IPPIN Café Bar [Best Oyakodon in Singapore Yet]

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Finally, after a week of hectic events that required me to wake up 5.30am consecutively for the past week, I finally had some time to sleep-in and also rest my skin from all the heavy makeup. ?

Last month, I received a food-tasting invitation from Hazel who is IPPIN’s Ambassador of Buzz to try out their new menu. It was a non-obligatory invite which means that I’m not obligated to do a review of them… but honestly, their place was too nice for me to *not* write a review!

You see, they asked me over for a private dinner session where I got to pick anything I wanted…:

Sake

The dinner started off with an aperitif – sweet sake that remind me of choya.

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I must say though, the sheer variety of condiments is impressive, but at the same time, really confusing! I kept forgetting which is which despite being told a few times. ? Oops.

See the mayonnaise bottle which is hiding beside the sauce? It’s Kameya Food’s Wasabi Mayonnaise! And, it’s actually the real deal – ? not some cheap “wasabi” aka horseradish mixed with mayo.

Now, for the food – the real show-stopper of the night:

Oyakondon Set – $15 SGD

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I was told that this is IPPIN’s chef’s signature dish but it looks pretty normal at first look, doesn’t it?

So far, I haven’t had any Oyakondon (in Singapore) that impressed me.

But then, I tried a spoonful of it…

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The texture of the “rice” is different from most of the Oyakondon out there – it’s actually very wet and moist. The best part of it is that the rice was mixed with barley, giving it a slightly chewy texture.

Next up, meat – of course..:

Wasabi Salt / Garlic Soy Beef Steak Set – $25 SGD

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The very nicely done beef comes with rice, salad and fries.

This is actually where the fun part begins: Remember the ridiculously large variety of sauce above? Yeap! You’re free to customise your own beef steak with IPPIN’s Japanese condiments. Most of the condiments at IPPIN can only be bought there, as they actually hold the sole distributorship in Singapore to quite a number of Japanese brands!

Now, look at that mouth-watering piece of steak:

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Don’t you just want to sink your teeth into it?

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Just like in most Japanese restaurants in Japan, IPPIN serves red miso soup instead of the usual white/mixed miso soup we have in Singapore.

Their red miso is made with a natural production method by placing koji (soybeans) in a wooden barrel for two summers and two winters before it’s actually bought out for use.

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IPPIN really has a *huge* variety of awesome stuff – even for their Furikake for sprinkling on your rice, it comes in 3 different flavours!

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After trying all 3 out, my favourite would be their wasabi Furikake! I liked it so much that I wanted to purchase a whole pack (to sprinkle on my rice at home!) but they’re currently out-of-stock for it. ?

Cold Yuzu Noodles – $15 SGD

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One of the favourite summer dishes in Japan – Cold Noodles.

The noodles in this dish, however, is from the Tochigi Prefecture topped with Yuzu-scented sour soy sauce, vegetables, egg, ham and mini tofu.

We requested for a smaller portion for this dish because we are getting quite filled by the two huge mains already.

Rice Ball with Fish Confit – $5

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Onigiri – Rice ball made with pufferfish, tuna and chill from Tochigi Prefecture.

This was specially made into a mini-sized version for us so we could have some room for sake and dessert. ?

Nikujafa – $5 SGD

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This is something you can’t miss out! It’s pork stew with carrot and potatoes, and lastly, topped with long beans. Tastes kinda like a familiar home-cooked dish, and a very satisfying one at that!

Sake Tasting Set – $15 SGD / Set of 3

Now, IPPIN also has an amazing selection of Japanese beverages to choose from, too:

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From your left: Miracle Sake Junmai – $29 SGD, Yutou Masamune – $51 SGD, Yogurt Sake (Plain) – $30 SGD, Yogurt Tochi Otome (Strawberry) – $31 SGD.

They’re all very low in alcohol-content, but beware of the kick that comes in fast because of the sweetness (sugar) that’s easily absorbed by your body.

English Tea Grace Peace

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Tea-lovers can not only enjoy premium tea, but also jelly made out of their favourite grace tea!

The tea is refillable up to 3 brews, anything more than that will turn the pot bland.

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Did you know that IPPIN is a Japanese food supplier too? If you’re interested, they do sell quite a huge range of ingredients for your home enjoyment.

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Anyway, Thanks to Hazel for re-arranging the tasting several times and accommodating to my hectic schedule!

Glad that I popped by because I haven’t had home-cooked food for a long time. Especially when it’s authentic Japanese home-cooked food!

IPPIN CAFÉ BAR

18 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-01
Singapore 238967

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 11am – 3pm / 5pm -11pm
Closed: Sundays & Public Holidays

Phone: +65 6744 4794

All prices include GST and Service Charge. Free WiFi available!

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FYR [Singapore Restaurant Week 2015]

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Had a full day event today and it was horrible due to the return of the haze.

To make things worse, Ms Pan Asian and I were allocated outdoors under the sun.

In. The. Bloody. Haze.

The majority of the part-timers from another event company were allocated the easiest job, but they still could be freaking lazy. Some of them disappeared during work, and the rest fall so deeply asleep that they started drooling. ?

I even heard from other girls that just because 1 of the models uses a branded bag, she received sour comments from the same group of part-timers like “Wah! Using x brand still need to come and work meh?”

关你屁事 seriously. ?

Back to topic, we’ve picked FYR for 2nd day of Restaurant Week 2015!

It’s just a few small roads down the street from where SGX building is, along a quaint row of shophouses set amidst Tanjong Pagar’s picturesque backdrop:

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This was an area that I would almost certainly never come during weekdays – there’s the ERP, crazy traffic and forever needing to fight for an (expensive) parking lot.

Thankfully, it’s on a Sunday evening so I’ve no need to face all those problems.✌️

FYR serves modern european cuisine influenced by the spices and herbs of Southeast Asia and their food is prepared using Josper charcoal oven (just like Privé!).

As you can probably tell by now, FYR is a nice cosy place to chill with your friends – but it’s not really ideal for photos due to the dim lighting (but hey, it makes it romantic, no?) and decorations that casts quite a bit of shadows that’s hard to avoid…

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The staff here is extremely friendly! It’s not a fine dining kinda place, but more of a place with extremely personalised and very sincere service.

The service staff also knows their dishes really well, down to the special touches which the chef uses to bring out certain flavours.. and they’re more than willing to share it with you, too!

Appetizer

Appetizer

Sautéed Prawns with anchovies, garlic, crispy rice vermicelli – these prawns were so succulent and juicy that really, 4 pieces weren’t enough for me. The crispy rice vermicelli gave it the slight oriental Chinese feel – you know, like what would be served at a traditional Chinese restaurant…..

The other starter on the table was the Grilled Salmon Tartare with mixed herbs, ikan bilis, spring onions. Don’t be fooled by it’s “simple” look – this dish has actually so much flavour and you can even play with your food with the crackers!

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For mains, I went for their massively huge Pork Ribs (350g), and K went for their Brandt 365-day Grain-fed Ribeye (250g) which had an additional $13++ SGD charge.

With Roasted Baby Potatoes, House Salad, Green Peppercorn Sauce.

With Roasted Baby Potatoes, House Salad, Green Peppercorn Sauce.

That’s right – 250 grams of Brandt 365-day Grain-fed Ribeye… An extremely generous serving guaranteed to fill up most, if not all, of your stomach.

Medium-rare steak

The slightly rare middle of the… well, medium-rare steak.

Look at that perfectly done medium-rare steak! Slightly burnt outside, with a raw, chewy core.

With Barbecue Glaze, Roasted Baby Potatoes, House Salad, Sweet Hot Sauce.

With Barbecue Glaze, Roasted Baby Potatoes, House Salad, Sweet Hot Sauce.

My main was simply huge – and it smelled slightly of sweet garlic. From afar, it actually smelled a little bit like bacon – the Pork Ribs (350g) was really a sight to behold.

With Devon Cream, Strawberry Påté, Coconut Flakes.

With Devon Cream, Strawberry Påté, Coconut Flakes.

The dessert was equally unique: First, there’s the Chocolate Gateau & Mint Ice Cream – which came with this really chewy berry-like cube which gave loads of flavour to the mixture of ice cream, gateau, and the flakes and sauces…

With Rum, Gula Melaka, Cinnamon.

With Rum, Gula Melaka, Cinnamon.

And then there was Grilled Pineapple & Ginger Ice Cream. Wait, what?!

This dish is really one of an acquired taste – some would probably love it, others – hated it. It’s a little bit spicy and sour, and had a very strong gingery smell to it.

Cycene Ond Drinc

Cycene Ond Drinc

All in all, FYR is a really interesting casual place to dine. The atmosphere is fun, the staff is unpretentious, the food is amazing, and the chef certainly does know his little touches!

I’d definitely be back for more! 😉

FYR Cycene Ond Drinc

19 Boon Tat Street
Singapore (069619)

Opening Hours:
Mon- Fri: 1130am – 11pm
Sat: 9am – 11pm
Sun: 9am – 4pm

Phone: +65 62213703

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Privé Grill [Singapore Restaurant Week 2015]

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Privé Grill – my dinner choice for the 1st day of Restaurant Week! You can view read my previous Restaurant Week lunch post on Kiku.

As you can probably tell by it’s exquisite Keppel Bay location, Privé Grill is not exactly cheap to begin with. So, you can probably imagine how excited I was when I saw it available in Restaurant Week.

And…. to make the deal even more crazy….

..they’re not awarded with DiningCity Star (Say what?! ?)

That means there’s no additional charge of $20++ SGD for dinner (YAY!!). It’s only $35++ SGD per pax for dinner so what’re you waiting for? Don’t book really will regret + 对不起自己. LOL!

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They’re still preparing for opening when we reached there!

We were the first customers to reach and they’re not really ready yet. We were ushered to be seated outdoors first.

Of course, the light was perfect for some selfies…

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..but too bad my Casio TR50 is kinda failing on me. It’s been super problematic such as having a super-duper long shutter time, and photos turns out to be way over-exposed regardless of settings. FML. And yes, I’m still trying to find some time to bring it down to the service center. ?

I resorted using my iPhone 6’s camera instead but turns out K was in a good mood so he started taking photos of me unknowingly until he called my name and I looked up. Talking about being oblivious to my surrounding: I think I aced it. Lol! ?

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As usual, the stellar service at Privé Grill – they make sure you had some drinks even while you’re waiting…

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Told y’all that we were the first to reach! Look how empty the restaurant was – it’s just as if we booked the whole restaurant for ourselves… for 10 minutes before more guests start to arrive. ?

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We took everything on the menu. *Flips hair*…

..which was kinda true because there’s only 2 choices available for each course and there’s two of us.

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Complimentary bread ?

First round of bread wasn’t that good because it was cold but shortly, they refilled it with some freshly warmed bread which tasted much better!

Beef Consommé

Truffled beef cheeks ravioli, Japanese white radish, Juliénne leeks.

Their Beef Consommé that taste pretty average. Probably too small to really sample the taste. Lol! It’s like, having one beef meatball in a giant plate lor.

Wilted spinach, avruga. chive-champagne sauce.

Wilted spinach, avruga. chive-champagne sauce.

And… the Poached Irish Oysters. Goodness! Take my money! It’s sooooo good! I graciously gave 1 to K upon seeing his starter – the sad looking ravioli. ?

Pandan Gula Melaka

Pandan Gula Melaka

I bet some of you don’t know that you could actually order food anddrinks from Privé Café over at Privé Grill.

Those that love MEGA SINFUL milkshakes must order Privé Café’s milkshake! They have perfected the best milkshake so far – it doesn’t have the “oily/fat” aftertaste that lingers in your mouth after drinking.

It used to be in a bigger glass, if I didn’t recall wrongly – but no worries, it’s still as good as it should be. Go forth and be adventurous – try the Pandan Gula Melaka Milkshake!

Potato mouseeline, slow - cooked baby carrots, tarragon chimichurri, béarnaise.

Potato mouseeline, slow – cooked baby carrots, tarragon chimichurri, béarnaise.

The 300-day Grain-fed Rangers Valley Rump Cap – lovingly cooked with their oh-so-famous Josper Grill!

Grand Marnier Flambéed Maine Lobster Tail.

Seared dunk liver, mushroom herb risotto, shallot – red wine gastrique.

..and my main, the Grand Marnier Flambéed Maine Lobster Tail! The chef slightly under-cooked the lobster tail on purpose to give it a more chewy and sweet texture.

And yes, the foie gras.

I don’t remember from my past visits to Privé Grill that it was this BIG. My eyes just went ? upon seeing the size of it!

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Another photo for a better comparison of how big the foie gras actually was.

Halfway through the meal, something happened, though:

I heard then the table behind me suddenly ask the waiter about the steak on the menu:

“Is this beef?” (No shit, sherlock!)
“Is it steamed, braised, fried or?” (You think you’re at a zhi char restaurant meh?)

I tried really, really hard to control my giggles as they were literally just next to us!

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Salted caramel honeycomb, vanilla bean ice cream.

And then there was the Warm Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fondant – oh mine, this dessert is simply heavenly! It’s like chocolate lava, just that it had peanut butter too. Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds!?

Vanilla cream Chantilly, chocolate shavings.

Vanilla cream Chantilly, chocolate shavings.

Banoffee Pie – nothing to scream about, it’s a nice dessert, but….. Oh well!

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For American Express Card Members, not only do you get to enjoy priority bookings, but you could also stand a chance to win a 3D2N staycation and retail vouchers worth $1500 SGD when you pay with your American Express Card at participating restaurants during Singapore Restaurant Week 2015!

Don’t forget to register your chance at amex.co/sgrwdraw before paying with your card!

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On the way to the carpark, we realised that the 3 course set that K chose (Beef Cosommé, 300-day Grain-fed Rangers Valley Rump Cap and Warm Chocolate & Peanut Fondant) was available in Privé Grill’s lunch menu for Restaurant Week 2015.

K immediately felt cheated of his $10++ SGD (lunch set cost only $25++ SGD instead of $35++ SGD). LOL! ??? But on 2nd thoughts, it was really good so even at the price of $35++ SGD, it’s still a steal!

Privé Grill

2 Keppel Bay Vista
Singapore (098382)

Opening Hours:

Mon to Fri
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 11:30pm

Saturday
Lunch: Closed
Dinner: 6.30pm – 11.30pm

Sun & PH: Closed

Phone: +65 6776 0777

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Kiku [Singapore Restaurant Week 2015]

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Once again, it’s every food-lover’s favourite time of the year – The Singapore Restaurant Week, which runs from 24th October 2015 to the 1st November 2015.

Organised by the online dining guide, DiningCity and proudly presented by American Express – it’s actually where you can get to enjoy 3-course dinner at top restaurants for a mere $35++ SGD*!

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From my past experience with Restaurant Week, I had never once chosen a Japanese restaurant…yet. I guess it’s mainly because their menus didn’t really catch my attention.

This time round, I’m bent on trying out at least one Japanese restaurant and Kiku’s menu struck me as rather generous.

Oh, and yes – for restaurants awarded with a DiningCity Star (it’s a tiny star icon in the website), there’s an additional charge of $15++ SGD for lunch and $20++ SGD for dinner.

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My first impression was that Kiku was slightly different from the rest of the restaurants I went before during Restaurant Week – They didn’t display their Restaurant Week menu.

So, if you can’t remember what’s for lunch because you (just like me) booked too many restaurants during Restaurant Week ?, remember to bookmark the menu on your phone before you head over!

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Kiku – one of the few restaurants that’s awarded with a DiningCity Star.

Some of you might have spotted why I chose Kiku to kickstart my virgin Japanese Restaurant Week 2015. ?

… Yeap! Because Kiku’s menu stated that there was Ikura aka Salmon Roe in their main. ?

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Chicken Meatball in Clear Broth.

The meal started with a clear soup which comes with 2 pieces of chicken meatballs. The broth was super flavourful and the chicken meatball has a little bit grinded chicken cartilage and added in to give it a unique crunchy texture.

Oh, and yes! The soup is refillable!

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Hotate Chawanmushi

Next up, Truffle Steamed Egg with Hokkaido Scallop!

Sake Sake

Sake Sake

Salmon Sashimi with Fish Skin in Mentaiko Mayo, served together with Salmon Carpaccio in Onion Sauce…

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Tuna Tuna Don

And there’s my long-awaited Soy-Marinated Tuna Sashimi and Aburi Tuna with Salmon Roe.. Oh wait! WAIT!!!!!

Salmon Roe?! Where is my salmon roe??? I felt something is missing but I couldn’t quite put a finger on it until I went online to grab Kiku’s Restaurant Week menu for this blogpost. ?

WHERE IS MY IKURA!? WHERE!?

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Pretty big serving – don’t you think?

I must say, though – it doesn’t really taste like a typical Japanese Don other than the rice. The way the tuna was prepared made it taste more.. western?

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With my $6 hot green tea…

Green tea isn’t complimentary here – it costs $6, unfortunately.. and the tea isn’t really something to scream about. It’s your standard green tea lor

Come to think of it, now I remember why I never once chose a Japanese during Restaurant Week even thought I’m an avid-fan of Japanese cuisine:

In terms of taste, I don’t mind having it again – but I don’t think it’s worth coming during Restaurant Week as there are many other restaurants offering better menu for the same price!

Kiku

ASIAN • FUSION • JAPANESE
Address: 21 Duxton Road 089487

OPENING HOURS:
Mon – Thu: 12:00 – 15:00
Mon – Thu: 18:00 – 22:30
Fri – Sat: 12:00 – 15:00
Fri – Sat: 18:00 – 23:00
Closed: Sun

RESERVATIONS: +65 68846884
PHONE: +65 62255567

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