Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has recently appointed Takaya Ishizuka as head chef of Nadaman, who was previously the assistant head chef at Nadaman Zipangu Tokyo.
Brought up in a family of chefs, Chef Ishizuka discovered his passion for cooking at the tender age of nine. His culinary career began with the Nadaman group of restaurants in Tokyo in 1991, and has helmed the kitchens of Nadaman at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong for seven years. He has also imparted his Japanese culinary skills as a culinary instructor at the recognised VTC Hospitality Industry Training Development Centre in Hong Kong for 2 years. Armed with 23 years of experience, he is well versed in all areas of Japanese culinary techniques.
Chef Takaya Ishizuka puts a creative touch to the best seasonal ingredients available, bringing forth a new kaiseki menu each month at Nadaman.
Melicacy had the opportunity to experience the Aoi Kaiseki ($165++ for dinner) this month, which comprises some of Chef Ishizuka’s signature dishes.
Boiled Spring Vegetable topped with Bonito Flake in Mild Sauce; Milk Tofu with Wasabi Soy Sauce; Firefly Squid, Spring Cabbage and Seaweed with Vinegar Miso Sauce
The first course was a trio of Boiled Spring Vegetable topped with Bonito Flake in Mild Sauce, Milk Tofu with Wasabi Soy Sauce, and Firefly Squid, Spring Cabbage and Seaweed with Vinegar Miso Sauce. The milk tofu has a starchy texture that reminds one of cheese. Each component is beguiling in its own way, but equally palate enlivening. Chef Ishizuka introduces several regional produce from the countryside, some of which were unique and rarely chanced upon in Singapore.
Clear “Hamaguri” Clam Soup, Fish and Clam Cake and “Udo” Bud
The clean tasting soup of “Hamaguri” Clam includes a gobbet of fish and clam cake that’s tremendously succulent and juicy. “Udo”, also known as Aralia Cordata or “mountain asparagus”, is a plant that’s commonly found growing on the slopes of wooded embankments, native to Japan, Korea and eastern China.
Assorted Seasonal Sashimi
The selection of sashimi – mackerel, toro (tuna belly) and sea bream (tai) – is set to impress. The superior quality is beyond reproach, which brings Nadaman to be possibly one of the best places for sashimi in Singapore.
Steamed White Radish, Sea Bream Roe, “Fuki” Vegetable and Carrot
The next course is refreshing and acts as a palate cleanser. White radish is steamed till translucent and soft, partnered with sea bream roe of subtle sweetness, “Fuki” vegetable and carrot. Slivers of yuzu peel add a zesty touch. “Fuki” is native to Japan, where the spring growth is used as a vegetable.
Deep-fried Mild Cod Roe with “Shiso” Leaves, Japanese Smelt Fish and “Taranome” with Light Bonito Soy Sauce
Nadaman utilises exotic ingredients in ubiquitous dishes like tempura. What left the deepest impression was the delicate “Shiso” leaves stuffed with cod roe –an amazing crunch that bursts with smooth lusciousness within.
Pan-fried Japanese Sirloin Beef with Teriyaki and Vegetable, Radish Vinegar Soy Sauce and Pickled Garlic
The Wagyu beef is cooked to a right-on-the-money compromise of medium rare doneness, endowed with a high percentage of fat –this is downright decadent. The partnered mushroom provides a welcoming earthy and juicy contrast to the palate.
Steamed Rice with “Sakura” Shrimp, Pickles and Red Bean Miso Soup
Plump Japanese rice steamed till it reaches a slightly sticky and glutinous texture is chaperoned by fragrant “Sakura” shrimp and thinly sliced bamboo shoot.
Rice is served alongside palate-galvanising pickles and belly-warming red bean miso.
Vanilla Ice Cream and Tapioca with Gula Melaka
Here comes the finale. Tapioca pearls and red beans are immersed in a coconut-rich cream, topped with vanilla ice cream drizzled in gula Melaka. This dessert is definitely not something traditionally Japanese, but delicious nevertheless.
For online reservations, visit http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/dining/restaurants/nadaman/
Lobby Level, Tower Wing
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
22 Orange Grove Road