Sunday, March 23, 2008
Wakashachiyaaa!!! Sounds like a Bruce Lee yell, no? Well, they do throw a couple of good punches foodwise. This is a curry udon specialist chain from Japan (Singapore is their first overseas outlet). Didn't really pay much attention to them until I saw the cheese-laden bowl on LiquidShadow's blog. That brought back some memories of Mentsu-dan in Shinjuku, where I first fell in love with udon and where they had this cheese-egg udon that was phenomenal. Ahh, Japan...
Hubby who doesn't like The Central acquiesced to come here for this. We started with the coleslaw with renkon chips (S$6.50, this month's special, available til end March). This was so delicious, and the renkon chips so addictive, we asked for another as soon as we polished it off. We told the waitress they should put this on the regular menu!
Hubby went for the cheese curry udon (S$15.50). The cheese topping did not look as huge as it didn't have any tonkatsu or ebi tempura to rest on. The curry is not bad. I'm not a Japanese curry fan because of its mild and sweetish nature, but I liked this (especially after we put a ton of chili flakes into it). Next time I am coming here to have my own bowl!
I had the grilled eel dish called hitsumabushi (S$18), because I had been craving my good experience at Unasho in Akihabara. I hoped this place would at least meet some standards, unlike local Japanese chains like Ichiban Sushi. Well, Wakashachiya's version was decent enough with good quality ingredients. If you want double the amount of unagi, you can go for the deluxe version (S$27).
Hitsumabushi is fun because you get to play with your food. There are three different ways of eating it. You can divide the bowl into four portions. The first one you can eat as it is - just eel and rice. The second one you can enjoy with condiments of nori, spring onions and wasabi.
The third method is an ochazuke. Pour the hot dashi stock over your eel, rice and condiments to create a "rice tea". The stock here has a strong charcoal or roasted taste, typical of ochazuke. But I still prefer Unasho's more savoury version.
Service here is polite and the lead waitress spoke some Japanese. She was also very conscientious about details and made sure the tables were all laid out neatly, that nothing was out of place. Enthusiastic commitment to the job! Either that or she is the boss of the place!
Well, for a restaurant chain, Wakashachiya is better than expected. I enjoyed myself and will certainly be back again. In fact, looking at these pictures, I'm craving some curry udon already!
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
The Central #03-92/97