Lunch nowadays are usually eaten in front of my laptop as workload gets heavier towards the end of the year because of events planning. But more than everything else, I believe work-life balance is of utmost important. A successful career is not a parameter of one's worth in life. Though busy, I still enjoy clearing my annual leave by taking some afternoons off to go food indulging or at least try to leave the office during lunch hour for a decent meal. Clear the work, clear my head and fill up the tummy - I did all of that when I walked over to Triple One Somerset for a Japanese meal at Fukuichi Japanese Dining Restaurant.
Fukuichi is not entirely new to me as I've dined there a couple of times since it opened its doors at level 2 of Triple One Somerset more than two years ago. But it somehow fell out of my places-to-go radar after the initial phase, for reasons I myself can't fathom too. For one, the location is excellent, being right next to Somerset mrt and just 5 minutes walk away from my office. Two, the ambience is tranquil and perfect for a quiet meal. Three, the food is decent at wallet-friendly prices. Maybe I need more memory space to keep Fukuichi in check. Maybe I need to be less easily tempted by the new eateries that keep sprouting up.
I remember the lunch bento sets and dons were great value-for-money and satisfying, but we ventured beyond that for a taste of Fukuichi's extensive range of delicacies. A good starter to order would be the Kani Tofu ($6). What I thought to be a standard combination of cold beancurd with century egg sauce revealed itself to be a more luxurious version with crab meat added. The marriage of texture and flavors was a very refreshing one which I enjoyed tremendously. Sashimi lovers will love the Sashimi Moriawase ($45), an assortment of fresh seafood that is specially air-flown straight from Shizuoka, Japan.
Helmed by Executive Chef John Phua who has over 20 years of Japanese culinary experience, Fukuichi also threw up some dishes which were of novelty surprises to me. I wondered what that strange looking bi-colored dish was, before the menu description told me it's Nasu Dengaku ($16), which is grilled eggplant with miso sauce. While it's always good to encourage my taste bud to be more adventurous and acceptable to unique offerings, I sometimes pity it and let it take a rest after a few bites. The overly mushy texture doesn't really appeal, making the next dish of Crispy Sushi Roll seemed even more of a safe refuge than ever. You can't go much wrong with rice roll, right?
Deep fried items are always a safe bet too. Even though the Ebi Almond Tempura ($22) was a tad too overwhelming with the excessively generous coat of almond flakes unfortunately masking the natural sweetness of the prawn, it was still easy to finish off. The chef's recommendation of Gyuniku Fagura Sauce ($35) was definitely a pleaser. Cubes of excellently grilled beef were juicy to bite and made notches more decadent with a smothering of goose liver sauce. Worth a re-ordering.
Fukuichi occupies an area which is able to accommodate 200 patrons and is equipped with a Sushi Bar, Tatami Room, VIP Room and an Sake Bar nestled in an outdoor terrace overlooking a tree-lined boulevard, which I believe will come to life when night falls. A great place to dine for business associates, couples and shoppers. It has been a rediscovery of a forgotten dining destination. I will take note to come here more often if I can.
Thanks to Daniel Ang for bringing me along and his lovely company.
Fukuichi Japanese Dining
Address: Triple One Somerset, 111 Somerset Road #02-11/12, Singapore 238164
Contact: +65 62715586 / 64728269
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun Lunch 12pm-3pm / Dinner 6pm-12midnight (last order at 10.30pm)