It occurred to me last night that I have a rather alarming backlog of posts to clear before the food bloggers' dinner tomorrow, so I decided to get cracking.
Since lovely Chermain was off to China for some mountain-climbing, and since there's going to be a chronic absence of good Japanese food in the UK, we decided to go to Akashi for lunch.
Akashi is located in Tanglin Shopping Mall ("Oh, the carpet place," said Chermain) and seems to have a reputation for serving pretty decent Japanese food. While I'm not a connoisseur, I've heard fairly reliable accounts.
The most telling sign though, was the crowd. The restaurant was completely packed and it was only by extraordinary good fortune that they managed to have a table for two available for lunch.
One of the best things about eating at Japanese restaurants are the steamed edamame beans ($4) they serve before the start of every meal. Asian restaurants always serve the best appetisers; whether it's Japanese steamed edamame or Chinese braised groundnuts. There's something about beans and nuts; maybe being Asian makes them terribly addictive. I wonder though, do they still charge you if you don't eat them?
I ordered a California Temaki ($6) because I'm a wimp about eating raw fish. The seaweed was rather chewy and tough - probably a better idea to stick to the cut hand rolls.
The pork katsudon ($14) that I ordered was pretty eggy, and the rice wasn't as fluffy as I would have liked. In fact the whole thing felt a little sodden to me, though that may have been because I waited for a while before eating. Good watermelon, though.
Chermain had a Chirashi Ju, or what I prefer to think of as the colourful set. It had red prawns, green cucumbers, yellow egg, pink sugar and who knows what else.
Akashi is located on the outskirts of Orchard, though there are two more outlets in City Link Mall and Paragon. The atmosphere you get here is generally pretty boisterous, as it's always crowded, and the chefs tend to have really convivial conversations with their regular customers. Add that to the traditional greetings all the service staff shout as someone enters the restaurant, and you get a pretty jumping scene. Service, though, is a little lacking, as some of the waitresses sweep past without much attention to you.
19 Tanglin Road
#B1-09/10/11 Tanglin Shopping Centre
Tel: 6732 4438
Opening Hours: 12pm - 3pm & 6.30pm - 10pm
Overall: Reliable Japanese food in a traditional Japanese eatery