Friday, September 15, 2006

Tamako and a heavenly plate of Inari



This humble little Japanese restaurant, Tamako, was opened a few years ago by a lady called Min-chan and continues to serve true, authentic, mouth watering and reasonably priced Japanese delicacies. It was first introduced to me by my friend, Richie, and has since been one of our occasional "escapades" during lunch hour. What makes this restaurant special to us is the freshness of its food, the politeness of Min-chan and her assistant, and the homely feeling of the place. It's as if you stepped out of the busy city life into a comfortable dining place where you can eat at your own pace without waiters or waitresses bothering you. Besides, the wooden furniture and interior decor adds to the atmosphere as well.



All right, I should stop complimenting the place and get down to describing the goodies. Items that can be found on the menu include the dons, bento sets, sashimi, sushi, ramen, udon and set lunches which are available on the weekdays. During my frequent visits with my gf (yes she loves the place too), we usually order teriyaki chicken don which is served with white rice and five big chunks of chicken thigh marinated in sweet teriyaki sauce. It is one of the best teriyaki don I have tried as compared to more classy restaurants and the serving is generous while costing only $5.80.

Today, however, I ordered the Okinawa set lunch ($7.80) which consisted of nine, fresh, thick slices of salmon sashimi, Japanese rice, eda-mame, a small portion of pork stew, miso soup and a huge slice of watermelon. First of all, the sashimi is extremely fresh and is really firm to the bite with the "sweet" salmon taste. The pork stew with potato, carrots and onions also tastes exceptionally good with the vegetables being sufficiently softened and complimented with a thick and rich stew. Lastly, the miso soup they serve is also authentic (not those packaged kind) and is very, very nice.





Other bento sets we had were Teishuko bento ($10.80) which came in the same setting but with two extra gyoza pieces and an ebi tempura. Oh, did I mention that you can also choose sanma, saba or salmon shio for the main choice of meat? Yeap, its quite a versatile selection of orders :)



The bento and set lunches may be fantastic, but what sets this place apart from others is the exceptional taste of one of Japan's finest cuisine, the sushi. I can still remember the first time I sank my tooth into the salmon sushi ($2.20). The sweetness of its rice simply blew me apart! I have never tasted such sweet tasting and well made Japanese rice in my life, ever. Its as if the rice was dry yet wet at the same time and the sweetness just made the dish excellent.



Chancing upon this visit, I ordered the inari sushi ($1.20) which is my favourite sushi because of the sweet beancurd and to seriously test the standard of their sushi, I had to try it. The inari sushi was filled with the sweet Japanese rice mixed with white and black sesame seeds.



Looks pretty normal but when I took a bite, it was almost like an explosion of senses took place in my mouth. It was an absolutely extraordinary sensation; I closed my eyes and kept chewing, slowly releasing the sweetness and moisture in both the beancurd and rice and the fragrance of the sesame seeds, and felt like I was taken to heaven. Then I looked at Richie and said, "Richie, the inari is really, really, really good." The sushi was so moist I swear that there must be a hidden reservoir of sauces inside it! The beancurd was very soft, sweet and smooth and doesn't have the dry crumpled feeling as the ones I have tried so far. The rice was good as usual and the sesame seeds really added something special to the dish, making it very flavourful and fragrant. It was so good that we ordered six pieces!

*I've removed the photo because I figured it isn't very polite posting it without the person's consent*

Okay okay, I think I should end this overly long post. If you happen to give Tamako a visit (which I think you should!), you can bypass the other dishes, but please please please please please order the inari!

Tamako Meal
128 Casuarina Road
Tel: 65534128

67 comments:

:: Lavender cupcaker :: said...

wow wow. The food really are tempting my buds now at this hour! Reminds me of Japan Hour and guess wat..today i just had jap meal at Sumo House at Bedok.It's my most frequent dining place for cheap jap food. Too bad i didn't have camera with me around to snap pics. But the food are pretty good in the heart of a neighbourhood area.

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Oo! I passed by Sumo house before. It looked like quite a big place. is the food nice?

evan said...

wow YD, thx for recommending this place. certainly looks good and the sets, value for money. where's casuarina rd BTW?

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Oh oh, Casuarina Road is along upp thomson road after Thomson plaza. On the right will be Yio Chu Kang Rd while on the left you will be able to see the back of the restaurants and a small carpark.

evan said...

cool. that means i'm "fated" to go there coz i stay in sembawang. relatively near to my place :p will definitely try it out coz i love jap food (tho' i love korean food more nowadays) hehe.

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

R u kidding?! I live in Sembawang!

evan said...

thats cool isnt it? :) neighbor!

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

:) Have you tried the thai restaurant at Sembawang Shopping Centre? I heard tt its quite good. The teochew porridge and curry fish head opp it is also not bad

evan said...

taste of thailand? tried many times already. my hubby loves that place. we always order the fried fish, beef w/ spring onion n ginger. how bout u?

teochew porridge & curry fish head opposite? u mean at the yishun seafood village there?

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Oh I haven't eaten at the restaurant yet but my fren also recommended the fried fish :) I'm not sure issit yishun seafood village? Its like a kopitiam opp the shopping centre called S21. n the curry fish head is the first stall opp the front of the kopitiam

Jas said...

What a great find! I'll want to bring my family to this place for a meal when I'm in SG - thanks YD!

riiya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
riiya said...

this restaurant is just opposite my place and i've been supporting it for all my life. Good quality food and very fair price. A Die die must try place! bus 169 from ang mo kio central

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Anonymous said...

if i am not wrong tamako has shifted or closed already,did not see the signage facing the road anymore and the last 3 times i went to eat there during 2010,i wasnt impressed by the food anymore,the soba noodles doesnt taste as good as before,the sushi, california maki,tamago aslo doesnt taste good either.Has the chef resigned?i dont know.Anyway i dont like the food there anymore.The standard dropped so much.i dont visit there anymore.Its a disappointment.

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