Black Pepper Beef Yaki ($9.99)
*Happy Birthday!* My family and I celebrated my Aunty Eng’s birthday yesterday at the newly opened Sakae Sushi outlet at Orchard Central by indulging in a little lunch. (ok, based on the amount we ordered, I won’t say its little). My aunt wanted to whet her tastebuds at a wide variety of dishes which unfortunately she most probably would not have ordered given a “normal” visit to Sakae.
Out of the entire lunch, the most impressive dish that turned up would be the Black Pepper Beef Yaki. A concept similar to the Kaminabe (Paper hot pot), the yaki bore slices of beef marinated in a black pepper sauce placed in a gigantic leaf and cooked over a flame.
Yes, I said leaf. Who would imagine? For the dish itself, it carried a very well…beefy taste and the black pepper sauce was not that peppery or spicy. Easy on the palate but not as savoury as I expected.
Fruitti Maki ($5.59)
This would be my first time ordering the Fruitti Maki. Though I wouldn’t know how fruitti it should be if the makis themselves are coated with a drizzle of delectable savoury floss. But then again, the luscious topping of mango and kiwi fruits on the top provided a refreshing taste to the typical sushi. Now perhaps if they could give a good layer of heavy mayonnaise and make it more a salad sushi =)
Terriyaki Ika ($8.99)
The Terriyaki Ika was by itself not too bad. Grilled on the outside till the skin turns slightly dry and crisp, a delicate layer of terriyaki sauce is glazed over the squid. Definitely chewy with a waft of musky sea goodness.
Yakiniku Chicken Don ($5.90)
Manager Agnes recommended me to try out the “not in the menu” special of Yakiniku Chicken Don. With the promotional price at $5.90, I was already tempted.
The chicken was good and tender. But there was simply so much rice. Well perhaps its just me indulging in way too many makis and sushis but the wallop of rice would be a good tummy filler for that quick lunch.
Chilli Sazae ($5.59)
Interestingly, the Chilli Sazae was very inconspicuous in the menu. Appearing quietly at the Chinmi section, this would make a spicy appetizer to rumble the fire in the stomach in preparation for more food to come. Crunchy and chewy, just like the squid. Jaw exercise number one!
Golden Maki ($5.59)
Ah..Golden Maki. Perhaps the least impressive of the sushis at Sakae I have eaten so far. My expectation of a Golden Maki would be one full of treasure and goodness but this version had a pitiable amount of eel, cucumber with a “cap” of sweetened tamago on the top. I tasted more cucumber than eel and the egg was only beauty being skin deep.
Soft Shell Crab ($7.99)
My Aunt’s choice of Soft Shell Crab delighted me. (Both the fact that I know she wouldn’t be able to finish the dish and I know the Soft Shell Crab at Sakae has always been good). The soft shelled crustacean arrived looking all pretty and ready to be eaten until I found the body of the crab has not been cut properly. It took a bit of trouble trying to break the pieces apart but other than that, thumbs up!
Salmon Belly Miso Kaminabe ($13.99)
Another interesting dish and one I have never ordered before. The Salmon Belly Miso Kaminable is probably a fish soup meant for salmon lovers. Never did like the fact that the miso masked the taste of the salmon and the pieces of fish itself were not impressive once cooked.
Attractive and pleasing to the eye, until I found out that the ebi mentai which was grilled meticulously under a torch arrived cold. I believe that this dish should be served immediately once the top has been grilled to burnt perfection, and not left to sit and cool down as though it should not have a fever.
Sunshine Maki ($8.99)
Sunshine Maki, nothing much to say.
Dragon Roll ($8.99)
Dragon Roll, also nothing much to say. Except that I think I am missing that one piece where there should be the head of the prawn.
One week in business on the day I visited the new outlet and they only had the Mochi for dessert. No tempura ice cream, no strawberry kisses. Hmmmm…
Food quality across the Sakae outlets are rather standardized though I still feel that more can be done as improvement at the Orchard Central branch. Good food and Good service should be expected and by making that a norm, will there be a loyal base of customers.
The layout of the new branch is minimal, with a simple interior. It gives a feel of a person having a quick lunch and then carrying on shopping. But then again, its a subjective opinion. Apart from that, it nice to see Sakae with a new outlet! Though perhaps its time to branch out into other concepts.
Meal compliments of Sakae Sushi
Somerset MRT Station
181 Orchard Road
Orchard Central #06-12
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