Time flies. I am now documenting my third trip to Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove – this time for a tasting session at the exquisite, fine-dining Japanese restaurant Ezoca. Ezoca is considered pretty new to the block of eateries along the quay, and adds an Asian touch to the Western food enclave.
The interiors are kept traditional with every piece of furniture imported from Japan. However it is styled to suit the needs for comfort for diners here with wooden armchairs and cushions. The restaurant is partitioned into a few areas: a sushi bar, a private corner separated from the rest by Japanese screens, a main dining place and even an alfresco area to cater to the likes of expatriates.
Both a la carte and set menus are offered and they change seasonally. That day, I had the privilege of having the Yume course at $288 per set which is a 7 course kaiseki meal.
Presenting the first course/appetizer – Japanese Tiger Prawn, Cucumber and Persimmon with Tofu Cheese Cream and Walnut. The dish is simple in taste but refreshing and healthy as a whole. I love how the light, airy tofu cheese cream holds the prawn, cucumber and persimmon together.
Second course/steamed dish – Short Neck Clam (swapped with fish in my dish) and Winter Melon Egg Custard topped with Tomato. In short, this is chawanmushi but not exactly your typical chawanmushi. It emits a stronger, more oriental smell and taste. Some may like it and some may not but I definitely like it – plus points for so many lush ingredients added in it too.
The third course is one of my favorite course after the main – sashimi of a Combination of Fresh Seafood Platter. The type of fish depends on the availability from Japan so you might not get exactly the same types I have pictured below. On the left is Snapper sashimi with lotus root. As I bit into the snapper there is a hint of lotus which probably came from the lotus root. Coupled with the delicate freshness of the snapper it makes a great hit. In the middle is Toro sashimi, which comes from a fatty portion of the Bluefin tuna. Taste-wise, it reminds me a little of salmon except that the meat is thicker and more succulent. On the right is mackerel sashimi, which has a much fishier taste the others.
The fourth and main course has got to be my favorite course of the day. It is a charcoal grilled dish – Japanese Omi Beef Tenderloin with Organic vegetables. In my mind I went wow when the dish was first served to the table. The uniquely shaped bowl caught my attention immediately. From the yellow of the bowl to pinkish-brown of the meat to the red and green of vegetables, I’m impressed by the color pallet already. Despite having spent some time capturing the dish on the camera, the tenderness of this A4 grade beef will still be present. There are 3 different dips including salts and soya sauce to dip the beef in but I prefer it plain the most. As I try more and more types and cuts of beef steak, each one gets better and better. This omi beef is no exception to that testimony. Omi beef rivals Kobe beef and Matsusaka beef as the top Japanese beefs but it is definitely less well known around the globe. Don’t forget about the organic vegetables (lotus root, beans, pumpkin, pepper) – they are prepared well to go on par with beef. Excellent seasoning.
For those not accustomed to eating beef, there is another choice for your main which is the Japanese Eel with Organic vegetables.
Fifth course/braised dish – Conger Pike Eel, Garland Chrysanthemum and Seaweed in hot pot. The Conger Pike Fish, which is a type of eel, has a silken texture which I enjoyed very much. Also in the hot pot is a ball of mochi and vegetables like mushrooms. The stock may get quite fishy though.
Sixth course/meal – Tempura Angel Prawn and vegetables with Turnip pickles and Red Miso soup. Nothing can go wrong with tempura and Japanese rice. I found myself addicted to the rice more than the tempura – it is sticky to my liking with a tinge of sweetness. I was informed that Ezoca uses a premium Japanese rice Yamazato Seiryu Mai, a type of the Koshihikari rice. The Koshihikari is popular in Japan and is one of the most expensive types there. According to the waitress the rice is even cooked with Japanese mineral water. I wouldn’t mind living in Japan just for their rice. A bowl of Red Miso Soup accompanies the tempura rice and, unlike the usual misos of casual Japanese eateries, it is more overwhelming.
….and the last-but-certainly-not-the-least course/dessert is the Caramelized Apple and Homemade Red Bean Paste Sandwich with Japanese Kyoho Grapes with Wine Jelly. Having grapes with wine jelly out of the glass feels like I’m drinking wine. Yep, that spoonful of wine jelly is that powerful (and unique). There is an extra slice of muskmelon served on the dish which is not in the menu but nonetheless, it is especially soft and juicy.
The experience at Ezoca was amazing in many ways but what struck me most was the quality of ingredients used in every dish. All of them are imported from Japan and are prepared superbly fresh. Also, service is nearly impeccable with staff who clearly know their stuff well.
Special thanks to Wendy and Ezoca for hosting the tasting session.
31 Ocean Way
Quayside Isle (Sentosa Cove)
Tuesdays 5.30pm – 9.30pm
Wednesdays to Saturdays 12pm – 3pm
5.30pm – 10pm
Sundays 12pm – 9.30pm