Address: 9 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01 S(238 959)
Tel: +65 6738 9395
Operating Hours: 11:30 – 15:00 (Lunch); 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Budget: $12 – $50++
Recommendations: Yusheng, Bento Sets
Gender-specific Cutlery – Unique to Japanese Culture
Before the appetiser was served, Muscle Man was extremely intrigued by the fact they actually serve gender-specific utensils (because he is currently doing a Japanese culture appreciation module). The pink one was for 阿莲 and the other three blue ones were for myself, Mr Mushroom and Muscle Man.
Very few restaurants serve this appetiser and so far the other restaurant that I know of which serves this is Wasabi Tei. I didn’t take a shot of the appetiser, but it consists of broiled Japanese seaweed and minced mackerel. Not too salty and very soothing on the taste buds. A good way to start the meal.
The Lo Hei ranges from $38.80 to about $88.80 (not too sure) for 2-6 persons serving. We ordered the smallest portion, although the very kind and nice 大姐 server (cannot call auntie, otherwise next time when I revisit them she won’t give me extra ingredients) advised us that the smallest portion only serves 2. Nevertheless, since we were budget-conscious and only wanted to lohei for the spirit of it (good luck and prosperity, aka 好彩头), we decided to go with the smallest portion ($38.80++). The fusion Lohei came with the traditional vegetables (carrot, radish etc), fresh salmon sashimi, jellyfish and tempura crumbs. Very interesting. We also asked for extra Lohei sauce (right bottom corner of the picture), because it was highly recommended by our friendly server.
I must confess that this is one of the best lohei I had in my life. The vegetables were fresh and the sashimi were very savoury. Although it was dipped in the lohei sauce after mixing, i would reckon that the sashimi is very fresh and sweet. There were the typical crispy crackers but also some tempura crumbs at the bottom. We had a great time mixing and stirring them together, so that we can all HUAT ah.
Salmon Fish Head Soup Bento Set ($14++)
I ordered the Salmon Fish Head Soup Bento Set ($14++) as I wanted something that was simple and soupy. For those who do not wish to bite and chew on bones, a better alternative would be the Cod Fish Soup ($22++), which was also highly recommended by our friendly server and according to reviews on HGW. The serving was more than enough for me and came with about 4-5 pieces of the fish head. The miso soup was not too sweet and thicker than the one I had at Wasabi Tei. Other ingredients included the usual cabbage, tofu and carrot. The nabe also had a piece of mushroom so soft that i almost thought it was a piece of marshmallow. I. am. not. exaggerating. It was magical.
Salmon Sushi ($8++)
According to 阿莲, this was “the best sake [salmon] maki evar“. She was so fascinated by the thickness of the sake slices that she dissected them one by one. In fact, some of the sushi had 2 slices of sake inside. However, I was not extremely impressed as the rice was not cold enough for me and did not have a residual sweetness. Nonetheless, it is definitely worth the price ($8++ for 12 slices with insane amount of wasabi).
Mr Mushroom and Muscle Man ordered the Tempura Set but were both too famished to take a photo for the benefit of this blog, so maybe we will take a photo the next time we visit Chikuwa Tei. No complaints about their set though.
Dishes to Try on our Next Visit
1. Chawanmushi – I am equally surprised as you when I heard this dish recommended by the server, but apparently they are famous for their chawanmushi. We will only know when we try.
2. Chirashi don or Sashimi platter (Updated on 30 September 2013) – The friendly server recommended the $58++ sashimi platter because it comprises the ‘expensive fishes’ including Salmon Toro (Fatty Belly) and tuna. However, we were too full from the yusheng and bento sets so we will try this the next time instead.
And here comes the $25 chirashi don:
We can only say, this is one of the best and freshest chirashi don we have ever eaten: the sashimi slices were thick, fresh and meaty. With salmon, fresh raw scallops, yellowtail and swordfish, you need to order their chirashi don if you’re here with limited stomach space.
Service was impeccable – although most of the servers were essentially 阿姨 (too crude to call auntie la), they were very warm and provided many helpful recommendations. The drinks were also refillable and the servers were always ready to refill our drinks. Boxes of serviettes were also provided.
Chikuwa Tei is definitely worth 4.5 stars on HGW. It is a decent place to visit if transport is not an issue (near UE Square, need to walk from Clarke Quay MRT or by bus). If you are on a budget (like us), choose the bento sets which are very filling. We are not sure how fresh the sashimi (because we only tasted them with the lohei sauce) really are, but their sushi is definitely worth trying. You can definitely spend an afternoon here without anyone chasing you out (like how I felt at Wasabi Tei because there were long queues outside).
Rating: 3.98 / 5 Sushi