Friday, January 25, 2008

Botan, Far East Square

Until the time I had discovered that Botan (36 Pekin Street, #01-01 Far East Square, tel : 6536 4404) was located at this spot, I had never taken note of what location was I passing through every time I happened by this specific unit in Far East Square. So I hadn't any idea how long this Japanese restaurant has been around. Or if it was another tenant in the prior times I had walked past. Rather innocuous looking joint that's wedged between the more conspicuous Harry's Mirchi and Shin Kushiya, this place is easily overlooked since there was very little apart from a menu stand that reaches the pedestrian path. Since I have discovered it, I've been telling myself to drop by one day to try the food. Now that I've actually tried it, the next thing I'll be wondering to myself would be, when will I come back? Because I'm quite sure I will. Pretty verbose way of saying that I discovered a place and that I liked it eh?

The interior of the restaurant appears simply furnished with little frills. I suppose there is a greater emphasis on the food that is served rather than the upkeep of veneers. Prices here are by no means cheap - but I suppose could be considered fair and affordable.

anko kimo ($7)

Their anko kimo (angler fish liver) here was pretty good though wasn't as creamy nor as chilled as the ones that they serve at Kazu.

mentaiko chazuke ($6)

This was my first chazuke. It didn't quite taste like what I had imagined as a tea based porridge, I found myself quite enjoying this. I'm not sure if the mentaiko or the nori had that much to do with the final flavour of the broth, but it tasted quite like fish soup rather than any sort tea and the heap of toasted sesame seeds added a depth to the fragrance. Imagine Teochew fish porridge without fish slices nor the hint of ginger in the broth.

uni gunkan maki ($12 for 2)

I liked the uni sushi here. The portions of the sea urchins toppings were quite generous. For $6 a pop, it was certainly much more affordable than many other Japanese places. I'll be sure to get more of these the next time I'm back here.

umaki tamago ($8)

These umaki tamago were quite good. They were actually oozing with juices when I tried to pick them up with chopsticks and they are served piping hot. The sweet egg was soft and really just slides down your throat. Packed in the tamago were tender pieces of teriyaki marinated eel. I've been avoiding unagi for ages because they generally don't taste very good to me. These were exceptions. Another something which I am sure go for again.

chirashi bento ($30)

Chirashi bentos are the way to go. Apart from their own brand of aesthetics which I generally find pleasing, it represents what I enjoy about Japanese food. For $30, Botan delivered a rather generous serving of the bento with the usual slices of sashimi and tamago, a dry smoked mackerel, simmered vegetables (a couple of pieces were wrapped in egg yolk!), teriyaki chicken, potato salad ball, 3 pieces of tempura, more unidentified mix of root vegetables/green battered crabsticks/fungus like things, chawanmushi, miso soup and watermelon. The quality of the raw fish slices were actually not bad and there is certainly no complains about the portions. The rice below the raw fish was a medley of sweet from the pink fish floss, brininess from the ebiko, seaweedy-ness from shredded nori and some aroma from sesame seeds.


Anonymous said...

hi, as a serial food-blog reader passing through, i must say, yours is certainly very pleasing to the eye with loads of yummy pictures that make me want to go out there and start splurging haha. and wow youre a within temptation fan as well! (i cant seem to find many others these days) well, hope you attain gastronomical nirvana soon!

LiquidShaDow said...

Glad you enjoyed combing through. But I don't think there's a gastronomical nirvana though.

mundz said...

u will never regret eating there .. BUT there are more nicer foods in the menu .. gotta try it =D

Unknown said...

i am a raw fish lover.. kaisen set is a must try!

Unknown said...

I am a raw fish lover, kaisen don is a must try!