From now till 8th May, Ikyu at Tiong Bahru collaborates with Huber’s Butchery to present a 5-course Vertical Tasting of Wagyu ($180++). (Of course, no beef in the last course for dessert.) In this menu, Executive Chef Takuma Seki features grain-fed Toriyama A4 full blood Wagyu from Showa Village in Gunma Prefecture; grain-fed Stockyard wagyu from Queenland Australia with 6-7 marbling; and grass-fed, 60-day aged Pure Black Australian Angus, a total of 180g-190g of beef.
Although I find it slightly expensive, the food is satisfying. The starter, short plate wafu yuke, using Toriyama beef, is very sweet with nashi pear. Both beef and pear are finely julienned, giving a textural contrast of crunchiness and softness.
Both Robata charcoal grilled ribeye (above) and striploin sushi (below) showcase all the 3 types of beef. The grill brings out the flavors beautifully but I’m not so sure about the sushi. The smidgen of spicy radish on top of each sushi is startlingly refreshing but the beef may be too tender to provide a texture to buoy the sushi.
For both dishes, Toriyama beef is our favorite. So juicy and tender. Very fat but not greasy or excessive. Mr Fitness said, “Toriyama beef can rival Tajima beef!”
The next course, short plate wagyu pho, is so scrumptious that I didn’t care about my image and lifted up the bowl to slurp loudly the last drops of the beef broth. It’s very clever of Chef Seki to put the very fat and very umami beef strips in a broth to wash away any excess oil. Together with the perfectly al dente rice noodles, this is the wagyu of pho.
The last course of dessert is nothing much to shout about. But Chef Seki cleverly pairs the housemade mango pudding with a sakura cocktail, which is in season now. The sakura cocktail is almost feminine when compared to the previous 4 beefy dishes, but the pulverized sakura leaf adds a salty dimension to the floral drink.
All in all, the sexy, cosy restaurant/bar makes me think that this is the sort of good quality food I would receive if I am a guest at a Japanese home. We’d totally return for the beef pho.
5 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168643
t: +65 6223 9003 / +65 9663 2003
11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, closed Mon
Overall rating: 3.75/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.