I recently wrote about an alternative brunch destination at Keyaki, Pan Pacific Singapore HERE. Keyaki offers a new okonomi concept kaiseki brunch which features a curated menu of perennial Japanese culinary favourites. Guests may indulge in this customisable eight-course experience by selecting their delicacy of choice from each course.
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Priced just at S$75++, the Weekend Brunch at Keyaki is definitely one that I will recommend. If you are a huge drinker of sake, wine and champagne then opt for the S$125++ package which comes with free-flow beverages. I personally feel that the former option offers much great value for the average foodie.
WEEKEND BRUNCH AT KEYAKI
Light and refreshing, this amuse bouche course is meant to “awaken” the palate and prepare it for the meal.
I chose the Sweet Miso-Glazed Konnyaku as the first dish. Did you know that Konnyaku is often known as the Devil's Tongue? The miso has a sweet and zesty flavour while the Konnyaku itself delivers the sweets taste by providing impressive textures. I did however feel that it was slightly heavy to start the meal with - better choices may include the Avocado Salad or the Spinach with Goma Sauce.
Usually served early in the meal, sashimi best showcases the fresh flavour and tender texture of the fish.
I had previously intended to go for the Tai (Sea Bream) Sashimi but this item was removed from the menu so I went with the Assorted Sashimi which consists of Hotate (Scallop), Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp) and Shake (Salmon). If I had to summarise this course in a few words, I would have to say that it is stunning! The freshness of the seafood coupled with skillful knife works brought this dish to life. On one hand, the dish is beautiful to look at (and perfect for Instagram) and on the other, the taste is delicate yet flavourful.
Dishes in this course are cooked over high heat to achieve a crisp crust with a lightly seared interior.
When you go to a good restaurant, you should always test the Chef's skills out. One good way is to order fish. I had trouble choosing between the Grilled Mackeral and the Cod Teriyaki but eventually went ahead with the latter option as a test (and honestly also because I love the taste of it too) - I cannot be more impressed. Unlike other fatty fishes, cod is relatively leaner and therefore it is easy to over-cook which causes the meat to dry up. The Cod Teriyaki packs great flavours without overpowering the delicate sweetness of the fish.
Simmered in Keyaki’s homemade dashi stock to enhance and intensifying their flavours, this course is a refreshing mid-menu dish to cleanse the palette.
The Whitebait and Egg is an interesting dish which is designed to cleanse the palette for other dishes to come. This seasonal treat comes in a hot dish with Japanese fishcake and Seaweed. The subtle sweetness of the whitebait is further sharpened by Keyaki's homemade dashi stock. While the bones of the whitebait are edible, one should excise caution when enjoying this dish when dining with children.
This course presents hearty deep fried dishes encased in a crisp golden batter.
For the fifth dish, I went ahead with the Battered Soft Shell Crab. Although I personally enjoy deep-fried food, I am usually quite afraid when it is drenched in oil (the same way poached eggs are left to die in vinegar). This dish is not oily (so big plus on that!) and lightly seasoned to allow the freshness of the seafood to do most of the magic. Lemon juice provides an alternative dimension to the flavours and also aids in the digestion.
Cooked over high heat on an iron griddle, this course presents dishes with a smoky, seared flavour and a juicy interior.
This is definitely my favourite dish in this weekend brunch menu. In fact, it is possibly my favourite dish in Keyaki! The Beef Teppanyaki is cooked perfectly to your preferred degree of doneness (medium rare for me, please). General rule of thumb? Never ever order a doneness of well done - it makes chefs laugh and cows cry. The succulent beef is paired with fried sliced garlic and stir-fried vegetables (bean sprouts and zucchini). To be honest, if I did not already have five dishes before this, I would not have been satisfied with just one plate. The beef is cooked to the perfect doneness and the flavours are amazing. Don't bother choosing other protein and just pick beef - trust me on this one!
This is the final savoury course in the menu and is meant to round off the meal.
Similar to a several-course Chinese lunch or dinner, the last dish before dessert is always a carbohydrate. I chose the Spicy Tuna Roll for this course because I did not plan ahead. I chose each dish exclusively without thinking about how it all ties in for the whole meal. This dish was perhaps the most lackluster one amongst all - it tastes pretty ordinary and did not stand out as much as the rest. It wasn't bad but I guess it just wasn't good enough especially after tasting some spectacular ones.
Concluding on a sweet note, guests are presented with a choice of chilled seasonal fruit, ice cream or homemade Zanzai, a traditional red bean soup.
What better way to end off this meal than a Matcha (Green Tea) Ice Cream? Best known for its antioxidant properties, matcha should be a delicious staple to everyone's diet. The ice cream has a good balance of sweetness and flavours from the matcha while not being overpowering.
This was an invited food-tasting session.