Chijmes near City Hall MRT
Yes, I was at the Japan alley at Chijmes again and this is the third restaurant that left me impressed as well, the first two being shirokiya and Hakata Ikkousha. Chijmes has really done a great job in getting the better Japanese restaurants in. Upon stepping into Tozaemon, I felt so relaxed as it felt totally like the famous Maisen in Japan where you have the sake bar in front of you and small details like the choice of furniture was also carefully thought of to give it a very zen Japanese feel. Tonkatsu set meals are very reasonably priced at about $25 each with refillable cabbage, just like in Japan.
We got the potato salad for $5.80 which tasted very good! It’s a very unique bowl of salad which I have never tasted in other Japanese restaurants before. My perception of it as just a bowl of sweet mash is made perfect with mayo tuna, carrots and cucumber topped with fragrant strips of bacon! Very delicious potato salad over here!
The Aburi mentaiko ($9.80) was however not the favourite for us. I think you would like it if you love mentaiko. Nothing against its cooking but just a matter of preference. It was a bit squishy for us which kinda makes me cringe. But at least now I know how a whole piece of mentaiko would taste like!
And here comes my favourite miso paste tonkatsu! Miso has been widely used in many fusion dishes as it gives a heavier, fragrant taste to your food. And over here it is paired heavenly with the slab of juicy crispy pork! It is similar to the taste of nasu dengaku as the same kind of miso paste is used.
And some of the special tonkatsu is this chilli one that isn’t for the faint-hearted. It is not that spicy like sichuan mala but you will get a slightly above average burning sensation after you have it. Delicious though as you munch into the huge piece of succulent pork.
And the seafood tonkatsu with fish fillet, oyster and prawns that tasted equally delicious and crispy. The fish had a good texture and was definitely fresh while the prawn somehow reminded me of something I may have at dim sum. Delicious!
And this macha parfait unlike most other Japanese sweet restaurants, isn’t overly sweet. Just nice with springy glutinous rice balls, creamy vanilla and matcha ice cream with some red bean goodness. The memorable bit about this dessert is its unique addition of almond cream or custard and I loved that. $9.80.
So, my experience at this tonkatsu restaurant was perfect I felt. It definitely performed well in its tonkatsu, the miso one completely won me over while its starters and desserts were also surprisingly outstanding. So, if you want to have a perfect place for dinner for all starters, mains and dessert, this is a place I would recommend! Very reasonably priced, it’s only $42 per person when the final bill arrived for the three of us! Service is pretty good too and they are prompt in refilling our iced green tea!
Verdict: An excellent restaurant