My 2015 ended on the sweetest note thanks to one of the best (and so shockingly affordable) kaiseki menu I had at Akari Japanese Dining Bar.
Helmed under the hands of renowned Chef Hirotaka Murata, the kaiseki dishes came wonderfully plated featuring some of the best winter season ingredients and flavours of Japanese cuisine.
Where washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) is concerned, kaiseki is considered as the most refined form. There is huge emphasis on elements including the freshest ingredients, culinary methods, presentation and taste.
With more than 20 years of experience under his belt, Chef Murata is a connoisseur when it comes to kaiseki cuisines. Snaking queues are also a common sight outside Ginyu Ryokan, his restaurant in Japan.
His skills were apparent in the well thought through and well executed dishes I had at Akari. They offer two types of 9 course kaiseki choices, priced at $100++ and $150++ per pax respectively.
We started the 9 course meal with on a high note. with a seasonal appetizer. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of slightly charred cooked Shirako – Milt, cod fish sperm sac. Shirako is a winter delicacy and can be harvested from various fish, the one that was served came from cod fish.
Just don’t think too much when you eat it. It tastes much better than it looks.
Slightly sweetish with a distinct (but not fishy or overpowering) flavour of the ocean, I finished every bit of it, including all the rest of the appetizer items.
A warm bowl of soup quickly followed to prepare the tummy for more good food.
Their sashimi cuts which are flown in twice a week from Japan was evident in the fresh sashimi items we enjoyed that night.
This was followed by a comforting (and huge) pot of Braised Tilefish with Yuzu Flavour. The yuzu really gave that zest as you savour the sweetness of the soup and the fish.
Just look at that glorious slab of Grilled Wagyu Beef with Hoba Miso. Served with hoba miso, a type of paste that orginates from Hida Takayama, and it is made from the large leaves of the ho (magnolia) tree.
For the $100 set, instead of the Grilled Wagyu Beef, you will be served with the Wagyu Sushi.
True to its winter roots, another comforting dish is the Japanese Unagi Eel Porridge Earth-pot. The delectable, generous servings of unagi is bound to delight and satisfy.
Nevertheless, my spirit went right back up the moment I was served with the pickles with Japanese vinegar and crab. Presentation was of course flawless. the scallop, freshly picked crab meat, seaweed and Japanese cucumber work together like magic, with a nice constrast in textures and taste. Sweetness of the crab, and that light tangy flavour from the vinegar – heavenly.
Even though I was super stuffed by this time, I cleaned up the homemade dessert item – which was a sweet potato swiss roll.
The choice of sweet potato was a nice surprise. The earthy flavour a the natural sweetness of the sweet potato worked to perfection and the cake was so soft and moist. Even the whipped cream was so light and worked in harmony with the cake.
Do note that Akari’s kaiseki set menus are available during dinner service daily. Reservation must be made one day in advance.
Akari’s a la carte menu, which boasts over 70 traditional and contemporary Japanese dishes, will still be available throughout the day.
Akari Japanese Dining & Bar Akari Japanese Dining & Bar (Akari)
Operating hours: 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 10pm
Address: 8A Marina Boulevard #01-02 Singapore 018984
Tel: 6634 0100
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.akaridiningbar.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Akari.MarinaBoulevard