Seki Japanese Restaurant at Rendezvous Grand Hotel Singapore gives the impression of being expensive, perhaps due to its modern décor, classy-looking interior and location in a hotel.
So imagine my surprise when I saw that it offers $15 nett lunch set and 1-for-1 lunch menu with Charcoal Grilled Saba set ($29.90), Curry Udon & California Maki Set ($39.90), and Tempura Udon & Futomaki Set ($39.90) which is all fairly reasonable for the office crowd.
As for the quality of food, famous critic Wong Ah Yoke have written that “not only was the seafood very fresh, the fish was also sliced thick, allowing enough oils to be released as you chew.” That was in February when Chef Seki was around.
After which, Seki Restaurant did take a few setbacks – former head chef Takuma Seki whom the restaurant was named after had left and set up his own restaurant IKYU at Tiong Bahru; Seki offered deals on Groupon which may be seen by some as lowering their image, and they have received a few negative review with regards to service. (I too cannot imagine how it would feel to still name my restaurant after a chef who has left.)
Two changes of chefs later, owner Keith Toh just wants to make things right, and his passions is admirable.
For the food, one of their main specialties is Sashimi Moriawase on Ice ($42 for 3 kind or $75 for 5 kind). The ingredients are imported fresh from Tokyo, Hokkaido and Osaka. Accordingly, their shipment arrives every Tuesday and Thursday, and my tip is to have it on Thursday because that’s when they have a larger order for the weekends. (Read about Tsukiji Fish Market)
The sashimi arrived picture-worthy like a work of art, and though it is pricier than some of the Japanese restaurant chains, there is a certain level of freshness guaranteed here. The Ebi (shrimp) was easily my favourite – sweet, fresh and juicy with a certain bite. You know how horrible it can be if your prawns are mushy.
Seki’s signature Sushi Moriawase ($68) is equally gorgeous, with the various pieces picked by the chefs. The portion seems good enough for two who are on a date. I was impressed by the amount of effort taken into plating, which again demonstrates the pride of the Japanese. While the taste of the sushi is not spectacular, the selection is definitely above average with the pieces succulent and thickly cut.
My main recommendation is the Foie Gras with Robatayaki Beef Steak ($42) with charcoal grilled tender beef sirloin steak topped with succulent foie gras – which is an almost perfect combination of two superior ingredients.
From the menu’s selection, you would get a sense that Seki is still finding its way and footing in an increasingly competitive F&B industry. Yes, the price can be a notch high, but I had a great dining experience – welcoming environment, decent sashimi and elegantly beautiful place to enjoy an easy dinner.
SEKI Japanese Restaurant
9 Bras Basah Road, #01-02 Rendezvous Hotel Gallery Tel: +65 6336 3806
Opening Hours: 12pm–3pm, 6pm–11pm Daily