Discover Hokkaido with Keyaki’s Seasonal Kaiseki Menus From Feb 6 to Mar 6

Best known for showcasing quality produce that highlights its natural flavors, Chef Hiroshi Ishii has designed three menus (from $160) exclusively available from February 6 to March 6, that boasts of Hokkaido’s rich and bountiful winter produce. We opted for the Hokkai menu ($190); an eight-course menu that takes one on a culinary journey around the Hokkaido prefecture.

Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore

Keyaki - Main Entrance - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Keyaki Sushi Bar Chef - Review by Gourmet Adventures

A highlight on the menu is Japanese delicacy shirako (cod milt) tofu; its crisp, wrinkled skin, smooth and plasticky against the tongue, melting into a soft creaminess akin to custard—an acquired taste one might either find repulsive, or delectable. Thankfully, we found ourselves in view of the latter.

Whetting our appetites further is the sashimi—we especially enjoyed the freshness of the sweet, sticky botan ebi (shrimp), and hokkigai (surf clam) that had such biting tenacity it fought with polite reservation for seconds.

Grilled Hokkaido scallop with egg yolk emulsion on Keyaki’s Hokkai menu

Keyaki Hotate Motoyaki (Grilled Hokkaido Scallop with Shell Top Emulsion Egg Yolk) - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Prized in Japan for its succulent meat, the kinki fish is lightly sprinkled with salt and grilled, flaunting its au naturel sweetness and extremely crisp fleshly meat highlighted by a hint of smoke.

Grilled kinki fish on Keyaki’s Hokkai menu

Keyaki Hokkai Course-Grilled Kinki Fish and Snow Crab Tempura - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Less promising is the snow crab tempura; stripped away of its fresh sweetness, its delicate fragrance overpowered by the unctuous albeit crunchy tempura batter. While it makes a good tempura, the fresh crustacean could be put to better use sans deep fried batter.

More fundamentally sound is the sushi—an item on the menu Keyaki never goes wrong with—uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe). The fresh mollusc is luxuriously creamy with a salty brininess that clings to the palate, tasting like the sea less its fishiness. Its partner in crime is equally delicious, contending against the creaminess of the former with glistening balls of salty, fishiness that pop in the mouth, leaving behind a trail of delicate brininess.

Comfortingly heartwarming is the ishikari nabe (salmon miso hot pot) that extracts the sweetness of salmon, seasonal vegetables and Hokkaido potatoes by simmering in a miso broth, shedding light on how this dish came to bring solace in winter.

Keyaki’s Hokkai menu ($190 for eight courses)

Hokkaido Promotion - Keyaki Hokkai Prix Fixe Menu - Review by Gourmet Adventures

The meal comes to a close with yubari melon jelly from Hokkaido. It’s subtly sweet and refreshing—nothing fancy, but too much of a good thing can make one sick.

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Feb 6-Mar 6; Hokkai menu; $190 for eight courses. Keyaki, 4/F Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Blvd., 6826-8240.

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Categories: Business Lunches, CBD, Communal Dining, Dining, Family friendly, Fine Dining, Japanese, Restaurants, Reviews

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