Friday, May 18, 2012

Teppei Japanese Restaurant

C says:

Teppei is a tiny little restaurant in Orchid Hotel at Tanjong Pagar, specialising in tempura and kushiage. However, they also serve possibly the cheapest omakase sets in town - $40, $50 and $60. Reservations are recommended, because the restaurant only seats about 18 around the counter.

At those prices, we went with suitably low expectations. We decided to go the whole hog with the $60 set, and were really very impressed with the standard and the variety of the offerings.

We started out with a cold tofu skin appetiser, which was really smooth, light and refreshing. That was followed by a mix of ikura and tobiko, that was pretty good too.

Next up was grilled edamame, followed by a simple salad with a few chunks of prawns. The prawns were fresh and crunchy, but otherwise the dish was quite ordinary. The edamame was an interesting way to prepare the now ubiquitous starter; the grilling added a nice smoky flavour profile.

A selection of sashimi was next, with salmon, tuna, octopus, scallop and uni. The octopus was a bit tasteless and chewy, but everything else wasn't too bad, particularly the scallop, which was meaty and sweet.

The next dish was possibly the best of the night - a simple soup with clams and spring onions, brightened by a squeeze of lemon. The soup was light but incredibly flavourful, and the clams were quite fresh and surprisingly quite sizeable and fleshy.

I liked the next dish but it didn't do anything for A - braised ginger and soy chicken wings. The meat completely fell off the bone, and while a little on the salty side, was packed with flavour.

A tempura-ed anago (sea eel) was next. The tempura batter was quite light, and not at all greasy. The anago itself was also very fresh and meaty.

We each then got 3 small slices of wagyu beef, but at $60 you can't really complain. This was delicious, particularly the fattier slices.

Another soup followed, this time with chunks of yellowtail. These were bone-in chunks but the meat quite easily came off the bones so even A didn't have much trouble.

The kushiage came in the form of a slice of pumpkin. This was very crispy, but I also found the batter a little on the thick side. They also gave us a little grilled shisamo each.

At the end we were asked if we wanted rice or noodles, and we went with one each. The rice turned out to be a sampler of mini rice bowls with assorted raw fish on top. The noodle was a hot soba with fish cake. 

Unexpectedly, the noodle was much better. The rice was a bit predictable and a little on the mushy side. On the other hand the soba was really tasty, with a good dashi broth and well cooked noodles. They gave us some chilli flakes which really packed a serious punch. We could handle it but the Japanese guy next to us, who sampled some out of curiosity, gasped for water, much to the amusement of the chefs.

This is totally our kind of place - laid back and chill, no fine tableware or fawning wait staff, probably not the finest of ingredients but still very tasty food in a friendly environment.

A says:

Are you going have comfortable seats? No. Is it the best omakase around? Again no. But the dishes are tasty, the chef and staff are friendly, and at $60, it’s fantastic value. So will we be back, definitely.

Teppei Japanese Restaurant
1 Tras Link
#01-18 Orchid Hotel
Tel: 6222-7363
Open daily: 12 noon – 2.30 pm; 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm

1 comment:

FoodieFC said...

Does this means that you just choose $60 and let the chef decide on your menu?

I am curious, can i walk in and just ask for Omakase? As their displayed menu does not feature this.