Sunday, 21 August 2016

Akanoya Robatayaki

The door is always closed, whether or not the place is opened for business. On the left of the entrance, you can see its opening hours. My dining companions and I made a reservation for dinner on a Saturday. Sliding the doors apart, we stepped in and saw three U-shaped counters where diners sit around. Behind each are two chefs and separating them from us are raw ingredients  some in their packaging while meats were skewered on sticks and seafood covered with ice for freshness. Like a marketplace as the staff who served us, shouted our orders with the respective quantities in Japanese and the rest (if they were not busy) acknowledged as loudly together. Food was slow-grilled and passed to diners via a wooden oar, just like how Japanese fishermen used to grill their catch over an open fire using an oar.

This is Akanoya Robatayaki at Orchard Parade Hotel, by Akashi Group who also owns Gyoza-Ya and Sushi Goshin. As we were brought to our seats, a warm towel and appetiser of beef-stew-looking fish were presented in front of us. It was good despite the bones (though my dining companions were not impressed) and set my expectation for the meal. Taste of grilled shitake mushroom was accentuated by the minced ginger that staff poured soy sauce over. Grilled lamb chop was almost-melt-in-the-mouth-tender and not too gamely. Choosing chicken thigh over wings, the yakitori was perfect with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of salt but one of us felt it was too soft. Omi Gyu  cubes of wagyu beef, had evenly distributed marbling of fats but we found it too fatty for our liking.

Was the only one who thought the grilled tiger prawns, deftly-deshelled and served so diners who knew how to savour the shells and especially the prawn head could, were mediocre. Could neither rave about nor fault the asparagus (or asupara) as I am not a fan of it. Saw how the chef cleaned the innards before grilling the succulent hotate with a thin slice of butter, and the scallop skirt was not too chewy. I enjoyed the grilled skewer of lean pork, reminiscent of satay albeit a different taste and at a very much more expensive price. While satsumaimo was delicious, I have had better sweet potatoes in Japan and at Isetan Scotts supermarket. After the crispy and addictive Tatami Iwashi, we were served a cold towel and honeydew. The latter, cut into bite-sized yet still looked like a slice, was the sweetest I have ever eaten.

No comments:

Post a Comment