Free lunch was always great. This was an omakase lunch treat from my niece. And it was in the middle of the CBD during the weekend. Great choice, ample parking and little traffic.
Cho Omakase is located amongst the tallest buildings in Singapore. It is usually frequented by the banking fraternity for their evening drinks with good food, but they do cater to the hungry lunchtime CBD crowd with the best value-for-money omakase in the CBD and some of the best Washoku lunch sets.
The Omakase lunch, which is only around $20 more than the most expensive Washoku on the menu, was the obvious choice when dining at Cho. Be prepared to pay $100 more for dinner, but you get more courses (and more luxurious ingredients) for that upgrade. If you want, you can request the upgrade for lunch too.
フルーツトマト Momotaro Tomato
This summer-maturing tomato トマト can be bought all year round with the interesting consequence that tomatoes ripened in winter are sweeter than their summer cousins as they contain less water, earning themselves the name of “fruit tomatoes” フルーツトマト. Eaten with a pinch of sea salt.
酢味噌和え ホタルイカ Firefly Squid with Miso Vinaigrette
Hotaru Ika (ホタルイカ) Firefly Squid is in season from March to June, Hotaru Ika is found in the Western Pacific Ocean. The firefly squid is a popular appetiser and bar snack in Japan. Here it was served with seaweed in a miso-vinaigrette (酢味噌和え Sumiso-ae) dressing.
The first main course, 5 types of 刺し身 Sashimi that included Take 蛸 Octopus, O-toro オートロ Fatty Tuna Belly, Sake 鮭 Salmon, Buri 鰤 Yellowtai and Kinmedai 金目鯛 Splendid Alfonsino. Except for the salmon, the rest were all delightful, especially the o-toro. Princess loved it, so I gave here mine.
かき揚げ Mixed Vegetable Tempura
角煮 Braised Pork Belly
It was similar to the classic Okinawan Braised Pork Belly dish called Rafute (ラフテー) but the special black cane sugar was not used, so it did not have that dark caramelised glaze. Nevertheless, the pork belly was sweet and savoury, and juicy and soft.
主食 Main Course
You get to choose from one of three Shushoku 主食 main courses – a tasting portion of unadon 鰻丼, 4 pieces of nigiri sushi 握寿司 or a small chirashizushi don ちらし寿司丼.
And the main course was accompanied by a cup of fish clear soup. It has the classic sushi-ya fish stock soup that I enjoyed, but this one was slightly too fishy for my liking.
And to end the lunch with something sweet, a very delicious mango pudding with bits of the real fruit in a mousse-like pudding.
The set lunches came with a salad, a main course and a dessert, but they are not served together like a bento.
Unagi is often eaten during the hot summers in Japan. There is even a special day for eating unagi, the midsummer day of the Ox (土用の丑の日). The Unadon 鰻丼 was one full portion of unagi with that little bit of rice. The style of cooking unagi is called kabayaki (蒲焼) and people always thought the sauce was teriyaki, but it wasn’t. It is a sweetened soy-based sauce called tare and caramelised over charcoal fire.
And the Washoku comes with a mango pudding too.
Special Order of Sashimi
We ordered in addition to our omakase lunch additional sashimi as they just replenished their fish supply from Japan the night before. So we asked the chef to recommend some wonderful in season fish. All of them tasted great.
From left to right :
- Uni ウニ Sea Urchin – in this particular selection the bafun-uni from Hokkaido, which was primed for summer;
- Buri 鰤 Yellowtail – Buri is regarded as the fattiest and most flavourful shiromi (white fish), and it is in the winter that the fish reaches its highest fat content and very best taste;
- Hotate 帆立 scallop – scallops from Hokkaido are available all year round, but only the wild caught ones are sweeter and succulent;
- Kinmedai 金目鯛 Splendid Alfonsino – flesh is delicate and tender, with good fat content for a shiromi and the taste is mild yet full of umami ; and
- Tai 鯛 Japanese Sea Bream – Tai season begins in the winter time, but doesn’t reach its peak until the first week of April. The fish is then called sakura-dai (cherry blossom sea bream) and fetches high prices at market. They used the kawashimozukuri method of splashing the skin with boiling water to tenderize it, then quickly chilling it with ice.
A4 Kagoshima Wagyu Sirloin
Melt-in-your mouth beef with teriyaki sauce.
Moving from its previous location at Lorong Telok, it reopened a stone thrown away at OCBC Centre East with the same wooden counter where you can watch the chef at work on the sushi and sashimi. It’s all relatively affordable, compared to some of the famous omakase places in town. The small 30-seater restaurant is casual with light wooden furniture and tables, and a small private dining room too. Excellent value for money with great food to match.
63 Chulia St, #01-03, Singapore 049514
Tel : 6223 1276
Date Visited : Apr 2021
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