2 hours! 22 dishes! I had my first ever Omakase experience at Teppei Japanese Restaurant! Much has been raved about Teppei which is nestled at Orchid Hotel near Tanjong Pagar mrt station. How marvelous their food is. How great value their omakase dinner is. So much so that its popularity had our reservation in waiting for 4 months before it was finally our turn to plonk our bums on one of the restaurant's 21-counter seats. 4 months! This is the first time I've to be held in anticipation for so long to have a meal lol. Much to my happiness, it was worth the wait :D
The man behind Teppei is none other than Yamashita Teppei himself, who brings us his style of cuisine with flavors from his hometown in Fukuoka, Japan. It was a joy to watch him and his team in action as they went scuttling around in the tiny open kitchen, performing their respective duties with much vigor.
There was this moment when my eyes were intently focused on the deft skills of Chef Teppei as he was preparing the sushi, when he caught me by surprise by pretending to serve the little morsel to me before quickly retrieving his hand. Aiyoh he must have caught my gluttonous look, but how can he toy with it? Haha what a cheekily charming chef! I like! LOL
If you don't already know, "Omakase" means "I'll leave it to you". The selection of food is entrusted to the chef who will present a series of dishes (based on seasonal availability) at a set price. Much of the excitement is in expecting the unexpected, you must come prepared to eat things which you might not have tried before. But if you do not take raw food, beef, shellfish, or any other food, just let the server at Teppei know and they will accommodate.
Even though the price point had gone up slightly to $50, $60 and $80, it still remains to be at an affordable range compared to most Japanese restaurants where forking out a 3-digit sum is the norm. The highest price point at Teppei will get you the most number of dishes and premium indulgence like Otoro and Wagyu Beef. It was my natural choice after eagerly waiting for so long. Even though I wasn't really hungry that evening, I wanna eat all Teppei has to offer!
Chef Teppei started us with appetizers such as Salad, Radish and Sashimi which were refreshingly light on the tastebud, before moving on to heavier deep-fried delights and main courses. There were also palate cleansers like Gingko Nut and Tomato in between, and finally rounding off our omakase experience with dessert.
All the food were served in non-stop sequence, I felt like I was on a exhilarating whirlwind rollercoaster ride! While most were safe, basic dishes which we are familiar with, there were more than a couple which utterly blown me away with their simple deliciousness.
Some of my favourites of the evening included the Sushi Handroll. It look unassuming yet surprised with the addition of fried tempura bits which brought forth delightful bursts of crunchiness in every bite. I usually do not care much for Raw Oyster, but the freshness of this aphrodisiac coupled with subtle spiciness of miso chilli made it a most slurp-worthy treat.
Making me equally desirous for more was the Scallop & Uni, a heavenly pairing of sweetness and luscious creaminess. The Otoro was all of melting succulence at its best, and the Pufferfish was a dangerous liaison deep-fried into harmless goodness for us to devour in whole. Providing much warmth and comfort is the Clam Soup in its delish clear broth.
Quality ingredients executed to excellence! おいしい !!!
I conquered all of whatever Chef Teppei fed me that evening! But we did have a choice when it came to main course and dessert. I chose the Spicy Fried Rice with Sunny-Side-Egg over Sashimi Rice because of the egg lover in me. Generously portioned, the fried rice though delicious, was a tad too heavy after the built-up from all the earlier courses. The sashimi rice, on the other hand, are dainty pretty treats which looked easy to finish in a spoonful (literally).
Ice cream is lastly served, the marking of an end to our wondrous omaskase adventure.
Ala-carte menu is served during lunch and come dinner, it's not uncommon to see customers ordering Donburi and enjoying the rice bowl dish right outside the restaurant. I would love to experience that someday too!
For you who wanna have a go at the omakase, don't be disheartened that reservations are already full till April next year, because if you 'Like' Teppei's facebook page where information such as last minute seats availability are shared, you might just get lucky and skip the long wait. (Why no one told me about this earlier??)
It was an evening of scrumptious food with lovely company, while soaking in the jovial and bustling atmosphere of Teppei. Japanese music played throughout in the background, sometimes lively, sometimes sentimental. "あなたに会いたくて... もう一度会いたくて..." awww... such simple lyrics, but it tugged at my heartstrings that night. The whole experience was nothing short of awesome.
I'm a very satisfied PinkyPiggu!
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
Address: Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, #01-18, Singapore 078867
Contact: +65 62227363
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11.45am-3pm / Sat 12.15pm-3pm / Not available on Sundays
Dinner: 1st seating 6.30pm-8.20pm / 2nd seating 8.40pm-11pm / Closed at 11pm everyday and on selected Sundays