Welcome to Azmaya 東屋, the newly opened authentic Japanese Shabu Shabu restaurant at Robertson Quay!
Guess what! Azmaya is having an opening special of 50% off everything on the menu! We're talking about authentic shabu shabu, wagyu beef and premium ingredients specially selected from Japan here! No wonder the place was already very crowded considering that 6.30pm is a tad early for dinner. Everyone knows a great deal when they see it and are automatically drawn to it, like us!
Amaya is opened by a group of young guys from the land of the rising sun. After living in Singapore for some time, they decided to open a restaurant to bring us the locals, as well as their fellow Japanese countrymen the taste of authentic Japanese Shabu Shabu and delicious yet affordable wagyu beef from their homeland. With the large number of Japanese expatriates converging in Robertson Quay, choosing this area as the venue for their venture seems to be a natural choice. Indeed, on the evening of my visit, almost 80% of the customers were Japanese guys! Their presence are felt everywhere in the restaurant which boast a main dining hall, outdoor terrace, a bar counter as well as an area which can be partitioned off for private dining parties.
Here I am with two of the young entrepreneurs, Masui-san (left) and Tsuchiya-san (right). Both are very friendly despite the demanding dinner crowd. I can feel their passion and sincerity in wanting to serve to us, the customers, the very best that Azmaya have to offer. Oh, and you can place your orders with Tsuchiya-san in Mandarin! He speaks the language fluently after spending 6 years in Shanghai.
This being a authentic shabu shabu restaurant, the A5 Wagyu Loin Shabu Shabu Set ($40) and Pork Shabu Shabu Set ($24) is a must-order! Shabu Shabu is basically a Japanese hot pot with thinly sliced meat and other ingredients cooked in a shallow pot at the dining table. Diners swish a slice of meat in the boiling soup, like having it swim in the soup. It's said that the name, shabu shabu, came from this swishing action.
We enjoyed the plate of wagyu beef which has a nice, evenly distributed marbling. Though wagyu is high in fat, the content of the fat differs from other types of beef. It tends to be higher in monounsaturated fat so although it is well marbled, the fat content is actually healthier. What better
One very important thing when cooking beef is never, never, never overcook it. Just swish it a few times in the boiling broth and savour it at its succulent best. The worst thing you can do is to ruin the wagyu by overcooking it. Enjoy the meat on its own, or with the accompanying citrusy ponzu or goma (sesame) sauce.
Both wagyu and pork shabu shabu sets comes with a generous servings of vegetables, mushrooms, glass noodles and udon. Our order is served with the traditional Konbu Dashi (kelp broth). It is very clear and light tasting which allows the natural flavor of the meat to come through. As I was lost looking at the vast variety of food the menu has to offer, I didn't notice that I can add $3 to change the normal konbu based soup to Korean Style Spicy Soup, Chilli Oil Salt Stamina Soup or something very different, the unique Hokkaido Snow Dome Soup!
As introduced on the Azmaya website, the Hokkaido Snow Dome soup is a broth of soy milk with plenty of meringue. From what I can see from the picture, the white fluffy meringue top is not unlike the pristine white snow of Hokkaido, very true to its namesake! Also called the Meringue Pot, it is very popular in Tokyo and has been featured in numerous magazines and TV. Sound interesting right? I would definitely want to try the Hokkaido Snow Dome Soup when I next visit.
We ordered the shabu shabu set because we wanted to try the other items on the menu, but if you have enough tummy space, I would strongly recommend the Pork Shabu Shabu Buffet ($24 per pax) or Pork & A5 Wagyu Loin Shabu Shabu Buffet ($90 per pax) which gives you unlimited servings of the pork and beef for 2 hours! Woohoo! I can almost hear all the wagyu lovers rejoicing at this.
Dinner actually started off with this bowl of Obihiro Buta Don ($14) while waiting for the rest of my friends to come. The slices of tender pork goes very well with the tasty sauce which is further enhanced with the sweetness of the caramelized onions. Served over warm, fluffy white Japanese rice, this is comfort max to my growling tummy.
Azmaya also serves A5 Wagyu Loin BBQ Set ($40), where diners can cook the meat themselves, teppanyaki style. However, it would be available only in the near future as it's not ready in time for the opening. So I guess the next best thing would be this A5 Wagyu Saikoro Steak ($25) served on a sizzling hot plate, if you're craving for some grilled meaty fatty goodness.
We also ordered a number of side dishes which includes this plate of Gyoza ($9). The pan fried dumpling here is competently executed and pleased the table of hungry tummies.
The Scallops and Asparagus Tempura ($13) is a tad oily, but the fresh and juicy scallops made up for it.
The Potato Salad ($8) came in form of a pair of cute rabbits, which immediately transforms the ordinary dish into something so fun to eat.
No question to what I will definitely order ~ Nagoya-style Tebasaki Deep fried Chicken Wings ($10)! Seasoned heavily with shichimi togarashi (seven flavor chilli pepper), the thin crispy skin and juicy meat is a delight!
It was a great evening of laughter and fun with Alena, Joey, Doris and Danny. I realised we didn't take a group photo, most probably because we're too busy enjoying the food to remember.
For you who have yet to visit the place, do it soon because they are now having an opening fair of 50% off all their food from 27th March to 2nd April. Yes! 50% discount!! Wait no longer!
Address: 30 Robertson Quay #01-12/13, Singapore 238251
Contact: +65 6737 6863
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun 5pm - 1am