We had lunch at the Shaw Centre outlet on Saturday to celebrate W’s birthday (Happy Birthday, W!). The food is definitely on the pricey side, and some of the items weren’t as good as I expected, but there were more hits than misses and overall it was enjoyable.
I had the zaru soba, which started out pretty good; in addition to the wasabi and spring onions, they also added sesame seeds to the zaru soba dipping sauce which added a very interesting flavour and texture to the dish. I’ve had quail’s egg but never sesame seeds in my zaru soba sauce. However, for some strange reason the sauce didn’t retain its flavour. About 2/3 through the noodles, the sauce lost all its flavour and it ended up tasting like it had been heavily diluted.
The rest of the food fared much better, though. The sashimi platter we all shared was quite a spread of assorted sashimis, with very generous slices of fish. In addition to the usual tuna, salmon and hamachi, there were octopus, squid and prawn sashimis too, all of which were nice and fresh. We ordered a grilled squid which was also delicious.
The highlight of the meal was the Kani Nabe (kani - crab; nabe - hot pot). Yes, say it loud and clear, it’s perfectly legitimate. This was a crab hotpot, which huge pieces of crab legs, Chinese cabbage, golden mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms and tofu. The soup stock was really sweet yet not overpowering, probably due to the crab. The crab legs were surprisingly sweet and meaty and the flesh was quite easy to get to, once we threw propriety to the wind and got down and dirty with our fingers. The crab came with a Ponzu sauce, which was a slightly tart version of soy sauce with a hint of lemon and vinegar, which complemented the sweetness of the crab meat perfectly.
I didn’t try some of the stuff that the others ordered, so I can’t comment on them (hint hint, the rest of you… heh).
Very good service. Pretty good food. Overall, it’s not bad, but there are plenty of other Jap places ahead of it on my list.