Araki Orchard – Chef Issey Makes A Return with Kappo Cuisine

I chanced upon Araki on IG and had wanted to try for my birthday. But I decided that was too long a wait so I decided to go on the friend’s birthday instead. lol You know sometimes when you are so excited to try something you cannot wait right? But the friend told me not to have high expectations, so I really went with no expectations. Located at Orchard Plaza, the place felt like a hole in the well. Even the front has no signage and you press the bell to enter

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8 counter seats and private rooms available

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They have no sake menu. You go to the fridge and pick what you like. I’m no sake expert so I told them to recommend one with the budget given

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And this was the first bottle of the night. It was a really nice bottle of Junmai Daiginjo towards the sweeter side (yet not too sweet) and it gets easier to drink as the time passed. Unfortunately, it was also the last bottle they had 😦

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Shirawaka

Before I started, the friend kept reminding me he’s no Sushi chef, he’s a Kappo chef so that I won’t be so disappointed. To be honest, the first piece of sushi was debatable. The rice felt a little detached and you can’t taste much of the vinegar. And the fish was a little fatty in my opinion

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Kinki Fish Carpaccio

Starting the first appetiser of the night, the grilled Kinki fish was good. Love the well executed crispy fish skin especially

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Ika

For the second piece of sushi, the rice felt a little softer here but I thought the quality of the ika itself was pretty good

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Smoked Mackerel w Sesame Sauce & Chilli Oil

I love the combination of flavours here. From the smokiness of the fish to the fragrance of the sesame sauce and ending with the chilli oil for the contrast, I thought the whole dish came really well together

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Kampachi

You can really taste the vinegar in here. It was so distinct that I was just thoroughly enjoying how the vinegar filled up my entire mouth

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Sorry the camera choose to focus on the chef instead of the fish instead 😉

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Kinmedai (from Chiba) Shabu Shabu with Homemade Ponzu Sauce

Oh wow, I have not tasted something like this before. The fish was done really well. You can taste the perfect balance of the cooked and the raw side of the fish and the ponzu sauce was amazing

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Nodoguro Handroll Style

The grilled nodoguro was really good with a nice smokiness to it. The handroll sushi also made it in a way you can also taste the sweetness of the fish and topping with some wasabi to give it a little kick

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Ankimo from Yoichi Hokkaido with Pepper Leaf

There was a nice fragrance coming from the pepper leaf when they presented this dish and having this together with the ankimo was a burst of flavours

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Puffer Fish Karaage with Puffer Fish Skin Jelly

Really love this dish. The puffer fish was nicely done without being too rubbery and the jelly was amazing

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Chutoro from Ehime

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Chef Issey decided to treat us to something special for the night

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Wild-caught Bluefin tuna

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Serving the best part – Otoro!

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My goodness, this texture was so different. It was melt-in-the-mouth kind of good

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Tachiuo with Kombu Sauce

This grilled tachiuo was equally good. Served in a broth of kombu sauce, it was rich with an umami flavour

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Chef Issey told us it’s icecream time and took out all his uni boxes

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And he proceeded to make his uni ice cream for us

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Bafun Uni Ice cream

 I can have another of this. If you are an uni fan, you would love this too

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So much that he went to make a special order of uni icecream – a mini one

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So tiny it couldn’t stay together. lol

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Abalone Truffle Claypot Rice

Moving on to the last dish of the night

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Served with Abalone Liver Uni Sauce

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This was so good everyone had second portions of it. The rice was filled with fragrance of the abalone and truffle, abalone was done just right and the liver sauce was rich and unforgettable

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Strawberries from Tokushima and Apples from Hokkaido

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Desserts was a simple dish of apples and strawberries which in my opinion, was nothing to rave about :/

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I felt that it is difficult to find good Kappo restaurants in Singapore (that can be on par with those in Japan). On the whole, I had a good meal here. His sushi can be a little more consistent but it was better towards the last few sushi pieces. I felt his cooked food and grilled fish dishes were stellar and I would come back for them. His menu is based on seasonal items and cost $250 per pax and I also hope he can stay at Orchard plaza for a long time

UPDATE:

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Araki Orchard

150 Orchard Rd, #04-23

Orchard Plaza

Singapore 238841

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