27 May, 2008

TETSU - "LIVE" Kushi-style Restaurant

Following my virgin taste testing session that took place at Persimmon, HFB was honoured to be invited to another launch at TETSU ("哲"), which has just opened its doors at Tanglin Mall.

Japanese cuisine aficionados will rejoice a first of its kind authentic Kushi-style Tempura along with Tonkatsu menu, prepared “LIVE” before their eyes. Seated at specially designed counter bars that are in close proximity to the chef who deftly prepares their Tempura and Tonkatsu, diners get to enjoy a visual feast right before their eyes.

Diners can have a choice from a wide array of freshest seafood, meats and vegetables prepared either Kushi-age style (Skewered with Breaded Batter) or Kushi-tem style (Skewered with Tempura Batter).

In order to recreate the most authentic Japanese dining experience, TETSU has partnered up with one of the most established restaurant groups in Japan with 48 restaurants and employing over 1400 people.

The Hana Group, renowned for their authentic Japanese cuisine and has been advising TETSU in all aspects of their restaurant.

The night was kick-started with an appetiser off the menu, the Cold Tofu with Century Egg and Ebi Roe. It was surprisingly a good dish to start off with as the combination of the heavy century egg and soft tofu attempts to tickle your palate along with the salty exploding sensation of the ebi roe when one bites into it.

The Edamame ($4.00) like others are nothing to shout about, but something that stood out was the aestheticism of the dish, which is visually evident in all the subsequent dishes – it is only then that I found out that TETSU prides itself on offering the most authentic Japanese dining experience, taking it down even to the smallest of details.

The layout of the Kaiseki sets and even the art of serving up these gourmet sets are specially formulated in Japan, to ensure that diners can get the full “LIVE” experience, at the best value. In addition, much of the restaurant’s tableware are all specially flown in from Japan.

Moreover, the good thing about the Kushi-age Soft Shell Crab ($3.00 per serving) is that it does not come oil soaked, although I would prefer it to be slightly meatier.

One might also be intrigued to know that in TETSU, one also get a choice of three dips for their deep-fried food – Tonkutsu sauce, Japanese Mayo and Curry Salt.

Onsentamago To Tofu Salad, or Half-boiled (Hot Spring-styled) Egg & Tofu Salad ($13.50) is another dish that is dedicatedly prepared by the chef – using their bare hands to measure the temperature of the water cooking the eggs, and the eggs only taken out of the cooking water when the water is too hot for their hands to handle.

The only non-authentic dish that we tried that night was probably their Salmon Carpaccio with French Dressing ($18.00). Although the salmon was very fresh and comes with a very nice bite, I feel that the dressing was slightly too sour for me – let’s just say that I prefer sashimi the way it is.

Highly recommended was their Rosu Katsu (A set served with Salad, Pickles, Rice, Miso Soup and Dessert cost $24.50). Similar to Tonkichi, one is also given a bowl of Roasted Sesame Seeds to grind and add to the Tonkutsu sauce.

The sampling of their second deep-fried dish convinced me that their cooking and preparation technique is indeed accomplished. Although I pride Tampopo’s Black Pork Katsu to be the best in taste of texture due to its marbling fats, TETSU’s version comes a close second - one do not really sample the oily aftertaste in the batter.

It was then I was told that TETSU’s chefs have undergone intensive training in the chain’s headquarters in Japan. The attention paid to the preparation of Tempura and Tonkatsu is meticulous – TETSU chefs strictly ensure that all preparation techniques, from marination, to the type of batter and oil, to the time of frying, adhere to their timeless traditional Japanese recipes.

The Roll Sushi ($18.00 for 6 pieces) was another item that was painstaking prepared in many process. One would probably mistook it for a salmon roll sushi if one weren’t told that the filling also consists of scallop and tuna, as the saltiness of the cooked salmon seeks to over-whelmed it. However having said that, it was still a pretty enjoyable sushi roll due to the crunchy batter and the aromatic Sesame Seeds and pairing of Ebi Roe.

The Kushi-style cuisine is very popular in Japan because the skewer-style makes it easy for customers eat and enjoy their sake, shoju or wine at the same time.

However to be honest, by the time the Kaiseki Set Course B ($45.00) consisting of 4 Assorted Appetisers, Stick Vegetables, Kani-Suki (Paper Pot Crab Sukiyaki), Kushi-age or Kushi-Tem, Udon and Dessert arrived, I was pretty much filled up and my palate started to fail me. So I shall let the pictures speak for themselves.

However, one thing I remembered clearly was the very unique Japan-imported Udon that gives one a very chewy bite – one has to try it to truly understand what I mean.

163 Tanglin Road
#03-18 Tanglin Mall
Singapore 247933

Telephone: 6836 3112
Business Hours:
Lunch 1130hrs to 1500hrs
Dinner 1800hrs to 2200hrs

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Pris and TETSU for their generous hospitality.

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Anonymous said...

Quite the extensive entry!

This place looks flat out awesome and I would love to check it out sometime.

CW Guy
Wine Gifts

His Food Blog said...

Hi CW Guy,

Thanks! The place is still pretty new, so what you have now is a nice quiet place for your dinner.

HairyBerry said...

great spread...

and that tender, slight glutinous udon. yes, it's fantastic (whether it's served hot or cold).

i'll be checking it out!! :)

His Food Blog said...

Hi Nic,

You should. It's very different from the usual udon you sampled before. :)

Anonymous said...

I got my review on Tetsu out. hahahah

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