The Fairmont Hotel, 80 Bras Basah Road
+65 6431 6156
It’s not quite cherry-blossom time, but what are a few weeks between thirsty diners and a friendly restaurant manager? Nobuhiko san recommends a sakura martini – mostly gin, with a drop of vermouth for the sake of form, a drop of grenadine for pinkness, and a preserved blossom for seasonal cheer.
Like good chefs everywhere, the three at Inagiku develop their menus around the best seasonal ingredients. Our trio of appetisers by executive chef Shinji Morihari includes slow-steamed abalone, little tomatoes in a sesame dressing, and a leafy green vegetable; each is a miniature picture framed in exquisite pottery.
Sashimi follows – salmon, and line-caught tuna belly so marbled that it’s barely pink. It’s line-caught, chef Kenji Fuji tells us, to avoid the bruising that can happen in the nets.
From the quality of the Kagoshima beef used in the teppanyaki, it seems that Fuji san knows his beef as well as his fish. The highlight of the tempura course is a bitter plant called fukinotou that is said to embody the essence of springtime. While outstanding, chef Kazuhiro Fukuhara’s chirashi sushi is almost beyond our capacity –we over-indulged in his excellent sashimi three courses ago. Elegantly, the meal ends with muskmelon and strawberries that could be straight from the Garden of Eden.
How good is the service? Our waitress notices during the first course that Roy is left-handed, and from then on, lays all his utensils accordingly.