Andrew’s Birthday @ Kuriya

Andrew: For my birthday this year, my uncle recommended Kuriya at Great World City for top notch Japanese food! We had a cosy little room to ourselves and had a great time enjoying the food and the company.  The best part about Japanese food is that most of it is incredibly healthy, hence we could feast to our hearts’ content, without having to worry excessively about calorie-intake!

Sashimi & Sushi Dishes

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Sashimi Starter with all set meals

All set meals came with a sashimi starter with salmon, tuna and swordfish sashimi. It is indeed a mark of a Japanese fine dining place that the sashimi comes on a bed of ice to retain its freshness. I loved the salmon sashimi so much! Even their wasabi was more concentrated and spicy than the ones at usual Japanese restaurants – a small amount was able to pack a good punch!

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Jasmine: I was quite happy to order a sashimi salad and share tempura with Andrew and his brother. I’ve always enjoyed the sashimi salad at Sushi Tei, but Kuriya was far more generous, giving large, silky slabs of three different kinds of sashimi, unlike the piecemeal shreds of salmon at Sushi Tei. However, as I was halfway through my salad, I looked up and realised that Andrew’s main course had not yet arrived… And neither had anyone else’s. So I had to slow down considerably. Heh.

Here’s a close up:

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Dearie’s Sashimi Salad

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My uncle’s sushi set

Andrew: I didn’t get to try any of these myself, but every single piece does look pretty and fresh! Heh. I’m sure it must have been good.

Chawanmushi

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Regular chawanmushi

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My dad’s abalone chawanmushi

Andrew: My dad ordered an abalone set menu, so every item from starter to main course had abalone in it. The texture and taste of the chawanmushi was good, but the abalone was too rubbery for me.

Tempuras

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Soft shell crab tempura

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Assorted tempura

Andrew: The tempuras were good! The batter used was light, crispy and not too oily. Prawns were juicy and tasty. They even deep-fried the prawn heads for us, but everyone avoided it after my dad’s comment about how the cholesterol of a prawn was concentrated in the head.

Jasmine: Of course, how could I go without my usual serving of unhealthy, deep-fried food, right? Unlike my staple food of potato chips, in which the potato is preserved, deep-fried and ridged beyond recognition, tempura is defined completely by the essence of the ingredient, and not any extra seasoning or topping. From this dish, I only had two tempura ebi, but I liked how refined and delicate the batter was.

All kinds of hot pots with garlic rice!

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Wenda and Sharon’s Pork Sukiyaki Paper Steamboat Hot

Andrew: The sukiyaki sauce flavoured the pork extremely well. The pork slices were meaty and thoroughly infused with the fragrant sweetness of the sukiyaki sauce. My brother, food-chemistry expert that he is, warned us against dipping the meat in the raw egg (which is the way you’re supposed to eat it), hence the egg was poured into the hotpot and cooked together with the pork.

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My dad’s Abalone Steamboat with udon noodles

Andrew: I didn’t try this myself, but my dad said the soup was light – not sure if he meant it wasn’t tasty enough? Heh.

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Alaskan Kingcrab Stonepot

Andrew: This was my order and I enjoyed it lots! The soup was light and the dish relied solely on the ingredients’ natural flavours with minimal seasoning. The soup was infused with the sweetness of the king crab and the freshness and sweetness of the vegetables. The meat of the king crab was a little rubbery (not as fresh as the ones at Todai), but still retained the juicy natural sweetness of king crab. I loved it!

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Teapot Soup

Andrew: It’s amazing how much they can squeeze into this little teapot of soup! Can you believe that in this pot is a whole prawn, pieces of pork, mushrooms, gingko nuts and fishcake?

Jasmine: Yes, we were quite impressed by how Andrew kept pulling ingredient after ingredient out of the deceptively small pot.

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Fragrant Garlic Rice

Andrew: This garlic rice was fragrant and delicious. It amazes me how most of the dishes here rely greatly on the natural ingredients for their flavours and rely little on additional seasoning like salt and pepper. Every single grain of this fried rice dish was filled with garlic flavour. Yum!

Jasmine: I only meant to sample the rice but ended up helping myself to a couple more mouthfuls to Andrew’s surprise (I’m not really a rice person). The breakout star of the garlic rice was, without question, the garlic, which was crispy, aromatic and really pepped up the entire dish.

Everyone had a good time:

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And finally, the cake arrived….

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Chocolate truffle cake from Choco@art

Andrew: Rich and creamy chocolate cake, nice in small portions, but can get a bit overwhelmingly sweet after a while.

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Jasmine: Oh, and a couple of people remarked that we were "accidentally" colour-coordinated again. Andrew is wearing a gingham shirt from Topman and I am wearing a Japanese label, Osmosis, bought in Hong Kong.

Andrew: It was indeed a great time not only of food, but of interesting conversations too as we laughed and joked about the latest Fun-pack Song, Lady Gaga, Vietnamese coffee and politics. I had a great birthday celebration!

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My First Birthday Gift: Apple Wireless Keyboard for my iPad2

Thanks Wenda & Sharon for this thoughtful gift!

Am now looking forward to my birthday celebration with Dearie!

(Jasmine: Pressure!)

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