One more in the Japanese series before we head on to another theme. We brought DC’s grandmother to Bentendo because she loves mentaiko. Out of the other mediocre pastas we had, the mentaiko one with ika and shiso was pretty outstanding. I liked how the salty richness of the mentaiko played out against the bracing greenness of the shisho and the soft yield of the raw squid. The seaweed topping added another briny dimension to it. Here’s where every ingredient, including the garnish, worked well to make a creative and very delicious whole.
The rest of the pastas didn’t fare so well. DC’s uni pasta was too creamy and the uni wasn’t fresh. DC’s grandma loved her mentaiko cream pasta but I found it too rich. We also had a sashimi salad starter that was quite good. The iceberg lettuce was crisp and fresh and the salmon, tuna and tako bits were fairly fresh. Topped by wafu dressing, it was a decent start to the meal. Next time I go, I’ll have the salad and mentaiko shiso pasta, and I’ll check out the Japanese pizzas.
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#03-32/33 Great World City
Tel: 6235 5606
I wanted to have Okinawa food again and DC suggested trying Ichibantei at Liang Court. While not strictly an Okinawan restaurants, it served pretty decent food. The deep fried mini prawns were pretty good even though they didn’t quite have the oomph of the version done at Nirai Kanai next door. I liked how they were so crispy everything could be crunched up nicely. The only problem was making sure that I put the prawn in my mouth tail first, if not I’d get pricked by the spikes on its head.
The goma salad wasn’t particularly exciting, though the deep fried noodles add a nice touch.
An unexpected find was the pork belly ramen. I wasn’t expecting much but I liked this quite a lot. The soup was rich and the noodles firm and bouncy. It’s runner up to my favourite at Ken’s.
Last dish here was the deep fried prawn roll with tai and mentaiko. I liked how the rich grilled mentaiko topping went really well with the prawn. While the tai added a smooth, almost silky dimension, the delicate flavour was a little overwhelmed by the prawn and mentaiko. A bit of a pity as this imaginative dish could have been that much better.
The desserts at Ichibantei weren’t very inspiring, so we headed over to Tampopo Deli where we tucked into the tart pudding. It was lovely! The tart at the bottom was buttery and nutty (almonds?) and went really well with the rich caramel pudding on top. The syrup topping and real cream gilded the lily incredibly well. It’s a simple pairing that worked incredibly well. Definitely a winner.
177 River Valley Road
#B1-50 Liang Court Shopping Centre
Tel: 6338 0393
#B1-16 Liang Court Shopping Centre
Tel: 6338 7386