SUN Japanese Dining is proud to present the culinary goodness for this special season varied ingredients and dishes from the region of Kyushu. A gourmet experience through and through, the special menu in addition to the existing repertoire, is available for all guests at the CHIJMES outlet from the 16th of November 2012. Highlights from the prefectures of Miyazaki, Fukuoka, Saga and Oita will make their appearance under the expertise of Executive Chef Toshio Sawai. And for something as delightful as the Kinmedai & Mentai Chazuke (the picture above), I feel ready for a treat all over again.
The restaurant, located at the second floor of the idyllic converted 19th century convent school, is nestled in solitary quietness for lunch and the bustle of the working professionals at night looking for a place to chill out.
First up on the menu is a creation of sashimi mori from fishes flown in twice weekly. Featuring Fatty tuna, yellow seabream, marbled rockfish, golden eye snapper, striped jack, yellowtail and Japanese seabream
Yellow Seabream and Marbled Rockfish
Crisp and fresh, each piece of sashimi was rewarding in its own right. I especially enjoyed the Golden eye snapper for its subtle sweetness and alluring bright fresh ocean flavours. The Kyushu Sashimi Mori is available as 5 kinds for $58.80 and 7 kinds for $88.80.
For something from the Chef’s Recommendation list, there is the Mentai Salmon Takana Roll ($18.80). Spicy seasoned cod roe, sweet omelette and cucumber is wrapped with Japanese sushi rice, salmon and an outer layer of Japanese preserved mustard leaf. Subtle spiciness with a fragrance of freshly cut leaves is touched up by the slice of seedless chilli flavoured by the burst of salty sweet salmon roe. A wholesome delight all in one with the mustard leaf lending a dimension of Oriental cuisine complexities to the dish as a whole.
For a dish specially from Kyushu, Kagoshima prefecture is the Mentai Cheese Chigiri Age ($9.80). Think cheeseballs made with fishcake. The spicy seasoned cod roe within combines with the melted cheese to leave a burst of umami delightfulness with each bite. And the best part, the thin crispy outer skin gives a textured crunch from the first bite.
A specialty from Fukuoka prefecture is the Kurobuta Gyoza ($12.80). Berkshire pork dumplings stuffed with cabbage, chives and garlic and pan fried to nice skirmishes of golden brown. Bite through the dumplings to reveal the juicy and savoury interior within, and immerse your tastebuds in the deep flavours of pork as the flavours meld together, enveloping in harmony.
Shiokoji Moriwase: Kurobuta Aburi Yaki, Salmon Aburi Yaki, White Asparagus, Wakadori Aburi Yaki
The Fukuoka prefecture is making a strong feature with the traditional Japanese condiment of Shio-koji. Made from mold-inoculated koji fermented with sea salt and water, the condiment is marinated with the pieces of meat and grilled to perfection. For a delectable spread to tickle your tastebuds with, go for the Shiokoji Moriwase ($15.80).
I personally savoured the Kurobuta Aburi Yaki. The pieces of grilled Berkshire pork belly carried strong bursts of delightful porky goodness with a enjoyable portion of fat that simply cascaded down well. The slight salty sweet fragrance complemented the black pork well, accentuating its flavours and highlighting the complexities from within.
Miyazaki A3 Wagyu Beef Ribeye
Kyushu’s finest Wagyu is a main feature on the promotional menu. With a Japanese grade of A3, the Miyazaki wagyu beef presents a delectable selection from Negimaki (Grilled Miyazaki wagyu slices rolled with finely diced spring onions) to Sushi (Flame-broiled Miyazaki wagyu sushi). However a main highlight to really talk about is the Miyazaki Beef Steak Ajikurabe ($88.80).
The wagyu is presented straight off the grill teppanyaki style and slightly immersed in its own melted fat. Natural flavours all about with an almost melt in the mouth goodness to fully reveal the calm beef intensities from within. I personally would go with sprinkling a little sea salt to fully bring out the flavour but hey it is good as it is already.
The Miyazaki A3 Wagyu sirloin steak. Witness and experience the marbled beef in its light flavours with the lasting impression of a good quality cut of meat.
I really thought this was the hidden highlight of the dish. Nestled amongst chips of sliced garlic, pieces of grilled wagyu fatty bits lie seductively on its own. Take a single piece ( just a single piece mind you), pop it in the mouth, and allow the fat to slowly melt and take over from there.
The dish of Kinmedai & Mentai Chazuke ($15.80) is available exclusively at the CHIJMES outlet. I found this to be the best dish for the day as I am one who would go for the light tasting savoury goodness of Japanese cuisine, bridled with clear ingredients that does not seek to cover but bring out the flavours from within.
This dish comes served with slices of lightly grilled golden eye snapper, spicy seasoned cod roe and a base of Japanese rice. Before serve, pour in the toasted green tea bonito soup for the sublime chazuke experience. Savour each portion in slight bitter savoury highlights, and finish the dish by slowly enjoying the green tea well immersed with flavours from the varied ingredients.
For those who need their ramen at a Japanese restaurant, SUN offers a specialty from the Fukuoka prefecture – Tonkotsu Takana Ramen ($11.80). Mini tonkotsu ramen served with Japanese preserved mustard leaf, this dish is subtly rich in collagen with a strong flavourful broth that begs to be finished. The mustard leaf adds a touch more salinity with its own dimensions to the already tasty serving. Pairing that with the bouncy and crisp ramen, this is the dish to enjoy a cold rainy day.
For a really light touch with simple flavours (this is also a well appreciated dish by me) is the Nori Udon. While it distinctively looks like a soba, the noodles are made with wheat and seaweed in a flat passive shape. Mix the condiment within the chilled dipping broth and slurp your way to healthy living.
Desserts beckon the end of the meal. And a great way to start is with the serving of Momo Jam Chiffon Cake ($6.50). Fluffy chiffon cake is infused with ripe peach jam and served along with vanilla cream and sweetened peach slices. Although not overtly distinctive, the peach infusion within the chiffon cake carries waves of light pleasure that faintly reminds of a not too distant holiday that bodes sakura flowers falling slowly from the treetops.
A slightly stronger ending will have to be the Yamecha Roll Cake ($5.80). Premium Fukuoka green tea roll with a deceptively light yet visually filling vanilla cream centre is presented with a side of sweetened red beans and a dusting of matcha powder. Start off with the chiffon cake first as the slight bittersweet flavours of the Yamecha roll cake might overshadow the simple complexities of the previous dessert.
As a final way to end the meal, it’s always good to have tea. From Fukuoka, there is the Yame Koucha & Goma Sabure ($5.80). Two pieces of black and white sesame cookie match the fragrant mildly sweet tea. As a excellent palate cleanser, this is one ending to slowly reminisce the dishes from before.
Me and Executive Chef Toshio Sawai
SUN Japanese Dining is located on the second floor
The former chapel at CHIJMES – Magnificent beauty
An excellent dining experience from start to finish, the selection presented from the Kyushu region is definitely a flavourful highlight to embark a culinary immersion for your tastebuds. I definitely enjoyed the wide range presented by Chef Sawai and personally recommend the Kinmedai & Mentai Chazuke paired together with the Momo Jam Chiffon Cake. For a pairing of dishes on a heavier note, go for the Kurobuta Gyoza and Miyazaki A3 Wagyu Beef Steak Ajikurabe. Whichever tickles your fancy, the best part is to enjoy the freshness and simple flavours that embody Japanese cuisine. Something that is very dear and close to hearts of many.
This is an advertorial sponsored by the Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry
30 Victoria Street
Reservations : 6336 3166
Lunch (Sun-Fri) 12pm to 3pm
Dinner (Mon-Sat) 6.30pm to 11pm
Sunday & Public Holidays 6pm to 10.30pm
The Kyushu Gourmet Experience is available from 16th November 2012 to 8th January 2013