Monday, May 19, 2008

Wasabi Bistro @ Mandarin Oriental

After much waiting and planning, we finally made it to Wasabi Bistro at Mandarin Oriental. It is pretty hard to get everyone together, and in the end only 5 of us could make it. Yuzu soy sauce - a specialty which apparently is only available at Wasabi Bistro.

The yuzu zest really made a difference to the soy sauce. The heady fragrance of the citrusy fruit mixed with the saltiness of soy sauce gave a subtle light taste to the sushi. The Japanese chef came out to dispense the yuzu zest in our soy sauce.
Sashimi for 2-3 persons. Basically I only like salmon and tuna sashimi, the others were ok. We ordered another plate of that. In the end, we decided to just get another order of the sashimi but only salmon :)
Ahi Fillet - seared tuna topped with bonito flakes and some other stuff. This was good too, not overcooked at all.

Dynamite roll - this was spicy even though we requested for medium in the range of spiciness. It was spicy without the dip which reminded us of the chicken rice chili sauce.
I forgot the name of this signature dish. It is something mama roll. Basically it is california roll topped with unagi. Somehow the piece I took didn't really have that much avocado in it.

The signature dish - Kumi's No 1. It is so good that each diner is only allowed 1 order of it.
When you cut it open. Full of crab meat, avocado and what not encased in a creamy sauce. It was super yummy! But it can get a bit jelak after a while.

My fave dish - Australian beef tenderloin in teriyaki sauce. This was medium rare and there was not a hint of blood or pinkiness at all. I like that. The meat was tender and yet has a light beefy taste to it.
Fried oyster roll. This was a disappointment. Not as good as I thought it would be. Then again, maybe by then we were a bit stuffed from the other dishes. We finished almost everthing except this. Left 2 pieces.

Rainbow roll. We ordered 2 of this. I think because we have 5 persons, the portions looked like usual restaurant portion. 1 person's portion is actually 3 pieces of sushi. It was chockful of crabmeat too. Hmmm...somehow I think Sushi Tei rainbow roll is better even though there was not so much of the crabmeat. Or maybe it was because I only had 2-3 pieces in our 2 orders of it :p

Roasted duck - it was ok. Look at the layer of fat :p I'm not really a duck person, so can't really comment much on it.
Another signature dish - scallop on rice. I forgot the name but basically it has scallops and some other seafood? over rice and topped with the same creamy sauce.
It was pretty good too, good thing we shared the dish. It would be too much for 1 or 2 persons.
Zaru soba. I didn't try this but it sure looked good. I had the miso soup which was quite normal.
Garlic fried rice - this was really good! Fragrant and fried so right. All 5 of us shared this and it was just the correct portion for us to get a taste of it.

Shrimp tempura - it went by the number of pieces you requested. Not bad.
One thing which puzzled me was how the plates, cups and bowls did not match at all. Some of us were given the typical Japanese porcelain cups and I got the clear glass for my green tea. And some friends were served iced water in the usual tall glass and some were given goblets. I wonder if it was intentional or they ran out of matching cups, plates and bowls.

We did hear 2 crashes in the 2.5 hours we were there. They were very strict about the last order. Last order is now at 2pm as the restaurant is opened till 230pm, even on a Sunday. The website is not updated.
Black seasame ice cream. Also very nice.
Green tea ice cream - I love this. Creamy green tea taste in a milky smooth texture.The matcha something dessert. Lol. I am bad with remembering the names. Red bean with green tea mochi. This went very well with the green tea ice cream.

The fruit platter for 1 person. Looked nice.

We didn't realize the portion for the dessert was so tiny and since they took a long time to serve desserts, by the time it came, last order was already over, so we couldn't order more ice cream of the red bean thing. We actually ordered dessert around 145pm, the desserts came around 210pm or so.

So one thing to note is that you need to order everything at one shot. Don't wait to see how the portion is, cos they typically take about 20-30mins for the food to be served. And they do know how to judge the portion for your group. The only items we had 2 orders of were the sashimi, beef and rainbow rolls. So actually we only had like 1 piece each of each sushi, tempura, duck, beef for each plate they served us.
But we were still stuffed. This is not a all you can eat buffet type. Instead you pay for good quality Japanese food and get to try many different things too. Some of the other desserts were not available and another signature dish - something papaya.

Service wise, it was hit and miss. It was good when I first went in and I was one of the first few customers but when it started to get busy (not full house, but maybe 80%), the service was almost non-existant. We had to request for water, tea to be topped up. Food took a "long" time to arrive. Good thing we had good company to tide us over. But one thing impressed me, they do remembered what you have ordered. So maybe they were shorthanded in the kitchen?

At the end of the meal, when most guests have left, the wait staff was pretty obliging and patient in helping us take group pictures. I have always like the service at Mandarin Oriental, so I am not particularly annoyed when water and tea was not topped up promptly.

Mandarin Oriental, Level 4
Tel: 6885 3091
Price: $58++, top up $55 for champagne brunch


Camemberu said...

Hey you went there too! I ate too much last time! haha.

Hmm, looks like it's getting crowded now. When I was there, only 2 tables occupied. Service was good then.

Oh papaya motoyaki is their other signature dish.

carolyn said...

Yes! I saw your pictures of Wasabi too and they looked real good! :)Hehe.

A pity the papaya motoyaki was not available and some of the desserts too. There were quite a lot of things that we didn't manage to try, no stomach space plus they took a long time to serve the food.

I guess more people know about Wasabi now.