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Chef-Owner Nakahara Seita pioneers Tokyo-Italian dining in Singapore
Once the executive chef of Enoteca L’Operetta at Boat Quay, Chef Seita has returned to the food scene as the chef-owner of Terra Tokyo Italian.
Not to be confused with Japanese Italian fusion, Tokyo-Italian dining remains faithful to Italian cuisine by not using any Japanese techniques. Instead the Japanese aspect of the food comes from using prime ingredients from Japan.
As a long time fan and patron of Chef Seita’s work, I was excited to see what his new 36-seat space had to offer.
I opted for the $168++ set, the middle option of the Omakase sets available. The three sets are priced at $128++, $168++ and $208++ and all feature six courses including dessert but differ in terms of the quality of ingredients used.
For an additional $88++, diners can also enjoy a wine paring with each dish as recommended by Terra’s Sommelier, Sho.
Let the Chef decide
The meal began with Wild Scampi Carpaccio from Shizuoka prefecture topped with carviar. Chef Seita’s familiarity with his ingredients, which he sources personally from Japan, allows him to expertly cook each dish in a way that let’s the ingredients sing. The wild scampi was seared shell side down for 30 seconds, any longer and it would have lost its succulency and sweetness.
Don’t get me wrong, everything I had at Terra was amazingly delicious but the Baked Hokkaido Scallop with gratin, mushrooms, asparagus and herb butter had to be my favourite of the night.
The mild red pepper puree helped the sweetness of the scallop and vegetables shine. The baked gratin also provided a toothsome crunch with each mouthful.
Chef Seita’s signature dish is his Hokkaido Sea Urchin Spaghetti with Yuzu and Bottarga which showcases the best the ocean has to offer. The bottarga, or Japanese mullet roe, is cured for 2 over weeks and gives the spaghetti a salty and pleasantly fishy aroma to complement the sweet and creamy uni.
The pièce de résistance of the night had to be the Kagoshima Wagyu Beef with Truffles and Potato Gratin Quattro Formaggi. The fatty wagyu was flawlessly seared and rested before being sliced and served to me beautifully pink. Each bite was pure perfection, melting in my mouth with the thin slices of black truffle effortlessly.
Alas, all good things have to come to an end. The Chocolate Mouse and Meringue with Fruits marked the conclusion of my omakase experience at Terra Tokyo Italian.
Chef Seita receives a delivery from Japan every day and plans the omakase menu accordingly. The winter menu that I sampled will be available till the end of February before he introduces what’s in season for spring.
Regardless of season, Terra Tokyo Italian is a restaurant that I will continue to return to. As evidenced throughout the meal, Chef Seita is a master at letting his high quality ingredients shine. Each component was well balanced and everything worked in perfect harmony.
by Nicole-Marie Ng
Terra Tokyo Italian. 54 Tras Street, Singapore 078993. Tel: 6221 5159. Reservations recommended.