Psycholinguists argue about whether language reflects our perception of reality or helps create them. I am in the latter camp. Take the names we give the animals we eat. The Patagonian toothfish is a prehistoric-looking creature with teeth like needles and bulging yellowish eyes that lives in deep waters off the coast of South America. It did not catch on with sophisticated foodies until an enterprising Los Angeles importer renamed it the considerably more palatable Chilean sea bass.― Hal Herzog
Sandaime Bunji (9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-14/15 Millenia Walk, tel : +65 6333 1516) basically works on a teishoku model on menu and meals are mostly in the options of sets and the a la carte options of the mains. Apart from the size of portions and the carb options of mugimeshi and umen, there really isn't much for variety in this place as it seems that the focus of the menu are their grilled gyutan and oden.
We hit up the small gyutan set which basically gave us a taste of most of the items on menu on small portions. That included the mugimeshi (barley rice), tororo, an unexpectedly clear oxtail soup, flame grilled gyutan, salad, tofu and some very forgettable salmon sashimi.
The grilled tongue was fragrant and delicious, but a little chewy.
I thought the oden was pretty good as well. The taste was both savory and clear at the same time and the warm soup was comforting. I'm probably going to order this again the next time I visit.
Sandaime Bunji's mugimeshi I gather, is to be had with their tororo which is flavored with what I think is shoyu.
I guess this place (30 Robertson Quay, #01-10/11 Riverside View, tel : +65 6737 5547) is trying to be quite a bit of things altogether which resulted in hits and misses in my opinion. To elaborate on that, I couldn't say that the food was bad. It was probably not as good as it could have been since these guys were trying to whip up sashimi, sushi, kushiage, kushiyaki, cooked food, French food and it was also a robatayaki to boot; all it seems in a open kitchen that seemed to value a sort of zen aesthetics over function.
What I thought was well done were the squid beaks that were actually knobby circumference of the mouth of squids sans the actual beaks. It was the predictably chewy and squidy flavors melded with a nice browning from the grill. Predictably tasty too. Would definitely order this again. Along with the comforting steamed potatoes with kanimiso.
tuna & leeks
steamed potatoes with butter and kanimiso
richly flavored oyster cream risotto (<--that's what they think!)
Yet another place which I've been meaning to mention for quite some time and have somehow neglected to. Tambuah Mas (290 Orchard Road, #B1-44 The Paragon, tel : +65 6733 2220) serves Indonesian styled food and this was actually my first visit to this particular outlet at Paragon after finding out that the other outlet, which I've been eating for the past few times , down at Marina Square was no longer in business.
There are more than a few dishes which I enjoy here, but the laws of physics are pretty much absolute and sometimes, unforgiving.
The chicken satays were a first time order. What really shone for me was the rich and viscous peanut gravy that accompanied the skewers of large chunky marinated chicken, which I felt could have been improved with a bit more char.
The gravy from the sayur lodeh was a little on the thin side, but still, it made a good accompaniment with their less than fluffy nasi putih.
Sauces and gravies are really one of the mainstays for me here and their chicken korma was another order of choice that featured rich coconut laden gravy with a savory bent and a mild measure of heat. It certainly made me wolf down more rice than I would normally do.
The other item that's somewhat become a regular are their paru goreng which possesses a light savory crisp on the outside and a healthy beefy chew on the inside.
And then there was a es buah atap which was essentially a glass of atap seeds in a bandung configuration to wash down the grill and spices.
Nothing earth shaking or mind blowing around here, just down to earth and hearty food to be had.
I have, if my memory serves, eaten here (161 Middle Road, tel : +65 6336 6949) about five times before so I think it's fair that I give it a mention. Especially so when I actually like the food here. I first heard of them through a friend. Chef/owner of this joint Bjorn Shen was connected by a couple of degrees of separation.
There are these moorish dips served with light and freshly toasted bread down at Artichoke. I've had them every time that I've visited and I still find them refreshingly good. I particularly enjoy their labneh and also feel that their hummus with tahini and pomegranate seeds puts many others to shame. It was three plates of honest to goodness, perky and creamy altogether. With fresh warm bread.
The other item that I've been having almost every visit are their organic mushrooms which I believe are sourced locally. I think they're pan fried, with little I could taste but pepper and some truffle oil. Every bite was well greased, succulent and mushroomy. I love them with the rockets.
Off the board special, was a grilled ribeye with rosemary and spicy garlic dip with lemon on the side. This was probably the third type of meat I've had here. The first two being their famed lamp chops which are really good by the way, and their kurobuta pork which was quite bleh. I've never been a big fan of rosemary and I always feel that they're often too heavy handedly applied. With exceptions. This one was probably another one of those exceptions. Meat was a little sinewy though.
We had a go at their baklava and found it pretty good. In the light and buttery pastry, housed a medley of sweet chopped nuts. That ice cream on the side if you're wondering is honey flavored. Very nice stuff. Made even better with the bits of fragrant pistachio on the plate.