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MY TO-GO LIST
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
#08-12, Orchard Central
Sometimes, I feel like I can survive on nothing but Japanese food for the rest of my life. Today is one such day. Ootoya specialises in teishoku (Japanese set meals) or more commonly known as bento boxes to us ignorant Singaporeans. There's also the choice between ordering ala carte or a set which comes with rice, vegetables and miso soup. If you order the latter and happen to love rice, you will be happy to know that you can refill the rice for free. One unique aspect is that the menu also lists the calories of the different dishes which was quite fun to know!
When I saw this on the menu, I knew I wanted it straightaway. The Grated Yam with Tuna ($6++, 164kcal) was a great appetiser. Layers of natto beans, lady fingers, marinated tuna slices and grated yam are topped with a half boiled egg. I love it when the egg yolk just flow all over the dish when I mixed it all up to a gooey mess. Not everyone will like it as this is very much an acquired taste. I suppose you have to like the sticky and slightly pungent natto beans like me to fall in love with this.
The Atka Mackerel ($13++ ala carte, 224kcal) is one of the more popular items on the menu. The portion was extremely generous and definitely more than what I expected. On 1st bite, the charcoal grilled fish was very salty since it's preserved with salt upon capture. But paired with the freshly grated daikon on the side, this is a clear winner! I can't remember the last time I've enjoyed a mackerel more. Even the many embedded bones didn't bother me since they separated from the juicy and firm flesh easily.
The Mixed-Grain Soy Milk Porridge ($12++, 335kcal) sounded so healthy that it's hard to believe that something this healthy can taste so good. Comprising of nine kinds of cereal, vegetables, mushrooms and chicken in soy milk, this whole dish just scream "comfort food". Whoever say that healthy food is boring or bland? What I like best is the 2 pieces of pumpkin simmered in a slightly savoury broth which provided a perfect contrast to the sweet golden fruit.
Coated with subtly sweet toasted soybean flour, the Warabimochi ($7++, 299kcal) had a really soft texture. It's not a true mochi since it's not made with rice but rather, it's made from bracken starch which results in a jelly-like consistency. Though I usually stay clear of milk ice cream, this one made with Hokkaido milk was not half bad.
OCBC cardholders get a complimentary Green Tea Ice Cream in Soya Milk Syrup ($4.50++, 300kcal). I like almost everything about this simple dessert: the ice cream tasted like real maccha and not too sweet, the red beans were plump and tender, and the soy milk added an interesting dimension to the whole dessert. The only fault I had was with the rice dumplings which were too tough and chewy.I have to mention that the green tea served here is fantastic! I don't know what type of tea leaves they use but the smell and taste were really strong in a good way. It's definitely not the diluted type served in other restaurants. I have to go back to try its other dishes before the chef heads back to Japan!
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT