Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Satsuma Shochu Dining Bar

Our failed quest for Okinawa food at Mimigar led us to this dark and rather nostalgic izakaya called Satsuma Shochu, which is of course known for its shochu ( a distilled alcoholic beverage made of sweet potato, rice, barley, etc). It brands itself as the first and only shochu specialty restaurant in Singapore. The menu  is a fuss free booklet with no pictures and the items are extensive for an izakaya. 

Once settled down, the vegetables stick bowl with saikyo miso (sweet miso) was served which would have been rejected if we had known each had a hefty price tag of $5.
But if we were to ignore this, all of the food here were exceptionally satisfying and it was not surprising that the place is yet another one with numerous good reviews and recommendations.
The Tebasaki, grilled chicken wings, ($7 per order of 2 skewers) are smaller than those commonly seen here but were tender juicy with a tang of lemon.

Other grilled fish items include the Aji, horse mackerel, which arrived fresh on that day and the fish was recommended to be served in two ways.
 While half of it was grilled with salt, the rest was served as sashimi.
Something which is unlikely to be served at an izakaya will be this Spicy Mentaiko Spaghetti ($15) as the cream is not overpoweringly rich and there is an aftertaste  of spice from the Mentaiko.
 
The Kaki Saikyo Miso ( Oyster with miso) is another interesting way to have your oysters sweet yet smokily grilled.
 
And strangely, it was the Mentaiko dishes here that outshined the rest. The Mentaiko Tofu Gratin($12) came in darker shades of pink and had the mild spicy kick that makes it a level higher than the ones by Ajinomori (read post here) and Namjya Monjya (read post here).
 
What surprised us was this plate of big deep fried balls topped with mayonnaise. This is actually Okonomiyaki ($6 per 2 skewers) in dark golden batter that was by far one of the crunchiest fried food.
 
 For more spicy food, the Beef and Kimchi hotpot ($18) was a hearty portion with raw egg yolk. The kimchi based soup, which was choked of mushrooms and other vegetables, tasted sweeter than it should. Do leave the raw pinkish beef slices in the pot to be cooked longer for better flavour.
Sadly, the sweet potato dessert, Daigaku Imo was not available but the Hot Yuzu Tea ($3) that was gently sweetened with honey was a nice substitute to end the meal on a warm note.
In short, the food here especially the Yakitori, Mentaiko spaghetti and the Okonomiyaki balls are all listed as their signature dishes and indeed they were memorable. Unfortunately,  we did not try their wide varieties of shochu since none of us know how to appreciate sake . 
Satsuma Shochu Dining Bar
The Gallery Hotel (near Robertson Quay)


 

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