Katsuya at East Coast Road
I'd been meaning to try Katsuya, a tonkatsu restaurant along East Coast Road, for the longest time but only got around to doing so recently. I'm glad I did because this is quite a gem!Maguro Yamakake @ S$6.50 Grated Mountain Yam with Tuna (you need to wait for this dish)
One of my favourite Japanese appetizers is Maguro Yamakake Natto (Raw Tuna with grated raw wild mountain yam and fermented soybeans), which isn't usually available in this combination on many restaurant menus in Singapore. For some reason that I have yet to find out, Yamaimo (wild mountain yam) and Natto (fermented soybeans) are rarely combined together in a dish although many places are happy to oblige when requested. Perhaps it's because both ingredients are an acquired taste and aren't very popular amongst the locals due to their funky flavour and texture. The white substance under the dark red, iron-rich chunks of Tuna (Maguro) is grated mountain yam (Yamaimo). Not a popular ingredient amongst many of my friends as they do not like the sticky and slimey texture. Yamaimo is bland on its own but when some soy sauce and wasabi is mixed into it, the nutrient-rich paste reveals a slight sweetness. Perfect for coating thick chunks of raw tuna with. Many places do not add Shiso leaves into the dish and simply top it with Nori (toasted seaweed). I love the peppery flavour of Shiso leaves so I was thrilled to find it in this dish. The combination of smoky umami-rich Nori flakes, peppery Shiso, savoury soy sauce, meaty Maguro and sweet and slightly crunchy Yamaimo was divine! This is a Must-Try!Ume Natto @ S$4 Fermented Soybeans with Sour Plum
I didn't use to be a fan of Natto, a pungent and sticky mass of fermented soybeans. I developed a taste for it when I read a few years ago that Natto is a probiotic-rich food that would help to ease the discomfort in my sensitive stomach. Ume (pickled Japanese plum) is also one of my favourite ingredients and I especially love to take comfort in a steaming hot bowl of Ume Ochazuke (Pickled Plum with rice and a light dashi or green tea broth) when I'm feeling under the weather. The combination of both ingredients resulted in a more pungent mix but I got used to it pretty quickly and enjoyed eating it with steamed rice. This is worth a try if you love Ume and Natto.Rosu Katsu Set @ S$21 Pork Loin Tonkatsu with rice, Red Bonito Miso Soup, pickles & fruit
We were rushing to watch Captain America after dinner, so I snapped a quick shot of my limited edition Captain America figurine with my set dinner before digging in.
Not for the health conscious, the Rosu Katsu comes with a layer of fat. Good fat, as far as I'm concerned, because the pork loin was succulent. The breadcrumbs coating the meat was crisp and had a lovely crunch when bitten into. A Must-Try!Buta Kakuni @ S$6 Pork Belly simmered in Soya Sauce
Katsuya's Buta Kakuni (stewed pork belly) didn't disappoint either. Tender chunks of meat broke away when we prodded the thick pork belly cubes with our chopsticks. The sauce was flavourful without being too salty or sweet. W loved it so much, he ordered a portion for himself and ate it with rice. Best eaten while hot, this is worth a try if you like stewed pork belly.
Located across the street from 112 Katong and Katong Village (where parking is often a pain in the posterior), Katsuya was not packed on the Friday evening when we visited. A pity because they serve good quality food at reasonable prices. I look forward to my next visit and to try some of the other varieties of Tonkatsu on the menu.Katsuya 85 East Coast Road Singapore 428787 Phone: +65 6344 8183 / 9656 8183 Web: www.katsuya.com.sg Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Kodawari-Katsuya Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (including Public Holiday): 12 pm to 3 pm & 6 pm to 10 pm (Last order 30 minutes before closing) Closed on Monday