When Katherine Boo, the Marketing Manager from the EN Group, invited me for a food-tasting, I was wondering what the restaurant would offer. Being a Japanese food lover, I was thrilled to be invited to taste the Japanese fusion cuisine offered by En Dining. I told myself that if I was going to review the cuisine and be a critic on the restaurant, I would have to be unbiased towards what I was going to be served at the restaurant.
En Dining at Alocossia did not disappoint. They actually served Authentic Okinawan Cuisine and fusion Japanese food. I did not know it was an authentic Okinawan restaurant. Hence, I was elated because I was schooled at the University of The Ryukyus in Okinawa on a scholarship.
When I reached the restaurant, I was very parched and the servers gave me an endless drinks’ list and I picked the non-alcoholic Peach Fuzz, which was a lovely peach drink that could quench your thirst in an instant. They also had a good spread of alcoholic cocktails which I did not attempt to try.
I looked around the restaurant and it brought back so much memories. As college students, we loved going to an to the Izakaya and sit around drinking our favourite Awamori, the original Okinawan wine which had a high level of alcohol content. The traditional interior designs of the restaurant and the wood used to create and construct the restaurant were not only ingenious; it brought me back to Okinawa.
I looked at the menu and the first dish which caught my attention was the Unagi Kabayaki. I told the server to give me one set. The dish was well-presented and not to mention delectable. The chef used the right amount of fire to barbeque the eel and spread the eel with sufficient Unagi sauce which was made of soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine) and sugar. A good Unagi chef would know how much heat to use and when was the best time to brush the Unagi sauce during barbeque to present an appetizing and delightful Unagi Kabayaki dish. To add, I was not at my best table manners because I devoured the dish.
The second dish was the 5 kinds of sashimi which was extremely appetizing. I seemed to be starved for Japanese food. I finished most of the sashimi pieces. The fresh and saccharine taste of the fresh maguro and salmon still lingered in my mind.
The third dish which I ordered was a healthy salad called the Imaiyu Salad. The dish would be a pleasant dish for someone who was not very hungry and wanted a salad with fresh-cut sashimi and maguro. The next dish which was served was the signature dish called the kani nabe (crab steamboat). The soup was a little spicy but unquestionably tasty. They served the nabe or steamboat with fresh vegetable, oysters, scallops and not to mention the Premium Queen Crab which was imported from Russia.
Katherine also ordered a fusion plate of Mentaiko Spaghetti and I had 2 small plates of it. Mentaiko is the marinated roe of pollock and cod which was a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Mentaiko originated from Myeongran Jeot of Korean cuisine and was introduced to Japan after the Russo-Japanese War. Undoubtedly, I would recommend this En Dining’s Mentaiko Spaghetti.
By the time, I finished all the vegetables from the steamboat, I was so full. I could hardly eat anything else. En Dining fed me with too much of their exquisite and tasty cuisine. I told Katherine that I was too full for anything else. They even wanted to serve dessert which I firmly rejected.
Although I rejected the dessert, the company whom I was with, ordered two sets of desserts and though they looked very tempting, my stomach felt like it was going to burst and I did not endeavor to try the desserts. They served 2 kinds of dessert, one of which was the Yuzu Sherbet and the other was the tofu cheesecake. I asked Katherine how much did it cost for so much food and she replied it was just S$68++ per person. I was pleasantly surprised because I thought it would cost more than S$120++ per person.
Overall, the restaurant had a very good ambience with soft Okinawan music playing in the background. More importantly, the restaurant served delicious Japanese fusion cuisine and the price was affordable. In addition, En Dining was also the pioneer in bringing in the authentic Awamori and started a sake bar. The only setback of the whole experience was that the location of the restaurant. The cab driver lost his way while ferrying me to the restaurant. Nonetheless, it was a splendid dining experience.
In conclusion, Singaporeans will travel for food and I perceive the restaurant will do very well with its extensive drinks list and scrumptious cuisine.
Locations of En Dining is listed can be found on their webisite at http://www.endiningbars.com/.