Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A Taste of Watami @ ION
The latest kid on the Orchard block is ION Orchard. And quite a bit has been said about the posh restrooms, especially the two super-posh ones reserved for VIPs.
But a cow like me is more interested in the nosh offered. Posh nosh is not for everday and can damage the pocket quite a bit. Thank God for casual dining places like Watami- the pioneer of the Ishokuya concept of dining and with 600 branches in Japan alone.
A cool drink of Cassis Orange Splash ($5.80) started things off. The idea is to use the metal tool to squeeze the wedges of orange in the soda-cassis syrup mix. Pretty refreshing.
The Watami Salad ($7.80) was a big bowl of lettuce, maize, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers etc topped with a dollop of tuna mayo and sprinkled with seaweed and fried wanton wrapper strips. A creamy sesame dressing dressed the whole delicious mix. I really enjoyed this salad with its clean, refreshing crunch and sweet-briny flavours. The strips of fried wanton wrappers added a savoury, crunchy touch.
Moving along to sushi, the Irodori Sushi Grandeur ($10.80) featured a pair each of Eel, Seafood Salmon and Scallop. The sushi could be wrapped a little tighter and the rice be a bit more sticky and flavourful. Nonetheless, the eel was tasty and the scallop plump and juicy.
A rather unusual (at least to moo) item was the Ika Korikori Yaki ($5.80) aka grilled crunchy squid soft bone. I have no idea which part of the squid this was but it was delicious! It had a firm bite with flavours of squid and char, and went well with the mayo dip.
Tori Yasai Kushi ($3.80) was grilled chicken skewers with mixed peppers. A little under-salted but the chicken was tender with a smokey flavour.
The Sukiyaki Nabe ($12.80) aka sliced beef hot pot with assorted vegetables had fatty slices of beef that melted away in my mouth. The wait staff correctly pointed out that the liquid in the hot pot was salty and not really meant for drinking. Dip the cooked beef and veggies into the raw egg for a smooth coating.
An odd item I felt was the Ishiyaki Bibimbap ($8.80). Being more Korean than Japanese, it seemed a little out of place. But anyway, its strong kimchi flavours and that of the Korean sweetish sauce were too overpowering for my liking. Oh I must add that glad to know that the hot stone bowl was served inside a wooden box. No more accidental ouches!
The dessert that was recommended was the Mango & Ichigo Daifuku ($3.80). It came with a chewy skin wrapped around chopped mango, strawberries and chocolate mousse. Oh yes, a light-tasting and good way to end the meal....
....not forgetting a well-chilled mug of Asahi ($7.80). Easily one of my favourite beers and perrrrfect for bringing on the weekends.
Thanks to Kit and the management of Watami for hosting this hungry cow.
PS: The media kit is lovely!
Tel: 6509 9366
Opens: 10am to 10pm daily
Chew On This: Watch out for their next outlet coming soon at Central!