Sunday, November 10, 2013
Teppei @ Orchid Hotel
After a good 4 months plus wait I finally stepped into Teppei at Orchid Hotel which is famed for its affordable omakase. I called to make a reservation back in May 2013 and I was told they only have seats for me in mid October 2013. Stepping into the 21 counter seats only restaurant, the place is really quite small with hardly any walking space. It is quite amazing how the chefs and servers work in the tiny space with our eyes glued to their preparation of our food.
After settling down. we were quickly served a number of starters in sequence to whet up our appetite. We had a refreshing salad, beancurd skin, radish and grilled edamame to begin with.
I was looking forward to the Sashimi Platter. The sashimi was fresh and melted in the mouth. Of course I cannot compare the quality to what I had at Tsukiji Market Tokyo earlier this year. For that moment it strikes me that most Japan restaurant in Singapore does not slice the fish as big as it is in Japan, could it be part of the cost saving to recover the cost of air flown ingredients?
The ordinary looking Sushi Roll has everyone raving about the surprises wrapped inside the sushi rice. Teppei has added crispy bits of fried tempura batter (tenkasu) giving the sushi roll a whole new dimension of enjoyment.
I could not remember what type of fish was used in this dish. The fish was quite meaty in a light refreshing broth.
If I remembered correct, this was Sweet Potato Chawanmushi. The bottom was sweet potato with the egg custard sitting on top. I felt this was the weakness link of the night which tasted quite bland.
The Oyster was simply heavenly. Nothing fancy allowing one to enjoy the natural flavour of the sea to the fullest.
The sweetness of the Scallop and Uni combination was like marriage made in heaven. The bursting of flavours in the mouth and long lasting lingering aftertaste was probably what most will described as umami.
This is quite an interesting dish with bold flavours and textures. The Squid was actually served with soft bones that is edible giving it a nice crunchy bite.
A nice deep fried Fish Tempura that was crispy on the outside and moist inside.
First time having the whole Pufferfish which was done in deep fried style. With a squeeze of the zesty lemon, it enhanced the flavour by a notch.
Delight in sight and beautiful in taste, the Shabu Chutoro was one the better highlight of the whole omakase experience that literally melted in the mouth.
The omakase experience also came with bite size item that was a welcoming break for the whole 23 courses. Some of the items that were served with the skewer sticker were Grilled Squid, Beancurd Skin, Ginko Nut and Tomato.
Actually after all the food we had, the hot bowl of Clam Soup helped to cleanse and freshen up the palate for the grand finale of the whole omakase experience.
At the beginning of the dinner, the waiter will go around the table asking everyone which omakase set they are going to have. Teppei's omakase set comes in 3 pricing, $50, $60 and $80. Yes the price has increased. The lowest price used to be $40. I decided to go for the $80 omakase set since I have waited for 4 months plus. The $80 price range set comes with the premium marbled Wagyu Beef that was very tender and succulent.
Around the midpoint of the meal, the waiter will once again go around the table asking the choice of main course and dessert. For main, there are 4 choices, Fried Rice with Sunny Side Egg (spicy), Sashimi Rice, Soba (hot or cold), Udon (hot or cold). After getting advise from friends that have visited the restaurant, I went for the Sashimi Rice. Thanks to all my friends, I crossed the finishing line of the grand finale very satisfied. I would also recommend going for the sashimi rice out of the 4 choices.
For dessert it was ice cream and each of us was given a choice of Calpis, Durian, Green Tea, Sesame, Walnut or Yuzu flavours. I chose the sesame ice cream, wrapping up the dinner experience at Teppei in a sweet note.
For people that has not tried Teppei, it will be a worthy experience with the affordable omakase set menu. Hardly you can find a Japanese restaurant offering omakase below $100. I have also heard words that Chef Teppei is planning to open a Hotpot and another omakase restaurant. I looked forward to their openings hoping it follows the same philosophy of offering affordable quality food to diners.
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
1 Tras Link
Tel: +65 62227363
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)
Mon-Fri: 1145am - 230pm, 630pm - 1030pm
Sat: 12pm - 230pm, 630pm - 1030pm
1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]