Ichigo Ichie – Kappo Cuisine by Chef Eno at Intercontinental Robertson Quay

I heard of Ichigo Ichie from a friend who was looking at Kappo cuisines in Singapore. There are not many in fact. Chef Akane Eno left the pop-up restaurant at Kimura and opened her own place at Intercontinental Robertson Quay. I was honestly quite excited to give it a try cos my memories of Kappo cuisine in Kyoto was superb and also, for a female Japanese chef to make a mark in the high-end Japanese scene is not an easy feat. They have 2 options for lunch: Akebono ($128) and the Shinonome ($188) and we went for the latter cos the former sounded like we might not feel full after eating. Lunch consisted of Assorted Starters (with Sashimi), Seasonal Appetiser, Ichigo Ichie Signature 1 (Ebi Somen), Premium Hot Dish, Ichigo Ichie Signature 2 (Sauteed Awabi), Donabe Rice, Dessert & Japanese Fruits and they served everyone together at the start, so don’t be late!

C2DB0E57-BE6F-4BF9-95D5-5385B3390737_1_105_c

ED1D568C-8415-4AE6-8482-266EB89642FB_1_105_c

F55C57B5-8EB3-4FC0-9B31-250F405D2A9D_1_105_c

Seasonal Appetiser which came prettily in a box

Consisting of Sujiko, Sashimi – Kampachi, Sawara, Maguro, Halibut, Fried Fish with Edamame and Beancurd Skin with Dashi Jelly

The one that I enjoyed the most was the beancurd skin with dashi jelly. The thin layers of beancurd skin was infused with the sweet dashi stock and ended off with some dessert-like jelly. The sujiko was pretty good too. Imported from Hokkaido, Chef Eno added her own special sauce to it to create a more balanced flavour

AD2884CA-4B76-45E8-B1F6-19137759FA7A_1_105_c

Asari Chawanmushi with Special Miso Paste from Yamagata

We really like the chawanmushi. Even though it was just steamed egg custard and you probably get this dish everywhere else, what made it so different was the Asari clams that made it so sweet. We thought the Asari broth in the chawanmushi was outstanding

E511EAD4-F71D-494C-89A6-AD325CCE0352_1_105_c

Ebi Somen with Prawn Broth, Komburi, Vegetable Caviar and Hot Yuzu Paste

Known as one of their signature dishes, we were excited to give it a try. After one mouthful, there was a moment of silence and question marks going through our head. So we took another bite and arrived at the same conclusion – what was so signature about this? The friend said sadly (normal) prawn mee tasted better. Lol oops

IMG_3090

Watching the chef at work

84D0A139-65D0-4EE1-818D-DD2B61A70D7E_1_105_c

I find it interesting to watch chefs at work when you sit at counter seats. I think that’s the whole main point of sitting there too. And when we saw he was preparing the 2 bowls, the friend said to me: I hope this is not for us. If it is, I’m taking the meat and you are having the vegetables. LOL #somuchlove

4BE1D843-70FC-4C45-B1E8-5DD47B452F48_1_105_c

Moving on to prepare the next dish, it looked like he was scooping puff/bao from afar and then pouring a bowl of broth over it. Our curiosity was piped

IMG_3091

D7CD4CB2-1AFE-4632-A37D-3BBEF9BF73BF_1_105_c

Uni with Sea Urchin Dumpling, Kani Suace and Bafun Uni

AF436759-2D9C-448D-B8F7-A73D602DB1B0_1_105_c

And there you have it! You know you would be excited when you see anything uni-related and this dish looked really stunning. Though I think it looked much better than it tasted. I mean, I don’t think it was bad.. The uni dumpling was interesting. It tasted like fishcake but with uni hidden inside it. The kani sauce was delicious, rich with a strong crab taste to it. But pouring the broth over good quality uni seemed like a mis-step. I felt like uni should just be eaten as it was, to savour the goodness and richness of the uni itself

19581C36-D367-48E1-A0FA-C23FC9685206_1_105_c

Abalone, Eggplant, Rice Puff with Seaweed, Awabi Liver Sauce

Signature dish #2. We hoped it was better than the first one. But it felt like it didn’t quite reach our expectations. The abalone was cooked well though a little chewy, the awabi sauce was flavourful though a little on the heavier side and the rice puffs felt strange to be thrown into this combination. Each element tasted decent on its own but somehow it didn’t come together very well when you put them together, which was a little disappointing

E54A0104-2CC7-47A8-BF70-9BF205BE19D2_1_105_c

Claypot Rice with Burdock, Edamame and Unagi

Each party had their own pot and ours came like that. The fragrance filled our noses when the lid was removed and the presentation looked appetizing

2E846629-846A-4AA1-83D3-01E46F7AB7B6_1_105_c

I say the claypot rice was quite tasty, filled with a herbal taste deriving from the burdock. Though both of us left those roots untouched, even the pickles too. Perhaps the use of burdock was essential to give the claypot rice this distinct flavor but if there was an option to use something else, we would vote for it – 2 hands up

234EF6D5-8AF0-4F9D-AB0C-4C207E235655_1_105_c

Fruits

Came in a petite size. I think it was meant as a palate cleanser

672F3B0B-353F-4616-A21F-7C71B64EFF22_1_105_c

Truffle Icecream

Okay.. this was really interesting. There was a distinct taste of truffle yet you felt like you were having a strong vanilla icecream. The taste of truffle was so strong it still lingered in our mouth after we left. The friend concluded that truffle should just be left in savouries. Lol

If I were to conclude this meal in two words, it would be.. okay only. It could have been better if some of elements better co-exist but I give credit for its outstanding dashi stock and broth (which is well, very important in Japanese cuisine). But in general, the meal didn’t blow me away for I probably expected much more

Ichigo Ichie

1 Nanson Rd, #02-07A

Intercontinental, Robertson Quay, Singapore 238909

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s