4.1Pandi Kutty •
04 Feb 2009
My impression of Okinawan food so far has been En Lounge, also in the vicinity of Mimigar and I find Okinawan cuisine quite palatable.
I chanced upon Mimigar on my way to Satsuma Shochu bar. I wasn't very surprised to find this niche restaurant in Gallery Hotel as the hotel has already established itself as an enclave for food from different japanese culinary styles, including Miharu ramen next door.
Parking was easy in the hotel itself, without having to jostle for parking space at the ever-popular Robertson Quay area.
The resto-bar was small, cosy and promised home-styled Okinawan food. I loved the warm wood interior with soft warm mellow lights. Here the open kitchen concept brings the chef closer to you as they are just cooking behind a bar table. ( Wonder if the alcohol ever explodes) I would strongly recommend reservations on weekends as the stove is only helmed by a chef and ?his souz chef.
I started off with a parma ham salad topped with shaved parmesan cheese. At first glance of the menu, this salad was highly reminiscent or may even be 'plagiarised' off italian menus. However, a japanese twist was added to the dish with its own unique sweet-savoury brown sauce. The parma was all-italiano.
The knowledgeable and friendly waitress recommended the bitter gourd tofu with bacon stir-fry. Simple dish, but tasted amazing. The bitter gourd was not bitter, fried till fragrant and the bacon lent its distinctive porky savoury flavour.
I finished off with a small soba. Again, simple as it sounded, the soup base was white opaque and delicious, probably boiled over a slow fire for many hours. The usually bland soba was al dente and imbibed the soup rather nicely rendering it very tasty. Although the dish came topped with canned chinese pork, i must say it went very nicely with the soup/soba and I give it my stamp of approval.
I had a shochu made from sweet potato on the rocks to go with all the food. The shochu was crisp and light, with a vague sweet potato taste in it. I think it's good as a dessert drink too.
Can't wait to bring some friends over for a warm, cosy get-together!
Addendum. I returned 3 days later and had the Rafute... It beats any chinese braised 3-layered pork any day.
The Soumen fried with tuna was delicious. Portion large enough for a one-dish meal.
The Rayu-ae was interesting. I liked it, although it would be deemed too salty for most Singaporean palates. It's a great food for accompanying alcohol.
The Salad of corn was not very nice. Tasted rather organic. Too healthy for me. Too Raw!