Monday, July 28, 2008


its been a long time coming for this ultimate pilgrimage to THE epitome of japanese fine dining. think authentic japanese chefs, servers in traditional kimonos, banter amongst the japanese customers, a mind-boggling display of fish in a glass enclosure at the counter..yes, welcome to Tatsuya's..and this marks my first excursion with m, whose blog is my ultimate reference for good food
i love sitting at the sushi counter seeing all the chefs at work. indeed the hierachy is obvious, with the one wielding the (very expensive) knives to prepare the sashimi being the most senior..and im talking about the one second to the left, putting the final touches to the sushi..he brushes some mysterious sauce atop the fish before sending the dish off..
the chef on the left was actually deboning a huge slab of salmon..a very very important job, finding bones in sashimi is cardinal sin!

this chef was blow torching the otoro and as the fats oozed out , that unmistakable aroma drove us crazy and made us very very hungry..our sets really took eternity to come man (i think at least 20 minutes, cos m asked the waitress if she could change her set to the ladies set after thinking over and over her choices..oh the dilema when we are hungry)

and we were wondering what this chef was doing with this backslab looking bundle..until he started slicing and we realised it was actually white carrot!!!!!!! he spent our whole lunch time (we don't eat that fast) slicing the white carrot so i suppose he's the most junior..don't dismiss the humble white carrot man

Sushi set $30

an extremely comprehensive set, encompassing sushi, some rolls, california makis, tamago (with the Tatsuya stamp, no less!), a variety of tempura, miso soup and chawan mushi, ending off with the usual fruits..

the chawan mushi was really was really smooth and there was a tangy yuzu flavour to it, which made it rather unique. the miso soup was rather flavourful too, great start for whetting up our appetites

now on to the main course.. i must say the sushi was one of the best i've ever eaten and although i HATE wasabi (and i forgot traditional jap places serve it in inside their sushi) , the grated ones that Tatsuya's uses complements the sushi and i found myself appreciating the different dimension that the wasabi gives. The tuna, yellowtail and swordfish sushi was very fresh, and indeed the cut is very good - its no wonder since they use really expensive knives to slice the fish and it really makes a difference to the texture of the sliced fish.. and as mentioned, the chef brushes some sweet sauce over the fish just before serving..with the portion of the slab of fish much bigger than the rice, this is sushi heaven!

zooming into the sushi.. and the humble rolls.. i think there was salmon, yellow tail and tuna with some spring onion garnishing in each roll..
and the ever ubiquitious california maki..the fish roe was really fresh and crunchy .. california makis will never taste the same again..
and the head chef here did mention before that the quality of a japanese restaurant depends pretty much on the standard of the tamago..the consistency and the sweetness must be just right..i must say that indeed it was quite good..

i wasnt so blown away by the tempura though..there were 2 portions of prawn, 2 capsicum, and an eggplant..of which i think the egg plant tasting the best .. the crunchiness of the batter complementing the mushiness of the eggplant.. i crave mushroom tempura now! and i so must go and try the tempura at is said that the batter is so light that the vegetables are even more crunchy than the batter itself..that must say alot for the frying technique, quality of the batter and the freshness of the vegetables

Chiraishi set $28

This was M's set..after a very long debate over this or the unagi set or the ladies set, she decided on this set. i tried some pieces of tuna and swordfish from her chiraishi don and it was rather fresh..but i always think that the chopped up fish doesn't provide a good gauge of the overall quality of the fish ie. the freshness and the skill of the chef in slicing the fish..nonetheless, it gives us the chance to try the variety of fish that the restaurant offers..

a closer look at her chiraishi don.. attention to detail is what Tatsuya is good at, see the sesame seeds? oh i love sesame seeds it adds crunchiness and fragrance to my food! (i add it to anything from yong tau fu to chee cheong fan).. and the fish pieces are really thick and fatty.. oh i would have chosen this if m didn't chope it first (but i didn't regret my choice either..okay i shan't be greedy)

Avocado salad $15

m and i enjoyed the salad in m's chiraishi set so much that we decided to order the avocado salad (m loves avocado). the dressing in both salads was really really good. the ala carte version of the garden salad is $12.50 whilst the avocado one is $15, and i think the latter is worth it since the avocado was melt in your mouth buttery goodness! i especially love the tempura batter bits atop the avocado, the crunchiness complements the mushy avocado. my favourite part of the salad was the seaweed since it doesn't appear in Western salads..and its the type that's found in japanese miso soup. the seaweed went really well with the tangy salad dressing - since im used to it being in the salty miso soup.

hoho now that we've ended our meal with an appetiser, we're still as hungry as ever as we leave Tatsuya's but we'll definitely be back to try all their other lunch sets(especially the ladies set - which has a serving of udon) .. but dessert beckons right now !
Tatsuya Japanese Restaurant
270 Orchard Road#01-05
Park Hotel Orchard
Tel: 6737 1160
Daily: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm

1 comment:

ice said...

That chef you referred to as junior, is actually one of the more senior chefs.