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MY TO-GO LIST
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
#B3-23, ION Orchard
I didn't expect to end my long hiatus from food hunting with a 90 minutes queue for Japanese food. Have you ever done anything this crazy? This must be another 'Donut Factory Syndrome' (no, I wasn't that mad to queue up for donuts). Fortunately, I'm lucky enough to be able to enjoy the food without waiting for a maddening 1 and a half hour! Anyway, the restaurant in question hails from Japan and has outlets in Shanghai, Taiwan and Hong Kong too.
This being our 1st time here, we decided to order the signature items to be on the safe side. I'm not sure whether it's due to the fact that we were starving by now but the Kani & Hotate Cream Croquette ($5.80++) was delicious! The golden bite-sized crispy balls oozing with cream disappeared in a flash. Admittedly, the small chunks of crab meat and scallop could have been more generous though.
Another favourite is the Watami Salad ($7.80++) with a huge dollop of tuna mayonnaise on a bed of colourful vegetables. Now, I really really dislike mayonnaise but there's no way for me to avoid that nasty stuff if I want to try this. Overlooking the presence of the hated mayo, what surprised me was that slices of cooked tuna were used instead of the canned flaked type.
I believe what made the salad so enjoyable was the fragrant sesame dressing. Call me biased since I'm devoted to anything sesame but this really made the salad come alive with a burst of flavours. A friend asked me before why would I pay for a bowl of greens and my answer would be why not, especially if it tastes as good as this!
Usually I wouldn't have ordered any sushi but the Irodori Sushi Grandeur ($10.80++) seemed like a safe bet since it has scallop, seafood salmon and unagi--all my favourites. Presentation was fantastic but the sushi didn't impress me. I'm no rice nor sushi connoisseur but it would be nice if the grains were less dry and more fragrant.
The toppings, which I enjoyed thoroughly, were another story. I could find no fault with the soft eel nor the juicy and plump scallops.
The kitchen was already taking its last order by the time we were ready for desserts. I was hard pressed not to laugh when the Mango & Ichigo Daifuku ($3.80++) was served. Instead of being plump and round like the picture on the menu, the rice cake looked as though it has been flattened by a truck. Looks aside, the taste was excellent with the combination of sweet mango and strawberry and texture was great with the smooth and paper thin mochi skin. I would have ordered more if the kitchen was still open!
Granted, the Kurogoma Ice Cream ($2++) was not a signature item but I just couldn't resist it. Afterall, how wrong could you go with sesame? Watami's version was not the best I've had but it did the job of satisfying my sesame craving for the day.
I suppose the main draw of Watami is the irresistible combination of affordability and good quality food. The menu supposedly changes every few months so there would always be something new to look forward to. They do not take reservations so do go early if you want to avoid the lunch or dinner crowds!
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