Duxton Hill is a compact dining enclave that is perhaps underated by too many people. Away from the usual tourist spots, the quaint neighborhood on a hill has a wide variety of good restaurants in rows of shop houses with wooden shutters fronting a cobblestone street. One such restaurant is RIZU – a modern Japanese restaurant that has interesting healthy plant-based foods on its menu and even a plant based omamkase.
RIZU Modern Japanese Restaurant
RIZU is a modern boutique Japanese restaurant. The restaurant appointed a new head chef in late 2019. The kitchen is now helmed by chef Hiroshi Watanabe from Hokkaido, who has worked in Tokyo and California. He is also a certified sommelier of Japan Sommelier Association.
The intimate restaurant can seat just 30 guests indoors and 16 guests in the al fresco dining area. The contemporary interiors have warm earth tones and soft lighting. The interior design combines functionality with elegance in a compact space.
The RIZU menu is simple. There is a Chef’s Omakase and a Plant-based Omakase. A short menu for bar bites as add-ons to an omakase meal is available. For lunch there is a Lunch Prix Fixe menu.
RIZU Lunch Prix Fixe
RIZU Lunch Prix Fixe menu offers a salad plus 4 other items. For each of the 4 items, it is possible to pick a plant-based option. Coffee or tea will be served at the end of the meal as part of the Prix Fixe menu.
The salad was served soon after the order was taken. It looked simple and elegant. The lettuce was cold and crunchy and the pickled radish packed a tangy punch. The delicious Japanese salad sauce really ensured an impressive start to our lunch.
Pork Terrine vs Eggplant
For the second course we opted for a pork terrine and the eggplant with quinoa. The terrine was average but saved by the salsa like toppings. The plant-based dish of eggplant with quinoa was very good. The marinated eggplant had delightful texture and flavour. Round 1 went to the plant based dish.
Fish vs Tomato Pie
We selected the Fish of the Day, which was Spanish Mackerel with Walnut Sauce, and the vegetarian dish of Tomato Pie with Olive Sorbet. The fish looked very average and there was no surprise in the taste. Nice but not particularly remarkable.
The Heirloom Tomato Pie looked like a rectangular pizza. My dining companion pitied me for choosing a vegetarian pizza. Looks deceived. The slightly tart tomatoes, flaky, light layers of pastry and cold olive sorbet combined well to deliver an excellent dish which set the taste buds tingling. It was like nothing we had tried before. We would put it right on top of our list of delicious plant based dishes. Round 2 went to the plant based dish by a knockout.
Lobster Soup Risotto vs Rice Balls in Konbu Broth
The next course was soup. Both the Lobster Soup Risotto with Snow Crab and the Rice Balls with Chestnut and Mushroom in Konbu Broth were excellent. However, this round must go to the non-vegetarian Lobster Soup Risotto with Snow Crab, which was the best dish of the lunch. Round 3 was a narrow victory for the non-plant based dish.
No Contest for Desserts
Both the dessert dishes were plant-based and both were very enjoyable.
Great Plant Based Eats
Overall, the RIZU Lunch Prix Fixe was enjoyable. The plant based dishes were all very good. Service was excellent and the elegant dining space was pleasant and comfortable. RIZU must be added to the list of restaurants for plant-based eats. The best thing is that you can go there for an excellent plant-based meal even if your dining companion is a die hard carnivore.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
39 Duxton Hill
Tel: +65 69048880
Nearby MRT Station: Tanjong Pagar
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog