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Japanese restaurants: Shabu-shabu gets a European twist at Sakurazaka in Bukit Timah

By: Verne Maree

Sakurazaka is a cosy and low-lit showcase for authentic shabu-shabu – but with European influences. Executive chef Masashi Horiuchi presides over several venerable joints of highly marbled wagyu beef. (We last met him at neighbouring Shelter in the Woods, where he puts his subtle Japanese spin on a menu of meaty delights.)
 

Sakurazaka's shabu-shabu
Our Bouillabaisse Set ($105 for two), from a choice of three sets, comes with a traditional aga dashi stock and a bouillabaisse that’s of course ideal for the seafood course – tiger prawns, white clams, scallops, red snapper, squid, mussels and prawn balls. To the Japanese wagyu Holstein F1crossbreed striploin that’s part of the set, you could add on a bit of à la carte Joshu waygu ($45 for 100g) or Japanese rice-fed beef ($25) as we did, or Western items such as foie gras ($14) or mozzarella wontons ($9). A flask or two of chilled sake ($40) is a must, too.

As a concluding highlight, sticky rice, beaten egg and grated cheese are stirred into the now-concentrated bouillabaisse and transformed into the most glorious risotto in the universe. Dessert is the shaved-ice confection kakigori – one is made with matcha, Hokkaido milk and mango, the other with port, red wine jelly and grapefruit confit with a dash of condensed milk. Remarkable!

24 Greenwood Avenue
6463 0333

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