dashi master marusaya, boat quay.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

this place has been on my to-try list for the longest time- so glad i've finally crossed it off!

came by for lunch at about two, and just barely made their last order timing (about 2.15). spent some time deciding what to order off their lunch menu, even though it was quite compact.

eventually decided on the fish gozen set ($28), because it came with a variety of items. was torn between this and the sukiyaki udon set, but too much carbs in the sukiyaki udon put me off (onigiri + udon is just overkill).

at two plus on a monday afternoon, the place was quiet, with just two other tables occupied, one with japanese people- always a good sign.

my food came after a brief wait. i was seated below the skylight, which gave gorgeous (if slightly uneven) natural lighting.

fish stew and cold udon (choice of hot or cold), along with a variety of sides- braised octopus, spinach, pickles, chawanmushi and pudding. the katsuobushi, which they are known for, was freshly shaved on top of the udon and spinach in front of me by the waiter- a bit of theatrics.

had the udon first. didn't expect it to be so good, but it was. it was perfectly al dente, with a bite- exactly the way i like it, and exactly the way japanese udon should be. none of that soggy nonsense that makes me dislike udon. in fact, it brought me back to japan, where i remember loving the udon (and i hardly ever love udon). the chilled sauce was just the right amount of salty, and they'd given enough to coat the udon. off to an excellent start.

the braised octopus deserves a mention. i've never had octopus quite like this. it'd soaked up all the stock so it was flavoursome, very much unlike what i usually associate with octopus. the texture, however, was the most surprising- it was soft, and not chewy at all.

the fish stew was pretty good too. the fish had been cooked until it was almost melt-in-the-mouth, with a deep, umami flavour. the radish that came with it was delicious as well, having soaked up all the stock. wish there were more! the

the chawanmushi came with roe on top, and surprised me with its crunch (water chestnuts). texture was smooth, really really smooth.

i finished the meal and was surprised by how full i was. portions seemed on the small side, but it was just right. ended on a sweet note with the caramel pudding. didn't expect much from it, because it was after all a dessert that came along with a set, but it surprised me with how good it was. smooth and creamy, with a salty-sweet hit from the caramel sauce, i finished it easily.

loved the place and the food. thought was obviously put into the preparation of all the items. simple, but simple things are the most difficult to do well.

dashi master marusaya
86 robertson quay

reading menus is one of my hobbies.