Tuesday, June 21, 2016


C says:

Tried Dstllry's new omakase dinner - 11 courses for a very reasonable $120. They also have a 6-8 course for $65, and a 8-10 course for $95. The higher priced courses may also have more premium items, besides just more courses. 

First two courses were samplers that were quite Japanese inspired, with items like negitoro, foie with unagi, cubes of their signature barachirashi, and uni tempura. 

Then came possibly the best dish of the evening - a giant-headed carabinero prawn, with sakura ebi and caviar. The prawn was served sashimi style, but the head was lightly grilled, resulting in the head juices solidifying ever so slightly. The red purée isn't sambal chilli, that's the head juice from the prawn. Insane.

Onsen tamago with shaved truffle, ponzu and wanton crisps was also very good. 

The bouillabaisse-inspired broth was surprisingly light, with a nice meaty Hokkaido scallop inside. The mussels were a tad rubbery though.

Next up was their take on katsu curry, with ramen in the curry sauce. Quite a sizeable portion, and we're only halfway...

Mozambique lobster grilled with mentaiko, with mentaiko pasta. This was really tasty, particularly the pasta. Getting quite full...

Pan-seared seabass with tomato salsa. After the heaviness of the previous 2 dishes, I was glad to have a relatively lighter dish. 

Alas, only a brief respite. Next up was chilli fried rice with seared beef. Both very flavourful, but we're rapidly hitting a wall...

OMG! More carbs! This time, a cha soba soup with tempura prawn and soft shell crab. By then I'd given up. Plus the tempura was quite oily, which didn't help. 

Dessert was home-made vanilla ice cream with yam paste (orh ni). I found the yam paste a little on the floury side, as though the flour hadn't quite been cooked out.

For the first time in a very long while, an omakase got the better of atetoomuch. I think the dishes were mostly very tasty, but not enough thought has gone into the progression of the meal. Having 4 carb dishes is just too much, and with a large proportion of the proteins being fried or seared, everything felt a bit oily and heavy after a while.

We gave the chef our feedback, and he admitted that they're still finding the right balance. With some tweaks on the portion sizes and the flow of the menu, they could have a good thing going here. 

A says:

Great value. The quantity defeated even me. I think they need to cut down at least 1 carb, probably the soba and soft shell crab which was a bit too oily.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Uncle Ho Tuckshop

C says:

The photo of Anthony Bourdain dining with President Obama in Hanoi has sparked worldwide interest in Bun Cha, the dish that they were having. In Singapore, a recent article featured the few places you can try authentic Hanoi Bun Cha.

One is Uncle Ho Tuckshop, conveniently (for us) located at 100 Pasir Panjang. It's a year old, and specializes in Hanoi dishes. 

The Bun Cha is served with a bowl of dipping broth containing pork balls, grilled pork belly, carrots and pickles. Adding minced garlic and sliced chilli adds depth and flavour to the sweet-sour broth. It's meant to be eaten like soba, with the vermicelli dipped into the broth and slurped.

Hanoi style Pho is also different from the more common southern style from Saigon. The latter is sweeter, whereas the Hanoi style has no sugar, and is cleaner and meatier. I definitely prefer Hanoi style; A prefers the sweeter Saigon style.

It may have taken us a year, and a viral photo of the American president, to even be aware of let alone try Uncle Ho Tuckshop, but we're definitely planning to make up for lost time.

A says:

Having tried the Hanoi style Pho, I think I prefer the southern style, but the Bun Cha rocks. Will definitely be back for it.