Food Review: Keyaki | Fine Japanese restaurant at Pan Pacific Singapore

The Place I have long heard about the fine Japanese restaurant Keyaki in Pan Pacific Singapore, so imagine my excitement when I had the chance to try its seasonal Hokkaido Menu launched this month. As I entered Keyaki from level three of the hotel, it was reminiscent of a walk in a garden in Kyoto for me, which left me surprised by the effort that went into designing and creating a zen ambience for diners right from the entrance. After soaking for a few moments in the garden imagining in broad daylight that I was in Japan, I was greeted by the friendly staff at Keyaki and made my way to the table, in anticipation of a wholesome meal ahead.   

IMG_5073e

IMG_5062e

The Food Available for lunch and dinner from 6 February to 6 March 2015, Keyaki will be launching a special Epicurean Discovery of Hokkaido menu for a limited time. I am a fan of Kaiseki style Japanese meals, as there is often so much to expect from the course, from the beautiful plating of the individual dish to the immense effort by the chef in preparing each dish. There are three new eight-course menus to choose from, Hokkai ($190), Donnan ($190) or Hakodate ($160) menus designed by Chef Hiroshi Ishii. If you are a fan of Hokkaido cuisine such as the fresh seafood and some of the seasonal specials, each of the three special menu brings in a different combination of ingredients to satisfy your palate.

IMG_5106eWe started with the Cod Milt Tofu, which is a pretty exotic dish. No prizes for guessing correctly, but Cod Milt it is essentially fish sperm, traditionally considered a delicacy in Japanese cuisine. The texture of the dish was silky and soft, while the taste was quite delicious much to my surprise due to my initial scepticism. For a first timer trying milt, the taste was rather indescribable as I can’t think of something similar.

IMG_5210eHow can we not have Sashimi in a Keiseki meal? On the Hokkai menu is three types of Sashimi – Toro (Tuna), Botanebi (Botan Shrimp), Hokkigai (Surf Clam), all freshly sliced and presented beautifully. Botanebi sashimi is something I will skip usually, as it can taste really bad if the shrimp is not fresh as I have come across previously in other restaurants. This version from Keyaki is one of the freshest I have ever tasted.

IMG_5169eTrue Japanese cuisine foodies will appreciate the Grilled Kinki Fish, which is considered a premium fish in Japan. The fish is lightly sprinkled with salt and gently grilled, which probably explains the soft texture and creamy taste. For a Kaiseki set, I think that the size of the Kinki fish is quite generous in portion.
IMG_5163eOther than the grilled way of preparing the fish, there is also the option of having the Simmered Kinki Fish, which is a more oriental way of cooking the fish in my opinion. Personally, I like the taste of the soft fish meat in the tasty sauce in this version, much more than the grilled version. My recommendation is to try both versions of the fish if you have at least two diners.
IMG_5131Scallops is another fresh produce of Hokkaido which we could not neglect. The Grilled Scallop with Egg Yolk Sauce was grilled to perfection, as the texture of the scallop was just right. The egg yolk sauce gave it a rather rich taste, which is pleasantly different from the cheesy versions more commonly prepared in other restaurants.

IMG_5136e

IMG_5138eUp next, I had the Snow Crab Tempura, fried to a nice golden hue in two generous portions. This is one good way to appreciate the taste of snow crab, especially for me as tempura is something I can’t resist having.
IMG_5210eThe platter of Sushi – Uni (Sea Urchin), Ikura (Salmon Roe), Hotate (Scallop) brought the Keiseki meal to another level for me, as  it contains some of the finest combination. The trio of Uni, Ikura and Hotate can only wow the senses if it is fresh, which I can gladly say so with much conviction after trying them.

IMG_5189e

Hot pot dish is commonly seen in cold regions like Hokkaido, therefore the Ishikari Nabe (Salmon Miso Hot Pot), which contains salmon, seasonal vegetables and Hokkaido potatoes in miso broth. This is certainly a comforting dish for me, as I feel that soup is one component which completes every good meal. The salmon is very fresh here, and I especially enjoyed sipping every bit of the savoury soup.

IMG_5228

The last bit of the Hokkai set is the Hokkaido Melon with Strawberries, a refreshing treat to cleanse my palate after the sumptuous seven courses.

Other than the Hokkai ($190) set, the other two sets available are Donnan ($190) and Hakodate ($160):

Donan $180
Marinated Ika (Squid) in Soy Sauce
Sashimi – Toro (Tuna), Botanebi (Botan Shrimp), Hokkigai (Surf Clam)
Grilled King Crab
Grilled Cod with Seaweed
Hokkaido Corn Tempura
Sushi – Uni (Sea Urchin) Ikura (Salmon Roe), Hotate (Scallop)
Ishikari Nabe (Salmon Miso Hot Pot)
Yubari Melon Jelly from Hokkaido

Hakodate $160
Grilled Salmon Belly
Sashimi – Toro (Tuna), Botanebi (Botan Shrimp), Hokkigai (Surf Clam)
Baked Hokkaido Potato
Simmered Snow Crab with Burdock Root and Egg
Deep-Fried Smelt Fish
Sushi Uni (Sea Urchin) Ikura (Salmon Roe), Hotate (Scallop)
Ishikari Nabe (Salmon Miso Hot Pot)
Yubari Melon Jelly from Hokkaido

Rants It is for the willing. At the relatively high prices, dining at Keyaki and enjoying the zen environment doesn’t come cheap.

Will I return again? In awe of the Japanese garden, leading the way to the restaurant’s entrance. This is already worth half the experience of dining at Keyaki! If you are looking to splurge for a good Japanese meal, then Keyaki is not going to disappoint.

Make your reservation instantly at Keyaki here.

TheRantingPanda says:
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5

Keyaki Japanese Restaurant
Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square
Singapore 039595
Tel: +65 6826 8240

Opening Hours:
Daily 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6:30 to 10:30pm

About theRantingPanda (1501 Articles)
of blacks and whites and everything else | singapore | food reviews, lifestyle & travel

2 Comments on Food Review: Keyaki | Fine Japanese restaurant at Pan Pacific Singapore

  1. The food looks really good but so ex 😦

    Like

Rant here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: