Taking into consideration the number of times I've been to Teppei Japanese Restaurant at Orchid Hotel, it would be an almost impossible task if I had to blog about every single one of my eating excursions at Teppei. Hence, I only blog when the food is truly remarkable - as was the case last Tuesday when I went down to Teppei with J for omakase.
We started off with their usual salad-style dish - the salad here was with lotus roots. It was nice and crunchy. Next up came squid with squid eggs (above) - the squid well tasted like squid, while the roe was delicate with an interesting texture.
Things got more interesting with Fugu Sashimi - having never eaten Fugu the poisonous fish before, I guess I was excited to try it - if it didn't kill me, of course. Thankfully I'm still alive. Marinated in some light ponzu / soy dressing, the fugu had a slightly springy texture and delicate flesh.
The sashimi course soon came and left me impressed - Chef Teppei must have been feeling in a generous mood, for the course included 1 toro, 1 scallop, swordfish, etc. The toro was buttery heaven of course, as always; what really stood out was the scallop which was fresh plump and sweet.
Next up, we had pork knuckle in some vinegary dressing of sorts. Rather interesting and the bones were great to gnaw on, with some crispy areas which packed in a punch.
We moved on to some Chawanmushi with cheese (pictured below) which featured exquisitely smooth egg curd and a hint of cheese.
Some fried items came - fried monkfish and puffer fish. Both were alright.
There was some tempura okra with whale sperm "shirako" inside - it's an interesting experience eating 'shirako', since it's got that umami, but is a little fishy as well, and yet the texture is a bit like eating into a gingko nut. I wonder if that's the right description, although.
Next up was a Wagyu beef fried teriyaki style. This was very good, as always - tender beef, well seasoned and fried. Very tasty.
We had clam soup after that, with some Japanese yam. This was alright, though I much preferred Teppei's other incarnations of clam soup. The previous one which he served with yuzu was simply amazing.
I remembered pointing to the uni which I spied on Chef Teppei's work station and mentioning to him that I would like to have some. Chef Teppei duly obliged by making us a nice big uni sushi each during the last course (told you he was in a generous mood?) where one could choose sashimi rice, fried rice, fried udon.... As you can see in the photo above, that was just lovely uni - floral and full of umami. The ikura on rice, as well as the barachirashi on rice, were equally good. Can't fault the freshness of the ingredients nor the execution.
Overall a meal at Teppei is always good fun and always delicious, and furthermore it does not bust a hole in the wallet as compared to other places which serve a similar standard of food. The Omakase above is SGD50++ per head which is a steal considering the amount of food.
The only bad thing is the waiting list - The waiting list for Teppei is apparently 2-3 weeks, but there are often empty seats if you're dining alone at around 9-10pm (they open until 12am, no worries).
Omakase at Teppei is a luxury that's fast becoming a necessity. Thankfully it's not that costly to remain only a once-in-a-while luxury. Highly recommended!