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Thursday, 9 April 2015

[Media Invite] DInner at Mitsuba Japanese Restaurant @ The Central

6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-88 The Central, Singapore 059817
Tel: 6227 0388

A same old brand new Japanese restaurant located at Clarke Quay area, the former Mitsuba by Yurine (read review here) has been reborn, retaining merely the first part of the name, now known proudly as Mistuba Japanese Restaurant simply.

The Opening Hours for lunch are from  11.30am to 3.00pm.   The Opening Hours for dinner are from 6.00pm to 10.00pm - however note that there are 2 seatings for dinner.

The First seating is from 6.00pm to 7.45pm; and the Second seating is from 8.00pm to 10.00pm.

I was honoured to be invited here for food tasting with representatives of Hungrygowhere and amongst many very familiar faces by now. The warm reception of the Executive Chef Mr. Low Chee Hui and restaurant manager Mr. John Chia was very much appreciated, as we familarised ourselves in the newly-renovated settiings.

In fact, there is a total overhaul - management, signboard, menu, concept, aesthetics and feel. Mistuba Japanese Restaurant offers a la carte buffet dinner with over 130 dishes at merely SGD$36.90++ for adults and SGD$23.90++ for children.

We were seated by the glass windows hence offering us a marvelous view of the sunset and night views of vivacious Quay-scene. It was then, that the feasting began.

Do note that we had a combination of buffet and a la carte items. For buffet menu, please visit here. For a la carte menu, please click here.

We started with chilled glasses of Sake (Japanese rice wine), very smooth and tasty, prepping the palate for the good food on their way to our tables.

They started us with the Chirashi Sushi (assorted sashimi with sushi rice) - these lovely sets range from SGD$28.00 to SGD$68.00, and are served with a Miso Soup, an Otoshi (starter) and Fruits, making it a really worthwhile choice.

The assortment of raw fish was all very thickly-sliced and fresh, bouncy in texture and tasty in their natural flavour. It was utterly delicious, especially for sashimi lovers like me. A couple who'd just returned from their Japan trip sang praises for this dish too, so what say you?

Then we had the Unatama Maki (SGD$16.00) - unagi (eel) and BBQ egg sushi roll; it was a splendid concoction that married the soft sweetness of the omelet and the slightly acidic flavor of eel into a successful gastronomical union.

What's a good meal without some quality soup? Here comes the Tara Nabe (SGD$30.00) - cod fish and vegetable in Chanko Nabe (Japanese stew). Piping hot clear broth tossed in with all the good ingredients of cod, mushrooms, cabbage etc, giving the palate a lovely break from the stronger-flavored dishes.

Next up, two of the most delicious items here - Ebi Mentaiyaki (SGD$18.00) and Hotate Mentaikayi (SGD$18.00) - prawns and scallops smeared generously with marinated roe of pollock and cod! Taste the saccharine flavours of the seafood amongst the rich, buttery coating of mentaiko, with ever the slightest hint of 'popping' crackling from the very tiny cod grains - every palate's dream.

Time to slick up the teeth and tongue a little, with this smooth-fleshed fish and its naturally glazed state, a fish that exudes a luscious flavour in lieu of the usual distinctive fishy-ness associated with most other fish. The Gindara Teriyaki (SGD$28.00) might be the answer to the above.

Sinful but everyone's favorite - Tempura Moriawase (SGD$18.00), platter of assorted deep-fried delicacies. The batter was crispy and light, encrusting shrimps and vegetables within.

The Ikura Chawanmushi (SGD$8.00) is no ordinary Japanese steamed egg custard, for it comes with salmon caviar, lending it extra flavor and crunchiness whenever a sphere is bursted.

Another tantalising treat of Jyo Moriawase (SGD$48.00), a platter filled with generously-sliced assorted raw fish, waiting to train the jaws and please the tummies. These precious pieces of fresh fish is perfect for sharing definitely - there are multiple kinds of fish so everyond could find something they like.

The festive promotion of Horse Hair Crab (SGD$38.00++) known as "Kegani" from Hokkaido and steamed perfectly and served with the Chef's secret recipe sauce, how could one resist this crab? The shell was full of fine hairs indeed, but rest assured the Chef has opened up the shell skillfully enough to keep it covered yet diners can pry the top shell open very easily. This juicy and saccharine dish left us raving, and there were plenty of flesh even within the hairy legs themselves.

You might also enjoy indulging in this Grilled Pork Belly set, combining tender softness of the flesh with the juicy layers of fatty meat quivering deliciously in your mouth. This was sinful, but at the same time, irresistable.

Some Tako Pachi (octopus balls) and Gyoza (meat dumplings) made their rounds as well. I did not try these so could not comment, but other reviewers enjoyed them.

Full as I was, these Spider Temaki (SGD$8.00) - soft shell crab hand roll were not to be passed up! Crispy and lightly-battered soft shelled crab, always luscious in flavor, wrapped in chewy sushi rice and seaweed, how scrumptious.

There were some other sides being dished out -  Chicken Mid Wings (SGD$14.00), Shisamo aka Pregnant Capelin (SGD$14.00) and bacon-wrapped sausages, bacon-wrapped crabmeat.

Last but not least, the Dobin Mushi (SGD$10.00), a dainty pot of Japanese tea-pot Soup, boiled with nothing but the goodness of seafood.

Finally, time for desserts - something that belongs to the "second" gastric, something that we always have space for.  These Japanese Cream Puffs (SGD$3.00 for 4) were fine in texture, cold in measure and tasted lovely as a treasure.

For ice-creams, there were 3 flavors to choose from (black sesame, yuzu and green tea) but most of us chose either the yuzu or the green tea flavors.  The Yuzu ice-cream was resplendant with the refreshing and citrusy qualities always associated with the fruit itself; there were even tiny pieces of yuzu peel within - the perfect conclusion to a sumptuous meal.

The Green Tea ice-cream was creamy and rich in texture and taste; had it not been for the Yuzu, this would have been my choice.

Thank you Mistuba and the fabulous hosts for a superb recommendation; and many thanks to Hungrygowhere for the invite once again.

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