After my last visit to Himawari at Changi Business Park, I was very keen to check out the other outlet present at Alexandra Road. Chance came along when Leroy suggested that we head out to the restaurant for an impromptu dinner, and everything seemed to fall into place. It was a well stuffed Sunday evening with lots of good food and after getting to meet Yoichi-San (Executive Chef of Himawari) again after such a long time, Himawari has made it to that little cozy spot in my mind if I ever want to have a homely Japanese dinner, buffet spread of course.
As I have tried the Shabu Shabu during my past two visits at the other outlets, I was determined to have a go at the Sukiyaki this time round. DIY Teppanyaki is also available although you will have to choose the al-fresco dining options (which itself is a liability in our unpredictable weather). Regardless, the Sukiyaki quickly came with lots of vegetables and tofu to start with.
And then the thinly cut slices of beef! Very nicely coloured, with each slice being fresh and meaty. Also available in chicken and pork, and part of the buffet.
Mixed Tempura would probably one of the go-getters for any guest in the restaurant. A well varied assortment of Prawns, Sweet Potato, Green Pepper and Eggplant are available in the combination or individually. I have always enjoyed the thin crisp lightly fragrant batter coating each ingredients. The complement taste and texture is always good and not too heavy.
The Mixed Sashimi of Sake (Salmon), Mekajiki (Swordfish), Maguro (Tuna), Tai (Sea Bream) and Ika (Squid) took quite some time to arrive, and it was a surprise to most of us at the dinner table. Still, the thickly cut slices of fish were a refreshing welcome as it allowed one to taste the complex flavours of each piece with a good chew. Thumbs up to the Sake, Mekajiki and Ika which left me craving for more.
This time round as I did the article, I was contemplating which photo to use as the header picture. I chose the Agedashi Tofu as I felt that it was one dish that I have seldom featured in a Japanese Buffet Restaurant. Most of the time it would be rows of sashimi but for a change, I thought that the Agedashi Tofu with its simple presentation yet flavourful play on texture was a good representation.
It was a delicious serving with the silken tofu being coated with a thin batter, thereafter deepfried, and then dressed about with very light soy and a touch of garnish.
Perhaps what really calls me stronger to Himawari is their serving of Maguro Natto. It’s nothing impressive in presentation, and flavour wise, it would be an acquired taste for some. But I for one love to engage in a good serving of natto and Himawari does it right for me. On hindsight, I should have called for a bowl of Japanese rice to go along with this dish instead of devouring two portions whole.
I wanted to order both the Sanma Shioyaki and the Saba Shioyaki but opted for the latter eventually as the tummies were getting a little filled. Nice, crisp and meaty, it was good but once left over time, the meat started to get a little tough.
Another favourite for the kids (us!), Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab. The plates just kept coming. Gosh.
Salmon Sashimi again!
Two favourites which I always order in addition to the array of dishes is the Kisu Tempura (Tempura Smelt Whiting) and the Teba Karaage (Deep Fried Chicken Wings). While I felt the Kisu Tempura was good, light in flavour, with a scent akin to a gentler cod, the teba karaage was drier than expected. I remember the deep fried chicken wings to be scalding hot, and upon the first bite, the juices within would burst out in scalding surprise.
Gindara Teriyaki (cod) is one dish not to be missed, yet it was not as fatty as before. Could be that all of us have gotten older and our tastebuds have changed.
I honestly don’t understand why we ordered this in the end as we were all too full, but for something to accompany a good jug of beer, you could opt for the Tako Yaki, Curry Gyoza, RiceNet Ebi Harumaki and Crabmeat Age. We also had two servings of Cream Corn and Pumpkin Croquette.
As a short reunion, all of us shared a jug of Kirin Beer for $30. We initially wanted Asahi, but they were out of stock.
A quick dinner on Sunday night with Anthony, Leroy, Yoichi-San, Me, Michel
Himawari Japanese Restaurant have up to now been one of my favourite Japanese Buffet places to visit. It is affordable, family friendly, with a very wide range of dishes to choose from leaving one almost spoilt for choice. The menu has always been consistent, and each dish is generally good. Maybe next time round I will go for the free flow beer, house sake, shochu and soft drinks for an additional $38. I am sure we will all have a great time!
|Himawari Japanese Restaurant
991B Alexandra Road
Opens From :
11.30am – 3.00pm
6pm – 11pm
Reservations : 6272 1110
Buffet Prices :
Adult – From $34.80++
Child/Senior Citizens – From $23.80++
Visit http://www.sbestfood.com/himawari.htm for more details