Monday, June 15, 2009
Tetsu Expands Its Menu
Messieurs et Mesdames, je vous présente filet de bœuf grillé! This Yakiniku (S$18.50) or grilled beef tenderloin is so good, it had me speaking another tongue! The beef is well-seared on the outside, but still juicy pink within. The dressing really adds punch to the whole ensemble. It's rather complex - Japanese BBQ-ponzu-miso-sesame-and je ne sais quoi - but oh so mouthwatering!
Items like this now feature on Tetsu's new, expanded menu. This Japanese restaurant at Tanglin Mall used to specialise more in kushi-style tempura and tonkatsu, but customers started asking for other dishes as well. When you go there, you'll be presented with a huge menu with everything from sashimi to salads. Something for everyone.
But some of the classic favourites remain. The Kani Tofu (S$8), or crabmeat tofu with century egg is one. This is a pert little umami bomb. Crab, dashi, century egg, tobiko all combine to make this tiny piece of tofu the tastiest you've ever had.
Even the tonkatsu offerings have increased in variety. The "Cheesu Rosu" (S$16.50) - breaded pork loin with cheese - came highly recommended. The strong flavour of the cheese made me ask them what it was - wow, they use Gruyere, no less! This dish is proudly conceptualised by the restaurant manager Jason Koh himself. Not wanting to be outdone, the chefs came up with a cheese katsu roll (pork roll with cheese, carrots and asparagus).
The tonkatsu quality here is pretty good. It stirred memories of our Katsukura meal in Kyoto. I really appreciate that they use a wire drainer/platter to elevate the katsu, so it doesn't get soggy. The pork loin is well-marinated, moist and tender, coated with good quality panko (breadcrumbs). Tetsu prides itself on precision frying and meticulous preparation. If the katsu is this good, I must come back and try the tempura.
Yes, now there's sushi and sashimi too. The Sashimi Moriawase (S$55) comes with seven types of seafood, and you get three pieces each, albeit dainty pieces. I'm not sure if the seafood varies, but it's generally the popular choices - salmon, maguro, hamachi, scallop, tai, mekajiki, tako, etc.
Their Dragon Roll (S$16) is pretty popular. I think I waited too long to eat it as I was too busy photographing other things. It felt a bit loose, possibly due to the greens slipping off the nori (seaweed). It was not my favourite item but hubby enjoyed this tremendously. Nice jumbo prawn though.
Gindara Saikyotsuke (S$18.50) is cod that's marinated with miso for three days and then grilled. Very delicate texture.
The hiyashi udon (cold udon, S$6.80) is also slightly different. I guess it's supposed to be inaniwa udon, although it's thicker than most versions I've had. Slightly elastic and chewy texture, not too bad. But when it comes to udon in general, I've been forever ruined by Mentsu-dan, and I can't seem to find its equal in Singapore.
We spied renkon (lotus root) chips (S$4) on the menu and could not resist. These are very finely shaved and heavily salted. Good beer snack. There's lots more on the menu - fugu mirin boshi (dried puffer fish), kawa ebi karaage, tai kabutoni (boiled red snapper head in sweet soya sauce), various nabemono (hotpots), and a small array of desserts.
They have a private dining room that can seat about 20 comfortably. It's got floor to ceiling windows on one side, overlooking Tanglin Road (lovely during festival light-ups).
Decor is casually elegant, and service is generally decent and discreet. We saw Dr Tony Tan (former Deputy Prime Minister) among the guests.
Tetsu also has value bento set lunches from S$18-S$22 on weekdays (11.30am - 3pm). Check out the menu here.
Warmest thanks to the folks at Tetsu and Racheal from the PR agency for the invitation, and food recommendations.
163 Tanglin Road
#03-18 Tanglin Mall
Open Daily: 11.30 am to 3pm (lunch); 6pm to 10pm (dinner)
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