Thursday, June 05, 2008

Review: Akashi

This past week, I went to Akashi with my parents for a simple dinner. Akashi at Orchard (Tanglin Shopping Center) used to be one of my favourite casual places to eat and I used to go really often, in part because it was near B's house and he liked the place a lot. But by early 2007, I started to find that their prices were on the rise and the food quality hadn't sustained.

On good days though, it was still the place to be for home-style sushi and sashimi but at dinner prices sometimes north of $160 for two people, without any sake, it just seemed not really worth the long queue. This particular day, the sushi was very fresh and good but there are a few 'off' items to be found on the menu, like the first picture, which was supposed to be steamed pumpkin. It literally came as two pieces of dry, grainy, half-cooked pumpkin. Atrocious.

The thing about Akashi is that the sets are really quite good value. Ranging from $18-28, their sets encompass chirashi, sushi sets, sukiyaki sets and ricebowls with the usual eel, stewed chicken (oyakudon) and beef accompaniments.

This is the sashimi set I had. I was quite upset that they have taken away their true-blue chirashi and instead replaced it with this awful rice with cubed sashimi offering. I think it's a bit of a cop-out because cubed sashimi doesn't need to be of the highest quality and you (as the chef-owner) can maximise your food usage. Personally, I think it's one of those things you can make for a good meal at home but it's a bit of a cheat to have it while branding yourself as an upper-class japanese restaurant.

The atmosphere is still very good and it really seems like this new location, at Orchard Parade hotel, is working out for them just as much as the old one at Tanglin Shopping Center. This location has always been the best and the best performing, of the others, in Paragon and Vivo City. Congenial, welcoming chef-owner Mervyn Goh is still at the helm here and the service waitstaff is prompt enough, though still nothing near friendly.

Akashi Japanese Restaurant
1 Tanglin Road, #01-01A
Orchard Parade Hotel
Singapore 247905
Tel 67324438

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