tarafuku

Sushi Tarafuku tags itself as a Fish Market and Japanese Restaurant. Strikingly, the combination of both ideas gives a feeling that the cuisine would be nothing less than fresh. It is the latest member of the Tampopo group and now part of the local Japanese food scene.

My visit to the establishment today at 313@Somerset is because of mum’s rave reviews about the place after her visit yesterday. And of course, the promotional offer of 50% off if you visit within 3 days of your first visit is also a huge carrot being dangled.

The restaurant is a mix of both casual dining and those looking for quality but while there may have been pluses for most of the dishes that I ordered, some could be improved in terms of cut, choice and a lighter hand at the seasonings.

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For starters, the Chef Omakase was called. Typically, this sashimi appetizer is a set based on what the chef thinks is the best served for the day, leaving the choices open to interpretation. Set a budget from $80 for the chef and he will do the rest.

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Out of all the sea urchins I have tasted flown into Singapore, Sushi Tarafuku wins the production of this acquired taste hands down. Sweet, soft, creamy with a delightful aftertaste, it was almost a reproduction of the heavy scent of the sea itself.

The O-Toro, Prime Fatty Tuna, carries itself very well on its own with a smooth, melt in the mouth texture. The taste is a little sharp on the edges with the first bite being crisp and then a revelation of a little cold aftertaste.

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The fresh sea bream was presented with the method of usu zukiri which means fine cut. Each slice was translucent yet surprisingly not too thin to quell any bite that would have made it less enjoyable.

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Aji Sashimi is a little neutral in flavour hence spices was employed to contrast the flavours. A little crunchy yet firm with each piece. The yellowtail was tender and it breaks easily with each bite. Its slight hint of a seasalt aroma lulls the senses. Nice.

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A simple dip of shoyu with radish was presented along with the Chef Omakase.

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There is without doubt that the Salmon Sushi at Sushi Tarafuku is a definite prize winner. Each piece is so delicately moulded with such finesse that each piece simply gave way in the mouth. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that even the salmon slices were so soft and that I ordered this enjoyment twice. $0.99 per piece. Now that is quality food.

J2K3 Award Winner : Salmon Sushi

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The Spider Roll, Soft Shell Crab Maki, is unfortunately a dish of contrasting flavours and emotions. The sauce that was drizzled over the rice soaked in too quickly making the entire maki too salty. $6.00 for a serving.

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I simply had to try an assortment of sushi. Here there is Salmon, Ika (Cuttlefish), Ika Mentai (Cuttlefish with spicy roe), and Hotate (Scallop). The ika could be better in its freshness but still acceptable for its slightly translucent hue. Ika Mentai was a little too salty but the crunch from the cuttlefish matched the taste. Hotate was a little sweet, a little fresh but a little lackluster in shine. $0.99, $0.99, $2.00, $1.50 respectively.

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For the Ebi Tempura Roll, it was another enjoyment. The chef made the focus on the tempura itself so little sauce and seasoning was used. Just a hint of mayonnaise, flying fish roe and a sprinkle of seaweed to bring out the natural flavours. Now this, is good. $5.00 a serving.

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The Salmon Belly Sushi, $1.50, is a little fattier than the average slice, but it didn’t leave me squirming for more.

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As far as eels go, the Conger eel is one of the largest I’ve seen served up on sushi. $3.00 per piece for a well terriyakied slice that is extremely soft and tender.

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I don’t know why mum would order this. The Zuwai Crab Leg is served up warm, with a piece of soft bone right in the middle. Not enjoyable as you cannot enjoy it whole with the sushi rice. $6.00 for a piece is almost newspaper worthy.

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I’ve asked the restaurant for their specialties, and the Original Kyushu Ramen is one of them. Priced at $13.80, the broth is milky yet a little thin but rich with the aftertaste of heartiness. The slice of pork is fatty and tender but the specialty egg is a little salty. The noodles give way under a firm bite and carries a strong hint of the broth.

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The Black Pig Spare Ribs was very good. Crispy exterior, tender meat with streaks of fat here and there. And the musky taste of pork marinade is not too strong but delicate throughout. The only sad point is the grease factor which would be enough to make any health fanatic faint. $12.80.

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The Mentaiko Sardine is definitely one of the first unique dishes for me. Sardine stuffed with a good serving of spicy fish roe leaves an impression of fullness and richness in a single dish. Excellent. Price is also excellent at $11.80 for this dish. But hey, this is good.

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I am not really a fan for fried salmon belly, so the Jumbo Salmon Belly didn’t really appeal to me. It was oily and crispy with a naturally strong taste of the fish. $13.80 for a serving. I seriously don’t know how anyone can love this.

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Ah, its so hard to get excellent and fresh Sea Urchin these days. So the order of Sea Urchin Sashimi at $16.80 for a portion is definitely well worth it in Singapore. Needless to say, it was creamy, smooth and delightful. An acquired taste that should be acquired.

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The Custard Pudding ($4.99) was a little heavy and its good that its not too sweet. Almost like creme brulee, it would have been nice if it was served not too cold.

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If you like the sushi counter experience, they’ve got one!

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Out of my visit to Sushi Tarafuku, this is probably one of the better casual dining Japanese restaurants in Singapore. Its freshness, quality and cut is a marvel and the prices is not extremely exorbitant if you know what to order. Service is good with polite waitstaff. And with a Japanese themed ambience to boot, you know that what you are going to get is almost as good as the hype.

And oh yeah, the 50% off was definitely worth it. I actually ordered $270 worth of food. Imagine that…

tarafuku2 Sushi Tarafuku Seafood Market & Restaurant
313 Orchard Road
#B3-31/34, Food Hall
313@Somerset

Opens from : 11am – 11pm
Tel : 6634 0889

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