Ah the glorious, renowned Teppei that many have sought to visit.
It is kind of strange how a seat at a restaurant could be so coveted such that one has to wake up at 7plus in the morning on a Saturday to book slots online, and then wait for a phone call over the next few hours to confirm your reservation. Or wait a few months otherwise, that’s crazy too.
But still we do it, and for me, I only got a slot thanks to my friend V’s ability to wake up early on a weekend morning.
And the experience was nothing short of marvellous.
From fish sperm to fried grasshopper, to a mystery brown ball on a stick and a stalk of popped corn of sorts on a stalk, the delicious meal was also peppered with a healthy dose of mystery and excitement.
The journey begin with an appetizer platter with a variety of hot and cold items. Kelp, seafood and edamame were some of the ingredients, and my favourite was the fried fish, with a lovely crunch on the skin. Didn’t blow me away yet, but was fairly good.
By the way, that glass is not full of beer, but nice, cold free flow green tea!
This was followed by a plate of very juicy, oily looking variety of sashimi (pictured in the collage), including a slice of otoro (fatty tuna) and my favourite salmon and swordfish. Deliciously sweet.
You may call me ‘swaku’ or in English, unsophisticated, but I’ve honestly never tried fish sperm before. And not entirely sure that I even wanted to, before this dish of chawanmusi (Japanese steamed egg) was placed in front of me.
It had an interesting texture, sort of mildly powdery but still firm, and tasted a little bit like roe but with a lighter flavour.
Then came a sushi roll with fresh tuna and some tempura bits, which was tasty and crisp – rather enjoyable. And after it, a somewhat forgettable grilled fish which was alright but nothing spectacular.
Next was a foie gras amuse bouche of sorts, which was super melt-in-your-mouth.
And then, a yam and fish stew (pictured in the collage), which was beautiful – especially the yam, which was nice and soft, soaked in a flavourful soy sauce.
The chefs presented their marvellous meats to us before cooking and man were they beautiful.
Before we got to the meat though, we got some fun little in-betweens – a stalk of some sort of popped wheat or grain (pictured in the collage), and a strange looking brown ball on a stick. What it was I am still not sure, but perhaps it was a play on Chinese wheat sticky candy.
After this, we were given the pan-fried (wagyu I believe) beef (pictured in the collage) with garlic, which was nice, but I couldn’t help thinking that it would be more delicious rare or even just more medium rare.
But anyway. then came sushi! I love sushi. Sushi is awesome.
This was served to each of us on a spoon, which I liked too – easy to eat and makes for good presentation. The whelk/clam thing was slightly sweet with a nice crunch and the sea urchin on top was creamy and rich.
And after this came the fried grasshoppers (pictured in the collage), which was quite a surprise… I was a bit apprehensive about eating it, but it really just tasted like any fried things – crispy, crunchy and oily (only slightly though).
After that, there were a few more dishes and a choice of a ‘main course’ of rice or noodles – which is the differentiating factor for the SGD$60 or SGD$80 set (we took the latter). The second one comes with more premium ingredients.
So I’ve pretty much covered most of the dishes served and think I shall stop now. An experience at Teppei is way better live than in words, anyway.
From what I hear, it used to be better and more reasonably priced when it was newer (I’m a bit late in trying it) and because of this I had fairly high expectations – which I think weren’t fully met.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the creative, fun and quirky meal and the heartwarming, cheeky service of the chefs who I thought really put pride in their work.
Wouldn’t mind going back should I ever manage to get a seat again, but would make sure to put aside more time for it next time (each meal is a 2-3 hour affair)!
#01-18, Orchid Hotel
1 Tras Link
Tel: +65 6222 7363
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/teppeirestaurant
Open daily from 12.00 to 2.30pm (lunch) and 6.00 to 10.30pm (dinner).