Having western brunches too often, I seek my Asian roots now and then. Xin Cuisine was running a promotion with Eatigo for discounted meals at their off peak timings and budget hunter me decided to give this place a go after attempting their mooncakes and having more than one memorably good dinners there.
On top of their ala carte menu, there is a dim sum buffet promotion on going. $39.90 for freeflow dimsum!
Shrimp Dumpling ($6)
Yumcha staples with the skin tearing upon lifting - plus, it was a tad salty. Not my idea of culinary skill here.
Pork Dumpling ($6)
The baby abalone adornment could have justified the price tag but this was really just marginally better than the shrimp dumpling.
Minced Pork and Century Egg Porridge ($5)
Generous on salt once again, this salty congee was otherwise hearty breakfast for the hungry tum.
Custard Bun ($6)
A passe fad but a solid version of thick bun texture and molten salted egg yolk filling. Slurp!
Foie Gras Dumpling ($6.80)
A sweet dough fritter stuffed with minced meat and prawns, I could have missed the foie gras in this somehow but still enjoyed this fried treat!
Mini Egg Tart ($5)
Slightly larger than ferrero roches, these buttery sweet crust egg tarts could do with more egg custard in my opinion. However for the sake of calories, these bite sizes are good enough for the carb laden meal.
Dough Stick Rice Roll ($5.50)
The trio of dips were an interesting combination of sweet sauce, soya sauce and even peanut butter. Peanut butter actually worked for the rice roll stuffed with fried dough stick.
Abalone Puff ($6.50)
None of the abalone found, not even abalone bits. This was more of a chicken mushroom puff.
Stir Fried Spinach ($16)
Braised Live Lobster Ee-Fu Noodles ($25)
We also made it a point to try their ala carte menu and their highly recommended lobster eefu noodles. Slipper lobster I would make a correction on the live lobster with eefu noodles done al dente and served with a starchy sauce. Hit and miss on this one - reasonable on price tag but average on value.
Brunch was average with hit and miss dishes but with a good discount accorded by Eatigo, Xin Cuisine is a place to consider.
Holiday Inn Atrium
Trust me the glutton not to know the existence of Ki-Sho until I consulted Google on "Best Japanese Restaurant" for a very special occasion.
2 months ahead of time, I made my reservation and a series of exchanges and a phone call later, I was well on my way for the best meal of my life - at least online reviews were raving positive! (And how I forget the number of times I have been duped by these reviews).
Located on Scotts Road in one of the black white bungalows right next to Buona Terra. Drive up and the valet takes over - nice touch.
We get shown to our seats in the 11 seater sushi counter, and they were full by the time clock struck 8pm.
Two menus up for selection with equally hefty price tags - $300 and $450.
Chef Hamamoto, previously from Waku Ghin brings with him a host of experience from various restaurants in Kyoto and Singapore - which speaks volumes in his presentation and choice of ingredients used throughout the meal.
And we all had the best seats in the restaurant, right infront of the Chef.
Ki-sho, creates the word with metaphor of “high class artisan” or “the artisan whom creates the perfect beauty”. Thus, this is what Ki-sho is all about - mastery conception of both the interior design and culinary art.
Sake for this special evening, highly recommended by the sommelier who was well versed in drinks. Refreshing, light and very crisp for a sake that only has been filtered just once.
A medley of pickles were placed infront of us and they were refilled throughout - impeccably delicious small plates.
Big love for this seaweed dish.
I could sound so shallow saying this but the mark of an authentic Japanese restaurant for me, lies in freshly grated wasabi.
Conga Eel with Yam, Lotus Root Prawn Cake,
I love a beautiful platter of morsels - and somehow Kyoto cuisine does that quite exquisitely. Well thought through concepts and beautifully plated, I found myself slurping the gravy even.
Char Grilled Hokkaido King Crab
Served in the form of sushi with the precious hokkaido king crab meat draped around it - utterly sweet beyond words, that burst of juices and sweetness makes this mouthful so delightful. Now, more please?
Uni, Rice Wine Jelly, Caviar, King Crab, Water Weed
The first sighting of sea urchin in this special that made it to Waku Ghin's specialities, a gold leaf layered savoury treat of delicacies. Loved the flavours of the wine jelly, sea urchin, caviar and king crab and texturally this was interesting with a crunchy and refreshing water weed. Throw in sweet corn kernels and one ends up with a well balanced course!
Have your gold and eat it, literally.
Another sea urchin specialty which I enjoyed tremendously.
The sweet corn kernels within gave a lovely bite to this sweet and savoury creation.
Aburi Kinki Fish, Tachi, Aji, Toro, Tai and Uni
A display of different types of fish both cooked and raw. For sure, I expected none of salmon or the run of the mill ordinary fish types and Chef did justice to this seasonal platter. Tuna belly was the most basic though absolutely fresh and melt in the mouth. Kinki fish aburi had a certain sweetness about it. Above all, my favourite went to tai with uni rolled in - sublime!
And that special touch by sprinkling aromatic flower petals on the soya sauce before dipping my precious slices of raw fish.
Char Grilled Eel with Shio and Wasabi
Typically the unagi I have encountered are grilled and bathed in teriyaki sauce - until this shioyaki version that features plenty of skill carefully grilling over the side charcoal pot to achieve that crispy skin and edges of the eel crusty. One bite and it's possibly the best version of cooked eel with a clever usage of shio and wasabi.
Seasonal Fish Dish
Charcoal Grilled Sea Perch with Daikon
Sea perch is quite the dark horse in this, since I was not expecting much out of it given how they are usually panfried or poached and are considered the budget cousin of cod. Yet this was amazing with that medium doneness, mild charredness and paired with daikon, slivers of joy!
Wagyu sushi topped with Uni
Such is a treat to have wagyu beef medium rare topped with egg yolk and uni that came together so well. Each ingredient would have been stars of their own right separately.
Show time by Chef with his nifty hands and timely presses on the sushi rice, watching him prepare my nigiri sushi was a showcase in itself. What seemed like random slicing movements were in effect, well executed and precise cuts on the raw fish. Impressive.
Nigiri Sushi 10 pcs
Smoked Abalone with Abalone Liver Sauce
Shimokuri (Otoro and Chutoro mix)
One box for me, please.
Kantoro (collar of otoro)
A bittersweet and creamy one, superb combination!
Now for nigiri sushi that usually gets me most excited, I had my reservations about finishing 10 pieces. And in true Japanese style, each was exquisite and brought us to greater heights of umami with every course served. I have difficulty pinpointing a favouritest of the 10 but if I had to, it had to be a tie between white fish, botan shrimp and kyushu sea urchin!
And the best part of omakase is having the chef take your cues on how much more can be eaten, and be surprised!
"Full? Or more?" Chef Hamamoto mused.
I gamely said "more."
Freshly shucked Sea Urchin topped with Ikura and freshly grated wasabi with rice. We were told to mix it all in and it was a river of orange happiness.
If only I was not so full, this was the ultimate kind of happiness one could get.
Seasonal Soup Dish
Kinki Fish Soup
Hardly do I relish fish soups - and this has to be one of those breakthrough moments that sees me scraping the bottom of the bowl for more. Succulent slices of kinki fish, tofu and wasabi rice puffs in this hearty dashi broth - no rice and equally wholesome on its own. Seconds, I wish I had.
Yubari melon, grape and a trio of sweets
I would not expect any less of yubari melon though they upped their game with warabi, green tea white chocolate and an icecream macaron.
Birthday cake from Buona Terra, a pretty excellent cheesecake!
It sounds almost insane saying how value for money our $450 omakase meal was, I mean how often would there be a splurge and this was worth every cent. Execution was faultless, food was top notch and there were so many first memorable moments that made this experience a must.
We ate till we dropped literally and the point came when I refused more uni which is a huge achievement on my part - I never quite say no to more uni!
Whether or not it bags a star in the culinary awards is truly secondary because Ki-Sho shines bright in the hearts of Japanese food lovers. For me, I am raring to return if the piggy bank allows.
29 Scotts Road
The fellow foodies
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