Jan 2015: Chef Peter is back at Kaiware Japanese Restaurant!
May 2014: From what I’ve heard, Mitsuba has now become a buffet style restaurant. I haven’t gone to visit yet but will update here when I have. Do send me your information if you have any too!
October 2014: Chef Peter has left the restaurant, but Mitsuba still exists with the same menu. Do note that my review only gives accolades to food prepared by Chef Peter and not the menu by the new management.
This is the nth time that I am blogging about Chef Peter, the infamous Nazi/Angry Chef. For the uninitiated, he has forcibly thrown people out of his restaurants, yelled at customers talking too loudly in his shop, refused to entertain second orders and served the timid folks with a mood so severe that Severus Snape looks like a friendly golden retriever. And yet regular customers like me kept going back and back and back to be abused. (Note: Since Chikuwa Tei, Chef Peter has strangely learnt how to smile and make friendly talk. We’re still a little wary of him though.) I am actually deathly afraid that he will decide to retire again so I wanna drive business to his relatively new out-of-the-way restaurant, plus it is high time that I do a proper food posting with prices and stuff instead of sashimi fangirl picture posts. For years Chef Peter has personally set the standard for affordable, quality Japanese food in Singapore, first with Wasabi Tei at Far East Plaza, then Chikuwa Tei at Mohd Sultan. In August 2012, the executive chef opened his third restaurant, Mitsuba by Yurine Japanese Restaurant at Clarke Quay’s The Central. His latest venture is nestled among other Japanese restaurants with – dare I say it – better exterior decor. Frankly speaking, the food pictures outside do absolutely no justice to what is being served within. I would bypass his establishment in a heartbeat and head on next door if I didn’t know that he was inside. It’s quite a bit cosier than Wasabi Tei (obviously) and Chikuwa Tei. The wooden interior and beautiful scenery of the Singapore River combined makes for a relaxing meal no matter the time of the day. Other than the shop space, the menu (and the physical folder it comes in!) has been upgraded as well. There is a small price hike of about 10% – 15%, but the cuts and quality have not changed. Old favourites like the Tara Nabe and the legendary Chirashi bento make a comeback alongside new offerings such as otoro soft bone and simmered bluefin tuna eye. There are now 4 different chirashi sets to choose from, with the old fave being the cheapest mixed set on the menu. The rest feature different and additional cuts. There are also individual dons (rice bowls) for particular cuts, which are great for when you want a specific indulgence. Oddly though, the fish is now served separately from the rice. Some have also argued that chirashizushi should be served diced and not sliced. Personally, as long as the quality of his sashimi stays the same, it could come in little star shape chunks and I wouldn’t care. The set above consists of salmon (sake), egg (tamago) sea urchin (uni), swordfish (kajiki) and 3 mystery fishes which I don’t know about since I didn’t eat this. There’s also a much more appropriate amount of rice served now. This was $28++ if my memory serves me correctly. With every meal, a starter is served first and unfortunately it wasn’t my favourite seaweed and chicken stew when I visited last Saturday. It was a chunky and rather pleasant potato salad, something I’ve not had before. I already ate half of that before I remembered to take a picture. But yeah, check out the bits of vegetables in real potato. Not the powder mix kind. We ordered other starters as well. Uni $25+ , chockful of goodness chawanmushi (seriously good, seriously full of ingredients) $5++ and the legendary tamago sushi that deserves a paragraph of its own. At $4+ per serving of two pieces, this simple sushi is really quite pricey…. only that it isn’t simple at all. Chef Peter’s sushi rice (which he also uses for all the dons) is a perfect blend of tasty and vinegarish sourness. The egg itself is sweet, creamy and fragrant. When they are paired together, I sometimes literally get tears in my eyes. I used to think that me being the drama queen that I am was overdrama-ing my reaction to this, but every single person who I have forced to try this has gotten addicted to it. And so that it is on public record – I formally apologise to the BF for 2 years of snobbishness and condescending insults whenever he ordered this tamago sushi. I have erred. Back to food. We really went to Mitsuba so that I could give the BF his birthday present. It’s becoming a trend isn’t it? First I give him pork knuckle for Christmas, then I give him otoro for his birthday. At this rate, I’ll be buying him a Kobe cow in 5 years’ time. Not surprisingly, he went for the 100g. (We asked, the difference was 2 slices). I know, I know – it looks like false advertising cos the blatant fatty veins from the picture are missing. Blame the photographer. She was too engrossed in orgasmic bliss from tamago sushi. Okay okay. I was too engrossed. Behold the actual beauty of premium otoro: Tell me that does not look like beef. According to the BF, this was by far the best sashimi he ever ate. I kinda regret not sneaking a piece of his plate when he wasn’t looking. He also tried something new on the menu – shiro maguro (white tuna). Texture is a little bit firmer than what I prefer, kinda inbetween salmon and swordfish. There is a lovely buttery feel to this fish. I still love my sake don most though. Everybody knows what salmon don looks like but I had to put this picture in. See the rightmost slice of fish under the wasabi? Now compare it to the watermelon slice. With Chef Peter, fuck the sashimi finesse. There’s only almost-barbaric chunks of fresh goodness. For a meal of 2 dons, otoro sashimi, a chawanmushi and 4 servings of tamago sushi, I paid $107 with tax, but after 10% discount. On our first visit to Mitsuba last year, Chef Peter had an interesting dessert that I assume he was testing his customer base with. It is no longer available and has since been replaced with watermelon but I thought it deserved some mention.
Above 2 pics from supermerlion.com
It wasn’t very tasty but it wasn’t bad too. Each dumpling either had ground azuki (red bean) or matcha (green tea) with a white bean paste centre. The shell was just a starchy concoction. And as all my real friends who read this blog will know, the BF is insanely in love with me and will selflessly give me anything I want, including his internal organs if I needed them. Until now.
Since this was the BF’s birthday treat and I paid for the meal, I attempted to sneakily kidnap his our privilege card back into my wallet cos I like to hold business lunch meetings at Mitsuba. For the first time in 10 years, he told me NO. No discussions, no nothing, just straight out flat no. I gave him a minute to reconsider his decision but after much hemming and hawing, it was still a no.
I always knew Chef Peter would be the 3rd party in our relationship. We’ve been eating his food since we were newly dating students, to young adults and now to fuddy duddies old enough to get married and get a house of our own. Seems like his privilege card is a deal breaker in our relationship!
For the record – cos there has been some hooha over bloggers masquerading their paid advertisements as honest opinions recently – I have always paid for my meals at Chef Peter’s establishments. I truly enjoy his food and have been his loyal patron for the past 8 years.
I wouldn’t turn down a sponsored meal from him for an advert in exchange though. Just saying.
Mitsuba by Yurine Japanese Restaurant is set up by Executive Chef Peter Teo, the well-known founder of Wasabi Tei at Far East Plaza and Chikuwa Tei at Mohamed Sultan. He is now permanently at his new restaurant.
6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-88, The Central Singapore 059817 Tel: 62270388 Business Hours Lunch: 11:30 am – 3 pm (Last Order 3 pm) Dinner: 6 pm – 10 pm (Last Order 10 pm) Reservations are welcome, and this place does not serve any pork or lard. Like Mitsuba by Yurine Japanese Restaurant’s Facebook page over here.