This month, Takayama in Downtown Gallery is featuring a culinary showcase with specialty seasonal ingredients from Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture.
Ishikawa, Japan is a beautiful place on Earth – trust us, we’ve been there – but what makes the prefecture in northern Japan even more special is its amazing bounty. Located right next to the Sea of Japan it has access to some of the finest seafood the country has to offer – yellowtail, snow crab and sweet shrimp are just some of the many delicacies harvested there that’s found their way into its regional cuisine.
But if you can’t make your way to Japan any time soon, fine dining Japanese restaurant Takayama in Downtown Gallery is putting on a culinary showcase of produce from Ishikawa prefecture. For the month of December, chef-owner Taro Takayama of Takayama will be presenting an exquisite tasting menu that highlights the produce of Ishikawa prefecture in his signature intimate Kappo-style dining.
You’re looking at the likes of Kobako-Kani (female snow crab), which is simply steamed to preserve various levels of natural sweetness apparent in the flesh, crunchy roe and light-orange innards, and then topped off with apple and sweet vinegar jelly. In keeping with tradition, the emptied crab shell is filled with warm sake to be savoured as a final, umami-filled experience.
Then there’s the male snow crab, Kano-Gani, wild-caught and air-freighted ‘live’ for this promotional period. Here it’s served two ways – the crab legs are grilled over bincho-tan and then enjoyed with Ishikawa ponzu sauce, while the rest of the crab is cooked in a claypot along with Japanese rice.
It’s not all seafood. Renkon, or lotus root, features prominently in Japanese cookery, but Kaga-Renkon from the region is starchier and stickier. Chef Taro – in typical Ishikawa home-cooking style – steams and grates it to bring out a mochi-like texture, then formed into a round pancake before pan-frying to bring out its crispy outer texture. As for the humble Gensuke-Daikon, Chef Taro uses it in the yuzu ponzu sauce for shabu shabu, as well as serving it pickled and thinly sliced on creamy ankimo (monkfish liver). He also uses Gorojima Kintoki Satsuma Imo in his take on a classic Mont Blanc but eschewing chestnut for the sweet potato instead.
And to pay homage to Ishikawa as the artisan capital of Japan, this entire seasonal meal is served artfully on traditional Ishikawa gold-leaf Wajima lacquerware, Kutani porcelain and bespoke tableware.
And since a classic fine-dining Japanese meal isn’t quite complete without sake, make sure you pair this seasonal menu with the renowned sakes from Ishikawa’s Tengumai.
Available from now till 31 December 2019, Takayama’s nine-course seasonal menu featuring specialty produce of Ishikawa prefecture is priced at $280++ per person. Menu items may change depending on availability of ingredients. Sakes can be purchased separately on an a la carte basis.
Address 6A Shenton Way, #01-09/10 OUE Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 12pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10pm on Mondays to Fridays; 6.30pm to 10pm on Saturdays; closed on Sundays
Tel (65) 6224 0864