yumeya, mohammad sultan road

sorry for the hiatus, but it’s been a mad, mad world. this place is a cozy little eatery down along mohammed sultan road, where there are actually plenty of japanese and korean places to choose from, just like this one: narrow, tiny, and earnest.

the food was surprisingly enjoyable, with a large (for this place) menu to choose from and dishes that hovered above the average mark.

and, as a reason for coming back, generous with the tobiko.

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kai, plaza singapura

surprisingly decent, sort of (maybe slightly better than) middling conveyor-belt standard sushi at this (almost hole-in-the-wall) Japanese cafe (diner?) at the basement of plaza singapura.

it’s quite a lot of qualification in that single paragraph, but this place was a better meal than I thought it would have been – and is a brilliant showcase of how Singapore’s space-intensification (or, turning corridors into store spaces) churns out a useful product from nothing.

I’m not quibbling over wasabi paste (I never do, actually) or anything fancy here – it’s a quick stop for a Japanese craving, and a satisfying one at that. service is brisk and helpful, and the small space renders the counter seats the best choice (for comfort and privacy).

I’ve found that at places like this, your best bet is often the oyako/ tonkatsu/ pick-your-meat don. at worst, the meat gets dry or tough, but the sweet broth and egg improves things regardless. and that proved right here – though of a slightly wetter variant, it was a bowl of comfort.

even the sashimi was fresh and sliced decently (no dodgy cuts here), which was most surprisingly (highest potential for failure, you know).

it’s a pretty cheap meal, and definitely an option if you’re in the area (also because there isn’t a sushi tei around).

Kai Sushi & Grill
#B2-33/34 Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road
Singapore 238839
tel +65 9455 3953
$$: 10-25 per person

rakuzen japanese restaurant, millenia walk

decent japanese food at this place I’ve seen frequently touted as good-value and decent quality, both compliments I agree with. I did imagine, however, that the place was a rather more high-end establishment (perhaps on the same level as sushi kuu) – but it’s more akin to a (slightly more) refined sushi tei.

the comparison with that latter establishment is further promulgated when you realise just how similar (almost suspiciously so, as I whipped out the phone to check if they belonged to the same group – no evidence to this though) the menus are in terms of font and choice.

worth the slightly higher prices? yes, if only for variety.

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kuro kin japanese dining, turf city

good japanese food at this hideaway in turf city, pretty much fine-dining but in a family-friendly environment. I was quite impressed with the food that arrived at our table – sashimi is cut thick and meaty, sushi is rolled to expert-looking balls of rice below torched toppings, and cooked food do decently too.

there’s been a spate of restaurants at this price point recently – and by that I mean middle and upper – and they all do pretty good food at prices more approachable than you’d get with the masters. If I had to pick the closest competitor to this place, it would be sushi goshin.

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sushi kuu, orchard

fantastic fine-dining japanese at this quiet corner in the oh-so-posh palais renaissance.

but first, sorry about the quiet! it’s been a couple nights of post-work preparation for my final driving theory test – and I’m pleased (and you probably worried) to be one step closer to being an adult, license and all.

it makes me feel celebratory – and I wish I could have capped it off with dinner at this exquisite little japanese place.

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sushi tei, town

good japanese chain outlet at the top of the raffles city shopping mall. so you must know by now that sushi tei is one of our favourite places – it’s become our regular hangout for decently reliable food at reasonable prices, and this was the first time we made it to the raffles city branch. this outlet isn’t anything particularly special, but we made quite a few good choices on the menu this time (instead of sticking to our regular orders) and I’d like to share. just because I’m nice like that.

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aoki restaurant, town

really awesome mazechirashi, and alright sushi at a small restaurant to the back of shaw house. I’ve now had lunches at the two  famed value-for-money-but-really-expensive-otherwise japanese powerhouses, tatsuya and aoki, and while the quality of the food is definitely really high at both establishments, I came away pretty underwhelmed. I’m not saying this is a fair judgement by any means – they and their techniques might probably shine at dinner or with fancier (read: more expensive) courses, but there is something to be said about getting something great for a reasonable amount of money, and I’m not completely sure these places do it for me.

before I quibble, the quality of the ingredients were pretty high, the flavours were clean and bright – I suppose I expected to be blown away, but that didn’t really happen. that mazechirashi is worth returning for though.

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straits cafe at the rendezvous hotel, town

decent buffet at the rather-maligned and surprisingly well-kept rendezvous hotel on the edge of city hall. forgive the ill-plated dishes and rather mis-matched presentation – a buffet is very difficult to photograph, and made especially so because each dish is a representation of what your companions really want to it and let’s face it, it ain’t always pretty.

I don’t think much of this hotel – in fact, I don’t even think about this hotel at all. it’s always struck me as being a little old and dingy, and very forgettable – it used to at least be useful as a landmark for that area, but what with the singapore management university moving there, it’s lost that merit too. however, upon coming here, I realized that’s rather a misconception. the hotel is surprisingly new (I wouldn’t use modern for it’s done up in a rather traditional way), with quite a few eateries peppering its compound.

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sushi tei, serangoon (take 2)

I know I promised to share the recipe for sesame cake (so yum) with you, but let me just renege on that and show you some better quality photos of the food at sushi tei, which is one of my favourite japanese places in singapore to dine at. I know that many people sort of toss their heads at the mention of sushi tei as having good food – even my mother does – but I do not think I’ve visited another restaurant as frequently as I do this chain, and for good reason too.

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