KAPPO CUISINE AT KAPPO SHUNSUI
There is a new chef at the helm of Kyoto-style kappo cuisine restaurant Kappo Shunsui at Cuppage Plaza. Chef Nishi Nobuhiro's credentials include working at Tokyo's three-Michelin-starred Kagurazaka Ishikawa.
The 19-seat restaurant serves only multi-course tasting menus which are decided on by the chef. Menus are priced at $150 for eight courses and $250 for nine courses with more premium ingredients.
Unless you are a regular customer recognised by the restaurant's biometric fingerprint scanner, you will have to ring the doorbell of this intimate and quiet restaurant.
Here, seasonal Japanese ingredients are prepared in various styles, from grilling to frying.
The menu changes, but you can expect fine, elegant fare. Dishes I tried last week included abalone poached with kombu and sake, served with sticky rice, crab and an umai dashi sauce; as well as blanched live octopus with a soft and slightly chewy texture served with a refreshing ume and tomato sauce.
The owan, or soup appetiser, was divine. It was sweet and delicate with subtle flavours that kept coming through long after your first sip. The yuzu peel in the soup, which came with a fish dumpling and smoky charred eggplant, gave it a touch of brightness and elevated the flavours.
The meal also included a claypot rice dish, which, depending on the season or choice of menu, could be rice topped with ikura or torched Kagoshima beef with Japanese aromatic peppercorns that release a subtle tongue-tingling sensation when bitten into.
Opt for a sake flight with six 45ml glasses of sake (add $69) for the full experience.
WHERE: Kappo Shunsui, 04-02 Cuppage Plaza, 5 Koek Road MRT: Somerset OPEN: 6pm to midnight (Mondays to Saturdays, last order 11pm), closed on Sundays and public holidays TEL: 6732-0912 INFO: E-mail email@example.com or go to www.kapposhunsui.sg
ANNIVERSARY FARE AT WAH LOK
Cantonese restaurant Wah Lok opened in 1988. For its 30th anniversary, it is reintroducing six lost favourites for a limited period. They will be available from now until the end of next month.
Be sure to order the Alaskan King Crab done two ways ($18 for 100g). The platter features a luxurious sauteed crab meat with soft egg white surrounded by deep-fried crab claws in a light batter with chilli and salt.
Other anniversary dishes to complement the restaurant's wide range of Cantonese classics include the braised bamboo fungus stuffed with asparagus served with a crab claw and pumpkin ($18 a person) and braised pork knuckle with black pepper sauce ($48).
WHERE: Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant, Carlton Hotel Singapore, Bras Basah Road MRT: City Hall WHEN: The anniversary dishes will be available from now until Aug 31 OPEN: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm daily; on Sundays and public holidays, it opens at 11am for lunch TEL: 6311-8188 INFO: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.carltonhotel.sg/wah-lok.html
CHARCOAL KAYA TOAST BUN
For my kaya toast fix in the Orchard Road area, I head to Good Morning Nanyang Cafe at Far East Plaza.
Order the charcoal kaya toast (above), but be prepared to wait about 10 minutes.
The black, charcoal bun with black and white sesame seeds, as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, is spread thickly with aromatic kaya. The bun, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, has an appetising burnt flavour that cuts through the richness of the kaya.
Expect to spend about $4 to $5 for a toast and coffee set with soft-boiled eggs.
WHERE: 02-23 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road MRT: Orchard OPEN: 8.30am to 8.30pm daily
TAIWANESE PORRIDGE CLASSICS
Taiwanese restaurant Goldleaf celebrates 47 years in the business this year.
Over the years, the restaurant has relocated a number of times, but has been in Katong for the last two years.
My favourite dishes to eat with porridge are the tender and robust-flavoured meicai kourou or braised pork belly with preserved mustard greens ($18.80); fluffy and not overly salty chye poh omelette ($10.80); and the Goldleaf Double Beancurd Platter (S$10.80) - cold silkened tofu in a special soya sauce gravy with century egg, topped with bonito flakes and pork floss.
Save space for a bowl of oyster mee sua ($8.80) - thin noodles in a gloopy but tasty gravy with plump oysters. Add black vinegar and pepper for extra flavour.
The restaurant recently launched an a la carte buffet, available from Mondays to Thursdays for lunch ($19.80) and dinner ($25.80).
WHERE: Goldleaf Restaurant, 01-02 Katong Square, 86 East Coast Road MRT: Dakota OPEN: 11am to 2.30pm, 6 to 10pm daily TEL: 6344-1735 INFO: goldleaf.com.sg
Book a meal at Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant with Chope.