at Clarke Quay Central (Eu Tong Sen St), where you can try before you buy! Some of the yummy things on offer include Hae Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts and cookies in a myriad of local flavours, ranging from Putu Mayam & Gula Melaka to Satay & Cereal Prawn. Take home some delicious Nian Gao, Red Date & Yam Cakes, all in time for Chinese New Year! But for his first recommendation in 3 years, Chef Daniel wants to share his favourite place for Japanese breaded pork dish, Tonkatsu.

Continue reading “Tantalising Tonkatsu”

Special-Occasion Japanese Omakase

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Click here to listen to this week’s episode!

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Just in time for Mothers’ Day this Sunday, here’s a suggestion for a restaurant that will certainly pamper Mum in everyway – from the surroundings, to the service, to the food. Take our Makan Kaki, Chef Tim Ross-Watson‘s word for it – he’s proclaimed Hashida Japanese at Mandarin Gallery as one of, if not THE MOST, memorable meals. Chef Tim admits that he rarely says anything is amazing and is very picky, so trust him when he says this will be one of the most exquisite meals you’ll have. It’s definitely fine-dining, special occasion food, but so worth the money you pay for the quality of the entire experience.

Hashida is an Omakase restaurant and the first to be opened outside of its original home in Tokyo, headed by Master Sushi Chef, Tokio Hashida. Chef Hashida makes regular trips to oversee his restaurant here in Singapore, and if you’re lucky enough as Chef Tim was to have him serve you, you’re in for a sublime treat! Chef Tim’s most distinct memory of his meal at Hashida is when Chef Hashida pulled out the most enormous slab of the freshest Tuna Belly (or Otoro) from under his counter and expertly extracted a huge slice (almost as big as his mobile phone!), which he then gently laid on a tiny ball of sushi rice. These are fish-to-rice ratios that Chef Tim was impressed with. Otoro is the premium part of the tuna belly, fatty and melt-in-your-mouth, looking almost like a slab of marbled beef. Lots of white, with hints of pink. Stunning. This Hashida Sushi Signature is a must-try! Everything is exquisite to look at and taste, yet clean and simple. Even something as basic as Chawanmushi (steamed egg tofu) is elevated.

From start to finish, you will be well-taken care of at Hashida. The interiors are calming, zen and very pristine. The counter seats are comfortable and at just the right height , the service is impeccable and of course, the food outstanding. The Omakase menu changes seasonally, but rest assured you get the very best quality of produce and dish after dish of beautiful food that runs the gamut from sashimi to sushi to noodles, shellfish and meat, all washed down with copious amounts of sake!

Dinners are elaborate and luxurious, but if you prefer, lunch is also a lot of fun, as the chefs engage in a lot of banter with customers for a thoroughly enjoyable, lively experience.

TASTE:
HASHIDA SUSHI SINGAPORE
333A Orchard Road
#04-16 Mandarin Gallery
S(9238897)

Open Tues – Sunday 12-3pm; 7-10pm (Closed Mondays)

Tel: 6733 2114

Where a Japanese Chef goes for Good Sushi in Singapore

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Listen to this week’s super-fresh sushi-laden episode here!

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shiraishiHot on the heels of his recent Michelin Star, Terra Tokya-Italian Restaurant’s Chef-Owner Seita Nakahara returns to recommend his favourite Japanese restaurant in Singapore. And when a Japanese chef recommends another Japanese restaurant, it should be pretty darned good, no?

According to Chef Seita, Shiraishi at the Ritz Carlton is the best, for its seasonal produce, which means the menu changes often and you’re guaranteed different dishes prepared with only the freshest Japanese ingredients. That means Chef Seita returns often for a taste of chef-owner Mr Shiraishi Shinji’s exquisite specialty Edomae Sushi and sashimi, straight from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. A quick word on Edomae cuisine – the sushi consists mainly of fish (like tuna, bonito, halibut, sea eel and shell fish) caught off the waters of Edo (Old Tokyo). Back then, the lack of refrigeration called for sushi chefs to get creative with various preservation methods, including using sauce, vinegar, ginger and wasabi on the fish, not only to add delicious flavours, but also to prevent the raw fish from spoiling too quickly.

Chef Shiraishi continues this proud tradition at his restaurant, which has been going strong for over a decade now in Singapore. Our Makan Kaki Chef Seita’s absolute favourite dish at Shiraishi is the deceptively basic and simple Negitoro-maki, or tuna roll. Chef Seita says that the tuna, leek, wasabi, rice and seaweed are all perfectly balanced and whilst one order is enough, he finds himself ordering it again and again at one sitting because it’s that good!

As we head into Autumn, Chef Seita urges you to look out for the seasonal Matsutake Mushrooms, which are wonderful in a soup or simply grilled for a delicately fragranced meal. Shiraishi update their menus often, so do check their website for specials and make a reservation soon for their sublime Alacarte, Set Lunches or Kaiseki Dinners.

TASTE:
SHIRAISHI
#03-01/02, Ritz Carlton Hotel, 7 Raffles Avenue, 039799
Open Daily: Lunch 12:00 -2:30pm; Dinner 6:00 – 10:30pm
Tel: +65 63383788

Super-Fresh Tokyo-Italian

denise & chef seita

Denise & Chef Seita Nakahara

Hello Makan Kakis, Denise here. A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to dine at Terra Tokyo-Italian, helmed by chef-owner Seita Nakahara, and what a special meal it was!

Chef Seita spent his teens in Singapore before working in restaurants across Tokyo, Florence, Sicily & Torino, honing his skills in Italian cuisine. His style of Italian cooking focuses on only the very freshest produce he can source directly from fishermen and farmers in Japan & Italy, which he then prepares with a very light Japanese touch, allowing the natural flavours of his ingredients shine through.

  • Listen to Chef Seita on The Lunchtime Jukebox talking about his food philosophy and restaurant here.
  • Listen to Chef talk about his culinary roots and what kind of food he enjoys going out to eat when he’s not cooking for others.

From his humble beginnings in the kitchen helping his mother, to his training across Italy, Chef Seita’s approach to food is always to keep everything simple, without using a lot of spices or herbs to cover the flavours or fragrance – something he says he learnt from those hours spent cooking with mum. The affable, ever-so-polite Chef Seita’s love for the food and his passion is evident in the sublime plates of food that emerged from the kitchen.

His Omakase menu changes all the time, depending on the seasonal produce available and out of his creative mind, Chef Seita keeps things exciting for his customers – he enjoys being surpised and surprising diners – that’s why he will never serve you the same thing if you are a returning guest (not unless you insist, of course!).

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Service is wonderful, with very friendly staff, who are patient and careful to explain everything that has gone into each dish you are served. Your meal begins with two things:

  1. A  box of fresh ingredients presented with a flourish, so you know what you’re going to be eating, and…

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2. A really delicious homemade foccacia bread, served hot with a porcini mushroom butter I wanted (and did) to eat on its own!

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I have to say after that lovely start, nothing I was served afterwards disappointed. In fact, everything was eye-rollingly tasty – check out what else was on the menu when I dined at Terra Tokyo-Italian:

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The Uni bruschetta is the perfect embodiment of Chef Seita’s food concept – bringing the best of Japanese & Italian together – generous little mountains of fresh sea urchin jiggling atop crisp toasted bread.

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Super-fresh shellfish – Akagai, okagai, Hokkaido asparagus, cherry tomato drizzled with dill sauce.
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Another one of my favourites (and this is saying alot because I’m not a fan of tomato sauces) – the Ise bay spiny lobster linguine. Perfectly portioned, the handmade pasta was also perfectly al dente and coated in a rich, yet not cloying tomato sauce. It was light yet creamy was complemented by a succulently-sweet grilled lobster from Japan’s Ise Bay.
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Score! Managed to scoop out the lobster meat in one whole juicy chunk! And you can bet I sucked out all the briny juices from that lobster head – sooo yummaaay!

IMG_0349Ama-dai tile fish with Mediterranean sauce, Hokkaido shaved button mushroom, Japanese bamboo shoost with crispy fish skin.
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Tender Tochigi beef with mushroom sauce, charred Japanese cabbage, mustard and chives & caramelised onion – really clean, simple and absolutely satisfying, The beefy flavour really comes through thanks to Chef Seita’s delicate touch.
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Homemade Tiramisu with Japanese strawberries – an appropriate end to my Tokyo-Italian experience. This Tiramisu was again, perfectly-portioned, not too sweet and very light.

Chef Seita’s very Japanese sensibility truly shines through in his respect for his ingredients and his guests and I can’t recommend Terra more if you love Italian Cuisine but want something surprising, very fresh and light. The Omakase Menu is tailored to suit your dietary restrictions and you can choose the number of courses you enjoy. I had 7 courses (possibly more), but so light was Chef’s touch, I didn’t walk out of Terra feeling uncomfortably full, just very satisfied and with a huge smile on my face!

TERRA
54 Tras St
Singapore 078993

Open Hours:
Mon – Fri 12:00 pm-2:00 pm, 6:30 pm-10:00 pm
Sat 6:30 pm-10:00 pm

Phone: 6221 5159