Need a holiday at Hokkaido but can’t book a flight there? The next best thing to experiencing Hokkaido and happy holidays, is to savour their delicacies.
Stepping into Japanese Dining SUN at CHIJMES, one is immediately transported into a tranquil and elegant setting. The restaurant is tastefully designed in contemporary Japanese style, with dark colors and subtle mood lights. An open style kitchen takes centre stage.
The restaurant features traditional and modern Japanese dishes, with the Hokkaido Gourmet Experience of Autumn (till 30th Oct) and Winter (to till 1st December) themes to reflect its seasonal beauty.
The first dish blew everyone away. The Steamed Hokkaido Snow Crab (Zuwaigani) imported from Japan looked deceptively simple but the real magic lay in its taste. Dipped in the home-made ginger vinegar sauce, the delightful and natural sweetness of the crab meat is brought to the fore, making this a very refreshing starter. And, you don’t even have to worry about soiling your fingers.
The Grilled Leg of King Crab with Salad Cream Sauce (Tarabagani) did not disappoint as well. The salad cream sauce brought out the sweetness in the lightly grilled crab leg, and the juicy and chewy succulent meat was a delight to the palate. This dish is also available with a spicy cream sauce.
I was pretty intrigued with a ‘bao’ served in dim sum style, under the impression that ‘bao’ is not very Japanese. Manjyu is actually a popular traditional Japanese confection, though said to be brought over by the Chinese. The heart-shaped Snow Crab Bun (Zuwaigani Manjyu) is a marriage of Hokkaido carb, with locally inspired sauce, encased in chewy ‘bao’. Just imagine warm crab gravy seeping out of soft bun. Warning – this dish can be spicy to some, and is definitely addictive!
The Tuna Belly & Japanese Pickles Sushi Roll (Torotaku Roll) is refreshing, and the beautiful pink and yellow sushi roll is truly inviting.
Fancy some big charsiew? The Ramen Noodles in Soy Sauce Stock and Big Charsiew (Sapporo Shoyu Charsiew Ramen) is to die for! Although soy sauce stock ramen is commonly available, this is a class above the rest. The Shoyu stock is rich and flavorsome without being overly salty, and tastes like it has been brewing forever in grandmother’s pot in the kitchen.
If that’s still not enough, a selection of desserts is available. We tried the Light Camembert Cheesecake which, true to its name, was quite light but without surrendering its Camembert undertones. The Pumpkin Pudding which was subdued and not overly sweet, with the pumpkin flavor taking centre stage.
Service here is attentive but discreet, with Japanese attendants amongst the staff. With quite a following of Japanese clientele and chichi tai tais, the food here must be authentic if not excellent.
30 Victoria Street, #02-01 Chijmes, Singapore, Tel: +65 6336 3166
Opening Hours: Mon–Sun: 12pm – 3pm; Mon–Thu, Sun & PH: 6.30pm – 11pm; Fri, Sat & PH eve: 6pm – 12am