The menu does feature lots of rare and unique Japanese dishes that cannot be found in other restaurants. And they sure look temptingly delicious. The only issue is that a fat wallet is needed to try out all of them.
The collagen hotpot seems like one of the main attractions, and frankly speaking, the seafood spread looks very attractive, where the fresh ingredients filled the pot almost to the brim. I'll say that the star of this dish is the clear, light, tasty broth. Even the tofu-like pieces of solidified collagen are clear in colour. As compared to the hearty, strong-tasting soup in Tsukada Nojo, I prefer Shirokiya's soup base since it is packed with subtle favours yet not overwhelming. However, unlike the unique and wholesome range of ingredients that Tsukada Nojo prepares for hotpot, the ones of Shirokiya are pretty generic: prawns (the best part), chicken pieces (kind of like randomly cut) and the usual suspects of vegetables used for most hotpot, cabbage, carrot, golden mushrooms and sh!take mushrooms.
Thus I find that the kurobuta pork hotpot set is a much better choice, where I can enjoy the soup and the generous helping of thinly sliced fresh kurobuta pork. A sprinkle of freshly grated black pepper onto the meat gives the extra kick and oomph.
As for the Fried Rice with Crab Meat, the rice portion seems to taste a bit bland on the first bite due to the lack of salt and oil. However, after a few more mouthful, the inherent aroma of the rice comes through. The use of less oil actually makes this dish more enjoyable to tuck into. When paired with the generous topping of real crab meat and shredded dried seaweed, the result is bursting with the goodness of the sea.
The tori karaage is not exactly what I call healthy food, but Shirokiya presents the healthier version by reducing the salt. Taste wise, it is plainer, still palatable though. Not exactly a noteworthy dish.
The second floor feels cosy due to the wooden furniture, sliding doors and panels. The pictures of sceneries in Japan decorate the walls, imparting a modern yet distinctively Japanese feel to the place. Though making one's way to the staircase to second floor is, well, not pleasant. The walkway is narrow, and there is a part where the dirty utensils are piled up at the side. The service varies from good to neutral to not-so-friendly. Quite a number has that poker face on a busy Friday night, no major issue, but also no points for this. One of the staff, Xandrea, is one of the exceptions who is cheerful, helpful and friendly. If only others are like her. The front counter staff is full of smiles, which is what attracted me to give the food here a try—yes, one of those few times I just walk in to check out the place without doing any research.
I do enjoy dining in Shirokiya, not including the journey to the staircase. So will visit again.
This review (with pictures) can be found on my blog: http://morsels-of-delice.blogspot.sg/2015/07/shirokiya-very-unique-dishes.html