October 30, 2009

Keyaki

I took part in an online contest and received a voucher that entitled us to complementary sake and tuna, salmon and hotate sashimi at Keyaki! Heheh. So my mom and I headed to the Pan Pacific Hotel for our first-ever meal at a fancy Japanese restaurant!

I love the Pan Pacific's glass lift. Don't you find taking rides in them thrilling? Especially when you're going down!

Go past the glass door and you'll find yourself stepping into a charming Japanese garden, complete with a pond filled with koi. You can choose to dine inside the classy, air-conditioned restaurant, or enjoy your meal outside with the great cityscape view.

Keyaki is divided into two sections- one for diners seeking a teppanyaki fix, and the other for those planning to order other dishes. So if you're planning to order mainly grilled dishes, do request for a seat in front of the iron griddle and enjoy the novelty of watching the teppanyaki chef fry up your food.

Here's the exquisitely-presented sashimi, adorned with daikon slivers that served as a palate-cleanser. I particularly enjoyed the sweet and succulent hotate sashimi!

We ordered a set lunch to share ($58++), comprising of salad, seafood tempura, seafood teppanyaki, rice, miso soup and fruits.

The tempura course featured a humongous prawn, one shitake mushroom, eggplant, julienned carrot and a piece of fish. Encased in feather-light and flaky batter, they were fried to a crisp, golden perfection. (On a side note, don't you find the substandard, oil-logged tempura sold in many food courts disgusting?) The star here was the Ebi tempura which had a lot of bite!

In addition to salmon and bean sprouts, the teppanyaki course also included two pieces of prawns and scallops that were simply divine. The very thought of their flavorful juices perpetually resurfaced in my mind for the rest of the day, and even haunts me as I compose this way overdue review...

What's Japanese food with sushi? My dining partner and I sought recommendations from the chef and subsequently ordered Hamachi and Kanpachi sushi ($6 and $7 respectively) as the two types of fish were freshly flown in that day. Hamachi (young yellowtail tuna, or amberjack) has a milkier taste than kanpachi (greater amberjack- a different fish!), which is sweeter.

The freshness of the hamachi was very commendable, and the moist, fluffy rice grains blew me away! The top-quality short-grain rice, flavored with a balanced vinegar to sugar ratio, were definitely the most memorable part of the meal.

Boy I'm really glad that I chose to have a bowl of rice instead of udon or soba... Keyaki's rice is superbly delish! But the best way to enjoy it here would be to have it moulded into an elegantly-shaped sharidama, with the rice grains packed to the perfect firmness, and topped with a thick slice of fresh sashimi.

We ended off the meal with sweet, juicy slices of melon and watermelon.

The service was brisk and very good. The kimono-clad waitresses were attentive but unobstrusive, polite and helpful. A walk around the garden made a great ending to the pleasurable lunch outing.


Keyaki
Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 4
7 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square
Singapore 039595


Weekday lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm
Weekday dinner: 6.30pm - 10pm
Weekend Buffet Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm

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