Yes. Yes. The mystery Japanese place I blogged about earlier is Wahiro at Katong Mall. Some of you may have guessed it already, some of you may even have already eaten here but a few might be going "Huh, Wahiro? What's that?"
Wahiro (meaning "Great Harmony") is actually an open secret. It has no lack of customers and I hear Japanese chefs from other restaurants come here to dine. This little unassuming joint helmed by a former Suntory chef can easily be missed from its very simple frontage, but the aroma of grilled meat wafting in the air will be unmistakable. Just next door is sister restaurant Kushiyaki which delivers all these grilled items that you can order from Wahiro as well.
Dinner tonight yielded the usual goodies - kushiyaki (grilled skewer items) generally meeting expectations.
We tried a few new items. I quite liked the tamago (omelette) wrapped in bacon. Eggs and bacon are always a good pair, don't you think?
The grilled eggplant came doused with soy and had bonito flakes scattered on top, doing their little dance. However, it still tasted bland - I think nasu is still best grilled dengaku style, with miso, until it's really soft. This one still had some raw bite to it.
Now this dish came sizzling and smelling like buttery wagyu heaven! I thought we were in for a treat, but for some bizarre reason, the pieces of beef had no taste! It was soft like very fatty beef but slightly rubbery despite not being overcooked. Very puzzling but this was the first disappointing dish we've found here. Not worth the S$24.
Ironically, hubby's favourite item tonight is the most un-Japanese of all the dishes we had. Curry buns. I couldn't believe it when I saw this item on the menu, looking so out of place. Japanese-style curry beef encased in dough and deepfried with breadcrumbs. Even comes with Bulldog sauce. A tad greasy but tasty.
I love onigiri and when grilled, they taste even better - like the charred rice bits at the bottom of claypot rice. I have to say this one is quite well-done here. Grilled crispy and salty on the outside but soft and chewy in the centre.
The tempura moriawase is always worth having. However the price has gone up since my last visit - from S$9.80 to S$12.00! But still good value.
Wahiro is also well-known for its innovative omakase and seasonal kaiseki courses (check the website for updates). Have not tried any of its sashimi or sushi offerings (I hear it's generally good but can be occasionally erratic) but there are plenty of choices here even if you don't like raw stuff. It also serves set lunches at S$15. Dinner sets run about S$30. Reservations recommended. Now, don't everybody go there at the same time!
WAHIRO & KUSHIYAKI
(next to Awfully Chocolate)
112 East Coast Road #01-27/28/29
Lunch hours: 12-2pm
Dinner hours: 6-10pm