An outpost of Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant at Dempsey which serves sushi, Rakuichi’s Playbook at Keong Saik has a totally different concept: it serves Japanese-fusion cuisine with Japanese-influenced cocktails. It is a simple menu with salads, pastas, yakitori, and Western mains like chicken chop.
One of their signatures, Wagyu steak is great. The medium-rare is so perfect that you can see three different gradations of colour: brown sear on the surface, the pink ring, and the red center. The peppery demi-glace sauce has deep flavours but the steak is well marinated on its own that the sauce is merely gilding the lily.
They should get rid of the green (broccoli?) sauce, very unnecessary, doesn’t add to the dish and they can cut cost to the dish.
The deep-fried creamy potato, as a side, is heavenly. The potatoes, cut in emincer style, are loaded with cream in between the slices; they are then deep-fried to give a nice crusty surface. So good!
Cordon Bleu is a piece of meat that is rolled up, like a sushi roll, with cheese and ham in the middle. Then it is fried. So it is difficult to make a tender piece of cordon bleu because of the thickness of the roll. But here, the cordon bleu is very tender and the skin is very crispy.
They use chicken thigh to wrap around prawn, chicken ham, and cheese. Although tender, the cheese they use doesn’t have much flavour, and is almost imperceptible. The dish could use more salt although the drops of (curry?) sauce improve the flavour. Maybe more sauce is better.
Like the cordon bleu, the Asari pasta could do with more salt. But it’s always better to go light on salt so that we customers can add it ourselves. The clams do not have more flavour and are a little overcooked, but the pasta is done nicely al dente with a little bit of chilli spice. More wine to the pasta would be better.
On the whole, the food is excellent and rather affordable. A little under-salted perhaps, but that allows the flavours of the ingredients to come through. They also serve Japanese-influenced cocktails but we were coughing that day and could not drink any alcohol.
For sure, we would like to return, but they said that they would revamp the menu soon because they aren’t attracting customers. It’s always good to respond quickly to the market’s demands, but I wonder in their case, if it is due to the menu or due to the lack of publicity. The food is good so I suspect if they could do more publicity, business would pick up.
We paid $86 for two persons.
22 Keong Saik Road Singapore 089129
tel: +65 6781 3497
11am-11pm, closed Sun
Decor / ambience: 7/10
Price / Value: 7/10
You may be interested in…
–Kindori, CHIJmes: “You Know I Like My Chicken Fried / Cold Beer on a Friday Night”
–Kamoshita, Neil Road: Oden Izakaya, Better Than Japan’s Restaurants
–Grand Jeté Cafe, Ngee Ann City: Japanese-Western Cafe, an Oasis Away from the Crowd
–Japan Rail Cafe, Tanjong Pagar Centre: Summer Specials from Different Prefectures in Japan
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.