Yes, we may be all sad-face because we can’t travel to Japan, but hey, instead of being hangry, why not get happy with the Japanese-food options here on homeground instead? Say itadakimasu to these seasonal-special dishes and drinks at some of Singapore’s familiar and favoured food haunts.
One of SG’s most beloved homegrown sushi restaurant chains is doing something extra special for the year-end – it has created its first-ever series of cocktails, crafted with whisky and gin from the House of Suntory. There are four offerings: the Chita Highball (made with Chita single grain whisky), the Hokkaido Hai (it’s a hot cocktail rustled up from green tea and whisky), and the Roku Classic Gin & Tonic and Yuzu Splash (both concocted from Roku gin and are citrusy-sweet). A glass goes for $11.80 – two for $19.80 – and is only available at four outlets: Orchard Paragon, VivoCity, Holland Village and Serangoon Gardens.
But what is available (but no less special) at all its outlets is Sushi Tei’s “Festive Wonderland 2020” menu that features 19 seasonal items. Top picks: a moreish Candied Sweet Potato ($4.80); Lake Saroma Wagyu Steak ($33.80) with seared A5-grade beef that boasts a high marbling score and great mouthfeel; and spicy seafood-starring Kaisen San Shirui Roll ($9.80) and Festive Seafood Roll ($11.80). The “Festive Wonderland 2020” menu is available till 16 February 2021, while cocktails are available permanently.
Charcoal grilled yakiniku + yummy donburi bowls = Flaming Don. If you don’t know how this equation works, simply plop yourself down at the resto and order its new set meal ($28.80; available only from 14-27 December 2020) comprising a Teriyaki Oyster Blade Steak with Foie Gras atop Shoyu Butter Rice, and a melody of sides: Bacon Potato Salad, Asari Miso Soup, and Hot Red Bean Mochi. So lux yet so affordable. Or, if you are having a less-carb day, then try any of its 8 new salad bowls that pairs a meat with julienne carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber chunks, edamame and sweet corn. Our faves of the lot: its Signature Flaming Beef Salad that’s served with diced-cut Australian Oyster Blade ($15.90) and Spicy Mayo Salmon Poke Salad ($15.90) that’s drenched in a special Sriracha mayonnaise sauce, tobiko (flying fish roe) and furikake (Japanese mixed seasoning).
Love cooking for loved ones but detest the cleaning up? Then head to this Japanese charcoal grill restaurant where you get to bond with family and friends while having your meats done your way. And while you are at it, why not treat them to Tajimaya’s Christmas specials that are only available on X’mas eve and X’mas day? Pick from 3 different sets: Kurobuta Pork ($108 per pair), Beef ($198 per pair), and Surf & Turf ($138 per pair). Each set comes with a starter, salad, two appetisers, dessert and a selection of meat and seafood cuts that includes A4 Miyazaki Striploin, U.S. Kurobuta Pork Belly and U.S. Lobster.
You might know of Hot Stones as being all about ’em sizzling steaks and seafood. Well, it has now pivoted to become a Japanese Yakiniku Steakhouse, but don’t worry – it is still offering the same premium-grade seafood and meats. Try its Christmas menu offering: a 3-course meal ($59.90 per person; available until 31 December 2020) that comes with a Roasted Butternut Squash or a Homemade Mushroom soup, mesclun salad, garlic rice or French fries, and a choice of mains. A4 Kagoshima Wagyu Karubi Rib Finger is the obvious choice for a Japanese meat-treat, or if you rather other alternatives, then you can choose the Top Dingley Dell Pork French Trimmed or Best Seafood Platter to cook over a serpentine volcanic stone slab.
SUN with MOON Japanese Dining & Cafe
Ever the class standard in Japanese dining, SUN with MOON has launched this year’s Winter menu to celebrate the year-end season. While we may not experience the joy of snow as one might do in Japan, we do get the luxury of indulging in this resto’s Winter specials (available till until early February 2021). Must-tries: fatty mature yellowtail sashimi in Torotaku Goma Buri Roll Sushi ($19.80) or as deep-fried breaded cutlets topped with a cucumber, eggplant and purple shiso pickles tartar sauce in the Buri Katsu Shibazuke Tartar Sauce dish ($15.80). If you prefer something to warm you up, then opt for the Fuyu No Niku Tofu Nabe ($15.80), a Winter hotpot of sliced beef, tofu and vegetables soaked in a sweet sukiyaki stock. End off on a sweet note with the Shiratama Azuki Strawberry Parfait ($10.80) that’s composed of layers of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sponge cake, and cornflakes, with shiratama dango and red bean paste toppings.
Kuriya Japanese Market
Want to feel like you are really fresh food market shopping while eating delish nosh in Japan? Then head to Kuriya Japanese Market’s “Taste of Japan” fair, exclusively held at Great World’s &JOY Dining Hall till 28 February 2021. The first things you must check out (because they are only available till 31 January 2021): the array of shellfish including a meaty Tsubugai (whelk) and tender Mirugai Karatsuki (geoduck), and flown-direct-from-Japan Hon Maguro (bluefin tuna) sashimi ($8.90 for 5 pieces) and sushi ($9.90 for a box). What else to look out for: the Whole Tai Fish Set ($9.80 for 100g) that features one of Japan’s popular fishes and comes with either a complimentary grilled Tai fish head or Tai fish miso soup. Plus, saké lovers can continue the festivities at home by buying a bottle at 50-percent off with every $70 spent at Kuriya Japanese Market.
Feature image: Sushi Tei