I’ve always thought of tempura as a winter dish. But, apparently, it’s not really – in Japan, people enjoy it at any time of the year. That said, I personally still think tempura is an excellent winter dish because of how comforting it is for me. And because food babies can be more easily hidden under winter layers!
Shikigiku at ifc mall (enter through the Four Seasons Hotel) recently introduced a few new winter tempura dishes, and we went to have a taste.
Shikigiku’s tempura counter is located near the back of the restaurant and seats about a dozen or so. It’s slightly more casual than the rest of the restaurant’s glamorous decor, and it’s great fun watching the chefs fry the food, especially Chef Sakuma, who has over 40 years of experience. They have two tempura counter set menus for dinner ($980 or $1,280) and two for lunch ($480 or $620). All come with salad, an assortment of seafood and vegetable tempura, rice and dessert.
The ingredients are fresh and the tempura manages to be crisp yet not greasy, in line with what you’d expect from a high-end restaurant.
This is the shirako. It was my first time having fish sperm, and I was pleasantly surprised. The flavour was delicate and the texture was very smooth.
The Japanese cheese wrapped in shiso leaf was a sophisticated take on deep-fried cheese.
The Wagyu wrapped in shiso leaf was an absolutely melt-in-the-mouth dish.
The fresh uni on a tempura shiso leaf had a base that was a bit too thin to handle the generous amount of sea urchin, but I suppose that’s not really a big problem…
Sugar-coated tempura chestnut
Overall, the dishes were very good. The only things I didn’t like were the tempura egg yolk rice, which was bland, and the toro (sashimi, not tempura), which was quite fibrous.
Shikigiku is a reliable option in Central, especially for a business lunch or dinner. In addition to tempura, they also serve kaiseki menus, teppanyaki, sushi and sashimi. The prices reflect the quality of the food, beautiful harbour views and convenient location.
4/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2805 0600
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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