Araki Orchard @ Orchard Plaza

I’ve been curious about Araki for awhile now and with the reservations running long after the 8 days feature, I had to just get my dinner reservation set before it gets too ridiculously long to even wait for. So then, this 8 seater restaurant operates like this – they do not start till everyone at the table arrives and we were late so – dinner started late for all. My super apologies.

Chef does a quick introduction of the dinner menu ahead and he begins preparing our portions whilst the servers attend to our beverage needs and pretty much every one breaks into their own private chatter. Chef interrupts with the introduction of the dishes – the not so interested diners continue their own conversations and everyone gets served. I’m not sure if I actually like this arrangement, because it’s a one man band mostly and we literally wait out for our food to be served and sushi is fine because the pacing is reasonable but when it comes to more complicated dishes where plating is required, the waiting is agonizing.

15 courses for $250++, let’s go!



Monkfish liver sansho pepper leaf

I like my ankimos despite not being a liver fan, really smooth and delicious.


Shirakawa, a kind of white tile fish

Mackerel saba from Hokkaido was the star of the next dish, with the skin smoked by straw, there is an unmistakeable fragrance about it. Paired with sesame sauce, chilli oil, ginger flower, baby spring onions, the result is one of a mersmerizing and very addictive dish. I’m so-so with saba but this, is one game changer.


Kohada from amaksa island in Kyushu

Firm fish and I’m not too big a fan of the fish itself. The seasoning had a vinegary finish and I found it tad too sharp for comfort.


Shabu shabu kuromutsu Japanese Black Sea Bass

This Japanese black sea bass hails from Kozi island under Tokyo island and boy, this was so so so tender! Literally melt in the mouth and the broth was so comforting too. I wish they served me more soup.


Hay smoked Sawara

Smoked and served with relish and Chef's version of "tan tan" sauce. This was a treat!


Kohada isn't my favouritest to eat to begin with, usually is vinegared and beautifully sliced.



Charcoal grilled black nodoguro

Deep throat perch is one of my favourite fatty fish, the meat is mad tender and the burst of oils is pure happiness. Chargrilling it is perhaps the best way to cook fatty fish and the flavours that are showcased – oisshi!! Add on charcoal rice – you’ve got a winner.


Tempura squid with sour plum sauce

I mistook this for scallop, except the firm yet tender texture made this super enjoyable. Together with the crisp and light batter, I wish all tempura was like this.


Abalone with liver sauce


First, we get served up a round of theatrics and Chef Issey is terribly animated. Save for his weak grasp of English, otherwise, he does make really good company. Wonderful knife work here, with the wavy cuts made on the tender abalone. Delicious number, just missing out one some pow wow.


The famous uni cone gets served and there’s a twist to it, it’s a negitoro-uni cone and Chef Issey serves me two versions – call it being pranked. 




The mini version albeit tiny, is actually quite a masterpiece. The layers of negatoro and sea urchin are evident, only lesser in quantity. 



Surely, the original sized cone gets you the deal and no doubt, it is one luxurious and enjoyable cone but the caveat is – one must like bafun uni. Mostly creamy, somewhat sweet but lacking in depth. My bias is towards aka uni, so that would have been the dream cone for me. If a repeat order is on the cards, prepare to pay your dues at $80 a cone. 


Blue fin tuna

Zuke marinated in soya sauce

Shari was hard, rice grains fall apart easily




Shimanto eel from Osaka, butter sauce, truffles from spain is another show piece, the shaving of truffles and an almost neverending rain of truffles makes this a joy to watch. 



Poaching eel is probably my next favourite way to have eel and it remains most of its natural flavours in the meat and jus. 




Donabes are Chef Issey's siganture and we had a nodoguro donabe! 


 Creamy and rich goodness.


Miso soup usually signals the end of a meal. 

DSC_0771 DSC_0773 



Aoki apple and strawberry ends our 15 courses and I am happy to report, I had a good time. Not sure if a return is quick on the cards but definitely good value and good entertainment. 


Araki Orchard

Orchad Plaza