I LOVE Japanese food. Whether I am in Japan or Singapore, I eat Japanese food quite often. But truth is, no matter how good the Japanese food in Singapore is, I often feel they are missing the ‘taste of Japan’. There are only a few places in Singapore where, when I dine there, I tell myself, “Yup, this tastes like Japanese food in Japan.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Japanese food in Singapore is not nice. It is nice – in its own way. But it’s just a bit different from what you get when you are in Japan.
Last week, we were invited to Restaurant Hoshigaoka to try our their Tajima Wagyu Creations. If you are super particular about where your cows come from and what grade the beef is, let me copy and paste the fact sheet about the Tajima Wagyu beef used here for you:
Tajima is the most famous of all Wagyu bloodlines and originating from the Hyogo prefecture, these black cattle have larger forequarters and lighter hindquarters. They are generally smaller-framed but produce excellent meat quality with superior marbling. They are minimum 500 days grain fed, hormone free and anti-biotic free. Tajima Wagyu Beef is Halal approved with Marble score of 6-7 and 8-9+.
For me, I don’t really care where the cows come from and whether they have been massaged or have had music played to them. I just pop it into my mouth and decide whether it’s “Yummy!” or “OKAY” or “Blah”. Which explains why I can never be a food blogger. The last time I tried to be one, it was just outright hilarious more than anything.
These days, I try to jio other bloggers / instagramers with me when I want to blog about food so that, you know, I won’t be the only one to embarrass myself and I have friends to be embarrassed together with me? So this time, I invited Justin (Instagram | blog) who is a lot more serious about his food than I am. Hoping he would balance off the lack of seriousness in me and save me from getting struck off all future food-related invitations.
We started off with an item NOT from the Tajima Wagyu Creations. The Pitan Tofu ($7.80++) was in Restaurant Hoshigaoka’s new menu roll-out. Pitan is century egg – and I know some people cringe just from the mention of century eggs. If you can’t stand century eggs, pass. I LOVE century eggs. Gross, I know. But I always order century egg when I go to Wu Xiang stalls and I can just eat century egg with bee hoon, coating my bee hoon with the gooey yolk. Am I the only one who does that?
I love this appetizer which made use of their homemade century egg sauce which blended well with the cold tofu, crab meat and flying fish roe. If you like pitan, try this!
Tajima Wagyu Creations
Our next appetizer was from the much-anticipated Tajima Wagyu Creations. This Wagyu Tataki ($21.80++) was one of those things that made me go, “This has the taste of Japan!” I could do without the spicy stuff on top though – I think they put it there to cater to local taste. Scrap them off and this was the closest thing I had tasted in Singapore to my favourite beef sashimi rice from Hokkaido, which you can find listed on my post on Hokkaido’s Best Food. When it comes to good Japanese beef, the rarer the better for me.
And here’s Justin’s take on this dish:
A4 Tajima beef tataki with a beef marbling score of 6-7. This is my favorite dish out of probably.. 10 other menu items and set menu we had that day? . Kobe beef comes from Tajima cows, where the best gets classified as Kobe beef and the rest remains as Tajima beef. But with a grade of A4 and marbling score of 6-7, should this Tajima be classified as Kobe, albeit at the lower end of Kobe? I'm not sure why, but probably cos they didn't manage to get it accredited? . The beef is fat and tender, but still retaining the taste of beef which could have been missed for some really fat cuts. It's topped with spring onions and grated chilli radish which made it more zesty. Try the first slice, if you find these accompaniments overpowering, scrap some off from the second slices onwards. I personally feel that with beef of this marbling and taste, they can be confident that there's no need for that much citrus and spice. . There were so much food that day, but I didn't eat much cos the dishes came fast and furious and I was more busy taking photos. I'll come back with my wife again for a more leisurely dinner for their Tajima beef, because there's 30% off on weekdays, hence this costs only $18 nett. . This is a media tasting. Thank you @globegalsg for hosting us and @bumble_bee_mum for extending the invitation. . #japanesefood #wagyu #kobebeef
Next, we had the wagyu set ($35.80++), which came with 100g of Tajima Wagyu beef grilled with sea salt and pepper.
The beef was nicely done, with the centre still rare. Yummy!
Besides that plate of beef, I found the rest of the set nothing special. So imo, the Wagyu Don ($25.80++) which comes with 70g of pan-fried Tajima Wagyu beef would have been a more affordable option if it is just the beef you are after.
Image Source: Restaurant Hoshigaoka
We also had the Wagyu Cheese Aburi Sushi ($15.80++) which was pretty good, though it was too well cooked for my personal taste. I like my beef more rare.
Tajima Wagyu Beef Creations – June Promotion
Overall, I felt the Tajima Wagyu Beef Creations were pretty good and the tataki particularly had the taste of Japan. For this month (June 2016) only, you can get 30% discount off items on the Tajima Wagyu Beef Creations on weekdays!
Okay, so what’s in it for the kids, you may wonder. After all, feeding kids expensive beef is a waste of money. One of the things I have always loved about Restaurant Hoshigaoka was their kawaii Kids Menu ($9.90++ per set).
MY decided to choose a bullet train set. Kid has been to Japan too many times. He was saying, “I want bullet train!” when I expected him to simply say ‘train’ instead of specifically ‘bullet train’.
And MF chose the aeroplane set!
Each set came with a bottle of Yakult and a packet of Hello Panda cookies. The toy helicopter was not included. It belonged to the restaurant though – the staff took it out for the kids to play with.
Restaurant Hoshigaoka also had some interesting desserts. Like this Shinjuku Toast ($8.80++) which was essentially an egg toast topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream from Udders.
And they also had this tempura ice-cream ($6.80++), which also used ice-cream from Udders coated with their homemade batter.
When we were there last week, we noticed that The Grandstand was constructing a new playground just behind Restaurant Hoshigaoka. The playground was not connected to the restaurant though. It was not open yet when we were there, but it looks like it will be ready soon.
Information on Restaurant Hoshigaoka:
Address: #01-31 The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287994
Tel: 6466 3716
- Mon – Fri (Lunch): 11am – 3pm
- Mon – Thurs (Dinner): 5.30pm – 10pm
- Fri (Dinner): 5.30pm – 10.30pm
- PH Eve & Sat: 11am – 10.30pm
- PH & Sun: 11am – 10pm
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Read more on The Grandstand!
- E-Sarn Thai Cuisine
- Latte e Miele
- Slappy Cakes
- Kiddy Fun Indoor Playgrounds
- Fidgets World Indoor Playground
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