I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful grilled fish is. When I try to imagine the flavours of the fish slowly being brought out in the heating process, its soft flesh sizzling, my mouth starts to water.
So when I heard that Keisuke Takeda’s 19th restaurant (yes you read that right) specialises in authentic Japanese-style grilled fish ‘sumiyaki’ AND also has a free flow salad bar, I just had to check it out.
The problem was, and usually is for all his eateries, the queue. So, I tried to give it a while since its opening on 1 April 2019 for the hype to die down a little since I didn’t really want to wait in line.
And in June and July, I ate there thrice. Yay! The perks of going alone and at off peak hours, because there’s still a line at normal dinner time.
Here are the fish dishes I’ve tried and my thoughts on these and the free flow salad bar:
Charcoal Grilled (ok sorry this is kinda redundant because they all are) Miso Marinated Black Cod (S$21.90++)
Cod is one of my favourite fishes to eat, because it’s so smooth, oily, fatty and tender.
While this version was flavourful and tender enough, I kind of still prefer this fish to be steamed as the oils seem to be brought out better in this method of cooking. I haven’t tried Nobu’s famous Miso Cod so I can’t say for that though!
This dish was enjoyable but since there are other really good grilled fish here at a lower price point I might not order this again unless I’m craving cod.
Charcoal Grilled Salmon Belly (S$16.90++)
The meat was so tender and silky and slightly sweet, the skin crispy and rich in flavour of the fish and possibly the binchotan charcoal used for grilling it. I really liked this!
Charcoal Grilled Dried Atka Mackerel (S$14.90++)
I found this one the most value-for-money as the fish was a little larger than the other two and also pretty meaty, moist and tasty.
Flavour-wise it is a bit lighter than the others I tried previously, but was still really enjoyable, especially with the many sauces provided at the salad bar and with the rice (so creamy and delicious when you mix in the half boiled egg mmm).
Overall I found the fish portions here a little on the small side, but as it’s served with rice, miso soup and a sous vide egg (don’t forget the unlimited ‘salad’), its definitely enough to give most people a full satisfying meal.
Another thing to note – the rice they serve isn’t just any normal rice – it’s traditional Japanese rice too, and specially steamed for each order in a small iron pot.
It was moist and fluffy and went really well with the various grilled fishes and half boiled egg.
And so the free flow salad or side dishes (as they call it) bar… wow!
What a spread of fresh vegetables (salad leaves, broccoli, long beans, cherry tomatoes, corn etc) and marinated salads (I really like the soba, potato salad and seaweed with white fungus).
Totally delicious and mostly healthy tasting (the potato salad is probably not so healthy but it sure tastes good), I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Oh did I mention yet, that this marvelous meal also comes with dessert?
Nothing fancy but very, very delicious – the coffee jelly with sweet condensed cream at the salad bar with its bouncy full texture and strong complementary flavours, really gives a wonderful finish to the dinner.
Ambience, service-wise, they were generally all quite pleasant. The restaurant is decked out in warm tones and comfortable enough seats and the staff were polite and friendly. Nothing to complain about!To me, this is a place I could go back to repeatedly for a good, comforting and satisfying meal at pretty affordable prices. I guess most of the Keisuke restaurants are kind of that type of place though, aren’t they?
60 Paya Lebar Road #B1-16 Paya Lebar Square Singapore 409051
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm / 5.30pm to 10.00pm.
Tel: 6241 8588