Thursday, September 04, 2014

Tonkatsu & Sake Bar Tonzaemon, Chijmes


Tonzaemon (Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street, #01-09, tel : +65 63385907) is a pretty new joint by Ma Maison, which seems to be making a bid for the tonkatsu market. They started branching the fried pork offshoot opening their first, followed by an outlet at Westgate. And now this. As the name of the place implies, it does tonkatsu and sake. And some other small bites on menu.

If the question at this point is if they're any good, I'd say that there's definitely room for improvement and they could certainly learn more about what they're trying to sell.


These are foie gras gyozas. They aren't entirely filled with the foie, but there's probably enough inside to flavour the pork stuffings. Very decent and if they're trying to achieve a balance of flavours between the liver and the pork, they've succeeded. It came with some balsamic vinegar concoction and a mixture of chilli oil and soy sauce on the side. Honestly, I don't know why anyone would use them because it would simply mask all the flavours that they're trying to create.


Their hire katsu stuffed with foie gras sounded promising. Truly. The pork was well fried to a good crisp, well drained and honestly, rather competently done. What unexpectedly didn't work out so well was the foie gras. In spite of the quantities that was used, the flavours were barely there. I mean, how can that be? In a similar ball game, there's definitely a better player. This didn't fail as a dish. It just didn't turn out quite like how I thought it should have. 

While it was nice to have a change of dips with their Japanese mayo and tonkatsu sauce mixture, it simply doesn't quite work out for this katsu. I want to taste foie gras when I eat this. Why else would I be ordering it?


And that's the rosu katsu with cuttlefish ink. The meat was a beautiful light pink shade of white, thick and tender. And no, the flavours of the ink didn't come through. What surprised me was that the flavours of the cut itself didn't quite come through as well. 


And rice with pickles and tonjiru. These are ordered and charged separately. Yes, the price tags of the katsu aren't large enough to cover these. So on hindsight, there are definitely more economical places to have tonkatsu in town. The older players here have been around for a while and are still around for a pretty good reason. The tonjiru here doesn't even contain the slightest morsel of pork. Two bowls of it and nada.

Definitely room for improvement methinks.

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