Sunday, July 31, 2005

Suntory @ Intercontiental Bugis

As promised, here's the review for kaiseiki served at Suntory Intercontiental Bugis.

The menu that i'm gonna show is just to give an idea of how the food is like over at Suntory, coz for the kaiseki menu that I had, the menu changes every month, and it's already the end of the month.. hee..

Me and Jason went over to Suntory over at around 1 yesterday. The one good thing about this place is that there's no need for reservations. I went there twice on saturday afternoon and it's not hard to get seats. Haven been there for dinner so i dunno the situation at nite. Also remember that they do not open on Sundays.

me while waiting for my lunch to come.. look at the decor behind (i know cant really see, but it's pic from a camera phone, cant expect too much..), it's simple and classy :p that's how i wan my home to look like next time :)

Both of us ordered the Ladies' Kaiseki set which was priced at 38+++ but there's a 15% discount for UOB card members (debit and credit) and a 20% discount if u have the Priority Privilege card which i do have :p so the meal only cost 35 bucks per person :)

Oh yah, though the name is Ladies' Kaiseki, guys can enjoy it too :p they called it ladies' coz it's sorta a light version of the normal kaiseki.. but then it's more than enough to make me very full and satisfied :) *yummy* *rubs tummy*

It's a 8 course set lunch.. first up is the Appetizer
The green thing on the plate is stewed eggplant, which i found, but Jason was like.. eee... eeek.. eeek.. then he said he felt dizzy.. haha.. :p but then he kept saying that it was nice, jus a matter of preference, which i agree :p then hidden by the leaves are seawood roll with something :p hee.. i cant identify all the ingredients.. on front of the seaweed roll is this fried stuff which i also have no idea what it was, jus that not much taste but nice and crispy. The prawn is stuffed with this yellow paste which tasted like pineapple. But the best must be the yellow roll on the extreme right. There's carrot and radish wrapped in it and it's stewed. So it's soft yet there's a bite to it.. very nice and juicy :) and the taste is really exquisite.

next up.. the Beancurd Soup
The roundish red thing u see is a kinda rice cake they like to use in soups. It's kinda chewy like the japanese new year rice cake, but i dunno if they're the same stuff. The big yellowish thing is beancurd skin and inside is something like the seafood beancurd we eat outside, there's all sorts of vege and seafood inside the beancurd. The soup base is simple but very savoury.

oo.. and i love the plates and bowls which they serve the food on, all very pretty. remember kaiseki is not only about how good the food taste but also how good it looks. and trust me, the food taste as good as they look.

3rd on the menu is sashimi.. but i dun like raw fish, so i requested a change and they gave me the oh-my-gosh-it's-so-damn-good Grilled Cod!! it's my favourite fish!!!
the skin is grilled to prefection, crisp and yet when u bite into it, u can taste the omega3 oils.. ok, it doesn sound good, all the oil stuff, but for those who loves cod, they would know that's the best part of the fish, plus it's super healthy :)

The fish is super fresh and the sauce is jus great with the fish. The white stuff on the right is actually pickled radish.. I dunno how they made it, but they managed to totallu marinate it whilst retaining it's crispness.. I haven had such good cod in ages.. it's really hard to find good cod and I'm definitely going back for the cod :) even if it means i have to scrimp and save for it :p

Jason had the Sashimi, which had Half-Grilled Bonito and Sea Bream..
it came on a bed of ice, which seaweed, spring onions, ginger, spicy grated radish and this little purple plant thing, that looks like alfafa, that is rather spicy . The sauce to accompany the sashimi is ponzu sauce, which is somewhat like soy sauce with an orangey scent.

The sashimi is good.. though i dun eat it.. but Jason made me try half a piece of the half-grilled bonito and it made me gag and choke :p but once again, it's a matter of preference and not the quality of the food. The sashimi is so fresh that u can see the greenish silverish shine on the meat. That is a sign of how fresh the fish is.

Up next, it's Stewed Winter Melon with Potato Ball
the sauce is great, the winter melon is stewed to such softness that it breaks apart easily with u tease it when ur chopsticks, but yet retains the bite to it. The potato ball is made up of mashed potato, water chestnut and shrimps..

My favourite Tempura is next!!
It's a mixed tempura, all all kinds of seafood and fresh corn kernels in it.. It's freshly made, very crisp with no hint of oilness :) I had extra radish for my sauce coz Jason doesn wan his :p good good, i love grated radish. Note that i said grated. One way to tell if a Japanese restaurant is good is by their grated radish.. many take the short cut and blend their radish, resulting in a mushy, watery and grainy radish. As for grated radish, the water is retained in the flesh of the radish and the texture of the radish is very very different from that of the blended radish.. But of course more work go into the making of grated radish and thus making it harder to find.

And the sauce is served pipping hot, which is jus what i like. Unlike the normal restaurants which serves the sauce cold. There's a reason for the hot sauce (wellz, at least this is what i think), and it's that the tempura is served hot, straight from the wok to ur table. If u dip the hot tempura into hot sauce, it retains it's heat and it's crispness and u can enjoy it as it's meant to be. If the sauce is cold, when u dip the hot tempura in, its temprature goes down and it loses it's cripness.

The touch of adding the corn kernels in makes this tempura from a good tempura to an excellent tempura.. sometimes tempura can get a little boring, only crispy outside and soft inside. But with the corns, not only is it crispy outside and soft inside, it adds in another kind of texture, the chewy kind. Also the corn is like salmon eggs, it bursts open with the slight pressure and the sweetness of the corn jus fills up your mouth.

After this dish, we can already feel more than half full :p and Jason actually wanted to order extra dish.. lucky i managed to stop him in time.. though i really really wanted to try the grilled wagyu and the sukiyaki wagyu, but it's priced at 48 and 68 bucks.. so out of our budget this time round..

a 高档 dish coming up, Chawamushi with Shark's Fin gravy
oooo... look at the cute cover, like a melon like that.. hee.. it's normal chawamushi below, topped with shark's fin sauce.. the sauce is ok, i find the shark's fin abit on the hard side, would be better of they stewed it longer.. And the chawamushi is good!! it's super super smooth..

second last dish is a rice dish, Unagi Rice served with pickles and Miso Soup.
The unagi is cut into small piece and mixed in the rice with the unagi sauce.. Jason's words, he gives it 8 out of 10, coz the rice is abit dry. The small pieces of unagi goes well with the rice and makes it less 腻 as unagi can be..

For me, i was quite full at this point, so never finish the dish :p

Last but not least, DESSERT!! It's Lime Sherbet and Strawberry with Milk
The sherbert was a great way to end the meal, coz it's abit sour.. and it's so unfair.. Jason's scoop had lotsa small orange bits in it whilst mine only had 1 :( (note:: Jason insisted there's 2~3 bits, but it's not ok, there was only 1)

Overall a very satisfying meal, all the stuff on the menu is great, though there are certain things that we did not like.. It's been a long time since I had such good japanese food, think i shall make it a point to go down every month like my sister and mum :)

Oh yah, did i mention that Suntory serves fresh wasabi?? not the tube or powder kind but the actual wasabi root, grated into paste form. That's how good the place is. Plus the service is good, all the staff are very helpful and polite..

Dining experience, 9 out of 10



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