This is a new cafe over at Marina Square, it's right next to Billy Bombers, which is very near the exit from Citilink.
Azabu Sabo or 麻布茶房 is a stylized restaurant chain based in Japan, specialized in authentic Japanese desserts, donburi, ramen and snacks. They have this interesting dessert "Ice-cream on Sweet Potatoes" which I did not try.. shall try it next time.
They also have a lot of interesting food, like omelette in soup.. looks interesting..
The decor looks surprisingly chinese to me.
Look at all the chinese knots on the chairs, but then again, Japanese and Chinese stuff can look similiar..
It was their opening day when I went there last friday with Wenwei. Once we were seated, we were served hot tea :)
I like the cup it's served in, very dainty :) Just nice for me.. hee.. And they are pretty prompt in filling up the tea, so there's no worry about the cup being too small.
The menu is a challenge, coz it's a folder style menu and the plastic cover is kinda reflective, making it difficult to see the menu proper. Here's a list of their famous desserts :) yummy!!
We made our orders and the food was served up pretty fast. Which was good. Only thing that I don't really like, the waiters really needs more training, they have absolutely no idea what food I was ordering and had to ask me to point out to the item in the menu. Duh.. you're the waiter leh.. Really need more training.
I ordered my fav Saba Shio.. it was pretty ok, the fish was standard. But I liked the grated radish, coz for once it's grated and not chopped like what many places does. That radish is supposed to be grated ok.
Then coz of the radish, I had a funny incident with the waiter where I tried to get soya sauce from this guy and he had no idea what I was talking about. Duh.. Japanese restaurant and you dunno what soya sauce is? I was comtemplating to tell him I want shoyu, but I doubt he would had understood that. Anyway I think he went off to ask his colleagues and finally got me my shoyu.
The grated daikon is best with shoyu and a touch of lemon ^^
Both of us ordered bento set.. which comes in this pretty box, a soup and two small sides. The sides were honestly not that good, the simmered vege is too tough. The pickles were.. I think they had some vege I did not like.
Wenwei had Teriyakki Chicken Bento. The chicken is pretty good, well marinated and still tender. It kinda reminds me of the grill chicken bento I used to have over at Sushi Sagano (closed down eons ago though), the layout is similiar but the taste of this bento cannot beat the one at Sagano. The one at Sagano was so well grilled that the chicken skin was crisp like it was fried.. very nice!!!
I had Sukiyaki Bento (been eating a lot of beef recently :p). Overall it's pretty good, just that the meat is a tad too sweet, and some parts are overcooked.
Oh don't be deceived by the size of the bento, it's really very shallow and there's only like 2cm deep of rice below the ingredients. But still, it's pretty filling.
Next up are the desserts.
Wenwei had this fruits with rice dumplings (the pink and green and white stuff), jelly (it's k-somthing but I don't remember what) and red bean paste. It comes with a brown sugar sauce, or something like that. If I'm not wrong, it is brown sugar.
I liked the pink rice dumpling thing, it's very chewy. As for the white ones, they are like our tang yuan, nothing really special about them. The jelly is also pretty normal. Oh yah, there's little red beans inside, those tasted a little salty :p I only managed to dig one out cozz stupid wenwei finished all of them!!
I had my fav red bean soup with rice cakes. This is the imperial style, which means the red bean soup is a smooth paste instead of the country style where the beans can still be seen.
The rice cakes here is actually the Japanese nian gao. It's glutinous rice pounded into a sticky paste. Then grill it and put it into the red bean soup. It's nice! I like.
Along with my dessert is this small side dish. It's some pickled seaweed, which was kinda funny, coz it was savoury and cold, unlike my dessert which was hot and sweet.. hmmm..
Overall experience is pretty good, coz it's a new place, I guess the waiters need time to familiarize with the menu. The service is good, the young waiters are all eager to serve. Though another thing I don't like is the way I would ask someone to get me something and then the person would ask someone else to get me the thing. Can't they get it on their own?
The food is pretty good, though limited, I guess coz it's more of a cafe than a restaurant. Desserts are really interesting, at least it's a bit more unique, though you can still find similiar desserts at the better Japanese restaurants. I should really go try their sweet potato with ice cream thingy.
I like the decor, very clean and simple, though to me it's really chinese.
Pricing wise is pretty ok too, 2 sets, 1 side and 2 desserts set me back 50 bucks. Which is really reasonable, given that we was so full that day that we had to cancel our plans for the milkshake at mac
Dining experience: 7.5 out of 10