Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wildfire Kitchen and Bar, Evans Road

A short break from the Japan posts, to bring you an absolutely gorgeous hangar (onglet) steak from Wildfire Kitchen and Bar. There was such a great beef taste to this, of slightly funky 'liver', the way a good onglet is supposed to taste. Intensely beefy with a slight livery taste, cooked to a medium rare perfection. The fries were also superb. S$36. (8.25/10)

I can't wait to come back here to try the burgers.

The ambience is lovely; casual and all. For now there are beers going at S$9 per bottle so it's a good opportunity to grab some Rochefort 6 and all that while you're at it. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Afuri Ramen, Ebisu

Afuri ramen (Ebisu) came highly recommended by many, including a friend who said she used to visit Afuri when she had a craving for a late night snack. This was some mighty delicious yuzu shio ramen - light and tasty, quite flavourful, full of umami and the distinctive element is the addition of some yuzu which adds some zest to the taste. A good bowl of ramen. (8/10)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fuunji, Shinjuku

Fuunji is an extremely highly-rated ramen joint in Shinjuku, best known for its tsukumen (dipping noodles). We arrived sometime around 1pm and there was a really long queue. We queued for about 30 min before finally managing to enter the shop, and we were quite surprised to find out that we still had to queue some more! Yes, so customers would queue inside, behind where the diners would be slurping their noodles. I guess it all adds up to the anticipation.

Tsukumen it was for me, and it came rather quickly, a huge pile of noodles along with a dipping bowl. I ordered an extra egg, making it two eggs altogether. 

How was the tsukumen? Really good - the chicken based broth with sardine was really rich and full of umami, with a hint of sweetness; yet overall it was very well-balanced. The noodles had great texture, firm to the bite, slightly curly. It went very well with the dipping sauce. The only regret I had was that i ordered too much (since I was the greedy foodie, I ordered the "large" size instead of medium, and immediately regretted it later when I went to Kichijoji).


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Uoshin, Tokyo

I love dining at izakayas, Japanese bars, which are great fun - there's always good sake on offer, or some shochu; and there's a bustling atmosphere all the time.

Uoshin has many branches around Tokyo, located in high-traffic areas such as Shibuya and Shimokitazawa. I was at the Shimo branch after a day of visiting many boutiques in the area. It was a really bustling atmosphere - almost full-house that we almost couldn't get a table, but thankfully there were only 2 of us so after a while we were ushered into the counter area to have a seat.

The menu was in Japanese so we couldn't read a thing; there was an English menu but it didn't list the seasonal specials (understandably). Thankfully though, there was a Japanese father-and-son party next to us who helpfully explained the dishes to us. They were a joy to talk to - that's what I like about izakayas, you get to talk to random people next to you over some sake and shochu and that's where the fun is about. Things got interesting when I asked whether they had "juyondai" and the "son", presumably a sake lover, was surprised that I even knew about the brand.

(I have never tried "juyondai" - for the record. I have heard about how rare it is though).

I ordered some sake, and some sashimi to start with. Uoshin is run by a seafood supplier and therefore their seafood is of top quality. Everything was decent, fresh; sweet scallops, especially; and some other lovely fish. Unfortunately, it could not match the top quality of a high-end sushi restaurant with its meticulously seasoned and prepared fish, but this was not bad already. 
We had two platters - the "normal" version and the "special" one. Go for the special one, which comes with a greater variety of fish and some uni as well.

There was a kinki fish that we ordered; it was delicious. It had really tender flesh, and it was full of 'fish oils' simmered lightly in shoyu. Can't get enough. 

And a grilled shioyaki head. Again - lots of tender meat in the crevices of the fish head. It's juicy, tender, and flavourful with light grilling. 

Spring vegetables is in season now; fresh shoots announcing the start of spring. This was lightly battered, and tasted real good. 

Uoshin's a really dependable place and worthy of a visit. It's good value for money as well, with loads of delicious sakes too.