Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kyo-Goku Kaneyo 京極かねよ : Old old unagi eel shop in Kyoto

Perhaps being steeped in tradition, the folks here quite liberal with the rules so they allow people to smoke.

Not sure if it sounds like a good deal to you but this more than a century old unagi-ya permits indoor smoking. This implies that a meal here might be ruined when a bunch of salarymen popped in and start to smoke before, during and after meal. 

Signature Kinshidon (Omelette over eel rice)

Opened since Taisho period, this Unagi-Ya is said to be one of the most famous or perhaps respected shop in Kyoto. Since day 1 of the operation, they have been consistently grilling the eel over long charcoal and this process can still be observed through the kitchen window at level one. But I have reservations whether the unagi the food tasted better with longer history as the homemade tare (sauce) of the unagi here was slightly too diluted and the portions of the eel were meagre. This is relatively compared to Nodaiwa in Tokyo. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory : Chicken, Cream and Cheese

Amidst the competitive Korean fried chicken scene in Singapore, FRESH chicken is no longer the key to success. 
Bring on the CHEESE, WHIPPED CREAM and the secret weapon--SWEET POTATO.

I wonder if it is due to Singaporeans love for all things creamy and cheese because there are several items of the menu that contains either cheese or cream. One good example is the Nest Snow ($32.90), a bizarre yet wonderfully tasty mountain of Cajun chicken tenders served in a bubbling hot plate of Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar. To top it all off, a swirl of whipped cream and sprinkles of cheese shavings. 
But Chir Chir (pronounced chee-ru chee-ru) does not stop at that. It had secretly ambushed a lump of mash SWEET POTATO beneath the chickens. There was no way one could escape from the intense cheesy-ness of this dish, but the presence of something sweet pulled your senses back into shape. If this was spiced with Chilli flakes, I think I'll be weeping at its culinary blasphemy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yudofu Okutan ゆどうふ奥丹清水: The Story of a ¥250 Tofu Manju 

The sight of this old lady selling tofu manju stopped me in my foot steps. I remembered that she was also selling tofu manju at this stall a few years ago but I forgot why I did not buy it. Nonetheless, I decided to buy it this time round after standing at a corner and observing the constant stream of customers at the stall. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Rabbit Stash : Secret Fine-Dining Place of a Genius Chef

It's mischievous. It's quirky. It's gentle. It's unpredictable.
Just like an unrestrained rabbit, that took a leap of faith and jump out from its hutch to see the world. 
I experienced a mental block again after an unforgettable evening of gastronomic feast whipped up by Chef Matthew at his new hideout called the Rabbit Stash, a fine-dining restaurant bar situated right at the rooftop of Wangz hotel. The first thing that struck me at first was the rabbit candies that many of us used to eat during our childhood years. But what impressed me even more was the originality of his cuisine--a marriage of French techniques and Asian-Singaporean flavours, infused with his passion for food and the aesthetics. 
SNACKS || Potato Chips on Wooden Truck carved by Chef Matthew, Yam Milk Jam, Lime Mayonnaise, Baby Potatoes with Blueberry, Lotus Chips
With several respectable accolades under his belt, it is humbling to learn that Chef Matthew only switched to a culinary career after his university training in building construction. This Sunrise Global Chef Academy graduate might not have any training experience at Michelin-starred restaurant or with any celebrity chefs local or abroad. But it is his diverse travel and life experiences that make his menu both flavorfully and visually unique. 
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