Sen of Japan: walk the talk

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Described as a casual dining Japanese restaurant and bar with intimate settings and then further elaborated to have its menu inspired by Chef Nakano, previously of NOBU at Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas's fame; Sen of Japan hits the nail on the head. Casual? - not so much for the everyday user; but for a high-roller who have just been dealt a lucky hand at Baccarat; this my friends, is what you would call fast-food; the retracing of steps back to the table fast and furious following a quick refuel.

Sen dishes out modernist Japanese cuisine, the kitschy influence of American culture on the menu highly evident and most enjoyable (if I must say so) at most times.

Quick Picks: Katto @ One North

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Let's be honest, the thing that first drove us to Katto was the *drum roll*, craft beers. Just the mere sight of Stone Go to IPA, which the husband claims is in short supplies throughout most bottle shops, led to us venture out of our comfort zones in search of a meal.

And boy were we rewarded.

One-month old Katto in One-North Galaxis wing (just opposite the BreadYard) finally brings poke a little closer to home. To break it down, $12.90 gets you a sturdy carton of either salad/brown rice/ white rice and 2 choices of marinated fish in 70g portions each, finished with a choice of 2 sides.

Choices are aplenty here with the diverse range of marination on both tuna and salmon, including everything from the original shoyu to goma sesame to ginger shoyu and more. My picks would be the original shoyu and the CRC salmon - the latter, a short form for chicken rice chili. Here the cubes are enrobed in a spicy sesame oil laden dressing which packs quite a feisty punch. The perfect accompaniment to the hop heavy GO to IPA.


Sides aren't that exciting in the spectrum of things but provide enough color and texture to keep the party going. The mushrooms are excellently seasoned and juicy, lending the poke bowl the moisture it needs. 

If you're not a fan of marinated dish, there's the new Yakitori Chicken bowl with leeks and onsen egg that sounds terribly attractive as well. One-North residents, you guys sure are fortunate to have a new haunt for poke bowls; but to the rest of us, fret not! Katto has recently joined the ranks as a Deliveroo vendor, so you can now get your healthy fix via delivery. Chew on that.


Katto
1 Fusionopolis Place
Galaxis Building
#01-21
S(138522)

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11am - 8pm
Sat: 11am - 2pm

Spuds and Aprons: Food that tugs on your heart strings

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"Stop at one", my emerging muffin top beckoning for a bit of repentance on the dietary front. But there was no way in the world and no will-power that strong to resist the sight of stringy cheese, the reserves of liquid gold dousing steak house frites egging you on to reach for another strand. It isn't long before the entire pile is demolished, the stray sweet potato fry from another appetiser used to mop up the residual of the 6 cheeses. The diet starts tomorrow... trust me, the guilt factor will set in.

The name of the establishment is a dead giveaway; Spuds and Aprons, yes, there are spuds in many shapes, forms and sizes presented throughout the menu. It's comfort factor, unparallelled, yet seemingly a bit out of place in such romantic settings at the joint perched on Mount Faber overlooking a spectacular sunset. It becomes obvious that the only kind of date you're going to get away with is with a lady who appreciates the finer things in life - CARBS.

SUN with MOON explores Kyushu Japan!

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SUN with MOON is a cosy, intimate restaurant and cafe nestled on the third floor of Wheelock Place. Starting this September, they are launching On the Food Trail "Kyushu!", the ninth edition of a gastronomic journey to the southernmost Japanese island with a valued reputation for its natural wonders, hot springs, and of course, amazing food. Working together with Fukoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SUN with MOON is sourcing for the freshest, most exceptional ingredients and bringing the distinctive flavours of Kyushu to you.

Hajime @ MyVillage: Tonkatsu that feeds the illusion

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Shan't beat around the bush here. Hajime Tonkatsu Ramen situated on the 2nd floor of MyVillage in Serangoon Gardens does one of the most perfect renditions of Tonkatsu I've ever had, with a serious consideration of price context of course. 

Maggie Joan's: Lunch affairs and the Prince of Pasta

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Adding to the diversity of its night menu, Maggie Joan's rolls out equally delicious lunch exclusives that have the intention of setting the days' grievances right without taking too big a wedge from your wallets.

Taking inspiration from familiar Mediterranean flavors, the lunch menu delves in the same field without being too overly abstract. Start your meal off with the usual.. their Homemade Sourdough still rakes in as one of the best renditions I've had the blessing of slathering butter on, and not any normal butter at that, we're talking Smoked Beef Fat Butter... yes, talking about over-indulgence here.

FORT by Maison Ikkoku: 12-course omakase and a bevy of cocktails. What diet?

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It's been awhile friends since I last penned down my biased thoughts and discrimination. Here's one to roll off the short week...

Maison Ikkoku, as I've touted before, is an institution. And even more so now that it has occupied the grounds at the Singapore Pinacotheque De Paris; a luscious sprawling minimalistic cocktail den splayed in cool colors of violet and blues to lure the passive drinkers. Here at FORT, Executive Chef and Senior Master Mixologist, Ethan Leslie Leong applies his cocktail (perceptibly expensive as I've noted in 2013 : read here) techniques with a balanced selection of food, delicate soups, salads, maki and other signature dishes made from scratch within the same fundamental grounds. A pretty impressive feat if you've take a look at the make-shift bar counter doubling up as a fully functional kitchen.

For just $68++, one can sink your teeth into a progressive 12-course omakase with no obligations of cocktails at all, though one must admit, the lures are evident, especially when only bar-seats are available. And if you should choose to, trust that you'll be in safe hands with resident mixologist Matteo Cadeddu working his magic behind the bar -  his dabble in alcoholic libations fuelled by memories and inspirations from his homestead; Italy. Take for example the Bloody Memory he fixed me, fortified with bottarga -  a salted. cured fish roe, shaved over the fiery concoction. Eccentric but oh, so good!

Le Binchotan: French-Japanese tapas with a mean cocktail bar @ Amoy Street

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Perched behind closed doors... Yes... that seems to be the trend nowadays. The presence of open-air brasseries with doors flung wide open, a thing of ancient history. Yet another dining concept to join the ranks is Le Binchotan, BurgerJointsg's not-so-simple girl next door. Here, Chef Atsuhiko Hagiwara from Ginza Tokyo restaurant En.Terrible together with Singapore Head Chef Jeremmy Chiam churn out a sophisticated bar menu with a Japanese touch and a special homage paid to the technique of smoking meats and seafood over bincho-tan (white charcoal).

By lunch, the dark den offers a much-needed respite from the hard-knocked life awaiting most executives on the outside. Lunch sets range from $38+ for 3 courses to an affordable $48+ for 4 courses with the added luxury of having one of the city's more talented bartenders Sugar Ray Ruban (previously of Cufflink Club and Vasco) mix you a stiff one to while away the remaining dreary afternoon.

SAVOUR Wines 2016: reasons to visit Singapore's BIGGEST ever Food and Wine Festival

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If you did patronize the SAVOUR event in May this year (read about my experience over here); you would have known what a huge success it was in combining the prowess of several home-grown culinary talents and their mentors together with the magic of fresh produce from far-away lands all under one roof! Good news! as SAVOUR makes a second comeback this year with an event that piques the interest of wine-savvy members with a larger-than-life wine market housing over 400 labels of wines, specially curated from all over the globe.

Xiao Ya Tou: Mod-Sin Brunch of epic proportions

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Tied of fighting the crazy queue situation at Symmetry on Sunday mornings? Fret not, as their baby sister outlet Xiao Ya Tou dishes out an equally epic Asian brunch on weekends from 9am to 4pm! Opened by Abby Lim, chef-owner of Symmetry; you can expect to find the same league of brunch nosh here, but served up with an ode to Asian and Mod-Sin fare.