One of the things I did to prep for Christmas was to eat non-Christmas food. Aside from going vegetarian, which I cannot do in a sustained fashion, going Japanese is always a good option. Instead of doing the usual rounds, we decided to try something a little different, and out of neighbourhood as well. Venturing into the heartland of Sunset Way's new-feel neighbourhood of five-foot ways lined with eateries and bars, we maneuvered our way through the old HDB estate to arrive at Tenza Izakaya, which just passed its 6-month birthday.
We changed our minds about sitting al fresco, and landed ourselves in front of Chef Donny's work area, perched on 2 high chairs, and overlooking a very open kitchen. It wasn't a very cool kitchen to peer into, but we still like to see our food prepped in front of us, and the 6 chefs in their different stations at work. Unfortunately, it was a fairly quiet night so some were just observing. With that, we just instructed Donny to "hit us" with his best shot. Even then, he was quite polite to tell us what he planned ahead of each course.
Some cold appetisers to get us started while we each ordered a Yuzu cooler and a cold Junmai Ginjyo to begin the ride.
|Norwegian Salmon roe with cameos by threads of omelet.|
|Ankimo liver slice with a sharp Ponzu sauce.|
|Pregnant Kelp garnished wtih Bonito flakes.|
|Shirako (Cod milt or sperm) in clear soup.|
The quality of the Cod Milt was fresh and creamy, but given that, I may not have selected soup as a platform to showcase this. In other places, my favourite is to tempura (just like enjoying fried milk), or lightly sear this to lend it a smoky flavour. Even sashimi with a Ponzu sauce would work. The soup unfortunately did not do it justice and for those not used to eating it, may cause a little squirminess.
I forget the name of the fish that was grilled for us. It was an "ok" at best, since there wasn't much flavour to it, and the flesh was just a tad to firm.
|Home-made Mochi dusted with icing malt sugar|
The mochis were well done, very soft and chewy and came apart easily with a bite. I would have preferred a drizzle of Kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) over this to give it a little more kick but otherwise the icing did little to enhance the quality of the mochi.