The seasonal set menu of Japanese-influenced vegetarian dishes, elemen attempts to bring something familiar to the concept of vegetarian dining.
elemen 元素 ran a four-hands collaboration between its Chief Operating Officer and Executive Chef Andy Kueh and WGS alumni Chef Angus Chow. Teh dishes today were inspired by the fascinating food culture of Japan, which Chef Chow specialises in. Special air-flown fresh ingredients and Wamame plant-based products are used in these gourmet creations.
- ‘Sashimi’ Appetiser ‘生鱼片’
- Oden 关东煮
- Vegetable Tempura 蔬菜天妇罗
- Mushroom Kushiyaki 菌菇串烧
- Yaki Quinoa Onigiri 烤藜麦饭团
- Matcha Anmitsu Dessert 抹茶红豆甜点
- Seaweed Tempura Tofu with Meatless Unagi Roll 紫菜天妇罗豆腐与素鳗鱼寿司卷 (ala carte)
‘Sashimi’ Appetiser ‘生鱼片’
A sashimi trio, from ‘squid’ made of coconut with Tosago (seaweed based caviar), to konnyaku salmon with Cavi-Art Wasabi (a seaweed based wasabi caviar) and red capsicum resembling tuna sashimi, topped with Cavi-Art Black (black seaweed caviar), served alongside a Kueh Pie Tee put together with chopped That asparagus and truffle sour cream.
The “sashimi” was placed on top of shredded radish that resembled sushi shari, but the radish wasn’t seasoned or prepared in anyway, so it was just plain. And the faux caviar were all the taste there was to the sashimi, although the ingredients had the right texture. Artificially manufactured through a technique that first started with El Bulli, these “caviars” are just variations of the same thing – food colouring, seaweed extract and spherification of the whole thing.
An all-in-one bowl boasting the natural sweetness from daikon (radish), carrot and the umami flavour from kombu, and filled with Japanese silken tofu, konjac knots and savoury wakame seaweed. I thought they would nail this one as many ingredients in the original oden are made from fish paste. Many faux meat exists in Chinese vegetarian. But the result was really weak and bland radish dashi soup.
Vegetable Tempura 蔬菜天妇罗
An assortment of freshly fried air-flown Japanese vegetables – purple sweet potato, shiitake mushroom, yam and butternut squash, paired with a complementary tempura shoyu dip and grated sweet daikon. This was the closest to the actual thing ;). There’s no mirin in the dip though (because mirin contained alcohol), and I can tell the difference – can we do something about that?
Mushroom Kushiyaki 菌菇串烧
Thick-cut king oyster mushroom and handmade mushroom balls on sticks, coated in sweet-savoury homemade sauce concocted with Japanese brown sugar, honey pineapple, shoyu and smoked with applewood for a subtle sweet aroma. Another dish that hit the spot!
Yaki Quinoa Onigiri 烤藜麦饭团
Japanese rice ball onigiri made with Japanese short grain rice mixed with Sushi Quinoa and subtly-sweet aged black vinegar, both specially sourced from Japan, and pristinely wrapped with grilled nori. Onigiri comes in two flavours – Wamame “waygu” (not a typo error) and king oyster mushroom. Wamame’s Waygu is the world’s first wagyu beef alternative made completely from plants. I liked the texture of the onigiri and the grilled smoky taste. The side dip was a bit disappointing though – onigiri does not pair well with the sesame ponzu dip.
Matcha Anmitsu Dessert 抹茶红豆甜点
An iconic Japanese matcha red bean Anmitsu dessert, paired with a milk custard mochi. Nothing to shout when compared to other desserts that they serve on the regular menu.
Seaweed Tempura Tofu with Meatless Unagi Roll 紫菜天妇罗豆腐与素鳗鱼寿司卷 (ala carte)
It was the regular ala carte item that was delicious. The meatless unagi was made from eggplant. And under the disguise of the teriyaki sauce, it was not possible to distinguish the difference. And the maki was rolled with bits of tempura batter that gave it a nice crunch. The seaweed tofu tasted like those you get in an izakaya for agedashi tofu, just without the dashi. Delicious.
This is a seasonal menu, even if they were delicious, they may not made it to the regular menu. Here’s the blogpost of the regular menu items that we ordered that day.
elemen @ Woodlands Height
1 Woodlands Height, Koufu Headquarters #01-02, Singapore 737859
Tel : +65 6513 7718
Visited Apr 2023
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