Sunday, 25 June 2017

Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka

Finally! It's the long weekends!!! Saturyays are always my favourite day of the week. Especially after being bogged down with loads of work for the past two weeks... I felt like going on a play and eat rampage over this long break. So I dragged Vain Pot (who has been working crazy hours) out on a shopping spree in Orchard and we both felt much sated going home with our bags of shopping and a delicious dinner.

Dinner was spent at Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka, one of the many authentic Japanese cuisines in Japan Food Town. It serves a wide variety of freshly made sushi, tempura and cooked food. I've been having a Jap food craze the entire week, and this visit very much satisfied the craving. According to the website, Takewaka first opened its doors 28 years ago in Tsukiji, Japan. Known for fresh fish and seafood, Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka specialises in Endo-style sushi prepared by Chef Kawashima.

I'd be upfront and honest, I haven't been to sufficient authentic Japanese establishments to comment on the technical execution of the food. We kicked started our meal with the Anago Oshi-Sushi ($37) which is basically pressed conger eel sushi. It's without a doubt fresh and well seasoned. As someone who likes loads of wasabi on my food, I found it a little difficult to fully enjoy my meal due to the lack of 'wasabi flare up my nose effect'. Perhaps this is how real wasabi should taste like? I'm not sure. Did I enjoy the eels? I still did!

We also ordered a Takumi set ($45). This is made up of the chef's selection of assorted sushi with one medium fatty tuna included. The set also comes with dessert, chawamushi and a hot bowl of miso soup. When served, we were greeted with glittery and shiny surfaces of the assorted fishes. This is a good sign of freshness. We were asked whether we wanted the wasabi included in the sushi or at the side and I requested for the wasabi to be included in the sushi and an additional one at the side. I guess again, my gripe was that I couldn't really taste much wasabi even when adding additional wasabi on the fish. The sushi on its own is really fresh, the meat nice and cold with each fish distinctive flavour unique to the other.

On top of the sushi galore, we added a cooked meat to our meal. The Samon Harasuyaki ($12), grilled salmon belly was selected. As a dish, it was well grilled, I liked it that the salmon oil complemented the dish making it tastier. The meat was soft and falls off the skin easily. It's tender and retains the juiciness in the meat. However, I was a little disappointed that I had one salmon belly instead of the two shown in the menu's photo. In my view, I interpret it as a form of misrepresentation to the consumer. In the evaluation of whether to order the dish in the first place with the consideration of the price in mind, one slice versus two slice makes a difference.

To sum up my visit, I'm of the view that you either go high end if you wish to pamper yourself or just go mass market. I feel that many middle ground establishments give a half baked experience. While I give it to Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka that the food is indeed fresh and the cooked food tasting great, the nitty gritty frowned upon details really were a downer. There's definitely a market for their existence given that the place was quite occupied at 6pm. I would recommend Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka for readers who wish to pamper themselves with fresh, well prepared Japanese food without spending a bomb and aren't too fussy over the entire dining experience. Service wise, they are definitely better than a lot of mass market establishments.

Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka
435 Orchard Road, Wisma Atria, Level 4, S238877
(On a side note, if you download the Japan Food Town app and is a first time visitor, you can redeem a 10% discount off your bill)

Sunday, 18 June 2017

South Union Park

This is another throwback post because I've been overwhelmed with work this week. Been so occupied, I'm reaching a point where I'm running out of food to write about or share. Oh well, a hobby is a hobby, work comes first...

I went to South Union Park in late April just before my Rome trip. Been wanting to write about this but week after week there're other food to share about. South Union Park loves experimenting with food and their menu changes often. I'm not even sure if the food shared is relevant anymore! What I love about this place is the lack of GST and service charge, ease to find parking and well the decently executed food up for grabs. I'm not sure about most of you, but I'm the sort who doesn't like a constant change in menu. You don't know what's the latest change and it might end up a wasted trip if the new menu doesn't suit your palette.

In any case, I kick started my meal with the Gnocchi ($20). This should be a favourite with vegetarian lovers. It's a form of doughy pasta cooked with herbs and mushroom which offers a unique taste that I find a little too saltish. Vain Pot loves it though. She kinda ignored her food and lord over mine.

Vain Pot settled for the ever popular Duck Confit Tagliatelle ($22) which survived the cull when they changed the menu. It's another very unique dish because I've never eaten anything like that. They cook the pasta with hazelnut sauce which offers a very different twist to the duck confit dishes I'm familiar with. It's nonetheless a decent meal but as a pasta lover, it's not gonna be my first choice elsewhere.

We shared the Passionfruit Carrot Fonda ($14) because we were feeling adventurous. I was heading to Rome that week hence decided I've got to be more open to trying new food. In any case, the dessert looks impressive but we both got difficulty appreciating the dish after the first bite. The dessert is made up of a white chocolate lava carrot cake with carrot sauce topped with a gigantic lump of yogurt. Honestly, it would be great if they did away with the yogurt or replace it with vanilla ice cream. The sourness of the yogurt tainted the good mix of carrot cake with white chocolate in my opinion. Very very weird dish.

Would I come back to South Union Park? I might give them another shot since they change their menu often. I do agree that this is a cafe of adventure that challenges your taste buds. Coupled with the fact that its easy to find parking and no gst or service charge, why not right? Visit this cafe with an open mind :)

South Union Park
101 Jalan Kembangan S419139

Sunday, 11 June 2017


It's been another eat and eat week for me. I spent TGIF buying LeCastella cheese cake and April's Bakery Thai tarts. I like the Thai Tarts a lot better than the cheese cake but I know of friends who like the opposite. There's a market for everything I guess. I spent my weekend indulging in Crabs at the ParkRoyal Hotel Spice Brasserie. They are having a Crab Buffet now till 30th June and it's much better than the Penang St Buffet at Causeway Point. Quite an affordable way to indulge in crabs. You can see photos of the Crab Buffet here.

This week, I'm doing a throwback post. Been wanting to write about VXX Co-operative because I enjoyed my experience there. This visit was actually done on the week where I came back from Rome but Food in Rome stole its limelight. VXX Co-operative is largely known for its coffee and affordable food. One of the key highlights of the place is the selection of roasted coffee they carry and if unsure, you can always get the staff to introduce some to you.

Vain Pot and I settled for two mains which we mutually agreed on. It's pretty much 'our kind of thing'. Our selection of Crab Omelette ($14) and Porcini Mac and Cheese ($17) really did give me a highly rated opinion of this place. At first glance, the Crab Omelette looks charred and overcooked. Taking a bite inside revealed chunks and chunks of generous Crab meat coated with soft fluffy egg. Pretty good value for money meal if you ask me. Of course, you have to manage your expectations because it's crab and it's $14. We bite into one or two bits of egg shell and the egg was indeed slightly charred. Nevertheless, I felt it was a fairly good omelette and I'm not complaining because I felt it's a much better deal than other more expensive crab omelettes.

The Porcini Mac and Cheese is also a winner. Its ingredients (scallops and caviar) are also nothing short of premium and at $17, its a real steal! The flavours are distinctively obvious in the dish. The scallop was well seared and goes very well with the mac and cheese. I also found the serving of caviar to be generous and added an extra oomph to the dish. This is on top of well executed Mac and Cheese which was just right, decent portions and not exceedingly cheesy till it's difficult to finish. You gotta order this when you come.

As much as I raved about the coffee, Vain Pot isn't much of a coffee person so we only shared a cup. I feel bad because the coffee was introduced to me at length but because of my over-excitement to talk about my Rome travels, it didn't quite register. I'll be back again to try the coffee once more and more importantly, there's a Reverse Affogato which I really want to try when I come back. Guess it goes without saying, I'm looking forward to another visit. The place isn't crowded because of its location and it's indeed not the easiest place to go if you don't drive.

20 Foch Road, S209261

Sunday, 4 June 2017


Just ended my badminton session a couple of hours ago to burn off some of the calories. This week, it's spectacles shopping week. I've kinda developed a habit of buying a new pair of spectacles every year and I spent my weekend at Nex specs window shopping. Did you know they have a total of 6 spectacles shops there? I bought a transition Ray Ban last year for my holidays and always thought the name was pronounced 'Ray Bun'. Just found out it's pronounced 'Ray Band' after taking some stick from my ever playful colleagues.

Prior to the trip, Vain Pot and I ate at Tsuta. The only one star Michelin Ramen place in Japan. Tried the Singapore branch at 18 Tai Seng. I've been wanting to try it since they came but managed to suppress the urge in order to avoid the queues. I still ended up queuing for about 15mins when I arrived at 2 plus in the afternoon.

The Ajitama Miso Soba ($17.80) [first pic] is exclusively found in the 18 Tai Seng branch. I found the broth really unique and so different from other ramen bowls I've eaten, I can't pin-point if its a good or bad thing. Just not used to it. I felt after adding the blob of chilli into the broth, the entire experience was much nicer because the spiciness added some familiarity to the dish. The parts that were especially enjoyable about the dish was the tamago egg which in my opinion was done excellently and the sliced char siew that comes with the dish. The char siew was cooked till tender, yet carried with it a degree of chewiness that is very different from other ramen places where the meat simply falls apart.

The Ajitama Shoyu Soba ($16.80) [second pic] is a crowd favourite at this Tsuta branch probably because of its black truffle broth. Just like the Miso Soba bowl, the egg and char siew were clear winners. Both bowls, the soba was very Q and portions were just right.

As a whole, I conclude that Tsuta's broth tend to be lighter in flavour. I've never been to Japan to ascertain if it's this how Japanese ramen should be. The char siew especially is very different from many other popular ramen establishments here. Would I come back? Not really and it's nothing to do with the food quality. It just happens that the location selected isn't at the most convenient of places and I don't crave for it enough to specially make a trip to eat it. I do feel it's worth at least one try because it's really different.

18 Tai Seng Street, #01-01 S539775