Kyushu Gourmet Experience at Japanese Dining SUN
Kyushu (九州, Kyūshū, literally “nine provinces”) is Japan’s third largest island, located southwest of the main island Honshu. It consists of seven prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Ōita, Kagoshima, Miyazaki. Each prefecture has their own unique dishes.
In collaboration with Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japanese Dining SUN and Sun with Moon Japanese Dining outlets will be presenting the Kyushu Gourmet Experience, from November 16, 2012 to January 8, 2013. Highlights from the prefectures of Miyazaki, Fukuoka, Saga and Oita will make their appearance under the expertise of Executive Chef Toshio Sawa.
First up on the table is Kyushu Sashimi Mori 7 Kinds ($88.80) which features succulent slices of fatty tuna, yellow seabream, horse mackerel, golden-eye snapper, striped jack, yellowtail and Japanese sea bream.
These sashimi are imported from Kyushu every Tuesday and Friday, so be sure to come on those two days to enjoy the freshest catch. Each piece of delicate sashimi is very fresh and delicate, paired with a small amount of freshly grated wasabi, it gives a richer taste.
Wrapped with salmon, followed by a layer of Japanese preserved mustard leaf instead of the usual nori wrap, Mentai Salmon Takana Roll ($18.80) is a combination of sweet omelette and cucumber maki. The spicy seasoned cod roe gave a strong kick to the sushi which I didn’t expect, but it got better with second servings. I like how the different flavours combine in a single bite.
Kagoshima Mentai Cheese Chigiri Age ($9.80) is a pleasant surprise. When you bite into the piping hot fishcake, there is thick molten cheese in each bite.
Another Fukuoka speciality is the Kurobuta Gyoza ($9.80). This is one of the best gyoza I ever had.
The Berkshire (black) pork dumplings is filled with cabbage, garlic and chives. It provides a firm yet tender bite. The minced pork is sweet enough to eat alone. But when you dip it into the dipping sauce, the taste just reach a higher level.
Shiokoji Moriawase ($15.80) is a marinated meat platter of Berkshire pork, tender chicken and salmon. The various meats went through the Shiokoji marination process whereby fermented rice is used to marinate the food, and then grilled to give the umami taste.
There are different grades for Wagyu beef and A5 is the highest grade given only to the finest beef. “A” of “A5″ means the yield grade, while “5″ shows the quality grade.The quality grade is marked by marbling, meat color and brightness, firmness and texture of meat, and color, luster and quality of fat.
Miyazaki Wagyu Steak Ajikurabe ($88.80) uses A3 grade beef from Kyushu. The restaurant tried to use A5 grade but it was too greasy so A3 was used instead. The wagyu ribeye and sirloin steak teppanyaki has smooth velvety texture, gorgeous marbling, juicy flavor, delicate but rich taste will linger on the palate.
It can be paired with Wasabi Tabasco or Yuzu Wasabi sauce which is imported straight from Japan. I like the yuzu sauce better because it gives a refreshing citrus taste to the meat.
Nope, this is not soba. This is Nori Udon, inspired from Saga area of Kyushu. The condiments such as spring onion and garlic came separate, and you can just dip the noodles into a bowl of cold soya sauce. The noodles are springy and very refreshing.
On the contrast, we also had a hot bowl of Tonkotsu Takana Ramen ($11.80). Again, the Japanese preserved mustard leaf made its appearance. the broth had a slightly peppery taste which is very good for rainy days.
Chazuke is like the Japanese version of thunder tea rice whereby green tea is poured over cooked rice, usually with savory toppings. Kinmedai & Mentai Chazuke ($15.80) came with lightly grilled golden-eye snapper fillet slices and spicy seasoned cod roe.
Green tea bonito soup is then poured in to cook the fish slices and allow the rice to absorb the flavours of the tea. This homey “porridge” allows you to enjoy the flavor of fish and vegetables, and is also suitable to eat after you have had a little too much sake.
Dessert for the night was Yamecha Roll Cake ($5.80) made using premium Fukuoka green tea. It is well balanced between the green tea and vanilla cream, with some azuki bean paste on the side.
My favourite is the Momo Jam Chiffon Cake ($6.50). The chiffon cake is sooooo airy, light and fluffy. Every bite is full of the peach flavour. Thanks to Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry for giving us a bottle of peach jam, I am going to try to make something like that soon!
Dinner ended with a cup of Yame Tea with Goma Cookie ($5) which was the perfect ending to our Kyushu Gourmet Experience.
In case you missed it, Kyushu Gourmet Experience is available from November 16, 2012 to January 8, 2013 at Japanese Dining SUN and Sun with Moon Japanese Dining outlets.
JAPANESE DINING SUN @ CHIJMES
30 Victoria Street #02-01
SUN WITH MOON @ WHEELOCK
501 Orchard Road #03-15