Dad’s Birthday at Ginzawa @Palais Renaissance

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Since dad has been cutting down on his intake of red meat, sis and I had to resort to bringing him to a place with his second greatest food love–chirashi don–for his birthday. Having researched on restaurants serving good chirashi don and striking off those we have tried, Ginzawa at Palais Renaissance Mall came highly recommended by my sis.

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Other than being known for the location of David Gan’s hair salon, Passion, I do not think many have ventured into the mall, seeing that there are bigger ones in town. At least it was the case for me. It was a weekend when we visited and the mall was rather vacant.

My family and I ordered from Ginzawa’s Set Lunch Menu, which came with a main course, miso soup, steamed egg and ice cream. Also, for an additional $5, we could add on either an order of salmon sashimi or a California roll.
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The chawanmushi (steamed egg) here is one of the better ones I have had. It came with more broth than other chawanmushis and the broth was slightly sweet (reminded us of teriyaki sauce). The egg itself was soft, silky and just melt-in-your-mouth. Two thumbs up!

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Flavours of Hakodate at Kuishin Bo @ Suntec City (Media Tasting)

When someone asks about Japanese buffet in Singapore, Kuishin Bo will usually be the one that comes to mind. This restaurant as been a part of the Singapore food scene since 2001 and has been recognised for both its range and quality of food. The brand currently has two outlets, one at Jurong Point and the other at Suntec City.

The ongoing year-end installment of their quarterly thematic food fairs features specialties from Hakodate, a port city in Hokkaido (one I originally intended to visit for my trip later this month, but it s a eight-hours round trip from Sapporo). You will find an additional 17 seasonal food items to its existing range of food.

Some of the food items from the Hakodate collection are:

Tori Zangi, (a term exclusively used in Hokkaido) which is a type of fried chicken typically known as karaage in other parts of Japan.

Pumpkin Zenzai, highlighting the most common ingredient in Japanese traditional desserts… Red bean! Hokkaido is famous for its red beans due to its rich volcanic soil. The dessert here is paired with pumpkin and mochi.

Hokkaido Jaga Butter Cake. A fluffy cheesecake infused with potato butter. This is just one example of the many snacks and confectioneries in Hokkaido made using potatoes.

Tonyu Ishikari Nabe, which is a dish of salmon and assorted vegetables cooked in miso soymilk broth that originated centuries ago in Hokkaido. It is also named after the Ishikari-gawa River which is famous for salmon.

In addition to this, we enjoyed their usual spread of seafood, sashimi, sushi, paper hotpots, grilled and fried foods, as well as desserts.

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Birthday Surprise (Part 1): Tanuki Raw @ Orchard Central

This post is quite dated since my birthday is on 26 April, but I had a backlog of blog posts, so I am only uploading it now. My sister (#bestsisterintheworld) planned a whole day of surprises for me. I honestly had no idea where we were going the whole day. Our first stop that day was at Tanuki Raw (by the people behind Standing Sushi Bar) and its Truffle Yakiniku Don I had been yearning to try.

But, not before I received a balloon bouquet from her! Did I ever mention how much I love helium balloons? She specially made a trip down to Holland Village to inflate these balloons before asking me to head down to Somerset MRT Station.

Anyway, Tanuki Raw is located on the second floor of Orchard Central and offers both alfresco and indoor seating. Since the weather had been humid lately, we decided to enjoy the aircon indoors.

The Truffle Yakiniku Don is part of their lunch set which is available from 11.30am to 3pm daily. The items on the lunch menu range from seafood to beef to curry and are priced less than $18. In addition, you may top up $2 for a bowl of miso soup, some side salad and a cup of green tea.

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[New Item] RamenPlay @ BreadTalk IHQ (Media Tasting)

Did you know that RamenPlay is actually a collaboration between BreadTalk Group Limited and Sanpou Co. Ltd which is founded in 1967 in Kamikido Niigata? Sanpou Co. Limited has decades of experience under its belt and is famous for its quality ramen.

The broth here is prepared daily by Sanpou’s master chefs with top grade quality ingredients and a secret recipe of spices. As for its rice dishes, they are made with premium Niigata Koshihikari rice.

We were here to try RamenPlay’s new Shabu Shabu sets which are priced from $13.90. The sets are currently only available at four of their restaurants: BreadTalk IHQ (from 5pm onwards), Nex, JEM and Velocity @ Novena Square.

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[Newly Opened] The Burning Oak @ Bedok Marketplace (Media Tasting)

I made another rare trip east just for food. The place was at the newly renovated Bedok Marketplace, more commonly known as Simpang Bedok Food Centre. Where most hawker centres have many stalls, this one only has 15.

The stalls have undergone extensive reconstruction to look like a row of shophouses. Currently, most stalls are occupied, but some are still setting up

What is interesting here is that there is a mix of local cuisine, like chicken rice and yong tau foo, and other more specific cuisines like yakitori (Japanese skewers), ramen, Vietnamese and even a meat grill! That said, the prices of food here are slightly higher than normal hawker fare.

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Yayoi @ The Star Vista

It has been a while since I visited The Star Vista and I noticed something that I have never tried, which is Yayoi. Yayoi is a Japanese Teishoku restaurant, ‘teishoku’ meaning set meal in Japanese.

Hence, all their meals come with a bowl of rice, miso soup, a main dish of meat or fish and a side dish. Also, the restaurant is noted for being particular about the quality of their ingredients and their rice, which is imported from Japan.

Each table comes with an ipad for you to place our order. There is a language option on the top right hand corner of the screen.

I love how user friendly the system is and when you click on the ‘Check Order’ button, you can see the status of your food!

Buta Yakiniku Teishoku ($9.90), sliced pork on hot plate. An affordable option. For $1.90, the miso soup which comes with the set can be switched for miso soup with clams. This is applicable for all meals.

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Sanpoutei Ramen @ Holland Village

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[This post is really dated. Sorry!]

Ramen has always been one of my favourite types of noodles. And of course, the thick broth and flavourful soft-boiled eggs do not hurt too! Naturally, seeing that Sanpoutei Ramen has replaced Ramen Play at Holland Village some time back, I decided to check it out with my good friend.

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The ramen at Sanpoutei is freshly made with the noodle making machine on location (in between the kitchen and entrance). Also, the restaurant uses specially manufactured “keep warm” bowls produced in Tsubame Sanjo, Niigata, which is famous for producing metal products.

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I ordered the Rich Tori Spicy Miso ($17), while my friend ordered Ramen with Soup Tonkotsu with Special Full-topping ($18.80).

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