Duo Galleria stood at the latest residential development that was created as a result of the barter trade between two governments over historic railway track lands that the British built during the colonial times. It is now 51-49 owned by the two governments through the vessel company M+S, now prize for guessing what M and S mean. Definitely not Marks and Spencers.
It was designed to be residential, hotel and office space built into a huge development right at the fringe of the city. As the residents started moving in, the new Andaz hotel started operations and office workers moved in and out, the restaurants and bars started operating on the ground floor.
Cast Iron was one of the first movers. It featured “Modern Japanese Grill”. I am usually sceptical about words like “modern, contemporary, innovation” in cuisine. But Cast Iron was the only restaurant around lunch time that attracted me, so I went in.
The menu featured lunch sets and limited a la carte for the lunch service. It wasn’t crowded but I saw a couple of Japanese sitting at the corner table. So far so good.
We ordered two lunch sets, a sashimi and a grilled item to share.
First up, the amuse bouche of Squid marinated in Orange sauce with Seaweed and Ikura. Tangy and sweet with the umami of Ikura and Ika, it was solidly based on Japanese techniques.
Next up, an a la carte item – Gyu Tongue Yakiniku. It’s a grill, so we need to test the Yakiniku and Gyu Tongue is a really good litmus test. A bit longer, the tongue will turn rubbery. Too short, the tongue would taste raw. In the beginning, I dismissed the way the spring onion and yellow onion roulade was placed after the tongue was grilled, but it made sense. I could taste the roulade with every tongue.
Chef’s Sashimi was an omakase order, where I left it for them to pick what’s available. I have had better sashimi, but what stood out were the prawn that was poached in an alcohol (sake?) and the raw octopus. The fish was so so, and the uni was quite sub par (runny and mushy)
I order the Ninniku Wagyu Saikoro Don, literally Garlic Wagyu Beef Dices, which was a grill A4 Australian Wagyu beef cubes over rice. The beef was marinated in yakiniku sauce that had too much mirin. The garlic was baked and sprinkled over the beef. There was not garlic taste on the beef. Served an onsen egg, that was the sparkle of the don. I find the choice of the cut a bit underwhelming, some parts were quick chewy.
My lunch date ordered the Salmon Sakiyo Miso, which I think what they meant was “Saikyo Miso” or White Miso. This is the yellow, sweet miso that goes very well with fish dishes, especially cod and salmon. They used a Norwegian salmon, well executed but neither the fish nor the miso stood out. I thought they could be more bold with the miso as the fish was not flavour packed vs the Japanese or Alaskan versions. The sautéed leeks and bell peppers were quite nice.
Overall, good place to bring folks for lunch. But they would be under a lot of competition to Kyun in Raffles City and many others of that calibre given their price range for lunch. Dinner prices were similar to lunch, so that’s when I think they would pack it in.
7 Fraser Street, Duo Galleria, #01-32/33, SIngapore 189356
Tel : +65 6581 0159
Date Visited : Mar 2018