Sakurazaka Shabu Shabu restaurant is a new eatery that joins the cluster of food outlets on Greenwood Avenue in the residential Watten Estate in Bukit Timah. Sakurazaka is a specialty restaurant – only serving the Japanese steamboat dish, shabu shabu, which makes it stand out among the host of generic offerings that pop up these days. We decided to drop by Sakurazaka shabu shabu to check out what’s for dinner.
The exterior of the Sakurazaka Shabu Shabu restaurant looks ordinary enough. Like the typical Greenwood Avenue restaurant, it is housed in the ground floor of a shophouse. A large neon sign announces its presence in the night. An awning spreads over the five-foot way to provide shelter for the few tables catering for those who prefer non-airconditioned dining. The interior is more unusual. Adorned with a wood themed finish, there were decorative fixtures on the ceiling and on the walls. The wall decoration was rather nice but the suspended overhead fixture dropped the already low ceiling by another two feet, giving it a cave-like atmosphere.
There is an ala carte menu from which you can order different types of meat, seafood and vegetables. But it is probably easier to start with the fixed course menus of Sakurazaka Shabu Shabu restaurant which provides four choices. A pork menu priced at $95, a mixed seafood course at $108, a wagyu beef course at $128 and a sukiyaki set at $150 that combines seafood sukiyaki with wagyu beef. Each of the courses serve two people. In case our picture of the menu is not clear enough, the full menu is available on the Sakurazaka website (see link below). We settled on the second option – the seafood “bouillabaisse” course.
The meal started with an interesting appetizer. Two thin slices of beef to be cooked on a hot stone. The cooking was quick and easy and the taste of the beef and soft yolk egg was good.
Next, three types of sauces were presented – yuzu flavoured, lime flavoured and sesame seed sauce. We realised later that the first two went well with the delicate flavours of vegetable and seafood. The sesame sauce had a nice taste but was too strong for seafood. Various condiments were available. We like the chilli sauce which was very good with the prawns and the noodles.
The raw ingredients were served. A platter each of vegetables and seafood, a plate of noodles and a bamboo tube of prawn paste, with which we made our prawn balls.
The thing with steamboat style meals such as shabu shabu is that the raw food looks better than the finished product. So we did not take any pictures of the finished products which were not much to look at. It is enough for us to say that the ingredients were generally fresh and good tasting. The clams and prawn paste get special mention for the very good tastes. We selected two kinds of soup base – the ago dashi and fish bouillabaisse soups. The dashi looks very plain but the taste eventually built up to form a good soup to cook the noodles with. The fish soup was quite strong with a slight fishy taste. We used it to cook the very plain items such as tofu.
The meal ended with a choice of shaved ice desserts (kakigori). We selected the port wine (above) and mocha green tea (below) flavours. Both were good, but the macho tea is slightly better as it has a deeper taste and there is a scoop of green tea ice-cream. All in all, it was an interesting shabu shabu dinner in Watten Estate.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Sakurazaka Shabu Shabu
24 Greenwood Avenue
Tel : +65 6463 0333
Thursday – Sunday 11.30am – 03.00pm
Monday – Sunday 6.00pm – 10.30pm