Sisterly Date Double Feature! Part 1: Shirokiya CHIJMES!

For reasons (mostly cheap airfare and a University break), the Boobook and I took a little trip to Singapore Town and you know what that means…

… a SISTERLY DATE DOUBLE FEATURE!  (*cheering, applause*)

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Ta-Dahhh! Aren’t we just great?

We started our date with a delicious feast at Shirokiya CHIJMES.  Since Debs brought an owlet with her, I decided to take the Boobook to keep the owlet company.

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J and I fold chopstick stands before J tucks into his Chicken Porridge Zosui “SMILE” set lunch (SGD$12)

Shirokiya CHIJMES is one of those izakaya restaurants, basically a bar-styled restaurant where both drinks and food are nursed and meals take a long time indeed, the perfect sort of place for a sisterly get together, particularly when there’s lots of gossip to swap!

Shirokiya also has a pretty strong bishoku ryori (lit. Beautiful food) philosophy, which they have interpreted as food that is not only tasty, but is ultimately healthy for you.  Thus, their dishes tend to be collagen-rich and full of ingredients that promote good health.

We sat down at one of the tables and the feasting began.  Shirokiya was very generous and provided us with a veritable filling feast of many dishes!

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Clockwise from top: Ponzu sauce marinated Bonito Fish cooked in Hay (SGD$14), Broiled pressed mackerel (SGD$15.80), Cold Tofu in Shiokoji dressing ($8.80)

We started with one of Shirokiya’s specialties, a deliciously sliced cold tofu sprinkled with salted rice malt, a real refreshing treat on the hot day!  I very much enjoyed the fresh taste of the tofu, which I was unsurprised to learn was made onsite daily (which is why there are a limited number of dishes available each day).  Hats off to the chef who made it, as the tofu’s texture was deliciously creamy.  We were served this alongside another appetiser of avocado and seafood salad containing a hyaluronic acid jelly, which is purported to help with moisturising the skin.

Once we had cleaned our plates of appetisers[1], we were presented with a lovely bonito, which was cooked in hay straw and marinated with ponzu sauce as well as Shirokiya’s ultimate fried chicken wings with a sweet sauce.  While the chicken wings were a little meh, but the fish was delish and it made quite a dish.  The hay masked any fishy taste in the bonito and really provided it with a rustic taste that was quite unexpected for a fish that’s normally dried and shaved!  This dish even managed to get a thumbs up from Debs.

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Avocado and Seafood Salad with Hyaluronic Acid Jelly (SGD$20.80)

Finally, we got to the actual feasting, a huge pot of kurobuta[2] shabu-shabu served in a collagen-rich soup.  This was particularly interesting to watch cook as we were actually presented with the collagen jelly on a plate before it was pushed into the soup, where it melted slowly, adding richness in smell and taste.

Our host was gracious enough to show us how to get the best results when cooking the thin strips of fatty pork in the soup.  Rather than dunk the meat inside, which tends to overcook it, one should float the meat atop the bubbling soup, allowing it to cook evenly in soup and steam for a more balanced result.  Balanced or not, the shabu-shabu soon had me stuffing my face, which was unfortunate, because we still had dessert to look forward to.

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Kurobuta Shabu-Shabu Served in Collagen Soup (SGD $38.80)

For dessert, we had one of my absolute favourites, warabi-mochi, something I have been sold on ever since I played Muramasa[3], which was served alongside a rich soy milk pudding, another dessert which I have been sold on since watching Chonmage Purin.  To be honest, if I could have snagged the desserts from Debs, I totally would have, but alas, my belly was full and I could not eat more, which was a real shame[4].

7) Warabi-Mochi with Brown Sugar Syrup: $7.80 8) Home-made Rich Soy Milk Pudding: $4.80

Top: Warabi-Mochi with Brown Sugar Syrup (SGD$7.80), Bottom: Home-made Rich Soy Milk Pudding (SGD$4.80)

All in all, I must say the experience in Shirokiya CHIJMES was a pretty positive one.  Our meal of many dishes was more than generous and I highly recommend bringing more people to help eat if you plan to eat the same things we did, which will make things easier on the wallet.  For those of you muttering about the price of Japanese food in today’s economy, Shirokiya CHIJMES has also recently released a very affordable “SMILE” lunch for people on the go!  At $12 a set, these lunches are perfect for the busy office lady (or salaryman) who wants a healthy meal but still wants to treat her tastebuds.

Debs G’s Mommy Tip: The Chicken Porridge Zosui ‘Smile’ set lunch is perfect for kids – it’s warm, soothing, delicious and healthy! J is still dreaming about it.

That being said, having filled up on many delights, the two sisters then stumbled off into the sunset… stay tuned for the second part of the double feature, same Owls Well time, same Owls Well channel!

[1] Slowly in the case of J, as the many televisions in the restaurant proved a little too distracting for him.

[2] The legendary Japanese black pig, second only to the Tokyo X in terms of deliciousness.

[3] A game in which the food takes centre stage and rightly so, for it looks delicious on the screen and really makes you crave sweets.

[4] Stealing desserts may also lead to a fight to the death, which I really wasn’t in the mood for at the time, being sated and thus lazy.

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