I didn’t expect to like Tsukada Nojo so much. I’m biased against the Mcdonaldization of restaurants: how can a restaurant serve good quality food across chains? But Tsukada Nojo impressed me so deeply, making this one of my favorite restaurants of the year.
MUST ORDER: Chicken nanban: egg mayo on fried chicken ($8.50)
The Ex was there earlier, but as I wasn’t there yet, he had to wait for me to arrive before getting a table. I arrived, and while we waited, the asst. manager Taichi came and apologized to us for the wait. He squatted–like SIA service!!–and asked if we wanted to order first. He was polite, professional, and friendly. He recommended the chicken nanban (pictured above), and it was fantastic. I ate nanban at Keisuke Ramen before, and this one was so much better! The egg mayo was milder, so it complemented the fried chicken better.
The nikumai comes in 4 flavors: original ($3.50), cheese ($3.80), yuzu ($3.80), and spicy ($3.80). They were little bombs of umami: bacon wrapped in rice. Very surprising flavors. All except the spicy were fantastic. I won’t have imagined yuzu to go well with bacon, and that cheese was bursting in the mouth.
Two persons will share a bijin nabe ($25/pax), or collagen hotpot. So you should come in pairs. The stock and chicken are imported from Japan, using free-range chicken. The broth changes with different ingredients put inside.
At our table, Tan, a Filipino, served us perfectly, explaining to us the dishes, and answering our questions cheerfully. He got us a bowl of broth first before adding in ingredients.
The pure taste of the broth, before anything was put inside, was pure heaven. So sweet with the taste of chicken. Unfortunately, when the ingredients were placed inside, the taste got diluted. When the prawns were added last, I didn’t like it that the taste of prawns overpowered the delicate taste of the chicken broth. And the prawns weren’t fresh.
Fortunately, each pot is allowed a free top-up of collagen. And after the top-up, the broth returned to its original taste.
I saw Tan drawing on plates for customers, and each plate is a different design. I saw a Captain America one. With such orgasmic food–I kept WOWing with each bite–and such impeccable service by both Taichi and Tan, we did have a happy memory at Tsukada Nojo. No wonder the queue is always so long. And you know what? I, who don’t queue for food, think Tsukada Nojo may very well be worth queuing.
I don’t think ingesting collagen will make you beautiful but it was so delicious I didn’t care about beauty. We spent $90 for two persons. I know I am late in discovering Tsukada Nojo but this is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to this year.
133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point #02-37, Singapore 059413
T: +65 6444 8840
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.