Saturday 15 July 2017

Kogane Yama, Homegrown Tendon Concept @ Bugis Junction

From the people who brought you Chir Chir and Masizzim in Singapore, the latest tendon restaurant Kogane Yama is the group's first original dining concept housed in Bugis Junction. Being able to customize your Tendon bowl is what sets them apart from the other tendon joints, such as picking your preferred staple - Rice, Udon or Soba.

The menu is pretty straight forward, you first pick your preferred bowl among the 4 choices given:

1) Chicken Bowl S$13.80 - If you can't take or not a fan of the usual prawn tempura, you may opt for this that features chicken fillets as well as vegetable tempura alongside.

2) Prawn Bowl S$13.80 - Likewise, this is cater to the opposite group of people - the seafood enthusiasts. If you specially fancy prawn tempura, this is definitely for you, with vegetable tempura at the side.

3) Vegetable Bowl S$11.80 - This is for the vegetarians out there, loaded with assortment of battered veggies such as long beans, carrot, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, green pepper and more.

4) Mixed Bowl S$15.80 - As the name goes, this bowl include a mix of everything featuring tempura prawns, chicken fillet, long beans, carrot, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, green bell pepper, seaweed, shiso leaf and a dollop of ebiko.

Add-Ons: You can add on $2 to create a set meal which includes Chawanmushi and Miso Soup.

After you have decided which bowl to go for, select your preferred base next. You can choose to go with the classic Japanese short-grain rice or top up a dollar with either Soba or thin Udon - both steeped in a clear and light dashi broth. 

The tempuras on the other hand were lightly battered and fried to crispy, I will personally prefer to pair my tempura with a bowl of light noodle soup, to balance the palate after much fried elements.

If you ordered the noodles as your base, your tempura will be separated in a plate like this. Tip: If you are a smaller eater, you can order a set to share the tempura among 2 person, then additional ala carte order a rice or noodle as your staple.

Lastly, customization goes a step further with the selection of one of four tentsuyu sauces - a sweet and savoury homemade blend of garlic, sesame oil and Japanese shoyu. The non-spicy version is perfect for kids and those who can't take spicy. The selection followed by spicy level 1 to level 3 - three different levels of heat.

To spice things up a little, I would say go for either level 1 or 2. For something more fiery, level 3 it is but it really depends on individual. For a tip, I suggest requesting to the staff to separate the sauce, instead of them drenching it on your tempura. This way, you can have more control on the spiciness.

Unlike other tendon eateries where most of their kitchens are open concept, Kogane Yama's kitchenette is tucked at the back of the store and rest assured that you won't reek of oil after dining in. I will definitely be back here for being able to customized my tendon bowl to my preferred base as well as the generous portion.

Kogane Yama is the latest addition to the Tendon options we have in Singapore, I am currently torn between this and Tendon Ginza Itsuki - in terms of money value and quality.

Kogane Yama
Bugis Junction
200 Victoria Street #02-50 
Singapore 188021
Sun - Thurs: 11am - 10pm (L.O 930pm)
Fri & Sat: 11am - 11pm (L.O 1030pm)

*This was an invited media tasting.

Monday 3 July 2017

Disney Dimsum @ Crystal Lotus, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

During my recent trip to Hong Kong in 2017, my friends and I have decided to check out the Disney dimsum that is exclusively available at Crystal Lotus restaurant, located in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. It wasn't our first time to HK Disneyland but we were stoked to get our hands on these adorable dimsum. The hotel is reachable via a shuttle bus at Disneyland entrance.

Once you see the iconic Hong Kong Disneyland Resort entrance, you should walk in the opposite direction and that's where you will find the shuttle bus station. There are a total of 3 hotels in Hong Kong Disneyland so do take note that Crystal Lotus restaurant is in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Please avoid taking the wrong shuttle bus, more info here.

Crystal Lotus in Disneyland Hotel serves up Chinese fine dining specialties in an elegant ambience, do bear in mind that it comes with a price tag as well. Anyway, Disney dimsum is available on weekends for lunch when you order at least 24 hours in advance and no Disney dimsum is available from Monday to Friday UNLESS reserved.

Our day of visit happens to be on a Monday thus advance booking is required. I highly recommend to plan your date of visit early and reserve the Disney dimsum at least 3 days in advance to avoid disappointment.

Unfortunately, the reservation process is only available via a hotline number which is rather inconvenient for tourists like us due to international call charges. No email reservation is allow. However, we got this sorted quickly thanks to our Airbnb host in Hong Kong who was very nice to call on behalf of us to make the booking.

So apparently after you reserved your table on the phone, the restaurant will email the Disney dimsum menu (photo above) to you to order. You will then need to reply the email with your preferred items as a confirmation, so that the restaurant can prepare the 'characters' before hand. 

There is no minimum amount of spending here, so you can order a couple of Disney dimsum and the rest from their ala carte menu which you can order on the day of your visit. We came with no expectations because one would say it's gimmick right? But I was pleasantly surprise that it was better than average, way better than the Hello Kitty dimsum in Tsim Sha Tsui at least. All in all, we knew that these lovable dim sum comes with a price tag but I would say it's worth a visit. It's Disney!

Crystal Lotus
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
Lantau Island, Hong Kong
For reservations: +652 3510-6000
Monday - Friday: 12pm - 230pm, 6pm - 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 1030pm

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