Saturday, February 18, 2012

Enmaru, ION

C says:

We're clearly not sick of Japanese food, even though it's been less than a week since we got back. When Enmaru first opened at ION a few months ago, we dismissed it as a typical soul-less joint, but after reading a few positive reviews since then, we decided to give them a go.

Enmaru is an izakaya (pub) style establishment, specialising in yakitori. Some of the dishes that I'd read about were clearly their house specials, as there was a separate "Our Specials" menu that listed everything that we wanted to order.

One was the Fujiyama Soba - cha soba served on a hot stone so bits of it get nice and crispy. It's topped with shaved bonito and some slivers of pork belly, and you're given a thin broth to dunk the noodles into.

This was definitely an interesting concept, but didn't work quite as well in practice. Initially the crispy bits added some nice texture, but after a while it became all crisp and no noodle. Plus the dipping broth was a tad too diluted for my liking.

Their other specialties fared much better. First was the Ibushi Yaki - tender pieces of chicken thigh that are smoked as well as grilled, imparting an incredible aroma and flavour. The smokiness and the char made this really addictive, and the cabbage mopped up the residual sauce and juices really well.

They have a giant minced chicken ball called Tekone Tsukune, which at $7.80 is very reasonably priced given that this thing is huge. The meat is super tender and juicy, has some herbs inside to cut through the meat, and some crunchy bits of cartilege which to me define a good tsukune. Better still, it's served with a raw egg yolk for dipping, which I always look for when I order tsukune. The yolk adds a wonderful richness and flavour, and makes all the difference.

They clearly do their chicken dishes very well here. The assorted chicken skewers we had were also excellent. The liver was good, the heart (ordered separately; not part of the assortment) was excellent and the wing was perfectly cooked.

The cherry tomatoes wrapped with bacon were also surprisingly good. Careful cos the tomatoes really retain heat, but they were bursting with sweet, flavourful juices.

I'm not wild about the fact that with the exception of the giant tsukune and the yakitori assortment, all other skewers have a minimum order of two. It makes it harder for us to try a variety, plus if you pick a dud then you're stuck with two of them.

Like the pork belly with apple skewers that we had. The first bite of pork was good, but otherwise there was way too little fat on it, and the meat became really tough and dry. That tempura thing in the photo was scallop and bacon, and in my opinion would've fared better without being tempura-ed.

Their chicken dishes are clearly their forte, so if you stick to them, you won't be disappointed. I'm going for their chicken skin with ponzu sauce next time. Can't wait.

A says:

Great service and great chicken dishes (although I’ll probably give the dry pork skewers a miss). A definite option in Ion.

2 Orchard Turn
#04-11 ION Orchard
Tel: 6636-7282
Open daily: 11.30 am to 3 pm; 5 pm to 10 pm

1 comment:

kathy said...


Good Day,interesting post keep the good work.i'll be back for more