Thursday, November 6, 2008
Japanese Gourmet Town at Vivocity
Japanese Gourmet Town just opened at Vivocity, offering three different brands within one shop - Botejyu from Osaka, Yoshimi from Hokkaido, and Ajisen from Kyushu - central, north, and south of Japan. I was very excited to see Botejyu, a name I'd earmarked to try on my trip last year but didn't get to, due to time constraints.
Your three major food groups! Okonomiyaki/yakisoba, soup curry and ramen!
It's a huge menu. Big and beautiful, lots to choose from. Here's Nadine trying to decide what to have.
I'm only putting up the menu pages for Botejyu and Yoshimi. I don't think we need to see Ajisen's, do we? The round silver stickers on Botejyu's menu indicates the dishes currently available. I think they haven't fully ramped up yet.
The soup arrived first. Italian sausage and Hokkaido corn soup curry (S$14.80), which came with lots of cheese. Hubby liked this the best (most likely because it was the most intensely flavoured dish of all). To me, a curry-flavoured soup is a bit odd. I kept looking for noodles or rice to go with it. Just not used to curry without carbo. But it was flavourful, I will admit.
Oh, you can choose the level of spiciness, from one to three chillies. They recommended two chillies for locals. But it was so mild, we'll be asking for five chillies next time we're here. Yeah, needs to be off the charts.
Of course I had to try the Botejyu okonomiyaki - we chose the signature Midnight Special (S$14). It's got the works - pork, squid and prawns, and is topped with a runny egg and covered with bonito shavings.
It was enjoyable, but the Osaka original is probably way better.
The pork yakisoba (S$10.80) looked better than it tasted. It was a bit bland and one-dimensional. Certainly missing aonori, bonito and chili flakes, for starters!
Got some pumpkin tempura (S$5.90) for the kids, as I remembered Nadine loved this in Tokyo. But this one didn't quite pass her taste test. It was OK for me, just that the batter's more than a bit greasy.
You can watch the chefs at work. Overall, this 3-in-1 shop is a great concept in terms of variety, and they've chosen some prominent brands like Botejyu. While there aren't any culinary epiphanies to be had, you'll likely find something for everyone.
JAPANESE GOURMET TOWN