Saturday, December 02, 2006

Brunch @ Keyaki, Pan Pacific Hotel


This was actually an informal wedding bruncheon (is there even such a word?) of an old friend of mine. Hi Chris and Christy. You've been punk'd blogged. Enclosed in a Japanese garden, Keyaki at the 4th floor of Pan Pacific Hotel offers an a la carte buffet brunch at $58++ a head. Food's pretty good, though very visibly marred by less than enthusiastic service from the staff of the restaurant. The selection of the a la carte menu does provide a range of items with the baby lobster and sashimi being the ones that each customer can only request for once. Do not come here expecting much of the exotic and expensive. Like I have mentioned, the food's decent. Some were noteworthy and others, simply uninteresting.

The following are some photos which I managed to take during the meal. They're not exhaustive of what the brunch offers. In fact, it was just round one for a table of eight.

cold sake

I hope you're not expecting me to review the sake. I'm not an expert on it and I don't drink it on any regular basis. To me, sake is just sake. Perhaps I haven't the experience to develop a refined tongue for the subtleties of the drink, but there you go. Drinks aren't part of the brunch, so it's something on top of the bill.

baby lobster

underside
"nude"

I'm not sure what to say about the lobster except that it is not bad. I know it's probably one of the lamest comments to give. Not bad usually means, not great also. Double negatives do not always imply a positive. But honestly, it is not bad. Just not exceptional. Couldn't really tell what was the greenish cream. The only identifiable ingredient which I could detect is mayo. I don't know what else was inside.

sashimi

The sashimi is not bad too. Just doesn't look impressive. It tasted good, came in small portions and probably underwent fish carving skills of an apprentice. I'm generally in for variety with sashimi and 3 tiny options does not a variety make.

stir fried bean sprouts

Not surprisingly, this was really popular at the table. There were a lot of garlic in the stir fried bean sprouts. The heads and the roots have also been removed. It's fresh and crunchy with not the slightest hint of rawness in the bite. So we're getting pretty well timed stir fry.

Ebi shioyaki (grilled prawns)

I liked these prawns. It's simply grilled prawns. But they're good. Good in the sense that you're getting is the natural flavours of the crustacean and the flesh was relatively easy to extract from the shells. This one was at least twice as good as what I had from Azhang. For the production speed at this was done for a brunch, it speaks a volume or two about the quality twixt the two.

Hotate ebi miso (scallop with prawn miso paste)

Very common scallop which was neither warm nor chilled. The prawn miso paste was saturated with flavour. Miso, no prawn and very salty.

Horenso gorna ae (poached spinach with sesame dressing)

Interestingly stacked like firewood, these spinach require an exercise of jaw muscle. Also, there was not much of the sesame flavour with the dressing. I'm sure there's more to it than sesame, however the dominant taste was saltiness.

Gindara teriyaki (grilled cod with teriyaki sauce)

I like cod and generally am not really into teriyaki. This really came well together. Being grilled, it's actually a little dry. Apart from that, this grilled cod did retain the flavour of fish and we didn't get a cheap drizzle of teriyaki sauce. It was a brush to coat the meat for the grill.

smoked salmon salad

This is one of the uninteresting items unless you really love salmon. It's so uninteresting I'm at a loss for words to describe it.

Yakitori

Decent and tasty yakitori is pretty much the same everywhere. The differences that mark these chicken sticks are how much char they get and the quality of the sauce. This one is not bad again.

one of several tempura plates

I'm not exactly big on tempuras. This one comes with a hint of what I thought to be ginger from the batter. Being someone who doesn't like ginger, I tend to trust my ability to acutely detect them. Decently done, nothing more.

some really good creamy croquette which I don't remember the name

I am assuming these are croquettes. I couldn't really feel the potatoes inside because it's a largely a rich creamy interior. Think comfort food. Think crispy breaded shell that explodes with scalding hot creamy insides.

Teppanyaki beef fillet....fantastic stuff

Hmmm....I'm a beef guy so this one really works out for me. It's actually 'medium well' done and retains a lot of meat juices and good beefy flavor. I didn't see or hear of any disapproval of this at all. And it goes very nicely with the fragrant garlic chips on the side. It is also one of the options that saw repeated orders.

Jamaigo bacon maki (grilled bacon blanketed potato)

Bacon and potatoes are cheap savories of the masses. Everyone else that opted for this. I'm not sure why this particular dish too a really long time to arrive, but it was pretty good. These are one of the not so salty bacon. The potato chunks come well cooked, no raw crunchiness.

Raw tuna cubes in grated mountain yam paste and quail egg

The grated mountain yam could have been grated paper for all I know. I could only understand the raw tuna and seaweed....and the raw egg.

nasu dengaku (grilled eggplant with miso)

Nothing description worthy. Just as it is.

Kamo roast yaki (roasted duck breast)

It's decent again, medium well roast duck breast. Meat was a little dry and not so tender, I still generally think well of them. YMMV.

Fresh fruits

rum & raisin ice cream which tasted really of neither
lime sorbet which isn't really sorbet

There were more stuff was ordered, but these were the only shots I managed. It's generally easier to get the pictures in smaller groups with smaller tables, but I didn't intent to blog this in the first place. It's not a place I would write off just yet, but it does really need some work on the service.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keyaki's dinner a couple years ago was not bad for a keiseiki dinner under a $100.

btw, i responded to your comment on iggy's :)

Junie said...

the Raw tuna cubes in grated mountain yam paste and quail egg not nice eh? but it looks good! haha.. $58+++ is buffet or ?

LiquidShaDow said...

It's more of lacking in taste/flavor rather than not nice actually. A couple of my friends think it looks gross. Lol. $58++ is a la carte brunch.

Dianne said...

Didn't know Azhang can compare to Keyaki.

Henri said...

Did you have the Kobe Tepan?

LiquidShaDow said...

@ dianne
Not in my opinion. Azhang has ways to go.

@henri
I didn't. It wasn't part of the brunch menu.