Recently, our department held a charity auction that called out to all employees to volunteer their skill/talent/service for bidding – all proceeds went to our specified charity. P & I bidded for a Japanese Kappou – Casual Japanese cuisine offered by a Japanese couple. In addition, we also teamed up to offer a Singapore Makan Tour which we will be reviewing in a separate blog entry soon!
We started the evening with Asahi beer and Umeshu. The table was set with many intriguing porcelain holders and plates.
SESAME TOFU with wasabi, soy sauce – The tofu was dense and creamy. The delicate flavor of the tofu was instantly transformed when eaten with the 2 simple complementary condiments (wasabi, soy sauce).
BONITO & TOMATO SOUP – The cold soup with a distinct taste of bonito whetted our appetites.
TARO & LADIES FINGERS in plum sauce – The taro was very crunchy and refreshing. I’m not a ladies finger person so I did not try it and gave it to others.
SASHIMI (From left-Aji, Sole fish and Tuna) – The sashimi was generally fresh and sweet. The tuna was prepared in 2 ways – Raw & Frosted. For the latter, the chef dipped the fish quickly in hot water then placed in a ice bath. The fish was then marinated in soy sauce and pressed under a kitchen towel for an hour. I like my fish raw while P likes hers frosted. Options are always good!
The host taught us how to pick a good bottle of sake. We should lookout for the Japan prestige sake association sticker on the bottle. The sticker is a sign of guarantee that the sake is transported in optimal temperature to preserve the finest taste. It’s available in Shaw House, Isetan or Liang Court, Meidi-ya.
BLENDED SOLE FISH & SHRIMP BALL in bonito broth. The fish & shrimp were blended then chopped finely using a knife. The chef then steamed the seafood paste to retain the moisture and doused it in bonito broth. The seafood ball was juicy and firm to the bite. A very homely dish which reminded me of my favourite oden.
CHICKEN STEW with ginger & pumpkin – This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. Each mouthful contained a medley of ginger, minced chicken and bonito fragrance. There was also an element of surprise – 3 neat strips of pumpkin hidden below the stew. The sweetness of the pumpkin surprisingly harmonized the savory minced chicken.
RED SNAPPER with mushroom & vegetable – Simple but a true test of a chef’s skill. The saltwater fish went well with the tangy sauce (combination of yuzu, soy sauce and vinegar).
DUCK HOTPOT with mushroom & burdock – The duck was seared to perfection then dunked in the soup base ( Dashi: Mirin: Sake: Soy Sauce in ratio of 7:1:1:1) to fully cook the inside. The duck was tasty but slightly too tough for me.
JAPANESE RICE with seaweed, hotate & sesame seeds. I love carbs and this was one of my most anticipated dishes that night! The hotate was sweet and melted in the mouth. Each spoonful was a delight.
DESSERT (Red bean cake & Red bean mochi springroll) – One of our colleagues brought us the red bean cake from Japan. In addition, we made some springrolls in the afternoon using a simple recipe – folding a spoonful of glutinous rice premix & red bean into a springroll skin.
We ended the lovely meal with freshly brewed barley tea.
The night was definitely a gastronomic adventure. The food & “service” standard was comparable to a good Japanese restaurant! Dearest Shimamura family – Thank you.
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