Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The first restaurant visit by NTU's Deli Aprecio Club (DAC) was to Waraku Japanese Restaurant at Marina Square. I'm glad the response was great because I certainly did enjoy the food and short introduction given by one of their Japanese waitress. Not to mention the fantastic price of only $12 for members and $15 for non-members.
My first visit to Waraku was at their East Coast branch. I was impressed by their authentic food, good service, comfortable restaurant setting and the freshness of the food. Most people would be cautious about good Japanese dining places for the bills there are known to induce almost instant heart attacks. No heart attacks here at Waraku. With affordable pricing that is not extravagant, you and your wallet can both breathe easy.
The Marina Square branch has not too long ago opened together with the revamped shopping centre itself. Waraku kindly arranged for us to sit in one of their tatami mat rooms. Shoes had to be removed before entering the room and instead of sitting crossed-legged, we sat comfortably on the tatami mat with our legs daggling, as you would on a normal chair. A clever twist that allows customers to get that Japanese hospitality dining feel without having to sit uncomfortably in cramp-inducing positions.
A Japanese waitress gave an introduction to Japanese eating culture and etiquette. I really learnt a lot from the points she raised. Before that, I didn't know that the Japanese are very particular about their chopsticks and thankful for their food source. After the informative briefing, food was served. Dinner that evening was a set specially put together by the DAC and Waraku. It consisted of Seafood Kaminabe, Tempura, rice and pickles.
Kaminabe (I assure you it's not a vulgarity) refers to Japanese paper steamboat. A special wax paper which is able to hold liquid and yet not get burnt is shaped into a bowl and placed above a flame. The soup can be miso or just dashi, a basic stock made with konbu(dried kelp), a widely-used seaweed in Japanese cooking. We had the dashi stock which tasted light and umami but grew more intense as the stock got flavoured with the wholesome ingredients. In the Seafood Kaminabe were two whole scallops, a medium-sized prawn, a thick slice of mackerel and veggies like golden mushroom and long cabbage. The only ingredient I found 'authentically out of placed' in the Kaminabe was Tang-o, a slightly bitter, strong-tasting green leafy vegetable that many Singaporeans like to have with steamboat.
The tempura plate came with a prawn, sweet potato and strangely, dried seaweed. Dried seaweed just don't go with tempura. I personally would have preferred lotus roots or mushrooms. The tempura batter was light making the fried items crisp. The oil used did not leave a rancid taste in the mouth, unlike some other sub-standard places.
The food served up that evening was fresh and did not disappoint. But it was too light for a hungry cow. I had to get supper that night. Still, I couldn't complain much for $12. If you are not a member yet, maybe it's time to reconsider eh?
Waraku Japanese Restaurant
6 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square Shopping Centre
Chew On This: The Deli Aprecio Club is one of NTU's youngest clubs being only about three years old. But already it is one of the largest member clubs in the university. More restaurant collaborations and food trips are also being planned. Contact me if you would like to enquire more about the DAC, join us (Sorry, only open to all in NTU) or if your restaurant/cafe would like to collaborate. Thanks!