Saturday, October 13, 2012

San-Sui Sumiyaki & Bar, One Fullerton

This was a pleasantly delicious 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 grill fuelled by binchotan (a dense Japanese white charcoal sans chemical additives) - a charcoal that cooks smokelessly at high temperature.

onsen tamago with umi budou

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

oyako don

Very nice, very small bowl, quite expensive. Not forgetting 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 savoury sauce that was 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 was imparted into the juicy meat of their chicken skewers that didn't look like it had enough char or even browning. Very pleasantly surprised.

chicken livers

Sweet from the sauce and creamy on the insides. Those creamy textures meant that these livers were expertly handled in the grill. Had a taste more in common with 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 less heavy handed on the salt than Kazu. I had actually eaten chicken hearts enough times there to remember how salted they were. I'm not 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 that it looked 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 and this was possibly the least charred non terrine type foie gras I've ever had. What tipped me over positively was that they had included thick slices of Japanese sweet potatoes to mop up the generous residual oils with. So generous in fact that there was enough of the oil after the potatoes to toss with the salad making these the best salad I've ever had.

lamb rack

This was mentioned on menu as baby lamb chop. It turned out bigger than any lamb chops I've ever had - from Kushigin to Kazu. What kicked ass was that the lamb-y flavour was enjoyably robust. Meat on the rib was laced with soft greasy fat that disintegrated when you popped them into your mouth. Again enough residual lamb-y oils left over dress the vegetables for a second best salad I've ever had.

tatami iwashi

These crispy mats of baby sardines were served pretty late into the courses of the kushiyaki even though they were supposed to be appetizers. That certainly stop us from enjoying the aromatic fishy and lightly crisp bits dipped in a spicy mayo that packed a very decent heat.


The least enjoyable item here tonight was actually the chicken skins. These ones didn't 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 surface of the chunks of wagyu, were juices of beefy flavours waiting to burst once you bit into them. I guess that's why they're $28 a stick.

In retrospect, San-Sui Sumiyaki place was a lot better than I had imagined. 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.

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