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Monday, 24 November 2014

Dinner at Tsukada Nojo (塚田農場 美人鍋) at Chinatown Point

133 North Bridge Road #02-37 Chinatown Point, Singapore 059413
Tel: 6444 8840

It was time for dinner with *Celine again. When she suggested eating the collagen hotpot at Tsukada Nojo, I had scorned in disbelief when she mentioned that even the Chinatown Point branch would garner a long queue. When I got there, I was stunned to see that it was really so.

After queuing for about half an hour, we were ushered in finally, to a table. The interior was infused with a modernistic authentic Japanese flavor. The service was really attentive and amicable, right from the start.

Looking at the menu, I was gratified to note that it was not a buffet concept. I let *Celine do the ordering. She ordered the Bijin Nabe - Beauty Hotpot Set for 2 to share (SGD$25.00) which would include a hot pot of collagen soup, ingredients and dessert.

We were served Hot Tea first, while waiting for them to process the order.

Then they placed the huge chunk of collagen (fats?) into the pot and set to boil. I was fascinated to see the jelly-like collagen pudding slowly dissolving into soup, and the Jidori chicken parts were beginning to be discernible.

One of the staff served the soup to us in a Sake cup. I took a sip and was amazed by the lusciousness of Jidori chicken collagen soup.

The chicken flesh was soft and tender, and tasted even better with these special dips. The green one was Yuzu! The white one was garlic, and the red chilli with dried shrimps dip was awesome as well.

Then the friendly waitress helped to place the rest of the ingredients into the sizzling hot pot of boiling collagen - some chicken meatball pasta, vegetables, prawns, fried tofu and golden mushrooms etc. The magenta slices were actually Watermelon Radish! The vegetables were fresh and the prawns were succulent.

Last but not least, the noodle of choice was Thick Mochi-Mochi Noodle - very chewy, bouncy and springy. After being soaked in the richness of the broth, it tasted simply scrumptious.

We also added on a Chicken Nanban (SGD$8.50) - a traditional Miyazaki way of marinated deep fried chicken. It was very delicious - the outside was crispy and crunched of a "deep fried beancurd skin" texture, embracing tender meat within. The spicy sauce on the side was simply irresistable as well, lending credence to the already-tasty chicken.

Finally, it was time for Dessert - a very adorably decorated plate of fruit jelly cubes and flavored dip, what a thoughtful and refreshing little sweet dish.

Overall, I rather enjoyed the service and meal here, except that I wasn't really crazy over the Collagen pudding and soup. It felt like drinking chicken fats half the time and I was rather apprehensive about that, despite the fantastic flavor.

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