Crazy is when you have 5 people sharing more than 40 dishes among themselves. There's nothing kiasu about it. In fact, it just proved that the Weekend Chef Treat Omakase lunch (ala carte) buffet spread was good. And unlike the typical hurried buffets, we totally enjoyed the relaxing pace...until the last hour when we were kan cheong to complete the menu. Special thanks to the accommodating staffs who helped us in achieving the feat!
There were 7 types of dishes to choose from; cold (appetizers), grilled, deep-fried, warm, salad, main (carbs) and desserts.
The starter of a plate of fresh sashimi was almost perfect. This was followed by an selection of assorted sushi of equally fresh cuts of maguro, sake, hamachi and ika. I should note that both the sashimi and sushi are limited to 1 serving each, per pax.
My favourite cold dishes were the Kamo Roast Yaki (Roasted Duck Breast), Hiyashi Tomato and Chiharu Karupacho. I've never had carpaccio done this way. The hamachi slices were mixed with crunchy daikon shreds and soaked in zesty ponzu sauce. An interesting combination that can be emulated in my very own kitchen, I believe. Throw in some soba while I'm at it, wouldn't you agree? Subarashi!
We strategized to optimize our capacity by limiting orders of the ubiquitous grilled and deep-fried dishes to 1 portion each. If the stomach was as elastic as rubber, I would have ordered more of the compact but tender Tori Tsukune (Grilled Chicken Meat Balls) and the Tebasaki Shioyaki (Grilled Chicken Wing), which was lightly coated with salt. A nice touch.
From the warm list, came a dish that, to me, had defined my Chiharu experience. The Gyu or Beef Teriyaki. As the name had suggested, there was nothing fancy about it. Just a piece of meat and a sauce. But the execution was as good as ala carte buffets can get. The medium well cuts were moist and went really well with the sweet teriyaki sauce. It was so good, we had seconds. The sauce complemented the soba and udon too, an experiment we conducted while waiting for more dishes to come. By the way, both the zaru soba and udon were wonderful, given the al dente texture.
When it came to desserts, I was hoping for matcha and goma ice cream because to me, these two flavours generally gauge the quality of desserts in a Japanese restaurant. Surprisingly, neither was on the menu. Instead, we were offered what I would consider as novel flavours such as raspberry, passionfruit and tiramisu. Being the reluctant alcoholic that I am, my favourite that day was definitely the creamy and slightly intoxicating Baileys ice cream.
This restaurant of a thousand spring is definitely worth a revisit.
Some of the cold dishes
Satsuma Age Yaki (Grilled Fish Cake)
Some of the main dishes: Zaru Udon, Nori Chazuke (Seaweed Porridge), Zaru Udon
779 Bukit Timah Road
Tel: (+65) 6769 1929