Saturday, October 13, 2012

San-Sui Sumiyaki & Bar, One Fullerton

This was an unexpectedly excellent but pricey dinner at San-Sui(One Fullerton Road, #01-05 One Fullerton, tel: +65 6423 1555). Most of the items here are prepared sumiyaki styled on a chacoal grilled fueled by binchotan (a dense Japanese white charcoal sans chemical additives) that cooks smokelessly at high temperature.

onsen tamago with umi budou

Honestly, the umi budou didn't do very much in this egg starter. Even if it was just contributing texture, it didn't quite work out and possibly because of the puny quantities that they had added. What worked and obviously so were the ponzu jelly and ikura which provided real textural differences from the soft boiled egg and bursts of flavors that were altogether sweet, savory and briny.

oyako don

Very nice, very small bowl, quite expensive. Not to mention the generous portions of tender and sweet smokey chicken on top of short grained rice that was soaked in the equally sweet and savory sauce. Elevated into heartiness with enoki mushrooms and egg. This was the best tasting oyako don I've had as memory serves.

chicken fillet with mentaiko mayo

The aroma of the charcoal grill were imparted into the juicy meat that didn't look like it had enough char, or even browning to have that. Very pleasantly surprised.

chicken livers

Sweet from the sauce, and creamy on the livery insides. These livers were definitely timely cooked in the grill and had a taste more in common with a less fatty foie gras than how most chicken livers are prepared.

chicken hatsu (hearts!)

Lightly chewy chicken hearts had the aroma from the grill as well. At this point, I noted that San-Sui was actually less heavy handed on the salt than Kazu. I had actually eaten chicken hearts enough times there to remember how salted it was. I'm not too sure how I should feel about myself for that.

foie gras

When the foie gras first arrived, the first thought that came to mind was, sallow. Yes, I meant sallow as in the sickly yellow complexion. But damn, this stuff was actually pretty good. The oily livers were rich and creamy in taste and this was possibly the least charred non terrine type foie gras I've ever had. What tipped me over positively in the spectrum of favorable, was that they had included thick slices of Japanese sweet potatoes to mop up the generous amount of residual oils with. So generous in fact that there was enough of the oil after the potatoes to toss the rest of the greens with making these the best salad I've ever had.

lamb rack

It said on menu that it was a baby lamb chop. It turned out to be bigger than any lamb chops I've ever had; from Kushigin to Kazu. The gamey flavors were enjoyably robust and the meat on the rib was laced with soft greasy fat that disintegrated when you popped them into your mouth. Again enough residual lamby oils left over to toss the greens for a second best salad I've ever had.

tatami iwashi

These crispy flat mats of baby sardines were served pretty late into the courses of the kushiyaki even though they were kinda like appetizers. That certainly didn't stop us from enjoying the fragrant fishy and lightly crispy bits dipped in an excellent spicy mayo that packed a very decent heat.


The least enjoyable item here tonight was actually the chicken skins. These ones didn't quite cut the crispy enough standard which we were expecting.


As much as I hate to use the phrase, this stuff does literally melt in the mouth. Underneath the light browned crust on the surface, was fats of beefy flavors were waiting to burst once you bit into these skewers. So I guess that's why they're $28 a stick.

In an after dinner restrospect, this place was a lot better than I had thought. I might have lowered my expectations of them being in such a touristy spot, but they certainly knew their work on the grill and didn't skimp on the quality. Even though it was all pretty pricey.

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