Monday, October 1, 2007

Minoru - Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre

My usual default reply (and a lazy one where I don't need to think at all) for mid-range Japanese cusine would be Sushi Tei -and sometimes, if we're nearby, Waraku. But I've just found a new Japanese restaurant near school (which is NUS). It looks really dingy from the outside (the whole building is super old and has small tiles) but inside is bright and clean, good aircon and service too.The starter was some broiled fish head in this sweet sauce. The sauce was sweet and salty, i think they put in mirin, and of course, it paved the way for more exciting food to come!This is the horseshoe makeral (aji) sashimi ($20). It's the first time i'm seeing it presented this way, so I thought it was quite cool. Apparently aji is in in season now, so this was recommended. The fish reminds me of a less fatty version of hamachi, probably cos it's a white fish (I think they taste quite similar like kampachi tastes about this way too). This is the Toro Sushi. Toro is actually tuna, but it's not the normal dark red tuna that you find in the supermarket. There are three grades of fatty tuna - Toro, Chutoro and Otoro, with otoro being the highest grade (the most fatty melt in your mouth, your years worth supply of omega 3 fatty acid).

There are 8 pieces and it costs $20. The fish is fresh and minced, with a sprinkle of spring onions and a little bit of wasabi. This was my favourite dish of the night, next to the kimuchi.
Salt Grilled Sanma - the fish was very fresh and the saltiness was just right to bring out the flavour - no sauces cos it's so tasty as it is. $18
Kimuchi nabe ($20) - A variant of the hotpot (nabe), we tried the Kimuchi nabe which is actually a Japanese/Korean dish with kimchi. The taste was really unique and i've never tried anything like this before. At first, it tastes like a tomato based soup, and then after that, there is this slight spiciness from the kimchi, and sweetness from the sake (which gives the nice taste) as well as the japanese scallop (hotate) and the fragrance of sesame oil, and the garlicky taste right at the end.
It came with seafood so there was fish, squid, prawns and lots of cabbage, celery and leek.
This wasn't on the menu, and it was recommended by the lady boss.

For the uninspired/want to stick to safe choices people, there are the usual sets available (tempura, eel, beef teppanyaki, oyako don etc etc). This is the sashimi set (I think it's either $18 or $20). The sashimi is delicious and fresh, and it's cut thicker than the ususal floppy little piece you get in most default japanese restaurants. You'll get 3 pieces (generous ones too) of salmon, yellowtail/hamachi and 2 pieces of swordfish. If you want to change your rice to soba/udon, you'll have to add $3. When we first entered the restaurant, it was pretty empty - only one other table other than us, but right after we ordered, the whole restaurant suddenly filled up and there was only one table which wasn't occupide. This was at about 8pm.

214/216 Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre,
West Coast Way
Singapore 127104
Tel : 6346 6667

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