Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Sushi Tei after all these years......

I used to like Sushi Tei years ago. They were really pretty decent at least for their cooked food department. Used to be top dog for the conveyor belt sushi chains until the current king of the hill, Itacho Sushi which is noticeably more than a notch better.

I don't think so much of them these days. The signs of a "local" business stain the establishment and their food with the same old unimaginative marketing slogans and localized food proportions which are tipped towards one specific cost/profit spectrum. I'm positive that QC must be a major issue for a chain with so many outlets. That and perhaps, my palate had undergone metamorphosis.

Once in a long while, I end up there.

Like many chain outlets, part of what helps Sushi Tei thrive are "promotions". Which includes dish concoctions of "seasonal" ingredients. Currently, there seems to be some new creations by their various outlet "chefs".

Here's something known as spicy ban ban ji ramen that purportedly uses a spicy sesame sauce. For a local establishment, the word spicy seems to be interpreted liberally towards a specific and almost-nonexistent end. My three year old niece was slurping noodle and sauce, apparently enjoying it. I personally found the lack of fragrance from the sesame sauce disappointing. Chicken was cold and hard and is probably something that was boiled and packed into fridges for easy use. I think grilling the chicken would have done wonders but then who am I to say eh? I'm quite sure can do this at home with bottled sesame dressing. This has got nothing at all on the hiyashi tan tan mien that I previously had from Ichibantei.

On the other hand, the rice stuffed squids were actually pretty good. Not that this was imaginative by any stretch of imagination as part of Sushi Tei's creation challenges. These stuff have been made available from the Japanese fairs over Isetan and Takashimaya for years already, and wow, today they're a creation from some competition. 

I liked that the flavours seeped into the rice. The squid was a little dry and chewy from the grill but I think real grilled squids need that bit of bite.

And then, there was a cheeseburger interpretation of an American sushi roll that came in Singaporean portions. Truly fusion indeed. There were even sliced cheddar, chopped onions and lettuce strips to complete the textures and flavours of the strips of cold chewy cow. Jokes aside, what needs work would have been fattier sliced beef that hadn't been cooked to death. This one component would have done some serious elevation on the roll to another level.

There......finally outta my chest.

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