Botan Japanese Restaurant: Chef Thomas’ Special Signature Set!
Fans of veteran Chef Thomas Kok will know that our gallivanting chef has moved five times since I first wrote about him at Hokkaido sushi in 2011. And, I am not even his oldest fan, I’ve even met customers who have been following him since his Nanten days in the 80’s! Having been in the […]
Once in a while, you come across a restaurant that can be described as eccentric, and even slightly self serving. It's the type of restaurant that owes its existence to an owner who decides to open his own place because he can't find the food he wants to eat anywhere else!
The space vacated by Hashida sushi now occupied by Sushi Ayumu. It is still under the same ownership but its direction has shifted from Hashida’s progrssive style back to its Edomae roots where the emphasis is on teasing out the natural flavour of the produce rather than on creativity of the chef.
I first met Chef Thomas Kok in 2011 when he was the head chef at Hokkaido Sushi which was named "Best Japanese Restaurant" under his watch. At that time, I was starting to write my "Sushi Files" and it was with his help that I managed to document the different seafood used in sushi!
I don't know about you, but I find it more comfortable being served by a local sushi chef because of the language barrier I experience with Japanese chefs. When you are sitting at a sushi bar, being able to hold a conversation with the sushi chef is part and parcel of the whole sushi experience.
Unagiya Ichinoji: Miyagawa Honten’s First Unagi Restaurant in Singapore
If you recall, in my previous story of Singapore's love affair with the unagi, I talked about the impending shortage of unagi next year as fishermen reported a 80% decline in the catch rate for baby eels this season. The owners of Uya were just lamenting about the bad timing of the opening of their restaurant earlier this year. The last thing you would expect is for yet another new unagi restaurant to open in Singapore, right?
Japanese food used to be so exclusive. This was certainly the case when Shima opened its doors in 1980. At that time, it was the only Japanese restaurant in town, which is quite hard to believe, seeing today's vibrant Japanese food scene. But there was a time when the average Singaporean would balk at eating a slice of raw fish, not to mention paying a premium for food that doesn't even require any cooking! Those were the days when "chashoba" (green tea soba) could be mistaken for "cha siu bak" (roast pork)!
For those of you who have yet to experience uni, the most important tip I can give you is this: Good uni tastes like heaven, bad uni, like week old swill. So, unless you are a gustatory masochist, make sure you get your first taste of uni at a reputable Japanese sushi bar. It's really not worth gagging over bad uni, no matter what price you pay for it!
Man Man Unagi Restaurant: Live Eels Grilled over Charcoal!
I never used to enjoy unagi (fresh water eels) until I came across one which was live-killed and freshly grilled over charcoal. It was that moment of epiphany when I suddenly realized what the fuss was all about!
The California roll was created over five decades ago in Los Angeles by Chef Ichiro Mashita who substituted tuna with avocado during the tuna off-season. He thus started the American sushi revolution which soon gave rise to sushi rolls named after the other states. In Seattle, they made their rolls out of smoked salmon and called it, surprise surpise, the Seattle roll. The Philadelphia roll had cream cheese in it and in New Mexico the sushi roll gets spiced up with chillies!
We have all come across eateries which we regard as “hidden gems” before. These are places that serve really good food but are not well known. There are a whole host of reasons why these gems remain undiscovered. It could be because of its location, poor marketing or simply that it is serving food that […]
What is oden? The typical Singaporean response would be: “Oh, it’s Japanese yong tau foo!” In some ways it is true because a lot of the items in oden are made from fish paste and tofu and cooked in a soup. However, unlike yong tau foo, the tofu is not really 酿 (niang=stuffed) which is […]