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!
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 […]
I first met Kenjiro "Hatch" Hashida back in 2013 when he had just opened Hashida Sushi at level two of the Mandarin Gallery. I was at once smitten by his vintage anago tsume (sauce) which has an unbroken lineage of over 135 years!
With its harsh winters, remote location and pristine waters, Hokkaido has gained quite a reputation as a treasure trove of fresh food and ingredients. If you are talking milk, simply add the "Hokkaido" tag in front of it and it becomes super-excellent milk. Same goes with uni, potatoes, corn, rice, wagyu and many other ingredients!
It wasn't so long ago that a photo of well marbled Wagyu beef would have caused ooohhhs and ahhhs and at least a few hundred LIKES on Facebook. In fact, when I started writing in 2006, we didn't even have Japanese Wagyu. In those days, Australian Wagyu was just making its debut in Singapore and it was already causing quite a stir amongst the local gastronomes.
Hoshino coffee is one of the few cafes which I frequent quite regularly. The dark wood decor and wait staff dressed in black and white has that touch old school quirkiness about it which I really like. My usual order is a portion of the pot baked curry rice followed by the vanilla souffle and a pot of tea.