Savour Hokkaido’s best under one roof
We’re down to the last quarter of 2016 and it’s been a year of awestruck moments learning from the Japanese. From expanding sushi chains, impressive Daiso makeup challenges on Youtube to finally succumbing to the craze of queuing for Hokkaido cheese tarts, we’ve caught the bug in one way or another.
Triple Three at MANDARIN ORCHARD is back with their award-winning Japanese-inspired buffet line – Hokkaido Harvests – and it’s going to help you satisfy your sashimi and fresh seafood cravings without having to spend on a ticket to Nippon.
For 12 days this October (19 – 30th), they’re bringing you exquisite delights from the depths of Hokkaido’s waters, as well as matcha-infused and cheese tart recipes that has taken the gastronomic world by storm.
7 Dishes You MUST Pile Your Plate With
1. Super Fresh, 1cm-Thick Sashimi
For someone who would start queuing up for Standing Sushi Bar’s sashimi deal before their doors even open for the evening, sashimi is obviously the first station I gotta hit.
We’re not even talking about thin, flimsy salmon slices you find at cheap sushi takeouts. The real deal is here with almost 1-cm thick chilled slices that will put your 50-cent salmon sushi to shame.
Combined with other premium choices like freshly-popped scallops, hamachi (yellowtail) and rare hamajiki (swordfish) that you wouldn’t typically find in Singapore, you’ll also find a huge range of gunkan sushi and makis to fill up your plate.
Grab some tips here on how to savour your sushi and sashimi to the fullest.
2. Healthy and Tender Steamed Beef
Catching a glimpse of the fine thin cuts before they’re sent to the steamer!
We’re all too familiar with having our premium cuts done just the way we love it. But it doesn’t have to be chunky firm bites that satisfies us all the time. Here, your favourite red meat is sliced paper thin before it’s STEAMED. Yes, you heard right, we’re gonna be steaming your beef like it’s a tray of your beloved dimsum.
Steaming is one of the healthiest methods to cook your food. It allows the fat to dissolve and sink to the bottom of the tray. What’s left is a tender and chewy slice of goodness without the extra calories. Drizzle your choice of sauce – yuzu ponzu (Japanese citrus sauce) or gome dare (sesame sauce) – to go along with it.
3. Onsen Tamago with Uni
Of all the ways a simple egg could be cooked, I love soft boiled eggs the most. Of course, that’s always a Singaporean’s perfect breakfast to wake up to. But once you’ve had a taste of how the Japanese cook their eggs, your 7 minute metal-tin kopitiam eggs might just take the backseat.
Originally made by dipping fresh eggs into Japan’s warm hot spring waters, onsen eggs take a full hour to perfect. These eggs are a true testament to how well the cooking time’s been managed and since these eggs have to be poached inside their shells, it makes it an even more skillful feat.
Scoop up this perfectly spherical poached egg and you’ll find an unbelievably creamy egg white that surrounds a firm yolk centre. Plus, it’s not even a warm egg – it’s chilled like my favourite 7-11 Hanjuku eggs! Yes, that’s how shiok it gets.
Don’t bother reminding me how many eggs I should only be having in a day because who cares.
4. Kani Miso Gratin
If you don’t already know the physics of finger-licking good crab dishes, local wok-stirred favourites typically star Sri Lankan mud crabs. Now you get to upgrade your zhi char crab game because it’s zuwai gani (snow crab) and taraba-gani (king crab) taking the buffet stage here.
New to the menu this year is Kani Miso Gratin that’s basically a dream come true for crab lovers like myself. You don’t even need to lift a finger or get your hands dirty to get the tastiest portions of the crab.
Simply dig into these shells and you’ll be unearthing generous dollops of sweet crab shavings. Topped off with flavourful miso sauce and spring onions, it’s a piquant wonder you’ll find yourself going back for.
5. Hokkaido Shio/Miso Ramen
Yes, that’s a Snow Crab leg right there!
Anytime someone says they’re going to Hokkaido, the first thing that comes to mind is RAMEN. Your meal is never complete without loading on some carbs so let this bowl of ramen teleport you to the winter streets of Hokkaido where you warm up at the roadside, slurping soupy ramen in comfort.
Pick between a slightly salty shio soup or a familiar miso base for your noodles. Only prepared when ordered, each bowl of ramen comes power-packed with fresh and succulent roast scallop and an extremely-flowy lava egg.Topped with fragrant buttered corn, this is comfort food at its best.
We picked a shio base and loved how the noodles were thick without feeling too floury. The crab leg was fresh and it didn’t take much effort to slide the tender flesh out from it either. Now slurp away like how the Japanese do it!
6. Flame-kissed Robatakayi Grilled Favourites
If you too like me, used to spend time at Tori-Q outlets watching how chicken and pork skewers were grilled, flipped and slathered generously with sweet teriyaki sauce like me, you’ll find yourself camping at the Robatayaki Station.
A crowd favourite, this station grills fresh meat, seafood and your favourite greens perfectly to their succulent divine states over traditional charcoal.
Take your pick of cheese-filled meatballs, fresh greens, chunky grilled beef and even thick slices of salmon belly to be kissed by the flames. Come back in 5 minutes and before you know it, you’ll be sinking your teeth into these flame-grilled babies so flavourful, you’ll need another handful.
Fresh from the grill, the cubed beef and salmon belly is the best! I’m surprised how they’re still moist despite being char-grilled. The cubed beef has a slight smoky flavour and is not only lean but also of a good bite size.
7. This moist and creamy Hokkaido Cheese Tart
If you remember the time when you were on the hunt for the legendary BAKE cheese tart that took Singapore by storm then realised their ION Orchard queue isn’t as “simple” as it seemed, you’re not alone. You might have wondered “Eh how come the queue so short?” only to figure that that the hidden winding snakeline was hidden somewhere else, you’re not alone.
SURPRISE SURPRISE: Jump ahead of every ridiculously long cheese tart queue and be a winner savouring this palm-sized darling instead. Its thin and flaky buttery crust complements the generous Hokkaido-milk cheese filling it braces.
What we especially adore is how it isn’t made too large that you get overwhelmed by cheesiness – this is exceptionally important when it comes to devouring a whole cheese tart by yourself.
The full spread to look out for
Their Hokkaido specials might have seized your heart by now, so let the full spread make your night.
Juicy oysters on ice
Roasted premium cuts
From fresh oysters on ice, a roast beef and ham counter to tick off your protein gains and a dessert bar you can barely take your eyes – and hands – off, you’ll be yearning for more space in your tummy before you know it.
Take more, try all and give up none.
I know I’m not the only one who saves up 20% space in my tummy so I can stomach all the desserts. Channelling my inner picasso, I could even spend a good 10 minutes plating cakes and drizzling chocolate sauce over my ice cream. Yknow, a girl’s gotta make sure she can stuff as many cakes on her plate as artfully as possible before strutting back to her table.
Throw me anything matcha-flavoured and you’ll win my heart. Here, I fell head over heels for their Hokkaido treats; loved their azuki-filled green tea puff that’s not too sweet, and the matcha swiss roll. They’re light, moist and a perfect end to a savoury dinner. Best part: you don’t have to worry about heavy selections that will bog you down – happiness comes bite-sized here.
Now you could have the best of ALL worlds.
Shiratamako – rice mochi balls -, lightly pan-heated to soften and dipped in glorious sweet sauce.
Hokkaido Harvests flown here just for you
I’ve had countless international buffets before but this is the first Japanese-inspired spread I’ve enjoyed with a good mix of my favourite East-meets-West classics preserved. If you haven’t set foot into Japan like me, this is the closest you could get to feasting on this many Hokkaido all-time favourites in a single meal without leaving the country!
Address: Level 5, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, 333 Orchard Road, 238867
Reservations hotline: 6831 6288 or 6831 6271
Buffet period: 19 – 30 October 2016, Dinner only, 6.30 pm – 10 pm
- Sunday to Wednesday : $118++ (Adult), $48++ (Child 6 to 12yrs)
- Thursday/Friday/Saturday : $128++ (Adult), $48++ (Child 6 to 12yrs)
- Kirin Draught Beer is available at $5++ per glass.
- Enjoy 50% off every second adult when payment is made using any DBS/POSB credit card.
This post was brought to you by Mandarin Orchard.