Rakuzen (樂膳)

Official Website: http://www.rakuzen.com.sg/
Address: 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-14/19 Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596
Tel: 6333 1171
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30-15:00 (Lunch); 18:00-22:30 (Dinner)
Budget: About $20++ per person
Recommendations: Sakura Chirashi Don, Grilled Unagi

SG Boy and I visited Rakuzen on a weekday evening and were surprised to find that it wasn’t completely empty despite it being tucked away in ulu Millenia Walk.

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We knew what we were going to order even before opening the menu: the Sakura Chirashi Don ($22). That’s our must-try for every Japanese restaurant we visit. Rakuzen’s rendition came with additional marinated shiitake mushrooms, which offered a unique twist to the typical Chirashi Don with only sashimi and pickles. The widespread selection of fresh sashimi, paired with their generous serving of well-seasoned ‘special’ sushi rice (see NB), was enough to send us to Food Coma Heaven even before we tried the other dishes. Omnoms. Everything would have been perfect if their sashimi slices were slightly thicker (yes, I know I’m greedy hehehe).

Next up, check out the Star of The Night: the Grilled Unagi Roll!

ImageStart of the Blowtorching performance

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End Product: Sexy Unagi with its new tan

The Grilled Unagi Roll ($18) was sizzled to such perfection right before our very eyes that we couldn’t bear to dig in at first. Eventually we succumbed to temptation and attacked the roll. It was absolutely mindblowing! The chunky slices of Unagi, marinated with a pleasant sweet sauce, were so soft that every bite melted in our mouth. We immediately ascended to an even higher level in Food Coma Heaven.

The gigantic sushi rice balls that accompanied the Unagi were slightly disappointing though; they lacked fillings so I couldn’t feel anything while eating them. (feeling, filling, get it? Ok not funny.) Since it was called a Sushi Roll, shouldn’t there at least be some ingredients inside? Maybe they felt that their Unagi was so delicious that any extra ingredients would have just ruined the dish. Or maybe they were really proud of their special rice (read NB). Thus, if you’re not a rice fan, perhaps you should just opt for the Grilled Unagi.

ImageMatcha Ice Cream

Last but not least, we concluded the meal with the Matcha Ice Cream ($3). Although the Matcha flavour in the ice cream was decently strong, we felt that it wasn’t worth raving about because it wasn’t homemade by the restaurant. After all, what can possibly go wrong with store-bought Japanese ice cream? Sweet-toothed SG Boy claimed that the adzuki beans were too sweet for him though; he even insisted that they were diabetic! HAHA.

Verdict
We had read several raving reviews about Rakuzen prior to our arrival and hence our expectations were slightly raised. Thankfully, the food didn’t disappoint us. :D Also worth mentioning is their diligent staff; they popped by our table to fill our teacups so often that our tea seemed untouched throughout the meal. Thus, we had a really enjoyable dining experience there.

NB: According to SG Boy, apparently there are only 4 rice milling machines available locally. Isetan owns 3 of them while the last belongs to Rakuzen and that’s what makes Rakuzen’s rice so special. It’s such a pity that we didn’t have the chance to try their Japanese Brown Rice this time though. Will definitely be back again to try it, together with other dishes!

Overall score: 3.75/5 

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