© 2020 All-Rights Reserved Weekender Group Pte Ltd

Special summer flavours at Nadaman

Kaiseki ryouri gets a refreshing interpretation at one of Singapore’s best Japanese restaurants

Each dish exquisitely reflected the refreshing taste, texture and flavours of the season
Each dish exquisitely reflected the refreshing taste, texture and flavours of the season

Classics never go out of style and one of Singapore’s grand dames of Japanese fine dining, Nadaman, is no exception.
With summer in full swing, my dining companions and I tried the special summer kaiseki ryouri (from $165 for dinner) at the Shangri-La Singapore restaurant on a recent visit. True to Nadaman’s reputation, each dish exquisitely reflected the refreshing taste, texture and flavours of the season.

Dining in the restaurant was also an elegant affair. At the main dining hall, where we sat, each table is nicely spaced apart and surrounded by a Zen affair of smooth stone pebbles and greenery.

There is also a sushi bar and a teppanyaki counter, for those who prefer to sit a little closer to the chefs.

Velvety Tofu Goodness

Hamo, karei and chuu-toro sashimi
Hamo, karei and chuu-toro sashimi

Our first course, the Hokkaido tofu, set the standard for the rest of the meal and was a hit with everyone. The bean curd, infused with the sweetness of uni (sea urchin) was luxurious, yet mellow. Its creaminess went extremely well with the crunchy and refreshing okra (ladies’ fingers).

Next up was the sashimi dish, comprising hamo (pike conger), karei (flounder) and chuu-toro (medium-fatty tuna). Of the three, the karei made the deepest impression. Sliced from a live fish, the white, translucent sashimi (which was paired with a delicate ponzu sauce) had a firm, snappy bite and a sweet, clean flavour.

The chuu-toro’s texture was also impeccable with its velvety smoothness.

Edible Fish Scales

The yakimono, or grilled item, was also a winner. Amabi (tilefish) was first deep-fried before being grilled, resulting in a crispy, yet juicy, fish.

But the best part of the dish was not the succulent meat. It was the generous sprinkling of fish scales on top of the fish. Yes, you read that right — fish scales. Crispy and deep-fried to perfection, the edible scales had a delightfully light crunch that was almost surreal.

This savoury dish went well with its accompaniments, which included a juicy tomato, fresh, sweet corn and a thick bite-sized chunk of abalone.

The Wagyu, which came as part of the second-last course was excellent too. It arrived almost rare, with only the edges of the meat pan-fried, showing off the beef’s brilliant crimson red and slight marbling. Each slice, marinated simply with garlic salt, was juicy and flavourful.

Unfortunately, dessert was not this kaiseki’s strongest suit. After the elaborate meal, I was expecting an equally sweet and well-thought-out ending to the meal. However, only cut fruit (two slices of Japanese pears and a Kyoho grape) was served.

Nonetheless, the natural sweetness of the fruit shone through and was the perfect way to round up the lavish meal.

Nadaman, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Rd