Shirokiya 白木屋 – Japanese Restaurant with Bisyoku Nabe Collagen Hotpot
When I found out another Japanese restaurant in town is selling collagen hotpot, it became a dive down to Cuppage Terrace. The question in my mind: Could this be better than Bijin Nabe? The things you do for beauty, I mean food.
Shirokiya 白木屋, one of Japan’s oldest companies and restaurant chain is finally here in Singapore, claiming to have menu to support health and beauty from the inside of the body.
The vibes of the restaurant feels authentically Japanese, wooden furniture with white hanging lanterns, the restaurant on a higher level with narrow walkway, reminding me of one of those at Ueno. Dining feels private, as tables are separated by dividers.
Finally, some staff shouting a chorus of “irrashaimase” correctly, and not “irra-something-se” in some other ‘Japanese’ restaurants. A few tables were occupied by middle-aged Japanese men in short-sleeved shirts ordering grills and beer. A few more ticks in the boxes.
Their menu offers a wide spectrum the usual Japanese cuisine with a healthy slant, from Sashimi (7 kinds for $59.80), Charcoal-grilled Kurobuta Pork ($23.80), Freshly made Hot Tofu with 3 kinds of Salt ($7.80) and Fresh Yuba beancurd skin ($9.80).
The Bisyoku Nabe ($38.80) is the highlight of its menu, a healthy and beauty hotpot served in special chicken and collagen stock. The pot comes with ingredients such as raw prawns, chicken parts, tofu, mushrooms, leeks and vegetables, suitable for 2-3 to share.
The thrill of the collagen hotpot is to add this lump of white pudding-like collagen into the pot, watching it melt into the chicken stock. There is also a bowl of grated yam to add in the middle of the meal.
Unlike Tsukada Nojo’s Bijin Nabe, there isn’t the somewhat dramatic fanfare of step-by-step procedure. Basically, the service staff just left the pot there and walked away. The soup also does not pack a punch, good on its own, but somewhat forgettable.
The greater disappointment was the supposedly recommended Charcoal-grilled Chicken ($13.80), sprinkled with Okinawan natural solar salt and grilled with charcoal. It arrived in a hot plate that was not hot. The chicken was ordinary tasting and lukewarm, perhaps because they needed to send it from the ground floor’s kitchen up.
As a fan of Japanese cuisine, Shirokiya is one of the rare cases where I am more partial to the concept and setting than the food. They possibly need some time to fine tune their operations.
43 & 43A Cuppage Road, Cuppage Terrace, Singapore 229463 (8-10 min walk from Somerset MRT), Tel: +65 6732 8588
Opening Hours: Restaurant 5pm – 2am, Bar 3pm – 2am
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Danro Japanese Hotpot (NEX)
Shabu Sai (Orchard Central)
Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant (Boat Quay)
Sumire Yakitori House (Bugis Junction)
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