Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
+65 6887 4598
Along one side of the colonial Goodwood Park Hotel, this narrow restaurant has a gorgeous location. We sit on the prettily-lit alfresco deck at what owner-chef Ronnie Chia says is “his” table.
Over several shochus, he tells us his rags-to-riches story: the fatherless 13-year-old urchin who in 1979 begged a job from the chef at the Daimaru department store restaurant, then learnt his trade in Tokyo’s Ginza area. “What I learnt there, I came back home and implemented here, and it works.” It certainly does; Ronnie’s awards include top honours in the World Gourmet Summit’s Asian ethnic division for 2007 and 2008.
The man has an office in Japan and goes there every month to source ingredients: all his fish comes from Tsukiji and Fukuoka fish markets. The menu changes every two weeks according to seasonal availability. Tatsuya is an omakase-style joint, meaning you eat what the chef recommends; you can also order a la carte, or ask for the 10-course kaiseki menu ($165).
Every morsel is exquisite. Tiny luminous squid with bean paste come with steamed broad beans to dip in rock salt; marlin belly has been seared to release the oils and blessed with mustard and chilli; sandfish has been coated with mayonnaise and cod roe before grilling. Indescribably delicious sushi includes raw scallop topped with warm foie gras; the miso soup is enriched with langoustine and egg.
And the name Tatsuya? “Tat” is one of Ronnie’s names – Tatsuya means House of Tat. We’re big fans.