Weighty Man •
15 Mar 2012 • 721 reviews • 85 followers
It's good to check out my favourite restaurants once in a while to measure them against my benchmark for good food. Tarafuku lives up and exceeds the original ratings given them, except that they were too crowded that day (as usual, I was told).
Ambience: It's a reasonable sized restaurant with small tables and chairs but it was unusually crowded on a Wednesday afternoon for lunc, I guess it's during the school holidays and all the mummy and papas are bringing their kids out for a break. Lots of kids around. (kids half price). Cool, not too noisy as people were busy eating and comfortable.
Food: I've long since learned to focus on the key items in a Japanese buffet and not to waste time with the Udon, fried rice, deep fried chicken, green salads, and potato chips, which are not typically Japanese. I started with a large dish of shahimi - tuna, salmon and squid (ika). The tuna was particularly fresh and tasty compared to other joints that tend to serve mushy tuna. Solid pieces, well cut and not soggy. I enjoyed tuns this time. The salmon slices which thick, fresh and very tasty. I chose the pieces that had streaks of salmon fat in it - delicious with wasabe and soy sauce. The ika was not too fresh and I had only 2 pieces for fear of the runs. Eating this one plate of sashimi is enough to "chiak kow poon" - eat your value for the lunch. Senior citizens pay a net $19 for lunch, a discount of about $4 over the young ones.
I had a piece of pork tonkatsu which I felt was overfried, dark brown on the outside and dry on the inside. Not typical of Tampopo (their parentage) style. Only had one piece. The chawamushi was great tasting, served hot from a boiler, finely steamed egg with prawns and chicken in it. Wanted to take 2 but though that I should concentrate on the sashimi. I had another plate of sashimi which was eqully good but someone else had taken the choice bits of salmon with fat in it. I had to settle for the side muscle.
I must highlight their sushi. Unlike other buffet places, their sushi is insipid, limb and tasteless, often filled with crab sticks. Over here, their sushi are bistro quality, well prepared, large with lots of filling (fish skin, prawn). Their Californian rolls are also well prepared with fresh, crunchy nori.
You can also order side dishes, I had 2 pieces of tempura prawns - good but prawns were too crunchy for my liking and appeared drained off colour. A shishamo fish deep fried - very well done, not dark brown like the tonkatsu, and a bowl of laksa ramen, which I could not finish. This ramen is served with a small piece of char siew, egg, fish slices.
Value: Great value even if you pay full price.
Service: I notice that the staff are more friendly this time around. A tall guy with punked was kinder to me and less abrasive. Even the cashier was friendly. Pluses for service this time around.