I know I usually post about cheap and good hawker food and maybe that’s why you followed my blog. Today’s recommendation to you is admittedly a big jump in price from what I usually post, but I just want to clarify that more than just price, I recommend food to eat based on its value.
I have eaten at Igokochi for its Autumn, Winter and now, Spring, Omakase and I have to say that this Spring Omakase is really my favourite menu for now. I’m looking forward so much to Summer Omakase because Chef Ivan gave a hint that Summer would be about Japanese fruits and vegetables.
Anyway, today I’m going to write about this excellent Spring menu that I am willing to part my hard-earned money with because it’s worth every cent!
1. Truffle Somen
Oh my god. I can’t believe how this starter startled me (hahaha ok lame).
I’ve written before how I am generally very tired of truffle dishes because most truffle dishes are really badly done. The truffle either overwhelms the dish or tastes so faint that you really wonder if you’ve ordered a truffle dish.
Also, I don’t like somen.
So, how excellent is this dish to have me actually loving it so much despite it being made up of 2 ingredients I don’t fancy?!
This dish is very refreshing and light. Really perfect for a starter dish. There’s a perfect balance of umami and sweetness from the kelp broth. The truffle is not at all overpowering and is really the magic to this elegant dish. This is actually the dish which makes me want to come back again. It’s that good!
2. Kokaku Sumiso
To be honest, this dish is very nice. The baby turnip is well marinated with miso vinaigrette and disintegrates almost immediately in your mouth. The firefly squids are seasonal and very delicious. I don’t like to eat squid but I’m actually saying these are delicious!!!
However, my dining companion and I agreed that the first dish was so good that this dish felt a little underwhelming.
3. Sashimi – 3 types
The sashimi that came up next brought our hopes up about the next few dishes to come. Everything on this plate was so good. What is new here for me is the saba. This is the first time I’m eating saba that is just lightly torched like this. How confident Igokochi is in the freshness of their saba to serve it semi-raw like this! Really delightful selection of sashimi. Also, I noticed that their menu wrote 3 types of sashimi, but we were served 4 different sashimi? Wa really very value-for-money haha!
4. Asari Bata with Nasu
Next up is my favourite segment – (agemono) fried food!!!
This dish is really very very very very good. I want to eat it again!!!
This dish consists of a hill of littleneck clams fried in garlic and butter. Below the heap of clams is a well-done aubergine tempura that is almost creamy when you bite through the thin batter.
The pretty red wisps on top of the dish is not just pretty garnish. I urge you to eat it with your clams and tempura. They are actually fried red chili and gives this dish a very good kick when eaten together. I couldn’t help but break into a smile and nod at the creativity, generosity and tastiness of this dish. I truly feel thankful to be able to try such a well-done dish at only $108++…and we are only halfway through!
5. Haru Yasai with Sawara
The highlight of this dish appeared to be the Spanish Mackerel, which is the best kind of mackerel in Japan and is very popular to be served in Omakase during Spring time where the meat is leaner.
This fish tasted so fresh and the whole dish is made even better with the selection of the spring vegetables that come with it. The sweet potato and gingko nut tempura beneath added a welcoming sweetness to the savoury seaweed broth. You also get to try a Spring-time vegetable-like mountain herb from Japan in this dish. It has a very pretty spiral shape and a great story from Chef Ivan but that’s about it. Haha. I’m sorry I don’t know how to appreciate this herb. Maybe other real foodies would appreciate this rare seasonal herb!
6. Assorted Seasonal Sushi
Yay! I love sushi time for Igokochi Omakase menu!!! Every sushi they offer is my favourite.
We were especially spoilt that day by Chef Ivan who served us the most expensive and fatty part of a tuna – Otoro!!! Omggggg. Usually we are served Chutoro which is already delicious, but Otoro is another level higher. It is extremely oily and fatty that when you put it on your tongue, the fish just melts like ice cream. I like how the serving order of the sushi really builds up bit by bit, with Otoro being the crescendo of the sushi set.
We were served a thick and sweet slab of Hotate on sushi rice as the first sushi, followed by a sweet and chewy amberjack sushi, and then this insane Otoro sushi, which can only be followed by the even better Bafun uni and egg roe with sushi rice. The Bafun uni never fails to make me want to cry. How can it contain the taste of the entire ocean?! It’s very, very good. I was one with the ocean when I was eating this. Finally, the good ol’ never-disappointing Anago sushi tied everything together, ending this sushi affair with good memories to reminisce on while you await the next seasonal Omakase menu to surprise you once again.
7. Ume Ara Shiru
From here onwards, it’s like a cool-down after an intense, thrilling ride.
It took me quite some time to want to drink this soup because I was busy savouring and locking the taste of the Otoro and Uni in my head. I knew that once I drank this soup, the throbbing of my awakened tastebuds would stop.
Nothing much to say about this soup except that it was refreshing and spring-like because of the spring plum in it.
8. Seasonal Dessert
I usually look forward to dessert but not this time because dessert means that the Omakase experience was about to end.
We were served Yuzu sorbet in a chilled glass, a refreshing end to the Spring menu!
I really enjoyed this Spring menu and I can’t wait for their Summer menu!!! I will be back for sure!!! A lot of my friends like to go to ‘authentic’ Japanese restaurants and be served by a Japanese chef, but honestly, I think the Omakase dining experience is really best when you can chat with the chef and learn about what you are eating! Unless you can speak Japanese, I think you are better off dining at Igokochi.
All you Westies, please come and support this wonderful hideout in the West so that we can all continue having such good quality food at affordable prices!!! <3
Igokochi started, believing that good food need not be at exorbitant prices. I really hope they will keep to their belief even in the future! Till then, I would keep recommending my friends to give this place a go! Chef Ivan is really a gem to this restaurant and I can totally understand now why he has customers that follow him wherever he goes!
Igokochi Dining Bar, NEWest
Address: 1 W Coast Dr, #01-98/99, Singapore 128020
Telephone Number: +65 6963 9430
Nearest MRT Station: Clementi (Take the free shuttle bus from Exit D.)
Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm,
Lunch 11am to 2pm,
Dinner 5pm to 10pm,
Happy Hour 11am to 8pm,