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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Nassim Hill – Bakery, Bistro, Bar

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Well, today I was around the Tanglin area and wanted to get some packages posted – but my stomach was also growling because Yandao the Spitz ate most of my breakfast.

And then I found Nassim Hill – Bakery, Bistro, Bar. This place is literally in the middle of no-where, apart from private estates surrounding it, and a post office directly beside it.

My first impression was that this place does everything – breakfast, lunch, dinner also serve. Plus, there was a mini standee on each table which stated that there was “1-for-1 for DBS/POSB cardholders”.

Really?

Was this a deal that was too good to be true?

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The culprit who ate my breakfast.

This is the culprit who ate my breakfast. Don’t underestimate this little Japanese Spitz – he only eats human-grade food.

Today, it was my utmost honour to have him devour all my breakfast. I felt that it was kind of like a detox – I felt much healthier after Yandao gobbled up everything leaving me with absolutely nothing at all.

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Now, it’s time to feast!

I ordered the Nassim Hill Double Decker Burger (which, for some *coughs* weird reason, looks much smaller in real than those images of sponsored advertorials you can find on Google) and the Chilli Crab Pasta, which was honestly pretty good.

The burger was really nothing to scream about given it’s size (or lack thereof). Basically, it’s just your average beef burger with a pickle on top on. Honestly, without the fries, I don’t think it would be enough to fill anyone’s tummy.

The Chilli Crab Pasta, however, was the saving grace – the crab meat was actually springy, and the sauce tasted uncannily like (real) chilli crab sauce! It was arguably really fragrant, and I could literally smell it as they were serving the dish.

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Tea is served by the pot as well, so you can get cups to share. Standard Gryphon teas, which by the way, is actually a Singapore brand!

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Oh, and one more thing, this place isn’t officially a dog cafe but they’re pretty dog-friendly. They do provide a dog bowl filled with water for your furry buddy!

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Sushi Mentai @ JB – A hidden gem!

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Randomly passed by this sushi restaurant, Sushi Mentai, in Johor Bahru (Malaysia) somewhere in Pelangi and decided to give it a shot. Turns out this place is a hidden gem despite being housed in a random part of JB…

Since I had horrible sushi for the very first time at my all time favourite Ryoshi restaurant in Singapore last night, I wondered to myself –  “How bad could this be?”

Anyway, no matter how it could possibly be, it’s definitely hard to beat the worse-ever sushi chain in Malaysia – Sushi King. Goodness! Sushi King’s dishes are so disgusting that you would actually fear for your health (I’ll save the story for sometime later).

So, here’s the place. It’s a small restaurant, nothing too flashy:

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The menu looks quite limited too, probably half of the usual sushi dishes which one would expect from fastfood-level Japanese sushi restaurants in Singapore.

So, we kinda ordered almost one plate of everything which had salmon in it 😉

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Green Tea at RM1/pax. What a steal!

I love it when restaurants give the whole jug – eventhough it’s refillable. I’m sure everyone has had their fair share of experiences when asking for refills and it never come until you give up asking.

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Chawan Mushi – RM3.80

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Salmon Toro Sashimi – 5 pieces for RM11.80

Salmon belly Sashimi.

They’ve the normal salmon sashimi but since we will be ordering salmon sushi so we went for the better choice for sashimi.

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Salmon Mentai – RM2.80

Their sushi was far beyond my expectations! It was so good that it’s comparable to Ryoshi’s (initial) standard. Unfortunately, Ryoshi’s standard has dropped quite a bit since they first opened up shop in Singapore.

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Take – RM16.80

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Asari Miso Shiru – RM4.80

Remember some restaurants (especially fastfood-ish budget Japanese restaurants) usually use frozen clams that was kept so long that it turns powdery when you bite it?

Sushi Mentai despite it being a budget restaurant, in some ways, had perfect clams – fresh and sweet.

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Ebi Mentaiyaki – RM9.80

THIS.IS.THE.BOMB!!!!!

Their Ebi Mentaiyaki was REALLY good! It’s not overcooked and the mentai sauce was on the point man! I would have order another dozen if I wasn’t going for a massage later.

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Salmon Mentai Dragon Maki – RM12.80

Their Salmon Maki was pretty normal but the Mentai sauce stood up for it.

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Most of you would have figured out by now, but these guys really stand by their restaurant name – Sushi Mentai. Their Mentai sauce is really the bomb, and that make their dishes super yummy!

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Sushi Mentai

64, Jalan Gaya 1
Taman Gaya
81800 Ulu Tiram Johor
Open daily from 12noon to 10pm

Mrs Pho – Pho Real There’s Two Yandao’s!?

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“Mrs Pho has one of the most authentic Vietnamese food in Singapore!”, was told to me excitedly by a Vietnamese friend shortly after I posted a photo of Mrs Pho on my Instagram account.

I’ve never really went for Vietnamese food specifically, but after trying Mrs Pho, wow, I was impressed!

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Firstly, they’ve really quirky (to us local Singaporeans at least) but yummy drinks – I got to try the Coconut Milkshake and the Vietnamese Summer Tea.

 

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Here’s their take on the standard Vietnamese Rice Roll – pretty good, but I like more meat in my dishes…

..and now, the main course – the dishes that you must try from Mrs Pho – Pho!!!!

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I really like the pho with half-cooked beef! The faster you eat it (while the soup is still boiling hot), the less cooked your beef will be. You can leave the beef for as long as you would like it to continue cooking. Yummy!

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And this is the one with a little bit of everything – perfect for those who are not sure exactly what they want to eat… yet! Well, there’s some meatballs, slices of beef, a little bit of pork, chicken, and almost everything!

Did I mention, they’re totally cool if you’re sitting on that makeshift outside seat outside their shop with a furry friend, too? Here’s little (and big) Yandao seated outside the store. Look at the sneaky boy’s face – and as you already know, this #PickyYandao only smiles when he smells good food around him!

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