a japanese lunch and tea

6 April was Good Friday and both Joanne and I were free, so we went out for lunch! J suggested a place that she had been to previously. We met in Clarke Quay, somewhere next to the Singapore River. It had just rained and the air was clean and fresh. I felt like I had entered a park full of greenery – completely different from what it is at night.

Then we took a bus from outside Liang Court (one stop, lol) and walked to Chikuwa Tei in River Valley. My very first time dining in that area!

We’d made a reservation but needn’t have bothered as it was past 2 pm when we reached the restaurant and it was barely half full.

They served each of us a complimentary starter!

It was a tiny dish of some sort of stew containing mainly lotus roots, and a bit of carrots, mushrooms and meat. The taste was all right, given that I am no fan of lotus root.

J ordered the chirashi set, which is basically a lot of sashimi on sushi rice. It came with miso soup, pickles (which I stole since J didn’t like them), watermelon and a little empty plate presumably for putting any unwanted shells on.

And a close up for all you sashimi fiends out there! :D

Pretty in pink! (I guess that was why they cooked the prawn as raw ones are grey and would have spoilt the effect!)

I guess J enjoyed it as she finished everything, right down to the last grain. She even ate the prawn even though she doesn’t like prawns, as I told her not to waste food. Haha.

I ordered an unagi set, which came with the same extra stuff as J’s set did.

Even though about 1/6 of the unagi is not in the photo, you can still tell that it was a pretty big piece. The sauce used to cook the unagi is slightly different from other versions I’ve had before – more sweet and yet more savoury. And the unagi went perfectly with fluffy rice. Eating them made me very happy. Yum yum!

One good thing about Chikuwa Tei (other than its delicious food!) is that its menu contains quite a number of items, with prices ranging from about $12 to $25+. There’s something for everyone!

And one bad thing about Chikuwa Tei is the service. I’d checked out online reviews about the place prior to my visit, and many mentioned the poor service. Well, I wouldn’t call the service poor, but it certainly needed improvement! The auntie waitress who served us was kinda curt with us when we took a little more time to decide on what we wanted to order. Also, while we were eating halfway, she suddenly barged in and asked us to settle the bill. We were like…… what?! I guessed this was because they were closing for the afternoon, but still……

Chikuwa Tei
9 Mohamed Sultan Road
#01-01
Singapore 238959
+65 6738 9395

After lunch both of us were rather stuffed so we walked back to Liang Court. There was a Blush! lingerie sale going on in the atrium so I bought a few pieces. :P

Then we went for tea at Tampopo Deli, located in the basement of Liang Court!

J had a cream puff, which she had previously and enjoyed immensely.

I had a fruit scoop cake, which I had heard many good things about. The cake looked very elegant. It consisted of two layers of light spongy cake filed with cream and fruits. This was then covered with light cream and topped with some delicate slices of fruit, whose tartness cut through the cream. I had never really eaten anything like that before. Delicious and really worth the $6!

Strangely enough, despite the lightness of the cake and cream, after finishing the entire thing, I found it rather filling!

Tampopo Deli
177 River Valley Road
#B1-16
Liang Court Shopping Centre
Singapore 179030
+65 6338 7386

NB Took more than two months to blog about this and during that time, Tampopo Deli’s pastry section relocated to a new concept store, Dulcet & Studio (#01-41/42 Liang Court), according to its Facebook page! I should check that place out soon! :D

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