The Central, #03-82/83/85/102/108/109
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Enthralling scenery of the riverside complements Watami’s new outlet of casual Japanese dining in a more spacious, relaxing concept at The Central.
Tuesday, the 15th of September, marks the day in which Watami Singapore will be opening the doors of its new outlet located at the Japanese Food Hub (my own naming), The Central. Compared to its sister restaurant at ION Orchard, it provides a much more comfortable dining experience with a more spacious and relaxing dining concept, especially with those seats overlooking the river.
I was invited by Kit (Asst. Manager of Watami Singapore) to attend a Food Tasting Session and a sneak preview (ok not entirely a sneak preview as I was dining there) of the new premises. In total 7 dishes and 2 drinks were indulged in, most of them I have never tasted before in their first outlet. (Click here to see my review of the outlet at ION Orchard)
Ishiyaki Bibimbap : Stone Pot Rice with Beef & Kimchi ($8.80)
J2K3 Award Winner : Ishiyaki Bibimbap
This is one award winner which I must give my full adulation. The Ishiyaki Bibimbap, though not exactly a Japanese dish (it has roots in Korea), is still presented excellently at Watami.
The dish arrives as a sizzling hot stone pot, warmed to a scalding 300 degree celsius before serving, and with ingredients such as tender beef, kimchi, egg yolk, spinach, sprouts, carrots and the sweet spicy bean paste sauce.
The dish was literally smoking throughout my entire photoshoot with a digital camera!
Smoke was literally rising from the pot itself as the rice at the bottom continued to crackle in charred delight.
As bibimbap per se, one has to mix it all up prior to eating. The results? A fragrant rice mix of a well rounded taste, giving off a slightly sweet, spicy and smoky aroma. It was basically comfort food for any day! And that is not forgetting getting your way through that savoury bits of charred rice found at the bottom. Though, one comment which I have is that the kimchi pieces are a little large and a little, just a little tough to scoop into the mouth.
Hotate Butter Yaki : Hotplate Scallops with Butter ($5.80)
The dish of Hotate Butter Yaki was also a quaint marvel for the scallop lovers. Very juicy and savoury, with that gentle hint of the fresh sea scent in each piece, it was very addictive.
Bring in the mushrooms, and its earthly texture complements well with that of the sea. Of course, the freshly squeezed lemon also gives a slight tang in the seafood aroma.
Hire Katsu Tamogo Toji : Hotplate Pot Cutlet in Sizzling Drizzled Egg ($7.80)
The Hire Katsu Tamogo Toji (whew, try saying that in one breath without stumbling) was served up in a hotplate pot over a gas stove. Instructions from the waiter were :
Turn on the stove (he does that for you)
Beat the egg in the bowl
Wait for the sauce to bubble
Pour egg quickly all over the chicken and the sauce.
Wait till slightly cooked. Serve!
It was fun to finish cooking the dish, but the best part came when it was time to taste it!
The katsu was very crispy, and the part which got immersed in the sauce bode well in both texture and flavour. It was like the crispy contrasting the deliciously soggy, but in this case, a very good combination.
The sauce itself once cooked with the egg, thickens up to give a slightly more sweeter yet saltier flavour. Pair the meat with the onions to get that extra bite and veggie crunch into each mouthful.
Teppan Bou Gyoza : Hotplate Pork Dumplings ($6.80)
Mr. Porky dumplings was served out, but not entirely sizzling even though it was on a hotplate. There was a generous meat filling in each portion and dip it with the chilli oil sauce to give that extra kick in spicing the dish up. However, the skin might be a little tough to tear apart. So maybe its time to sharpen those canines of yours slightly beforehand.
Tako Satsuma Age : Crispy Fish Patty with Octopus ($5.80)
The Tako Satsuma Age is probably just for those fishcake fanatics out there. While the skin was crispy and the meat itself was savoury with the strong taste of octopus, it was in overall slightly tough. The tenderness of this dish is definitely something that must be worked on. Hmmm, maybe it needs a massage?
Ebi & Hotate Mayo Salad : Prawn & Scallop Salad with Mayonnaise ($7.80)
This was served last, and after all those fried food (well mostly), the veggies proved to be a delectable soothing delight. Of course, munching those prawns and scallops were a delight as well.
Cassis Grapefruit & Green Tea Ice Shake ($5.80)
The Cassis Grapefruit was a sour drink with a sweet grape syrup base. Refreshing, and quite nice. The Green Tea Ice Shake was more of a sweet, cool delightful end to the meal. Comparable to that of a nicely set dessert.
Strawberry Parfait was the choice of a dessertful end. I liked the crunchy cornflakes at the bottom.
Spacious new seats.
Large, comfortable decor.
Up to 3 private rooms (Each holding 6 people) which can be joined together when necessary
Watami’s new outlet at Singapore is definitely set to leave a footprint in the Japanese Casual Restaurants arena. With its wallet friendly prices, and good food and service to boot, it is bound to entertain guests, friends and families alike. Just one thing for sure, you need to try that Ishiyaki Bibimbap!
View Larger Map