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Sunday, 5 March 2017

[Media Invite] Dinner at Kyoaji Dining (京味) Restaurant @ Centrepoint Orchard

176 Orchard Road #04-17 / 18 The Centrepoint, Singapore 238844
Tel: 6694 4068 / 6694 3058

"Kyoaji"means "taste from Tokyo", bringing a piece of Japan over here to Singapore literally, because the restaurant serves up delectable and quality Japanese food, right in the heart of Orchard Road. Helmed by Executive Chef John Phua with his 30+ years of experience in authentic Japanese cuisine and the assurance of freshness, one can expect to be impressed by the food here at Kyoaji Dining.

Ambience is minimalistic, with a strong Japanese "zen" influence, and the service crew is excellent. Menu consists of many items from mini hotpot to sashimi to sushi, etc - novel for some, but familiar to the rest who fondly remember the delicacies at Fukuichi Dining. I am of the latter, with my own signature favorites from a few years back; and am honoured to be invited for this tasting session now, attended also by other familiar reviewers / bloggers as well as representatives from Hungrygowhere.

We started with Kani Tofu (SGD$6.00) - silky, melty beancurd filled with snow crabmeat within, giving it a springy texture. Topped with thick century egg paste and century egg-white pearls, sweetness popped beautifully in the palate.

Next, Sashimi Moriawase, Jyo (SGD$88.00), consisting of an assortment of premium raw fish such as tuna belly, swordfish, salmon belly, scallop, and horse mackerel. Freshness was noted in every bite, every swish of the juicy succulence that makes up quality raw seafood.

Fagura Chawan Mushu (SGD$25.00) -goose liver (foie gras) steamed egg custard! - comprising velvety seared foie gras in satin-textured, luscious steamed egg, making for a decadent starter, whether eaten on its own or paired with a bowl of Japanese pearl rice. Flying fish roe were placed atop the dish for extra flavour and texture, beautifying the dish further.

Following that, we had the Caterpillar Maki (SGD$20.00), looking almost too adorable to be devoured. Think thick coat of fresh avocado on the exterior, embracing seaweed-wrapped Japanese rice, teriyaki eel, flying fish roe and ebi tempura (deep-fried battered shrimp). It's catchy appearance and delicious combination of ingredients aside, this texturized dish was also filling - perfect for sharing.

The Shiro Maguro Aburi Maki (SGD$22.00) - beautiful seared white tuna roll, with a beautiful presentation of orange and green roe on each alternate piece. Smokey pieces of tuna draped tantalizingly across rice rolls filled with cucumber cubes, crabmeat and seaweed, giving us a palatable burst of flavours.

Then we had the Gyuniku Fagura Sauce (SGD$35.00) - grilled beef cubes doused with luxurious foie gras sauce, imagine that! Beef cubes were tender, moistened, with very light hint of smokiness that seamed flawlessly with the seared goose liver sauce. A single stalk of pink daikon radish lends beauty to the dish, and we were assured that everything on every dish, including platings, were edible. Neat!

Next, Ebi Teppanyaki (SGD$22.00), which translates into ' iron plate prawns' literally, giving you an idea of how the dish is being prepared. Grilled to a subtle smokiness yet retaining its bouncy, succulent texture, the luscious prawns were drizzled with a light sauce to further enhance its flavours.

Now, here's something I never missed out ordering at Fukuichi - the Hiyashi Goymen (SGD$13.00) - pink fish paste noodles, so consistent and good, each time I eat. Every strand danced tautly, but texture is not hard; this dish grazed the palate with the lovely sweetness of fish meat, so fresh, and so delicious even when eaten on its own. The cold and hot versions are both available, topped with stacks of seaweed strips.

Not on the menu yet, is the Imo Manju (SGD$16.00) - a composition of excellent ingredients such as Chinese yam (also may be known as "cinnamon vine'' or "huai shan"/ "shan yao), snow crab meat, teriyaki eel, and shiitake mushrooms in a light clear broth. Saccharine in taste and uniquely created, so we benefit also from the goodness of the Chinese herb.

Finally, Unagi Tofu (SGD16.00), also a new kid on the diner's block - consists of crispy homemade beancurd fingers topped with a generous slice of teriyaki eel, sitting in a pool of light sweet soya sauce afloat with shimeiji mushrooms. A fuss-free, straightforward dish that pleased the palate with the beautiful complements of the sum of its parts. Second helpings, anyone?

Some Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) sculptured the meal towards perfection, a wholly Japanese dining experience, almost euphoric, complete with impeccable service and knowledgeable insight from the Restaurant Manager who hosted us.

Photo Source: Kyoaji Dining - Sushi Gozen (salad, chawan mushi, assorted sushi and udon)

Photo Source: Kyoaji Dining - Bento (salad, chawan mushi, eel, tempura, assorted sashimi,
pirkles, rice and soup)

Head over to Kyoaji Dining right now for some authentic Japanese cuisine with a creative, contemporary twist. Oh, and if you are looking for lunchtime treats, here's some good news for you - Kyoaji Dining caters to the lunch crowd as well, with some really value-for-money set lunches such as their Sushi Gozen sets (SGD$22.00) and Bento sets (SGD$35.00). Simply make your bookings now through Hungrygowhere and the 3rd diner in your party gets to dine for free!

Thank you Kyoaji Dining for letting us rediscover you over the tasting session, and thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite!

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