Saturday, January 1, 2011

Akari, Japanese Dining and Bar by Tomo Izakaya - Some hit some miss

For New Year's Eve, we wanted to find a place near to the Marina Bay for food and then proceed to enjoy the fireworks for the New Year Countdown. Marina Bay Link Mall seemed like a nice place that was near to the bay and had several F&B outlets to choose from. We chose to visit Akari which still had several tables waiting for us (only a party of 5 with us) even though it was a last minute reservation. The rest of the more established restaurants were "full house" with folks waiting to catch the fireworks. Akari was unfortunately a "hit and miss" experience even though it started out quite impressive. 

I ordered the New Year's Eve Special Menu which had the following dishes.

Appetizer : Lily Bulb Sushi, Maguro Avocado with Miso Sauce, Fig Tempura, Squid Pickles with Cream Cheese, Simmered Sweet Potato with Orange. This appetizer started with an impressive bash of  assorted flavors. The lily bulb sushi was sour but refreshing and appetizing. The Maguro Avocado tasted creamy and and had good texture when eaten at one go with the miso sauce. The fig tempura was quite something. It tasted like the sticky Chinese New Year cake "年糕". Squid Pickles and Cream Cheese was a first for me. Chewy squid with spicy pickles and then the rich cream cheese was great for my taste buds. How can I dislike Japanese sweet potato. I preferred it with butter though. HIT!

Starters : Tuna Belly with Miso Sauce served with Caviar. Both William and I who had the same course agreed that this was delicious. Blow torched tuna belly tasted balanced with the miso sauce that was of the right savory touch. HIT!

Grilled Dish : Grilled Marinated Yellowtail with Japanese Citrus "Yuzu" sauce with Grapefruit. This yellowtail was well grilled but I thought it had a fishy smell, but William thought it was OK. I would prefer the grilling to be done with more salt though. Wonder if I'm incline to more salty taste nowadays.

Steamed Dish : Steamed Scallop Chawanmushi. The chawanmushi base was good but the scallop was overcooked. It was a bit difficult to munch on. MISS.

Deep Fried Dish : Deep Fried Sea Eel with Japanese Fish Stock. The deep sea eel was quite delicious especially when the horse radish was added to each bite. Have to eat this dish fast before the eel turned too soggy in the stock. 

Noodle : Small "One-bite" sea urchin sushi with Soba Noodle. The sea urchin sushi was not too bad but the soba was a bit over obnoxious. There were sliced mutton inside the soba which had a very strong smell and that was too overwhelming. MISS!

Dessert : Home Made Green Tea Pudding with Red Bean. This is Just OK (no photos) and there were no other choice of desserts although there were more in the menu.

HY ordered the Sushi Kaiseki course. I didn't try her sashimi and sushi platter that came with the course. Here's some of the highlights of her course

Sashimi Platter. Didn't try this so no comments.

Sushi Platter. I had only the uni and unagi sushi and HY, the rest of it. It didn't taste as fresh as we like.

Fish Soup. This fish soup was warm, clear, light and tasty. The fish was tender. I had almost all of the fish as HY was almost done after the sashimi and sushi platter.

Lotus root ball in broth. It was a bit bland but apart from that not too bad.

Grilled Gindara. I thought this was good. Without extra flair, this was simplicity doing all the work.

This was some "interestingly" goey seaweed. I tried a few mouthful and that's it. Nobody else touch it.

Some a la carte dishes that we ordered .....

Soki Tatsuta Age - Deep Fried Simmered Tender Pork Rib Bone. The pork rib bone was greasy and I thought it'll taste better if more salt's added. The salad at the side was refreshing as the salad dressing was really great. 

This Kurobuta Misoyaki looked really good but that was too much sake added to the grill that made it too overwhelming to taste the goodness of the Kurobuta. MISS

We were at the restaurant from 9:30pm till 11:45pm and then strolled out slowly towards the Marina Bay. Although, dinner at Akari wasn't satisfying, we manage to get some standing spot just a few seconds walk to Marina Boulevard for a view of some spectacular fireworks. Happy New Year!

8A Marina Boulevard
Marina Bay Link Mall #01-02
Tel : +65 6634 0100

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