Thursday, November 18, 2010

Japan, Marina Square's foodcourt and Keisuke

Where can you dine with a view of the Marina Bay Sands, the towering CBD, the grand Fullerton Hotel and the Esplanade without burning a hole in the wallet? The Marina Square foodcourt, of course! The night skyline, illuminated by some of the most identifiable skyscrapers in Singapore, is especially beautiful.

A few year ago, I came to this foodcourt in search of the legendary bak chor mee stall that some claim to rank among the best this island has to offer. The taste was average at best but it was later that I learned of a change in ownership that led to deterioration in quality and taste. Nevertheless, I'd found a great view.

Two months back, XLB returned from her solo trip to the land of the rising sun, bringing along indispensable memories of the Tsukiji market and some food; ranging from extravagant Western desserts (no Sadaharu Aoki or Pierre Hermé though) to local delicacies to unknowingly affordable compressed, dehydrated cubes of soup, which I had uncontrollably walloped all 9 packs within a short span of 24 hours. Hey, that's 1 cube in every 2.67 hours!

Earlier that evening, before I was presented with a bundle of souvenirs (mostly food, naturally), we were at Keisuke. For me, it was all about the Ebi Ramen Special that features a special prawn stock. This is one brave but controversial dish, I'd say, especially when you can get approximately 3 bowls (or more) of the local version of prawn noodles for the price of a bowl of this. I could do without the additional plate of side consisting of boiled pork/long beans and ajitsuke eggs. Instead, more of the crispy strands of saffron garnishing would have been great. Keisuke's ebi stock is not the usual Singaporean prawn noodles stock that's flavoured with prawns, pork bones (murkier) and rock sugar. This was refreshingly lighter. I enjoyed Keisuke's ebi stock but still favour a stronger taste. A matter of personal preference, really. Like how some prefer the lighter Teochew-style bak kut teh over the stronger herbal taste of the Hokkien version. It also came with some dumplings, which was a nice touch. Hmmm, how about some saffron in the minced filling next, eh? The juicy prawn gyoza with crispy skin is worth a mention too.

What in the world is a Kyo-Machiya cake? Literally deconstructing the phrase, it could mean a cake made in a green tea house in Kyoto. Whatever it means, the cake rocks. Yes, the skeptic has spoken. It's always that first tingling bittertaste that makes the best first impression, soothed only later by the sweet, smooth azuki paste. There were layers of green tea gelatin as well, adding to a more interesting texture.

The attentive staff asked if we would like to have some desserts but we'd made plans. At the Marina Square foodcourt, we finished a delicious-looking log of baumkuchen from Juchheim (a well-known pastry shop in Japan). Well, I did most of the eating, actually. I used to like Muji's (regardless of the flavour) but they seem to be harder now. Juchheim's was definitely more refined while sparing the excessive sweetness of caramel, which to be honest, added to the addiction.

With some time to burn before returning home tonight (as in Thursday night), I'd decided to grab a quick dinner of sliced fish soup at Marina Square's foodcourt again. Later, I had a cup of Teh-C and penned down this post while watching the sun set between the halved durians of the Esplanade. Ah, nice.

Keisuke Tokyo
9 Raffles Boulevard
#P3-02 Parco Marina Bay
Millenia Walk Singapore
Tel: (+65) 6337 7919



Apparently, Keisuke's menu has changed.

Read more here.


Life for Beginners said...

Sighs. You are making miss Japan so much, bro. Screw 2012, I'm flying back there NEXT YEAR! :D

ice said...

Tai Hwa is now at Crawford Lane. Have you tried the BCM? It's pretty good!

Keropok Man said...

That baumkuchen looks good!

choi yen said...

the long bean boiled soft until like that ar? =.="

minchow said...

I'm with Kenny! I've been deliberating of late, arguing the logic of going back to Japan again and again when there are so many other countries I haven't seen this little lifetime, with so little fiscal resources. But it's almost a different country, a new eating landscape with every visit, isn't it? Makes sense then right? Right?

qwazymonkey said...

U ah, make me wanna go back to land of the rising sun now.

hmmm... u think if we called one of ahpa's cakes as "kek dari rumah si pembakar kek gempal" has the same effect ar?

Xiu Long Bao said...

Kyo-machiya is restricted for sale in kyoto and i only bought 4.

Did i read correctly that you walloped the 1000 yen miso soup in 24 hrs? -___-

HairyBerry said...

kenny, lotsa airlines are having promo these days. book early! ;D those days (like 5 years ago), i got my tix for only RM1200! sigh, the good old days...
ice, yes!! ;D tai hwa is one of my favourites, along with ah kow at hong lim! ;D thanks for reminding me of this place. to be honest, I've not been there for quite awhile already.
keropokman, and it tasted good too. ;D glace does a good baumkuchen too, i must say. ;D
choi yen, hahaha, i agree! that was my initial reaction too. i should have added noodles instead of having that..haha!
minchow, and that is why i try not to revisit a country unless i've some unfinished business there! then again, take Japan for example, Hokkaido is very much different from Okinawa while Shikoku is way too interesting to miss. arggghh, we definitely need more time and resources! let's work towards that! ;D
qwazymonkey, haha, ya know, now is actually a very good time to visit kyoto. autumn is spectacular there. ;D haha, KDRSPKG is too long la, me thinks. I still like FBB - simple, cool and it comes with a fantastic logo from you! ;D
xlb, woahhh, i'm so honoured to have taste 1 of the very rare 4. ok, actually, 0.5 only. hehehe. yupe, i think i told you that I was going to finish four packs for breakfast and leave the rest for the next day. but i had to eat something for my conf call, right? yummy!