Thursday, February 12, 2009

WARAKU de GOHAN

Inspired by the recent memes that are taking the cyberworld (Facebook in particular) by storm, here are my answers to one that was forwarded to me. The meme’s title is, "Things you do in a typical Japanese restaurant".

Now, you don’t have to forward this to anyone just because you want to know them better. The best way to know someone is to ask them out for a makan session in, well, a Japanese restaurant perhaps? Still, memes are thoughtful, no doubt. But I prefer the makan session. Haha!

Here goes.

1) I start with ocha.

When in Japanese restaurants, one of the things that I pay attention to is the ocha that’s being served. That first sip of the warm, slightly acidic taste with a wisp of chlorophyll, to me, is important as it excites the tastebuds and gets the appetite going. It doesn’t even matter if it’s one of those sachets, provided the taste is good.

Waraku de Gohan, they make their own green tea bags. The taste was mild, unfortunately.

2) I open all the jars to see what’s inside.

When it comes to condiments, Japanese restaurants tend to provide the most basic of flavours like katsuobushi, wasabi, aonori, shoyu, goma and beni shoga. This is perhaps inspired by their au naturale lifestyle.

3) I will play with the condiments if I am bored.

It is only in the Kansai region that I’ve tried the best okonomiyaki and takoyaki. What’s interesting about these egg-based snacks is that extrapolation of the usual omelettes by adding different types of ingredients such as leek, pork and cabbage. And of course, it won’t be complete without the sourish/salty caramel-like sauce that binds all the flavours into one. Much like what mayonnaise does to burgers, sans the milky flavour.

4) I take 30 shots of each dish that’s being served, much to friends' delight.

Asparagus Nikumaki (bacon wrapped asparagus) - S$5.80

Simply grilled perhaps with just a dash of salt (or none), there’s still something about bacon and asparagus that makes them delicious as one. Those complementing flavours of the savoury bacon and the sweet asparagus, perhaps?. Grilling means a certain level of aroma (from the char) is expected and combined with a squeeze of lemon juice, it’s very attractive.

The highlight of Waraku’s version was the well-cooked texture.

5) I remind myself that I’m here to eat.

Temari Sushi - S$14.80

Temaris are balls of rice topped with fresh slices of sake, maguro and tako, among others. Besides being ergonomically designed to fit in one’s mouth at one go, there’s really not much difference between this and the usual sushi. Chicken rice balls come to mind.

Ergonomics should combine with economics in order to create the perfect temaris that are easy in the mouth and on the wallet as well. In other words, thicker slices of sake and maguro, please.

6) I see the light and I start to eat (friends are happy at this point).

Ton Pei Yaki (omelette With pork) - S$9.80

Okonomiyakis are usually stuffed with a healthy amount of cabbage, scallion, onion and meat. The crunchiness of the vegetables goes well with the smooth layer of fried egg. Coupled with the sauces and heat, the vegetables also offer a hint of sweetness and some moisture.

Omitting the vegetables, this was as basic as it could be. The pork slices were tasty nevertheless.

7) And eat more. And more. And more.

Yakisoba - S$12.80

Yaki means burn or roast or bake in Japanese. In other words, cook. The stir-fried soba retains its heat from the teppan and is prevented from burning with layering of the aluminum sheet.

Nothing can go wrong with a plate of fried noodles, be it soba or udon. The interesting part of this version is the usage of nori strips and bonito flakes as toppings for that extra flavour. Extra shine comes from the extra oil.

8) I drink more ocha, burp a bit to clear the esophagus and every tunnel along the way before chomping more food.

Wagyu Rib Eye Steak - S$16.80

Oh, say no more of this beautiful baby. Like foie gras, the name itself is a testament of everything delicious. There are many ways of eating this piece of beauty and one of the best is of course, by searing it, followed by a good bake in the oven.

The slices were moist, tasty and rather soft, complete with fried slices of garlic. Simply wonderful. I doubt it was baked though, because it is afterall, teppanyaki that we are talking about here.

9) I leave the desserts to the sweeties as I plan for another wagyu steak.

Maccha Monaka - S$3.80

You start with a hot cup of ocha and you end with a sweet, cold taste of match. How ideal is that? Too bad for the rather generic matcha ice cream though. Expecting a denser version, it came rather hard for an ice cream. Maybe it was taken right out of the freezer? The shell was crispy.

10) I like to look around, hoping to spot Japanese diners because it assures me of the food quality.

Ok, so I lied about the meme. No one sent me this (no that it exists in the first place). It was just something I thought of while writing this post and surfing the internet at the same time.

One thing’s for real though. This is a typical Japanese restaurant.

WARAKU de GOHAN
51, Cuppage Road
#01-12
Starhub Centre
Tel: (+65) 67211123
Website: http://www.waraku.com.sg

29 comments:

Selba said...

Hahaha.. you got me!!! I was thinking, seriously this MEME exist??? :P

What? 30 shots for each dish? No kidding!!!

Seriously, whenever (well, most of the time) I'm taking shot of food, I'm always like in a hurry because:
1. usually, people around me, they don't like me to take picture especially when they are so hungry (they are not into blogging at all).
2. Taking pics on the street will invite ppl to look at me like I'm a tourist.. or uhmmm... a weirdo.
3. Some owner of restaurants or vendors will show unhappy face when I took pics of their food (maybe they think I will copy cat their product) and even will come to me and prohibit me to take pics so it really a hard work to take pics of food here.

Anyway... love this post, wish that I could eat there someday :)

Precious Pea said...

I agree with you, the best way to know a person better is of course to go out for more makan session together! Asparagus looks so sinful.

CUMI & CIKI said...

when you said take 30 shots i thought you meant sake la.. haha :P (was thinking to myself.. 30 shot only ar?... fly-weight:P)

Yin said...

i've been to this waraku place near pan pac but not sure whether it's the same chain. do they have one at east coast park? food looks so inviting man! i wanttttttt!!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

You lie!!! Where got 30 shots?? Teacher, teacher, I know the answer....it's 60! *snore* And if we're lucky, the cobwebs won't have cum yet.

ck lam said...

My god, 60 shots according to L Lemongrass...pengsan already. Roughly how long will that take?

Jun said...

sigh. if my internet connection isn't so slow in the country, i think i'd have drooled all over the comp looking at wat i assume to be mouthwatering jap food. i miss jap. sniff.

ladyironchef said...

wah you damn cool man. i never thought of using the facebook-messages to do a post. haha. you inspired me again, will try something similar lol : )

Xiu Long Bao said...

Gotcha,where got 30 shots...multiply by 3 and it is still an underestimation.

thenomadGourmand said...

ya lorr..my non-foodie/blogging frens got no patience..they dug into their food even be4 i get whip out my cam!

ai wei said...

30 shots for each! ... i won;t have such patience if there are all yummy food in front of me!!!

ur shots are great!!! they look so amazingly REAL!

J2Kfm said...

tsk ... you're makin me drool this early in the morn!!!

wei, Ipoh got Waraku also, not the Gohan chain though. Asparagus/Long Beans/Enoki wrapped with bacons only RM3-4 each. hahaha ... talk about cheap eh?

but wagyu at SGD16?! that's rare.

Life for Beginners said...

"I take 30 shots of each dish that’s being served, much to friends' delight."

Yay... That's why we LURVE you. Hehe.

And thanks for this EDUCATIONAL lesson in how to masuk restoran Jepun and bermula... with all that stuff. Seriously, till now all I do is walk in, order green tea and munch on unagi.

Here's to Japanese Makan Culture for Beginners (like me):D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hahah i like ur meme...or review..or is it pictures n story..

wait im confused...

but the jap food does look delicious!

fatboybakes said...

cuppage road? interesting name.

omigosh, hairy berry, i really wanted to lick the monitor screen....everything looks so blardy good. you are evil, you hear, EVIL. after a wantan mee, i still feel like eating now. bacon & asparagus!!! that omelette!!!!

mimid3vils said...

It's same with the Pasta De Gohan @ Sunway Pyramid? Both also I never visit, sigh :...(

550ml jar of faith said...

Probably the best take on them annoying memes that keep cropping up! Don't you just love the muscle twitch on your dining companions' faces while they watch the food, freshness wilting as you snap snap and snap some more? It's the ultimate act of revulsion!

jasmine said...

LOL. i don't think ANY of our dining companions appreciate us taking time with the food shots unless it's fellow food bloggers we're eating with. Ah, the amount of dirty looks i have been shot with.

ps: 60 shots in continuous frame ke? :P

Feeling said...

i tried once at somewhere nearby east coast but not really nice lol :p

Simon Seow said...

Time to save up to go to Singapore.

wmw said...

Tiga Puluh??? Ada??? Wah, you giving floggers a bad name! Hahaha!

Nic (KHKL) said...

selba, haha! i was inspired by the recent memes. it just struck one that should include it! haha! 30 shots, yes. ok, sometimes..lol! and your 1, 2 and 3 are so true!!! especially on (2) and (3), i wish i have a point and shoot sometimes cos it's so much more convenient.

precious pea, yes! yes! or to go out and sing at red box or neway! ok, i have no preference la, as long as it's wireless mics...haha! that reminds me that we have not done k is a very longggg time already. we must do it already. ;)

cumi & ciki, woah, 30 shots of sake? actually, it's equivalent to the amount of champagne we had on saturday hor? hehehehe...or more than that? *horrors*

yin, oh, i think that one is a different waraku. well, it's under the waraku group but of a different cuisine, i think. east coast park has one but another different cuisine as well. omg, so many branches! hahahaha! hey, if you are coming over, we go makan! ;)

lyrical lemongrass, 60?????? :P ok lar, maybe i do but only cos we have all the time in the world. and because of my incapable lens. ;P yay, cant wait for that new nikkor lens. pray for me! ;) btw, spiders can cum one meh?

ck lam, hahaha, LL's just joking. usually, the multiple shots start when the lighting is poor. then, there will be lotsa shaky shots before i can get a good one. but 60, i think my fingers will ache already by then..haha! i think max 10 mins per dish is already wayyyyy kwazy..haha!

jun, poor thing. hey, when you coming back to singapore for a holiday? take advantage of the cheap airfares these days! and when you are back, u just call me and we go makan j-food! i've never makan-ed j-food with you la.

ladyironchef, thanks for the compliment, dude! i think sometimes we are just inspired by the things around us. :) have fun exploring and writing and blogging. :)

xiu long bao, excussssseeeeee meeeeeee....the reason i took 90 shots is because someone forgot to bring her camera. so, had to share my pics with her. hmmm, want me to tell the name ar not?? hahahaha! wei, ta pau some baklava for me ar when you are there...hehehehehe...

thenomadGourmand, haha! and that is reason why sometimes our shots have sights of hands, fingers, chopsticks, etc etc...haha! i kinda like that, actually. real time stuff. raw emos...;)

Nic (KHKL) said...

ai wei, haha! not all the time la. i think i'll try to take less pictures and makan more the next time la...haha! thanks for the compliment! glad you liked the pics! :)

j2kfm, *passing you the tissue* hehehehe....oooohhh, i actually prefer enoki cos there's more fibre and crunch!! ;) and for that price, it's really worth it la. have you blogged about it before? i go check. ;) and S$16 for wagyu, yup. i brought the discount coupons the other day and taadah, only S$8! ;) but i think the promo over d.. :(

kenny,

"Yay... That's why we LURVE you. Hehe." ada pisau di sebalik batu? hahahaha! actually, we've not really makan-ed together hor? i think it's time for our first babitarian meeting! after your oversea trips la. ;)

aiyoh, where got education? i'm sure that's not the right way to makan in j-restaurants. i main shiok sendiri only la..haha! hey, you dont need J-education lah, you are pro already. in fact, your latest post is a reflection of good food writer. yes, you are! ;)

joe, confused? haha! the meme's fiction but the food's real. not the wax type..haha! i think you will like the wagyu beef. it's quite good for that price. and with the discount coupon, lagi best..haha!

fatboybakes, hahahaha! i have never thought of that before! sometimes, when we go makan there, we'll just say like, "meet you at cuppage". now, i think i'll laugh everytime i say that! me evil? oh tidakkkkk!!! lol! ok lar, next time we have a gathering, i think i can make some bacon and asparagus. i try try lah. ;)

mimi, they are under the same management, but different style of cooking. i also havent tried pasta de gohan before. oh, lotsa things to eat at sunway pyramid hor, these days? am surprised to see so many new shops there! u always go there?

550ml jar of faith, hahaha! patience is definitely the test of true friendship! my best friends are so used to waiting for me to take pics that they now even style the dishes for me! hahaha! as more the memes, yupe, kill all birds with one post..hahaha! ;)

jasmine, haha! i know what you mean by the dirty looks. i get sarcastic remarks as well, sometimes! hahaha! so, we've just gotta wear a bulletproof vest (and mask) la. lol! food bloggers rulez! ;)

60 shots in continous frame mode??? *pengsan* lol!

feeling, hi! thanks for stopping by! :) i heard there's one at east coast, under the waraku umbrella but not waraku de gohan. i agree with you on the food. it's rather average. ;)

simon, aiyoh, no need to save up lar, dude. you already got free accommodation, right? just need a bus ticket. and an empty stomach to makan in this little red dot. come, come! ;)

wmw, haha! suddenly that bon jovi song comes to mind! rock on! ;) ya lar, sometimes tiga puluh. when the lighting is bad lar. my lens not capable under low light condition la. i got shaky hands somemore...sigh... teach me human tripod-ing!!! :)

Camemberu said...

Man, you haf teh leet skillz! Can make Waraku look gooood!!!! *kowtow*

LOL I also do no.1, 2, 7, 8 and 10!!!

thenomadGourmand said...

haha.. me got frens who wait for me to sampai (cos sometimes i late)to tk pics be4 they eat! that's was so nice! but got those who poke their cutleries at the food the sec the dish touch the table..my my..those i really gerammm..ggrrr..

Nic (KHKL) said...

camemberu, aiyoh, no lar..the pics were ok because of the good lighting. your pics are fantastic. ;) but hey, thanks for the compliment! ;)

no no.5 for you? hehehehe...

thenomadGourmand, poking at the food? omg!!! yeah, some friends are very understanding. they will even help to position the dishes nicely for me to snap. some are scared of me too....lol!!!!

mimid3vils said...

It's seem like 102 years since my last visit to Sunway Pyramid, hehe ^.^ *Quite far from my place, + have to pay 2 tol*

Keropok Man said...

is your no. 8 a loud or soft one? hehe...

Nic (KHKL) said...

mimi, ya lor, quite far...yeah, 2 tolls at the LDP :( liddat, already gone RM3.20. ok lar, we still got jusco and carrefour in our area! oh, and desa parkcity too! ;)

keropok man, depends on the crowd. if all my kawan2 baik, a competition beholds! haha!