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Friday, 31 July 2015

[Invited Tasting] Dinner at Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant @ AMK

61 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, #02-03 Jubilee Square, Singapore 569814
Tel: 6451 3201

Nestled in the heart of Ang Mo Kio is a hidden find, a Japanese Restaurant with quality and standards to rival some of the better mainstream Japanese chain restaurants located around Singapore. Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant is the hidden gem, with its long interior and rather extensive menu.

This is an invited tasting session hosted by Chef Nick, where I got to sample tantalising dishes together with both the familiar faces and made friends with blogger friends I have not met before.   The tasting menu comprised some of their best items, most of which centers around wagyu beef items - something to look forward to.

Back to the cosy settings of this minimalistic restaurant, the service was rather efficient and the prices very wallet-friendly too. Since it is located in a heartland location, this Japanese restaurant is family-oriented as well. But if you are working in the nearby areas during lunchtime - you might be glad to know that they offer BUY 2 GET 1 FREE LUNCHTIME BENTO promotion - so gather your colleagues and pamper yourselves.

The tasting session begun with the Negima Mushi (SGD$15.00), a Japanese seafood soup that comes with thick, succulent slices of otoro (tuna belly).  Every sip was tasty, redolent with essence of food et al, and I especially loved the pieces of boiled tuna belly that melted lusciously in the mouth.

Next, the Wagyu Tataki (SGD$26.80) - finely sliced beef seared deliciously on the outside but utterly tender on the raw inside; giving us a good balance of texture and flavour.   Once you sink your teeth into a piece of this, you are not going to let go until every morsel of its sweetness has been swallowed.

Then we have the Sukiyaki Wagyu (SGD$25.80) - piping hot Japanese hotpot prepared with wagyu beef.  The soup was flavourful, but a little too saccharine for my liking. The wagyu beef was another story altogether - utterly succulent and soft, but retaining its chewy-ness all the same.

Following that, the Yuzu Tebasaki (SGD$6.80), looking deceptively normal in its appearance, but wait till you get a bite! The yuzu marinated chicken winglets were infused strongly with citrusy goodness; the flavour penetrating so deeply it brought about a natural tinge of spiciness to it - initially I'd thought it was infused with pepper as well. This was definitely one of the favorites too.

Next, the Itoyori Golden Thread (SGD$38.00) - the fish. Okay, let's pry the eyes away from the rest of the sashimi slices first , and focus on the fish with its tail swept to the front artistically. That is the Itayori, flaunting its fishy business of delicious raw fish.

Now, the generous slices of Sashimi Mix (SGD$120.00). The mere sight of these slices of thick, glossy and colourful raw fish assortment is enough to make one salivate. The sashimi was springy in its freshness, with natural sweetness of the flesh, and is a natural delight for sashimi lovers.  

Don't be daunted by the price - different assortment  / mix of sashimi is priced differently, from SGD$80.00 onwards. There is something for everyone.

Moving on, the Zaku Ramen (SGD$14.80), containing delectable broth, an egg, springy strands of noodles and pork so tender, so light in texture. This bowl of ramen gives many established ramen shops a good run for their money.

Next, Wagyu Don (SGD$24.80) mixed with a poached egg, utterly delicious. The wagyu slices were moistened, succulent, made sweeter by the mixture of the poached egg. The onion slices added flavour, but I could have done with less. 

We had the Chirashi Don Premium (SGD$31.80), a good assortment of sashimi with Japanese rice; tasty, fresh and well-textured.  Again, the raw fish slices here were thick, very satisfying for sashimi lovers.   It is also apparent that Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant takes care of its food presentation from this don.

The Aburi Sushi (SGD$23.80) consists of 6 different types of torched sushi, each one with ingredients delicately arranged, each one boosting of a blend of seafood / fish gentle sweetness combined with hints of smokiness, dinintegrating deliciously in the mouth. The keyword to note here is fresh.

Finally, the Haru Roll (SGD$14.90) comprising salmon-wrapped sushi rolles stuffed with omelet, etc, and topped with mayo and salmon fish roe. There was a burst of textures here - the velvety texture of the salmon contrasted beautifully with the exploding salmon roe as well as crunch of the cucumber. Flavours-wise, this was a rich combination - crab roe, omelet, and the umami flavour of salmon roe. It delighted the tastebuds definitely.

I have to admit - I came with no expectations of all, but left the restaurant surprised by the quality and standard of food here. Thank you Haru Haru, Chef Nick for the hospitality, recommendation and invite!

Thank you Alvin, for the extension.

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