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Monday, 19 May 2014

Dinner at Shinkei Japanese Restaurant

After weighing several options for Japanese buffer dinner, *Celine and *Charliez and I headed to the newly-opened Shinkei Japanese Restaurant at 600 Toa Payoh Lorong 4, #01-06 / 07 / 10, Singapore 319515 and the number to dial is 6255 5598.

It was another simply-furnished, modern Japanese ala-carte buffet resturant done in dark wood and white tones, providing a hearty, relaxing environment for its diners. This humble little place even has a private dining room for large groups or special celebatory events.

With more than 140 items on the menu, it was easy to over-order so we ticked a fair number of items on the order chit. The complimentary dishes were some cooked Tuna dish that tasted rather all right and some Wasabi nuts to start us off.

Then we had the Yaki Gyuniku - stir fried beef that was rather succulent.

This was the Moyashi Itame (stir fried beansprouts), rather juicy in its sweet crunchiness, flavor enhanced by salted fish bits.

This is Uzura (grilled quail eggs), my personal favorite with a layer of light crisp outside, and sapid of quail egg's flavor within. I ignored the high cholesterol warning and had another skewer of this.

The Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) is something that we could never do without at a Japanese restaurant. Besides the tender chicken cube and gingko nuts, this one came with shiitake mushroom bits that added a strong but tasty flavor to the chawanmushi. It was surprisingly good.

Now, the Tebasaki - chicken wings on skewers, grilled to a golden crispiness.

Now, the single skewer of Buta Miso Zuke - pork skewered to gold crispiness and marinated with miso soup - an interesting delicacy that was crunchy and chewy (the fatty bits).

We also had the Yasai Tempura (assorted deep fried vegetables) - tasty, crispy and sweet vegetables that melted in the mouth.

The Ebi Tempura (deep fried prawns) was a tangle of fluffy crisps and succulence.

Now the best part of any Japanese food is always the Sashimi Moriawase (assorted sashimi platter) - salmon, swordfish, tuna, snapper, octopus, cuttlefish and yellow tail. The sashimi were kind of soft and not too fresh, in my humble opinion. It lacks the firm fresh bounciness of sashimi at other restaurants

But, the ( Shak Abuei Sashimi (roasted salmon sashimi) was something new to us, and surprisingly very scrumptious - the outer layer was resplendent of the smoky flavor of torched food, while the inside was succulent and raw - a marriage of tastes made in heaven.

Following that, we had the Asuparagasu Be-kon (bacon wrapped asparagus) - one of my favorites at all times - crispy, thin layer of pork encompassing crunchy and sweet greens.

Next up, the California Maki - sushi with crabstick and avocado. This combination used to be one of my favorites, until I stopped taking carbo such as rice, but still, the combination of ingredients in a California roll resulted in a flavors heaven of sweet softness and springy savoury, all encased in a layer of chewy pearl rice.

Some hot soup was in order - the Shake Miso Jiru - miso soup with salmon.

The Agadeshi Tofu (fried beancurd) was another must-have that I always needed to order - crispy skin that turned to molasses in the mouth, enclosing very soft and tender flesh.

This was the Shabu Salada - pork salad - a refreshing plate of fresh greens and tender pork slices paired with palatable dressing.

This was a good dish for digestion and a break from all the savoury stuff we were consuming - Bainiku Kyuri - cucumber in plum sauce. The cucumber cubes were crunchy and the sourish plum sauce was delicious and thirst-quenching (almost).

This was the Nankotsu Karrage - deep fried chicken cartillage - very crispy, yes, but it was soft bones, basically. So order only if you know how to appreciate this dish.

The Nasu (eggplant) was always one of my favorites - soft in a silken manner, and naturally sweet and juicy.

The Jaigamo Korokke - potato croquette - outside was a lovely layer of crisps, and the inside was a mashy pulp of... well, potatoes.

The Okura (lady's fingers) is one of my favorites as well - sweet and sticky in its natural softness, filled with chewable seeds so it was a lovely blend of textures.

The Sunagimo - chicken gizzard - was very crispy but without the springy chewiness of cooked ones.

I ordered a Spider Temaki (soft shell crab handroll) just to eat the seaweed, cucumber strips and fried soft shell crab - how sinful was that (the crab was sinful, as was wasting rice, oops). But it was good - one could never really go wrong with soft-shell crab, could they?

The Tsukune (chicken meat ball) looked huge and succulent but I didnt get to eat it. I was already very full at this juncture, and am not a fan of these balls.

Finally, to wrap up the dinner, the Shake Teriyaki - grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce - I did not get to eat this seemingly delicious dish as well.

All in all we paid SGD$45.60 each. It was a very average restaurant -service, setting, standard of food.

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