Sunday, September 02, 2007

Not Just Oshii

Eating at Kuriya is not just about the tastebuds. It's a whole sensory experience, and especially a visual treat. The presentation is always a pleasure, right down to the beautiful ceramic pieces the food is plated on. The sum total of the colour, texture and taste is what makes the meal special. As the Japanese would say, one eats with the eyes as well as with the mouth. Kawaii!

Just the other day, HM had the luxury of two Kuriya meals in one day, lunch at the Shaw Centre branch with a friend and dinner with me at Raffles City. This was our first visit. We shared a king crab set and a sashimi set.

King Crab Set

It was the last day of the king crab set for one. We had had the king crab set for two previously and enjoyed the sweetness and delicate texture of the crab. I like it best just steamed or boiled and served cold. The nabe was wonderfully full-flavoured and heartwarming, to say the least.

the opening salvo for both sets - sauteed daikon in miso, garnished with white sesame

cold king crab

king crab and vegetable tempura

king crab nabe (hotpot) with enoki mushrooms, tofu and vegetables

sashimi mori (assorted sashimi) served on vinegared rice

Sashimi Set

The sashimi that night was excellent and no wonder. According to the waitperson, the restaurant had just received a fresh shipment of fish that very afternoon. Talk about melt in your mouth goodness.

tempura, unagi and sashimi served with rice and miso soup

The meal ended with dessert and coffee for two.

mango pudding with fruit

vanilla ice cream with fruit

Overall, it was a good meal. The decor is a stab at minimalist chic, cooler and "hipper" than that of Shaw Centre. Still, compared to the Shaw Centre branch, the Raffles City branch still has some way to go. The tempura batter was a tad soggy, bogged down by a little too much oil. And the service was well-meaning but a little erratic. The waitstaff tried their best to provide helpful yet polished service, but was a little swamped at times. In contrast, the service at the Shaw Centre is always cheerful and brisk, even though the restaurant is bustling. We'll probably stick to Shaw Centre for the time being.



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