The portion was surprisingly larger than expected, with reference to the picture in the simple double-sided single piece menu. That's rare.
An unexpected trip to Kyomomoyama, that was. An earlier plan to visit Waraku was cancelled due to the queue and growling stomach. Browsing through the third level of Central, the final decision was to settle in this Taiwanese joint, which was relatively empty.
Their signature tea, the Gen Mai Cha (S$1) was mildly flavoured. The distinctive feature was the hint of roasted rice aroma. The rice was supposed to provided a few types of nutrients. In fact, that's what I'm drinking during tea time, occasionally. As mentioned earlier, my Kaisen Don and Oden Set (S$24.80) was rather huge. This was one of those rare occasions when the menu understated the size of the actual dish. Presentation was rather simple. Taste-wise?
The sides were rather simple too. The pickled octopus/carrots/stick crab meat combination tasted rather sweet than tangy. Not maturely preserved yet, I think. The sesame added some aroma and texture but not enough to compensate for the sweetness. An uninteresting side. The chawan mushi or steamed egg, on the other hand, looked pretty in the ceramic cup. The egg was well-salted, soft and somehow melted in the mouth. Nicely done. The almost negligible ingredients in the mushi included shitake mushroom, kamaboko (Japanese fishcake) and shrimp. The dessert consisted of a piece of dragonfruit, honeydew and cocktail fruits jelly each.
The Oden consisted of a few pieces of surimi-based morsels, a piece of daikon (white radish), konnyaku (yam jelly) and a hard-boiled egg, complete with karashi or Japanese mustard for dipping. There was no hint of fishiness to the generic fish paste morsels, which went well with the dipping. I liked the daikon the most for its simplicity and taste. The dashi soup was light. Despite the rather stereotype execution, I did enjoy the idea of compensating the coolness of the Kaisen Don with a little heat from the Oden.
I chose the black sesame ice cream as my finale. Anticipation was low as the main set was rather forgettable. And how wrong was I! The ice cream was absolutely gorgeous! Well, to me at least. The first bite revealed a rich sesame taste, complete with a velvety texture, courtesy of the ground black sesame. Sweetness was minimal with a touch of savouriness. To me, this was the "wow" factor. Saccharin slaves might detest this approach but I thought it was rather refreshing. Subarashi!
Overall, a rather average meal. There's something lacking in this Taiwanese joint. Something that keeps the crowd thronging Waraku and Marutama instead. I can't figure it out just yet. But for now, I know I need to explore other Japanese restaurants at the Central (Tom Ton, Waraku, Ma Maison, the list goes on and on) and a revisit is unlikely.
Here's my 2 cents worth review on Marutama @ the Central 3 months back.
6, Eu Tong Sen Street
* At the time of post, UOB cardmembers receive a 20% discount off the total bill while AMEX cardmembers receive 15%.