If you think about it, Japanese and Italian cuisine have lots in common. Both are all about seasonal ingredients, attention to detail, and simple flavours layered in interesting ways. So it makes sense that Japanese-Italian cuisine is a thing, with a fair share of eateries here in Singapore specialising in this match made in gastronomic heaven. Here are three to try this weekend.
If you’re new to Japanese-Italian cuisine, a great place to start is Miryoku Bistro at Kallang Leisure Park. This charming eatery has a newly-launched menu of affordable dishes made with premium ingredients.
Standouts include the Teriyaki Chicken Pizza (above), $14.90, which features succulent chicken on a home-made pizza base, topped with teriyaki and tomato sauce.
Then there’s the Beef Monacchia (above), $18.90—juicy ribeye beef steak wrapped in a blanket of crisp puff pastry with umami wine sauce served on the side.
Another one for beef lovers, the Premium Donburi (above), $18.90, features juicy Koro Koro Beef Steak slices sitting atop fragrant Hokkaido rice. Top up $3 to add a helping of scrumptious pan-seared foie gras (a no-brainer!).
Don’t leave without trying the DIY Ferris Wheel Delights, which showcases eight canapes of your choice, including Aburi Hotate with Truffle Paste, Shoyu Ikura, Salmon Mentai, Salmon Tobiko, Negitoro, Chirashi, Ebi Cocktail and Tamago, served on nori cups imported from Tokyo. This one’s made for the ‘gram!
For something a little more upscale, head to Caffé B at 64 Club Street. The two-storey space has a bar area on the ground floor that’s great for a casual drinks sesh with your pals, and a refined yet laid-back dining area upstairs for more intimate occasions.
Highlights from the menu include Espelette Octopus Salad (above), $16—octopus tentacles marinated in peppers, lemon, herbs and burnt capsicum puree—the truffle oil-tossed “Golden” Angel Hair Cold Pasta topped with sea urchin, seaweed and chive, $32, and the Risotto Nero drizzled with chilli oil, squid ink and buttered parmesan cheese, $18.
For a heartier meal, go for the Lamb Rack with cauliflower purée and rosemary and eggplant caviar, $28, or the Wagyu al Porto (above), $46, which is served with creamy mashed potato, sautéed baby spinach, and finely-chopped mushrooms.
End your meal on a sweet note with the Pineapple Compote & Pistachio (above), $12—fresh pineapple with pistachio gelato and sponge cake.
For the ultimate Japanese-Italian experience, you’ve got to try the omakase menu at Hilton hotel’s Il Cielo.
“Omakase” literally means “I will leave it to you”, so you’re essentially letting the chef take you on a carefully planned culinary journey. The dining experience starts at $158 for seven courses.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a say at all on the type of dishes served. Upon confirming your reservation, you’re invited to suggest a particular ingredient, drink, dish, or even a special memory that the menu can be planned around. Then Chef Yohhei Sasaki (above), who spent years training in some of the top Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, will take over and work his magic.
No two meals are the same, but be prepared to be blown away by both the striking combination of flavours you’ll experience and the striking plating. In our visit, we were especially impressed by the Deep Fried Japanese Scampi wrapped in Capellini Pasta, and the Charcoal crust Tajima Wagyu cutlet with Beef consommé and Wasabi Pesto Sauce.
Chef Yohhei himself will be serving the dishes, and you’re encouraged to ask him about anything – from the type of ingredients and techniques he uses to what kind of wine pairs best with a particular dish. Trust us – it’ll be an experience to remember.