We'd missed out on our January monthly meet-up with Kang because we were all still decompressing from our Phuket hedonism, and also occupied with Chinese New Year festivities, so we met up early in February. Both the Hubs and Kang wanted to stay away from carbs and I wanted to try out this Japanese BBQ place at Vivocity.
Tajimaya, another concept restaurant under the creativEATeries umbrella, is a relative newcomer in the local Japanese BBQ scene. We've only ever been to Gyu-Kaku and Aburiya. Tajimaya differs slightly from the 2 other more established Jap BBQ chains in that there's only one standard marinade for the meats, methinks it's teriyaki (the other 2 offer up to 4 or 5 different marinades). Also, their beef is only available in 2 different types, the more full-bodied US Black Angus range (Gyu-Kaku and Aburiya don't offer US beef) or the highly-marbled more delicate Japanese wagyu variety (whereas the other 2 offer only Japanese beef, but in different marbling grades).
Tajimaya seems to have a better ventilation system though, my hair didn't have any lingering smells of charcoal smoke and cooking marinades. I suppose it's gotta do with its more airy, less-closeted high-ceiling-ed dining space. As a bonus, the outdoors area affords a very pretty view of the Sentosa waterfront.
We got both beef varieties to compare, the US Beef Karubi ($18.90) was up first, using US Black Angus short rib. This was very robust beef, full-on red meat flavour, the kind The Professor will like. This was, despite the juiciness, a little chewy though. We should have done this medium rare.
We all preferred the Wagyu Karubi ($28.90) Japanese short ribs which were more delicate than the US beef. It could also be that this was very much more marbled than the US beef, resulting in very much more tender meat.
The Prawns ($12.50) were lightly seasoned with a brush of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to bring out its natural sweetness.
The Scallops ($12.90), simply seasoned with a little soy and pepper, were succulent and sweet, too bad we left them a little too long on the grill.
The Kurobuta Pork Jowl ($16.90), long strips of lean pork, also marinated with teriyaki, solid stuff.
The Chicken Sausage ($10.90) had cheese injected for good measure was drizzled with a bit of teriyaki sauce for a wee bit more flavour.
We liked the Chicken ($10.90) very much, succulent juicy chunks dripping with marinade and thoroughly seasoned.
We also got the Kinoko Moriawase ($8.90), a platter of an assortment of mushrooms.
The King Oyster Mushrooms, drizzled with teriyaki, were delectably chewy.
The Enoki, cut in half and pooled with butter and teriyaki was well flavoured.
The Shitake, also lightly drizzled with teriyaki, were the most earthy of them all.
The Shimeiji was my favourite, simply for its texture and mild flavours, also seasoned the same way as the enoki.
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel: 6377 0070
Open weekdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch and 5.30pm to 10pm for dinner
weekends from 11.30am to 10pm