22 Sep 2010 • 375 reviews • 31 followers
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I've been eating at Tonkichi when there was only one outlet at Lido. Now, Ngee Ann City, Orchard Central, Suntec and Tampines Mall have it. Something is lost when the restaurant expanded; it has lost a certain charm, authenticity and sincerity, which are replaced by the drive for profits. You can tell from the change in menu. Instead of sticking to deep-fried Japanese food, they expanded to cover ramen and sashimi and any Japanese can tell you that the correct way to eating raw fish is with rice, i.e. sushi, and sashimi is just to trick tourists. The prices are also increased.
My friend ordered the ramen. She said it was too oily. And from the appearance, the egg was overcooked. I drank a bit of the soup and it tasted porky in a bad way.
I always order the Mixed Seafood set because I don't really like pork and the oyster is OUT OF THE WORLD. If you eat pork, I would highly recommended the pork-and-oyster set. The mixed seafood set comes with miso-soup, two prawns, one oyster, half-a-dory fish--used to be a full fish--and one croquette; and fruits as dessert. The rice is free-flow and so is the cabbage. In the past, the rice glistened like in rice commercials, so good you could eat it on its own. They must have changed a supplier to a lower grade of rice. And the cabbage too. It used to be so fresh and crispy and clean, and now it seems to be of a lower grade. When you eat the cabbage, ask for the sesame dressing they concoct themselves. You have to ask for it or they won't give you. The fragrant sesame dressing over the fresh, crunchy cabbage makes me drool.
The fried meat is still as good as before, fried in such a way that it isn't oily at all. The winner is really the oyster. It's still partly raw inside, so the slimy oyster contrasted with the crispy breaded layer gives it such a wonderful textured sensation. The surprise is the croquette. I hate potato; and I've tried the croquette here before but today's is different. It oozes out, so full of goodness.
I still like Tonkichi but I wish the quality of the rice and cabbage returns to the original state, and I wish that there were more sincerity in the food. It tasted factory-made this time, that's the trouble with branches, having to standardize the food.