Singapore’s beloved sushi chef opens his third restaurant04 September, 2012 by Chad
For years Chef Peter has personally set the standard for affordable, quality Japanese food in Singapore, first with Wasabi Tei at Far East Plaza, then Chikuwa Tei at Boat Quay. Last month, the executive chef opened his third restaurant, Mitsuba By Yurine Japanese Restaurant, at Clarke Quay’s The Central.
We noticed during a recent visit to Chikuwa Tei that Chef Peter had been missing and it turned out that he was busy preparing for this new project. The new restaurant is located surprisingly close by, on the 3rd floor of The Central. Mitsuba doesn’t appear as large as his previous restaurant, but gives off a much nicer, up class ambiance. It is also strangely missing a “Tei” in its name.
Apart from one other table, we were the only guests here this evening. Over at the counter was none other than Chef Peter, who once again was in an uncharacteristically good mood. Guess he doesn’t like crowds either. Perhaps it was the recency of its opening, but it looked like not many had caught on to its existence yet. Either that or they were turned away by the seemingly posh look of the restaurant from the outside.
It should come as a surprise to most then that the prices over at Mitsuba had retained their affordability, while providing an expanded, slightly different menu from its predecessors. We decided to play it safe this time round though.
Chef Peter’s Chirashizushi makes a glorious return, though with slight differences. There are now 4 different chirashi sets to choose from, with the old fave being the cheapest mixed set on the menu. The rest feature different and additional cuts. There are also individual dons (rice bowls) for particular cuts, which are great for when you want a specific indulgence.
Oddly though, the fish is now served separately from the rice. This is perhaps to cater to local whims and the dish is only barely manages to pass off as chirashizushi since it’s served in a bento box with the meats stacked on top. Personally, I tend to prefer the diced variety of the chirashizushi so this change takes some of the enjoyment out of appreciating the dish as a whole, but quality wise, it remains unchanged. On the plus side, there’s a much more appropriate amount of rice served now.
My company for this evening wanted me to point out this interesting dessert served to us instead of the typical complementary slices of watermelon. Each of these dumplings actually contained a mixture of ground azuki and white bean pastes encased inside a starchy shell.
As with the previous two restaurants, you can bet that Mitsuba will become another top option when it comes to Japanese dining in Singapore. Once again, the upgrade means prices might be marginally higher (about 5-10%) but the expanded menu, better setting and much more accessible location make it worth it.
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