Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lunch @ Ten-Jyaku

My honest feelings about this place (9 Raffles Boulevard #01-11/12, Millenia Walk, tel: 6837 3960) is that there is probably more gloss than actual substance so if you're a aficionado of Japanese cuisine, Ten-Jyaku is probably not the place to look toward. Because the lunch was simply just a passable affair. I'm not an expert on Japanese food, but I've had enough Japanese, albeit locally to realise that there is more than a few points which could do with improvement. I personally do not believe in a large gap for compromise between lunches and dinners despite the fact that lunches normally lean towards being more economical on the pocket. That is because, it speaks volumns of the attitude of the chef or restaurant towards their line of work and glaring differences only say one thing. There is little to no pride in the place towards their food. It's just a business to them. There's more than a couple of places out there with well made lunches.

There was actually a decent array of lunch sets at the restaurant, but most of them held little to no appeal for me. I ended up with a Sanshoku Don ($25) which features 3 different sashimi bowls with rice, a simmered fried fish, pickles/appetizers, a chawanmushi and miso soup. The first of the bowls came with shoyu marinated maguro that featured a raggled, rather than a clean cut suggesting that there might have been a little scraping involved rather than simple slicing during the preparation of the meat. Marination like heavy saucing usually means one thing in a cuisine that normally prides itself for the freshness of their raw fish. The same type of maguro cut appeared in the mini chirashi bowl, the second of the sashimi bowls in this set which also sees a slice each of sake (salmon), mekajiki (swordfish), ika (squid) and amaebi (shrimp) accompanied by a token scattering of ikura. The third bowl was a small hamachi (yellowtail) bowl that is drizzled with a sesame and peanut sauce, and a sprig of half withered sakura.

I suppose that if one is impartial to marinated fish, this set could be considered pretty decent. I didn't think too well of the chawanmushi that turned out to be much to mushy and a hint too heavy of ginger. But the quality doesn't come quite close to some other places that have what I perceive to be more pride ingrained.

We picked also the tai and hotategai to be aburi-ed just to see what are they about. The char fragrance is rather light and I'm not really sure if the flagging aroma is all there is to it. The scallops are still possess of their natural sweetness, but something inside me told me I've had better. I have nothing to say about the tai. I'm wondering if this was even a good show of aburi items, but it leaves me with a lingering desire not to come back and try.

The atrocity above is suppose to be foie gras on eggplant with miso. I used the word atrocity because the questionable slice of dessicated looking liver had a texture like a rubbery wet piece of Digestives on the inside. The natural foie gras flavor was at best, feeble. I kid you not. It was left unfinished. I thought that the piping hot eggplant wasn't too bad, but my lunch companion felt it overwhelmed by the sweetish miso.

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