Mikuni Special: Hina Matsuri or Dolls' Festival

Hina Matsuri, otherwise known as Doll's Day or Girls' Day is a Japanese festival that allows for a rather strange patronage to dolls. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display sets of collectors ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period. From what I gathered from the very animated Chef Moon Kyung Soo of Mikuni (whose excellent culinary antics I was exposed to earlier last year), Doll's day traditionally celebrated on the 3rd March is a day for parents to bestow their well wishes for their daughters coming of age. Starting with a glass of shirozake, a cloudy non-alcoholic sake made from fermented rice... the notion of blessings accompanied, very apt and likewise, very sweet.

Available from the 1 to 10 March, Chef Moon's specially curated lunch bento (priced at $120++) will be available only for lunch service. A deceivingly tiny trio of drawers hiding treasures in every layer, flanked by an entire platter of light-as-air tempura. One can't help but wonder if the meal sets out to challenge ones ability to eat daintily. The pre-requisite skills of nimble chopstick handling crucial in preventing wastage of even the tiniest grain.

The charming foodie adventure kicks off with a starter of Organic Japanese Green salad, Snow Crab, orange, blueberry and black sesame. Delightfully fresh, the segments of orange and tight bursts of blueberry amidst fresh greens and a deluge of sweet goma sauce acts as a palate cleanser, albeit with just the right amount of personality to structure the rest of the meal.

The pompous star drifts out from the kitchen in the form of a gorgeous china printed blue enamel chest of drawers. Each holding a special course as part of the Hina Matsuri special. To first clarify, the boxes are not for you to take home, but hey, feel free to snap as much pictures as you want, as the presentation bedazzles; even more so as you swing out each drawer to reveal the splendid courses. 

The first drawer: Sashimi - Kanpachi sashimi, truffle soy sauce. A delicate dish flecked with large slices of black truffle to reinforce the astringency of the ponzo soy sauce mixture the expertly sliced piecs of kanpachi (amberjack) were bathed in. 

The second: Assorted Appetizers - 8 traditional hassun: grilled miso cod, slow-cooked abalone, eel, octopus, ume boshi plum, asparagus, Japanese pickles and miso egg; proves yet again to be another treasure chest - each and every component tucked snugly away in the drawer rich from braising liquids. Standouts for me, being the eel and grilled miso cod, as well as the allure of biting into a delicately poached quails eggs disguised as a miniature fruit! Chef Moon's fastidious attention to detail is truly astounding.

Last but not least, the Miyazaki Wagyu Beef rice (chirashi don) held in the bottom drawer - is the one to die for. Despite its miniature portioning, the drawer itself holds 70g of premium quality wagyu, perfectly seared on the outside and stained ruby red with specks of white fats marbled thru. Bits and bobs of tamago, ikura and prawns providing a kaleidoscope of textures and temperatures to satiate the diner.

Before you forget, the drawers are preceded by a entire platter of Assorted Tempura - Prawn, Sweet potato, Fish, Pumpkin and Green Bean. Each dressed in a coat as puffy as a cloud, this fits perfectly into the dainty lunch, filling you up nicely to achieve a state of contentment without the extreme food coma that ensues after lunch break.

No meal at Mikuni is complete without desserts (only because the maestro handles them so well!).. we rounded off the meal with Chef Moon's Shizoka Musk Melon and Salted Ice Cream dessert. Contrary to belief, the ice cream isn't actually too salty, the delicate hand of sea salt enhancing some nutty qualities in the anglaise resulting in a seamless tie-in with the sweet musk melon.

This was a hosted meal by the Fairmont team and I would like to thank Chef Moon once again for sporting such good humour when around us bloggers.

Level 3, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
t: 6431 6156

Operating Hours:
Lunch: 12pm - 2 30pm
Dinner: 6 30pm - 10 30pm

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