The Hidden Gems of Kansai at Tamashii Robataya
Kansai region includes Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Not only has the region developed into a famous commercial area, it is also famous for food. With its long history, Kansai has developed its own unique taste and food culture.
The Kansai Foods Export Promotion Cooperative Association is introducing Kansai’s interesting food, cooking and culture through their exclusive distributor in Singapore, Miumi Japan Food. This time round, they worked with Chef Yukari Tsuchida from Japan and Chef Patrick Tan from Tamashii Robataya to create a unique menu to showcase the hidden gems of Kansai.
One of the classic dishes in Kyoto is called “Kyo-Ryori” which features seasonal ingredients cooked with Dashi. Our first course, Zensai (Assorted Appetisers), has got firefly squid, grilled conger eel and seasonal raw eggplants all in a tray.
Do you know that Japanese mizu nasu (water eggplant) can be eaten raw? It is a type of traditional vegetables from the Senshu area in Osaka prefecture. Chef Patrick tossed them with sesame oil and salt and you can really taste the sweetness of it. I also liked Chef Yukari’s take on firefly squid which was topped with a yellow sauce made from egg yolk and vinegar.
Only the freshest Kansai raw fish is served at Tamashii. Instead of dipping the sashimi into the soy sauce, you can now take a bit of soya foam with your chopsticks and spread it onto your sashimi. Chef Patrick also grilled bamboo shoot and served them with pepper leaves miso. It looks simple but the bamboo shoot went through a rice bran and soaking for a few days before being grilled to achieve its tender texture.
Shaped into a sea urchin, the uni bowl is actually a fish paste wrap with sea urchin and fried with wheat noodles. While the presentation is noble, I couldn’t really taste the uni after the deep frying.
Now, here comes my favourite – Omi Gyu A4 Donburi. Do you know that there are three supreme beefs of Japan? Kobe, Matsuzaka and Omi. Seen as the Rolls-Royce of beef, Omi Gyu is known throughout Japan for its marbling and incredible taste. Resting on a bed of short-grain rice, and topped with a runny onsen egg and black truffle, the beef was incredible. Enjoy the aroma of truffle oil and the flavours of the beef. There is also refreshing cold somen with conger eel and yam.
The meal ended with a bang because Chef Yukari prepared a Green Tea Cake and Sweet Potato Wrapped in Candy for us. You are welcome to pair your meal with Kansai Sake (from $128). The Kansai menu is available until the end of April.
Note: This was an invited tasting.