Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kuriya Dining, Great World City, Singapore

It's hard to find a Japanese restaurant in Singapore that does seasonal kaiseki, let alone one that does it well. Kuriya Dining is located at unit #02-42 in Great World City along Kim Seng Road. It's tucked away in a little corner on its own and you almost forget that you're in a bustling mall the moment you enter.

I always call in advanced to find out what the seasonal menu is(they change it every month) so I would not be in for any surprises. I remembered once how they had seven courses based on white radish - it was too healthy for my liking. The August menu focused mainly on seafood and knowing that Kuriya airflies most of their seafood from Hokkaido, it was a pretty safe choice.

An appetizer platter of jellied fish roe, sweet-simmered river shrimp, pumpkin tofu, grilled eggplant and cream cheese with prosciutto. Of all these five appetizers I really only enjoyed the grilled eggplant (love the bonito flakes on top), the shrimp (marvellously sweet) and the cream cheese with prosciutto (funny how they didn't mention the huge wedge of advocado that came with it). The pumpkin tofu tasted both savory and sweet which didn't agree with me really well and the jellied fish roe just tasted weird.

Sashimi platter, I'm not a big fan of raw fish but I was informed by my dining companion that it was extremely fresh and tasty, so I'll have to take her word for it. I have to admit it did not have any stale fishy smells that you often get from sashimi that isn't particularly fresh.

Grilled seabass with sea urchin sauce. I don't know why, I have tried many times to like sea urchin and its roe but never really succeeded because I find the fishiness in it just too strong. So I thought to myself, sea urchin sauce, now surely the fishiness can't be that strong. Well, apparently sea urchin has the ability to transcend most mediums and even as a sauce it was slightly too strong for my liking. I would have preferred it if the seabass was just grilled with some teriyaki sauce instead.

This was exactly what I needed to get rid of that fishy flavor from the sea urchin sauce. Marinated surf shell and broccoli with cucumber-vinegar sauce. The puddle of sweet rice vinegar which everything sat on blended in nicely with the crunchiness of the broccoli and the freshness of the surf shell.

This dish of deep-fried minced crab and fish meat tasted more Chinese than Japanese but that didn't matter because it was still very tasty. The minced seafood was wrapped in a springroll skin before being deepfried and dunked in a consomme of mushrooms and dried scallops.

The last savory course was a pretty fun DIY dish where you get to pour piping hot soup from the teapot into your rice bowl and mix it with the rest of the condiments.

The tea-based soup was actually very mild in flavor so it did not overpower the beef and and the overall taste was still subtle enough to accompany the stronger flavored picked items.

The seven course kaiseki ended with Kuriya's predictable dessert. Predictably good that is. Today's dessert consisted of seasonal fruits, strawberry icecream and mango custard.

All in all, with kaiseki it's abit of hit and miss sometimes but despite some bummer dishes it was overall an enjoyable experience. Great thing about kaiseki lies in the fact that it's Japanese food in courses, you get the opportunity to have some proper conversation with the people you're dining with and you're never rushed at any point in Kuriya.


p.s: In case anyone was wondering, the glass of beer right at the top is Kirin. They serve Kirin and Asahi here, but from the bottle. It's a pity the only beer they have from the tap is Tiger.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, very pretty pictures! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw that was me. forgot my name last :)

ps: how shall i pass you your farewell present then? *haha


Anonymous said...

Nice reviews and pictures :) do consider placing up prices of the food you spend?

keep it up and thanks!

D said...

Hi, thanks for the comments. I normally don't look for my bill to check up prices unless if I remembered they were outrageously cheap or dear but thanks for tip, I'll try to put in some accurate estimates with my future posts. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

hey... check this out.. their raffles branch was featured in today papers: http://wineanddine.asiaone.com.sg/gdfd/restaurants/20060828_001.html

Anonymous said...

おいしい! 素晴らしい! よい!

Anonymous said...

hey, thanks for commenting, my site isn't really an all food site although I certainly food. I came to check your site and love the many photographs. Mine doesn't have many photographs unless it's something I ate or cooked at home. I'll be going through your site for more reviews :)

btw, it's me from http://www.amoopoint.com/word. How did you end up finding my site? I'm pretty low profile.