Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kuriya Penthouse

I had my first Omakase experience on my birthday this year - at Kuriya Penthouse
Located at the top of Orchard Central, this was a promised "meal with a view".

Well some what of a view... The walkway outside of the restaurant really dampened much of it. Imagine enjoying your meal and grazing out, only to find random passer-bys staring at your food. Perhaps the owners could rent out the walkway too? Convert it into an open air lounge area where diners can chill after their meals ala Sky on 57.

The decor was somewhat disconcerting too. For a high-end restaurant that Kuriya brands itself on, it sure didnt seem that way. Tables were far too close to one another and there was just a general lack of intimacy and exclusiveness that I have come to associate nice Japanese restaurants with. Thankfully these were one of the few 'negatives' that night. And if I am paying $150++ for my meal, I can afford to be a tad more picky right

On to the food, we each got the chef recommendation menu and at $150, it was one of the more affordable Omakase in town.

First up, Crab meat with salmon roe. Fresh sweet crab meat paired with a sticky concoction of seaweed and mustard and salty roe. One of those dishes that must be eaten as a whole, the components do work well together.

Sashimi course next and how PRETTY is the plating! I almost couldnt bear to eat it. Never tried sea cucumber sashimi before (in the bowl) and after having had it, Im not much of a fan. Taste wise not too bad but I couldnt deal with the too chewy texture. The rest of the sashimi though were exquisite. Fresh and sweet and melt-in-your mouth deliciousness. The tuna belly in particular, stood out. If this werent just the second course, I would have gone "thats it, done for the day, nothing would beat this"

3rd course was another pretty plate, ok make that 3 pretty plates.

Refreshing soba with seaweed and chicken

Nicely grilled salmon. Those black beans (not sure what they are) but they are sooooo sweet! 
I would eat a bagful of them.

Runny egg and a sweet prawn. I was confused initially because one of the waiters described this as tofu (wth waiter?!) and I was amazed by how the chef made the tofu looked so much like an egg till I took a bite. That say, you cant go wrong with a runny egg.

The highly anticipated Stone Grilled Wagyu beef steak

And disappoint it did not. Fat streaked and tender, we oohed and ahhed through this course. 
Meat heaven, this must be what it feels like.
Yes, this is when you get your dollar's worth.

Scallop tempura encased in rice grains. The tempura was pretty decent though I did think the scallop one was too oily. 

Simmered red rock fish. MMM i love steamed fish, esp one as sweet and fresh as this with an awesome broth. Could do with less bones though

The last course- Oyster Claypot rice.
This was the course where you get to fill your stomach if your aint full yet. The dish was average to me, mainly cos I prefer my oysters raw.

Because it was my birthday, the waiters presented me with a cake (which the boy had shamelessly requested for when making a reservation)

The cheesecake was deLIGHTful. 

As an additional treat, my desert came encased in an ice bowl! 
How do they do it?! Theories : spray water into a bow + apply liquid nitrogen, layer of water between 2 bowls. Btw, the chef refuses to tell us his secret.
It was a lot of fun playing with the ice bowl though

Moving on, fruits wise, they were sweet but ironically a tad too frozen.

In all, I had a wonderful Omakase experience. The waiters were friendly (each of them wished me Happy Birthday on my way out :) ) and I had a lot of fun eating, which is what dining should be all about right

Kuriya Penthouse
#12-02 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road
6509 4222

Thursday, March 15, 2012

eM by the river

Brunch at eM by the river. Located at the end of Robertson Quay, its a nice and quiet place (i was there on a wkday morning) to watch boats sail by over a cup of coffee

Pancakes that looked fluffy but were really heavy and thick. 
They tasted good though but best for sharing. Not a fan of whipped cream but wow the one accompanying these pancakes were the lightest I have ever tasted

Another gorgeous looking plate, this time the eggs atlantic
Perfectly poached eggs with creamy hollandaise is the perfect way to start the day.
Not the best I have eaten (that honor must go to Prive) but one of my top 5 thus far. 

I like eM by the river. Great ambience with reasonable prices and cheery staff.

eM by the river
1 Nanson Road #01-05
The Gallery Hotel