Food picks: Wong Ah Yoke recommends Japanese set menus at Mikuni, and more

Deep-fried Tempura Abalone And Persimmon In Abalone Liver Sauce from Mikuni restaurant. -- ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE
Deep-fried Tempura Abalone And Persimmon In Abalone Liver Sauce from Mikuni restaurant. -- ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

EAT JAPAN, SEE JAPAN

Two guest chefs from Tokyo have taken over the Mikuni kitchen until tomorrow to present set menus comprising their specialities.

Chef Masahiro Kasahara of Sampiryouron restaurant is known for his modern kaiseki cooking while chef Hisashi Yamashita of Bistro Q is known for injecting French influences into teppanyaki cuisine.

Their menus use prized ingredients from Japan's Gifu Prefecture in central Japan, including ayu fish and Hida wagyu beef.

Highlights include Teppan Ayu Fish in Namerou Style In Cucumber Sauce and Teppan-style Hida Wagyu Beef, Oroshi Sauce And Rossini-style Wagyu Hambrug.

My favourite dish is the interesting Deep-fried Tempura Abalone And Persimmon In Abalone Liver Sauce.

The six-course set lunch is priced at $158 a person ($258 with sake pairing) and the eight-course dinner menu is at $268 ($368 with sake pairing).

While dining, you can also view photos of Kyoto taken by Russel Wong, exhibited throughout the restaurant.

Where: Mikuni, Level 3, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road MRT: City Hall When: Till tomorrow, noon - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10.30pm Tel: 6431-6156


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OMI WAGYU HIGHLIGHT

Omi wagyu beef takes the spotlight at this month's dinner and brunch buffets at the Pan Pacific Orchard's 10 At Claymore restaurant.

The prized beef from Shiga Prefecture in Japan is known for its good marbling, which makes the meat tender and aromatic.

The beef is grilled a la minute at a live station according to the diner's preferred doneness.

However, each person gets only a 100g serving of it. Extra orders cost $38 for 100g, which is still pretty reasonable.

For me, 100g is enough though. The beef is marbled liberally with fat, so more could be too much of a good thing.

Besides, there are usually other dishes on the buffet that I do not want to miss.

Executive chef Andy Oh's Penang-style char kway teow and prawn noodle soup here are good. And if there's pork trotter in vinegar, that's a bonus.

Where: 10 At Claymore, Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road MRT: Orchard When: Till Sept 30, 6 - 10.30pm daily, noon - 3pm (Sun) Price: $68 (dinner, Mon - Thu), $72 (dinner, Fri - Sun), $78 (Sun brunch) Tel: 6831-6686


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TEA-INFUSED FRENCH FOOD

Cooking French food with tea is a novel concept which you can taste this month at ME@OUE.

The restaurant's French executive chef Jeremy Gillon and pastry chef Nicolas Vergnole have come up with a four-course dinner menu of dishes cooked with blends from Newby Teas.

It starts with a Foie Gras Terrine With Mango & Strawberry Tea-Infused Vinegar Syrup, followed by an unusual ball- shaped Beef Tartar With Smoked Beetroot, Toasted Peanuts And Lapsang Souchong & Beef Consomme Gelee. The main course is a Steamed Dorade With Fruity Berries And Tea-Infused Balsamic Vinegar while dessert is a Strawberry Tart Moderne, Sable Bretton, Jasmine Tea Chantilly, Strawberry Variation And Jasmine Tea Sorbet.

The tea is very subtle in the savoury dishes but comes to the fore in the dessert, which is also my favourite course. The tart strawberries just go so well with the jasmine tea sorbet.

Where: ME@OUE, OUE Bayfront Rooftop, 50 Collyer Quay MRT: Raffles Place When: Till Sept 30, 5.30 - 10.30pm (Mon - Sat) Price: $125 a person Tel: 6634-4555


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XI YAN'S 9TH ANNIVERSARY

Private dining restaurant Xi Yan celebrates its ninth anniversary this week with special menus of new creations by Hong Kong-based chef and founder Jacky Yu, who is in town for the occasion.

The lunch menus, available from today till Sunday, are priced from $70 a person, while the dinner menus, available only today and tomorrow, start at $88 a person.

Among the interesting dishes are steamed crab with coconut egg white, baked Buddha- jumps-over-the-wall and black garlic orange-peel- steamed grouper with Yunnan ham.

The steamed crab especially stands out because coconut water mixed into the egg white adds a subtle sweetness to the crustacean. The baked Buddha-jumps-over-the-wall is like a deluxe version of beggar's chicken, with abalone and sea cucumber stuffed in a chicken that is wrapped in bread dough and baked. And it is delicious.

After the promotion ends, some of the dishes may be included in the restaurant's menu, which changes daily.

Where: Xi Yan, 38A Craig Road MRT: Tanjong Pagar/Outram Park When: Till Sun Tel: 6220-3546