Daily: 11:30 - 15:00
Daily: 18:30 - 23:00
Santaro Japanese Restaurant offers a wide range of delectable delicacies made from fresh seasonal Japanese imports, with dishes from the Head Chef's own culinary creations.
I was looking at HungryGoWhere.com for a small cozy place to have dinner with my family and finally decided to settle at Santaro.
A typical Japanese setting, I was a little disappointed as I thought that a good quality restaurant in an established hotel would have spent a bit more on the setting. To make things worse, I was seated right next to the noisy kitchen and hearing the wait staff getting scolded by the manager is not what I envisioned of a quiet family dinner.
Down to the food, I started with the Santaro Tempura ($35). The tempura, consisting of prawn and tempura tasted fresh, probably because of the fresh oil used to cooking the items. Before I ordered, I noted that the price said $30 and up. So I asked the waitress attending to me what was today's rate, to which she replied, "see the menu". When I said $30, she said "yeah" but I suspect she did not quite get what I was trying to get at. While when the bill arrived there was a $5 variation but I decided not to make any noise on that.
Moving on, I tried the Gindara Mentai ($22). This dish was executed very well, and I even dare say one of the better cod fish with spicy roe that I have every eaten. Addictive with loads of roe, although some may find it a little on the salty side.
For my main course I tried the Tokujyo Chirashi Sushi ($50) which consisted of four thick slices of hamachi (yellow tail), one and a half slices of otoro, two amaebi (sweet prawn), ikura (salmon roe), two slices of sake (salmon),tamago (egg) and some crunchy pieces of clam. Overall, the fish was fresh and I enjoyed every morsel, although the rice was a bit too sticky for my liking.
All in all, other than the seating location, I thought the quality of the food was quite good, but at this price point I would have expected a better ambience.
Had dinner an ordered the mini-Kaiseki menu... The food was creative and above average, but was good value... What was a real put-off was the cigarette smoke that seemed to come from the private dinning rooms at the back....
I went to Santoro for a weekday lunch. It did not have very many customers, only about 2 other tables were occupied. As mentioned in previous reviews, the decor and ambience is nothing to shout about, but we didn't mind - as long as the food and service would prove good.
We ordered from the lunch bento sets, which are not cheap by the way - at about $45 each. The first sign of dodgy service was when we were ordering. The waitress grabbed the menus out of our hands even before we had a chance to order, and was very brusque in answering simple questions like : "Is this fried tempura vegetables?" The really awful trend in service was continued by another waitress who tried to whip away a bento box when we were nearing the end of the meal without checking if we were done, and then proceeded to try and grab the miso soup bowl out of my friend's hand! She had to actually pull the bowl away and say :" Excuse me, I'm not finished with this yet." The last straw was when we asked for the bill - instead of bringing the bill, the waitress came to the table and very brusquely said :"CREDIT CARD??" while gesticulating for us to hand it over. We asked to check the bill first and she looked annoyed.
I'm really not sure what was going on that day, maybe they had just been given a pay cut or a bad scolding? But in any event, given the so-so food, decot and this type of service, I'm never going back there again!