Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sundaime Bunji : Eye Opener

Had a voucher and so decided to try out this not-so-new-already Japanese restaurant at Millenia Walk. It serves Sendai food, with specialities like beef tongue and oden. Definitely worth trying for a change of the usual kind of Japanese grilled fish, sushi or ramen. The service there was very good and the foreign waiteress made the effort to explain how to eat, what kind of food we ordered, etc.

The middle is an open kitchen where i think the chefs prepare the oden and sashimi.

I especially like the ambience and the open-air design. Definitely won't freeze while eating.
We ordered their highly recommended dishes:

Gyutan Stew Set ($29.90)
Ox Tongue Stew , Ox Tongue Grill, Salad, Tororo, Salad, Tofu, Ox Tail Soup

The ox tail soup is at the top left hand corner. Surprised to see that it was a clear transparent soup. This had been and can be shared among parents or 2 adults. But I think 1 person can also finish the entire meal.
The Fresh looking salad and Tofu.

The thing that caught our attention was the Tororo. Slimy, gooey, grainy and was salty enough to pair with rice. By the way, that was the way to eat the thing too. And after researching online, Tororo is a Japanese Yam that is eaten raw and fresh. They are grated on the spot. The rice is not just simply pearl rice but mixed with barley, making it a healthier meal.

The fish that looks innocent and we thought we were going to eat it straight away raw. But....

Wohoa....and never did we expect a "live" show. It was an unique and memorable experience to have our fish seared in front of us.
Aburi Shimesaba (Seared Saba) $19.80
Tadaa!!! The final seared fish
The fish was very fresh and tasty.

I ordered the 12 pieces oden with a coupon from a Japanese magazine. There is also the 7 pieces available as well as ala carte. Though the after discounted price is still very expensive,  it was definitely worth ordering this yong-tau-foo lookalike thing. The stock was sweet and tasty....umami? And this was the first dish to be served.
Oden (12 pieces) $45.90 50% off with voucher
There were many different items inside: for eg, the white triangle fish cake at the top,  焼きちくわ roasted fish cake, 大根 radish hidden below the fish cake, etc. The fish cake is not like our 鱼饼,as this one is softer and has less of the fishy smell. I like it very much because the texture is like pillow.

ちくわぶ Browned Rice Cake
Not very nice and does not appear browned to me. Not much taste as the whole thing is made of glutinous rice.

餅入り巾着 The golden satchet 黄金带
Guess what, this tau pok thing is filled with gooey and soft mochi rice cake
たまご
The egg yolk was salty inside! Unbelievably good ....its like the egg we find in ramen, but this one does not look like its been stewed in soy sauce for long yet both the egg white and egg yolk was so bouncy and full of flavour.
Rolled Cabbage
This was a refreshing one as it is crunchy and has a bit of seafood in it. I think it was prawn, similar to our chinese steamed cabbage rolls.

手結び白滝 White Konnyaku Noodles
Does not taste like tang hoon as it is more qq in texture. Like.

いわしのつみれ Sardine Fish Ball
Did not know that it contained fish. The texture is very mushy like sardine in a can, not that kind of chewy fish ball. First time trying this, strange taste but still acceptable.
こんにゃく Konjac
Healthy chewy, hopefully good for the skin.

白石温麺 Shiroishi noodles with Kitsune ($12)
The soup was so good....slightly different from the oden. The noodles are thinner than soba but more chewy.
Kitsune is the strips of tau pok like thingy that soaks up the soup.

Also called the Umen Noodle, which is the dish that represents Shiroshi. It is made from flour and saltwater without using any oils. The noodle has a history of 300 years or more, and is a popular health food that is gentle on the stomach and contains high nutritive values

三陸産 ばくらい ($12.80)
Sanriku's Bakurai Seasoned Shell
I was shocked that for the price of $12.80 , the portion served was just enough to fit an average palm, so i guessed it must be a really rare seafood delicacy. Eaten raw.

Eihire Stingray fin ($12.80)
This one tastes like grilled cuttle fish, but it has more meat and is easier to chew. Very nice char grilled smell and taste very good with the mayonaise.

Yamagata Dada Chamame 山形 だだ茶豆アイス ( $5.90)
A very unique vegetable ice cream but does not taste awkward at all. Because it is some sort like sorbet, it is harder to poke through the scoop even though it does contain a fair amount of cream like any other ice cream. It has a light green colour and is not sweet at all=)

Here's a brief note about chamame:
そんなただものではない味のだだちゃ豆は、夏の終わりが旬。しかもわずかな日数しか収獲できません。
だだちゃ豆は、まず茹でているそばから立ち込める豊かな香りで、美味しさの違いがわかります。そして食べた瞬間、口に広がる深いコクと、噛むほどに味わう豆の甘さで「むむ、ただものじゃない!」と確信していただけます.

Overall, this is a place that serves good quality, unique Japanese cuisine. Both the ambience and service score high marks as well. But of course for the price, just try once will do.

Sandaime Bunji
Millenia Walk Level 1 (next to the open carpark from Conrad)

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