Goodwood Park Hotel
So after having heard so many good reviews about Tatsuya, I am actually quite excited to have a meal at that place. I know it will not be like Shinji (and indeed it isn’t) and so I did not have unreasonably high expectations but still I have to say that I wasn’t impressed nor slightly disappointed at all. It just felt like another good but not mind blowing Japanese restaurant which you can get almost anywhere in Singapore.
We got seats at the sushi bar counter and it usually is a place that I would love to dine at but not at Tatsuya really. I think they are trying to create the boisterous kitchen scene (or maybe they are just too busy) that you would experience at a busy tsukiji fish market stall but there is just too much action going on. Loud voices shouted across the long sushi bar counter and worse still, it isn’t in Japanese. This is rather distracting to me and I can’t really have a relaxing meal with my dining companion. Shinji on the other hand, is able to not have chefs crossing each other work station and a chef is in charge of a few customers in front of him. Though the setting may be quiet and stressful initially, especially at my first visit to Shinji, I find it more relaxing than a super noisy sushi counter. That is what I feel a more upmarket Japanese place should be like. Quiet and zen. Though finding them disorganised, they are still able to present their food nicely.
So since this is our first time here, we got the lunch set and it was decently delicious. The sashimi set is fresh definitely while the egg has a pretty tatsuya imprinted onto it. The tempura was well fried, flaky and crispy and didn’t turn soggy even though I finished it last while the unagi on top of the unagi rice is soft and moist. Everything tasted what it should taste like and there isn’t anything interesting. The more outstanding thing is actually the chawanmushi which has yuzu flakes on top of it. Makes it really refreshing and it’s a different take on chawanmushi I felt. But when I saw the yuzu used, you can immediately tell that it’s not the type of top grade used by Shinji. This lunch bento costs $45.
Then I got the miso cod which was really fresh and well prepared again. Really smooth meat and you can slice the meat so easily. I love miso cod and will always order when I see one. Then again, it’s very similar to what you can get at other places actually. $28.
Someone beside us ordered quite a few sushi and I thought they look exquisite and quite inviting. The only problem I felt was that quite a lot of condiments were used, such as flavoured mayonnaise, aburi, et cetera. This may make the sushi more flavourful but definitely less upmarket as it plays down the natural flavour of your raw fish. Not being offending but they actually reminded me of koh grill and sushi bar and even our common chain Itacho but just in a more plush setting. This place doesn’t serve the traditional, clean yet distinctly exciting edo mae sushi which is the type of sushi that would really remind me of zen Japan.
Then again, it’s still a very good place for lunch as the bento set is reasonably priced and food is decent. But service wise, it’s just a little too rushed and the kimono clad waitresses are also quite flustered at times while the chefs are even more flustered I thought. I was worried that they may cut their fingers. Would I visit this place again? I think I need a sushi bar that is more zen. Shinji is beckoning…
Verdict: An above average – good restaurant.