The Weekly Glutton (30/10-06/11)
The Weekly Glutton features dining delights that have impressed us one way or another (or not) and are places we highly recommend you patronize.
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The exterior of Anzu was warm and cosy. The wood panels gave the place a welcome feeling homeliness, while the Noren added an extra touch of cosiness. There was even a waitress who greeted us with a radiant smile as we approached.
Alas, it was not the furnishing that drew us to the restaurant, but rather the weekday promotion that they were having. In bold, brazen colours, two metre-high standees advertised their weekday special set starting from just $20.
I know, $20 for a set really isn’t much of a deal to be gushing about for some of us. But at Anzu, this $20 included a complementary chawanmushi, miso soup, free flow rice and salad. What’s more, they don’t have service charge or GST!
With our minds made up, we ordered the Thick Pork Loin Katsu Set ($25) and the Pork Loin Katsu Set ($20).
Admittedly, there was quite a wait before our mains arrived, but the appetisers that were served kept us (and our complaining stomachs) occupied.
We really were not expecting any sides other than the chawanmushi and salad that we had ordered, and were pleasantly surprised with the pickled radish. It was crunchy and was a good harbinger of the meal to come.
Next, the salad. We learnt that Anzu grows their own vegetables, and they were served in thin strips for extra emphasis on its crispiness and freshness. Salad never tasted better: we relished the dressing made with yuzu and Japanese white herb. You could even say that it was… SUPERB! (get it get it?)
By this time, there was no doubt in our minds that this dinner was going to be one of the best ones we’ve had all week, if not month. The chawanmushi arrived, and sure enough, it did not disappoint. It was just so soft and silky! Another one for me please!
Finally, after much anticipation, we were served our tonkatsu pork.
The pork was a Yongenton silky pork, a four-breed crossbreed of Large Yorkshire, Landrace, Duroc, and Chester White. For those of you who felt that the words went over your heads, it simply means that Anzu takes great pride in serving great pork, and takes great measures to ensure that.
This breaded loin cutlet had succulent and tender meat that was just so juicy! I’ll let you in on a secret though, the reason for this lies in what the pigs were fed. Sticking to a diet of compound grains means that their flavour is richer and meat softer.
Another factor that makes or breaks a dish of tonkatsu, the batter here was crisp enough without being overly oily. And the golden texture speaks enough for itself.
At Anzu, we were given two options. The original and a sweeter version with pork essence. M and I had different takes on this. She preferred the sweeter one, while I liked the original better. But we both agreed that the sesame provided gave the sauce, and the tonkatsu as a whole, a more refined touch.
The rice here was pearly and didn’t clump. In fact, it tasted nothing like rice that I have in all my life tasted.
True enough, they were Hinokahikari rice flown in from Japan and cooked in a traditional cauldron until they are all pillowy and soft. There was also brown rice being served as an alternative option too!
Something else that they need to advertise for their soup other than it being refillable is the option to choose from either shellfish soup or miso soup. Since there were two of us, we figured we’d get one of each, and refill the bowl that we preferred.
Spoiler: we didn’t.
Don’t get us wrong, we really loved the milder taste of the soup which complemented the tonkatsu perfectly, but at this point we were just so full!
You know how some people say a certain place compromises quality for quantity or vice versa? Well, not at Anzu. The service here was top-notch, and the food here one of the best that I have ever had.
The Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria serves an array of authentic, traditional tastes from almost all of Japan and Anzu represents the Kyushu area. We seriously can’t wait to see what the rest of the Food Town has to offer, but until next time, I suppose.
Japan Food Town
#04-48 Wistma Atria, ISETAN Orchard
435 Orchard Road
Tel: 6262 3408
Opening Hours: 11am- 11pm daily
*The Mbassadors paid for their own meal (ouch!) unless otherwise stated.
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