Friday, January 25, 2008

Sushi Tei @ Ngee Ann City

Sometimes, I like to think of joints as bad words (I refrained from using a more explicit expression).
A commercial strategy.
A taboo.
And yet, you like to engage in that little dirty conversation once in awhile.
Black tie, white lie....

I did that on New Year's day.
With Joyce, my Singaporean friend who flew back from Sydney for the New Year holiday.


It seems like everytime we meet, we will end up having dinner here at Sushi Tei (Ngee Ann City). There's nothing je ne sais quoi about this joint (to me) and yet, that's the first place we'll think of.

Crowded as ever, service was attentive, complete with the high-pitched irrashaimases. The restaurant itself was relatively small, with some shoulder-height cubicles surrounding the kaiten-sushi bar, which was smacked right in the middle.

Winter has brought in some rather interesting promotional dishes/ingredients from Hokkaido. We sampled two of them. Here's the first dish.

The Maguro Zukushi (S$22) consisted of 3 slices of maguro (bluefin tuna's top loin), otoro (bluefin tuna's belly) and mekajiki (swordfish) each. The dark red maguro was fresh and tender while the richer tasting otoro exhibited a softer texture, thanks to the fat spreaded throughout the belly. The mekajiki did not disappoint as it was equally fresh and firm. It was as good as "bad words" can get.

The second promotional dish we had was the Soft Shell Crab Roll With Fish Floss (S$6). The combination of rice and crispy, fried food can never go wrong, in terms of flavour and texture. Coat it with the sweet/savoury fish floss and you'll get an appetising maki (rice roll). Cucumber provided extra crunch while the diced avocado gave the roll a creamy texture.

We can never forget our staple, Cha Soba (S$6.50). The smooth green tea flavoured buckwheat noodle was served al dente and optimally cold. The soya sauce dipping was on the bland side, however. I wished they'd provided toasted sesame seeds in the dipping for that added aroma.

As for sushi, we had Jo Unagi (S$5) or premium eel. The cut was generous while the meat was soft. One bite revealed a rich-tasting eel complemented by the appetising caramel-coloured sweet teriyaki-like marinate. What I liked about this dish was the lack of the much dreaded "fishiness" taste of the unagi.

We ended the meal with the Black Sesame Ice-Cream (S$2.80 - one scoop). Though the black sesame taste was prevalent, I thought it was tad sweet. I prefer the minimally sweet version with a hint of savouriness thrown in. Texture-wise, it was rather coarse.

Overall, the quality of the food was commendable. The staffs here were so eager to refill my cup of complimentary green tea to a point where I felt apologetic for consuming so much of it.

With a review like this, it makes my categorizations much more difficult. Will I redefine my take on joints? Am I being too stereotypical all this while? For now, it'll take me more dirty talks to decide if I'm with the light or prefer the dark.

Lovely seeing you again, Joyce!

Sushi Tei
391, Orchard Road
#02-13 Ngee Ann City
Singapore 238873
Tel: (+65) 6737 7997

25 comments:

ai wei said...

me n Christine craved for Jap food in text messaging ytr night! and now u posted on Sushi... i wish i could head over for it now!

Hazza said...

Love the look of all that food. The presentation is so good that you could almost eat it with your eyes, regardless of the taste!

Alexander said...

wow! nice veg noodles.
I miss them.
:)

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

kennymah said...

Well, I bet your readers would love it if you talked dirty more often, no? Food can be visceral and arousing, like many good things... Ahem.

JOjo said...

Hmm,Sushi Tei is one of the Jap chain restaurant in Sg tat i havent step in yet. I heard it's actually quite good.
But not craving for anything except some decent homecook food! I want my mama...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ohhh i want some of that tuna too!!!...sword fish is a really dense and firm fish..loved it grill..wonder how it tastes like now sashimi style..

team bsg said...

joints is for coming together so shud be a great description fittingly for joyce too ?

still the fine cuts and colorful wintry wraps will surely join the once distant sweetiments yes ?

Xiu Long Bao said...

!!!!!!!!

sashimi, sushi n soba! and goma ice cream for only $2.80??? I think most of my $$$ will go into jap food in sg :p

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh I want to jilak my fingers oledi!

~Christine~Leng said...

yea.. craving for Jap food again :) and really wanna try out the black sesame ice cream since I've not ;P

ling239 said...

i want that Soft Shell Crab Roll With Fish Floss !!! :p

wenching & esiong said...

So this is the Sushi Tei that you mentioned about? Seems interesting. Otoro and mekajiki are my favourite sashimis. Love it very much. Really wish to try this place out!

wmw said...

Nic...starting my list of Food stops in Singapore when we go over for a visit! ;o)

Imbi & Itchy said...

My list getting longer, how to choose leh?

Nic (KHKL) said...

ai wei: such coincidence, eh! With all the budget airlines, it’s easier to get to sg already :) but I think you will have to wait until your semester is over right? Study life is so busy!

hazza: oh, yes…Japanese food is known for its aesthetics regardless of the nature of the restaurant. Be it fine-dining or fast food chains. Natural flavourings too (well, most anyway, lol)!

alexander: do they have cha soba in manchester? There are a few outlets in Singapore, so on your next return (cny perhaps?) trip, do visit this place!

kenny: there came a time when I equated orgasmic with gastronomic…that’s the dirtiest darn thing that I can say...can you believe that?! Haha…

jojo: you are missing a lot of good stuff in singapore lar!! Hehe…but I must agree that the food from dearie mommy herself is the best. I had my fix last weekend..hehe…

joe: it’s firm, it’s rich and it’s served cold! I would have preferred the grilled version too but thought it was a rather interesting twist…but I guess the best is still maguro!

team bsg: hmmm, you have a point. Perhaps joints are built to “join”…looks like there’s nobility in its existence and multiplication after all albeit the hefty price tag.

“sweetiments”, the glucose of life. I like that your word!

xiu long bao: hehe, no need talk already…see you at orchard at 6.30 pm today! Yippee! Just found out that there are other outlets: vivocity, paragon…we’ll decide later :)

big boys oven: my senior, you wash your hands or not?? Haha! I heard ppl say sedap hingga menjilat jari for that fried chicken, but not sushi though! Hehehe…

christine: aiyah, you shd have tried that when you went to kampachi last time. But I dunno whether they serve it there or not though..hehe..oh, I heard ozeki at jalan p.ramlee is famous for it’s black sesame ice cream…so, give it a try!

ling239: haha! Yeah, that was an interesting dish…kinda reminds me of meat floss buns from those high-end bakeries where the pastries could converse and speak of tales..hehe…cannot say the bakeries names out loud…hehe…

wenching & esiong: yupe, yupe…this is the one! We came at the right time, when they have the Hokkaido promo…I like maguro though..hehe…do come down to sg on your holidays…then, we can all go and makan tuna! Hehe…

wmw: can’t wait for that! I’ll be making my list too, then we can do cross-reference..haha! but I’ll be striking out this one though cos you don’t take raw stuff :-)

lianne: haha! sorry for the distractions ar...if you like japanese food, head to central (clarke quay)...there are endless choices there...too bad you dont take beef cos just found out a wagyu beef+foie gras burger place :)

ling239 said...

why so secretive leh ? :p
the green color signboard with orange writing one issit? ^_^

Nic (KHKL) said...

ling239, i'm referring to breadtalk and bread stories..hehe! just wanted to create some suspense in my comments ;)

fatboybakes said...

ah, finally tracked you down. great writing man. hope to meet you soon, since i missed you at my elephant, and lemongrass had such nice things to say about you.

Bernsy said...

wah, those sushi pics are really nice. SC has been having this sushi craze, doing sushi every day, for lunch.

That day we walked into sushi king in Kepong, and found their fish there not up to standard....

Nic (KHKL) said...

fatboybakes - thanks for dropping by. and for the flattering comments too...hope to meet up soon! heard a lot of good thing about you...well, mostly about your cakes lar..haha!

bernsy - so, you terpaksa ikut lar...hehe...aiyoh, why you go to there lar? bro, i heard there are a few more sushi places at kepong...at manjalara and metro prima to be exact...dunno about the taste though..hehe

JOjo said...

Haha,missing a lot of good stuff huh? Aiyah,life of a student on a budget and NTU is reli too far fr every other part of Sg, wohoho!~

Topped up w heavy sch work and nobody to bring me out *lol*, is not unusual that i miss out a lot!

Makan kaki urgently needed.haha.

Nic (KHKL) said...

jojo: makan kaki? you know my email add, right? haha!

Precious Pea said...

I will talk to the President of Japanese Food Kawan Association (JFKA) aka Ms Lyrical Lemongrass to invite you as guest of honour for our next JFKA committee gathering. :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

precious pea: wow! what an honour! never have i thought that i'll be able to join your wonderful commitee meeting...i better prepare my thank you speech for the meeting... :)

Christina said...

Talking abt food @ Food Republic Vivo City, I have tried a few dishes at different stores..

I really like their Minced Meat Noodles set with their handmade meat ball..

Just been there yesterday to eat.. I think evryone should try..

Enjoying eating ..

Cheers,
Christina