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Ala carte buffet lunch at Shinkei Japanese Restaurant

#1 User is online   Kingfisher 

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  Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:30 PM

Chanced upon Shinkei Japanese Restaurant when I was searching on the internet for nice Japanese buffets beside the usual ones I have been to. The restaurant is located conveniently in the HDB neighbourhood of Toa Payoh and just next to the library. It was opened late last year in 10th October 2013 which explained why I never noticed about it sooner.

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Shinkei Japanese Restaurant
600 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh
#01-06/07/10
Singapore 319515
Tel: 6255 5598
www.facebook.com/shinkei

The Front Entrance which I only found out after the meal as it was tucked inconspicuously inside the building between a Korean BBQ chicken outlet and another restaurant.

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The more prominent Rear Entrance facing Toa Payoh Lorong 4 from which I entered the premise.

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Buffet Price and Business Hours - I was there for lunch twice, first time on a weekday and second time on a Saturday without reservation and the restaurant was hardly filled up.


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#2 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:50 PM

The Dining Area was spacious enough without the tables and chairs being too close to each other. There are private rooms available if you require more privacy than what was offered. Behind the wooden room divider are the counter seats if you like seeing the chefs going about their routines.

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When you are seated, the waitress will ask if you are here the first time and proceeded to explain how you go about ordering the dishes. See the Order Chit below? Write your table number and the number of diners on it, next choose what you like to eat and write the dish number and quantity required. Do note that for most of the dishes here, if you write 1 for the quantity, only one piece will be served.


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#3 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:35 PM

Here is their Ala Carte Japanese Buffet Menu starting with 8 types of sashimi, 20 kinds of sushi and 14 selections of handroll.

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#4 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:45 PM

Ala Carte Japanese Buffet Menu continues with sushi roll, appetizer, deep fried items, grilled, pan fried and others.

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#5 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:55 AM

This Minced Tuna was a complimentary dish together with the Assorted Nuts which were served to every diner. But why serve such a cheapo dish when there were better items on the menu? Beats me too. Also when I checked out the internet, those people who went for the invited media food tasting were served better complimentary dish than this. Twice I went about a month apart and both times it was the very same minced tuna.

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I explained the ordering process earlier but when it came to the sashimi, you can only put 1 in the quantity column and 1 quantity = 2 slices. And no, you can't enter the same item multiple times in the same order chit but you can order it again after you finished eating it.

For the Mixed Sashimi Platter, it was two slices per type on my first trip but on the second trip, you can see that they did not stick to their house rule. Actually the portion I was served equalled to the portion they served to the next table of 4s. Also if you ordered just one or two types of sashimi, in general you were served more than two slices each. Strange right? Enough of the grumbling, back to food tasting. The sashimi was fresh tasting except the squid which I usually found them sticky. For the first trip, the chef did not do a good job slicing some of the fishes as the cuts were not cleanly separated and worst was that there was a bone in one piece of snapper sashimi! Second trip fared much better but the squid still had that sticky texture.


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#6 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:25 PM

For the sashimi, I basically just kept reordering the Mekajiki Sashimi (Swordfish). It was fresh and sweet though I wished they had sliced it a tad bigger. The Seared Salmon was good too but eating it raw is still the way to go.

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Assorted Sushi - The sushi pale in comparison to the other dishes on the menu. The rice border on plain without the usual fragrant imparted from the sushi vinegar which was echoed by other reviewers on the internet. My suggestion is to skip this section and go for the other dishes.


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#7 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:05 PM

Frankly, I am curious about how the Furaido Poteto (Fried Potato in Japanese Style) look and tasted like so I ordered it but it was no different from the normal french fries. The Ton Katsu (Fried Breaded Pork Cutlet) wasn't any better as the meat was dry, maybe a thicker cut would do the trick. Two lousy items down and I finally hit the jackpot, the Teba Karrage (Deep Fried Chicken Wing) had a nice crispy flavourful exterior and juicy meat inside; best of all, it was served fresh from the fryer.

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Both the Ebi and Kisu Tempura (Prawn and Fish Tempura) were pretty tasty but if I were to pick a favourite, it would have to be the fish for its more meaty texture.

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Yasai Tempura (Assorted Vegetables Tempura) came with one each of eggpant, sweet potato and ladyfinger.

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Ebi Batafurai (Breaded Butterfly Prawn) - I thought butterfly style is where you split the back of the prawn in half? Between this and the tempura prawn, the later is much nicer without the extra coat of bread crumble.


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#8 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:05 AM

A whole fish, albeit small in size was served for the Sanma Shioyaki (Grilled Mackerel Pike with Salt). The fish lightly seasoned with salt was moist on the first trip but border on dry on my second trip there. Shishamo (Pregnant Capelin) was nicely grilled and came plump with roes which I gobbled up the whole fish, head and tail included.

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I was wondering what was the difference between the former and this Saba Shioyaki (Grilled Mackerel with Salt). Taste wise, the Mackerel Pike seems to be juicer compared to this and since the fish was bigger, only a portion of it was served.

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Asuparagasu Be-Kon (Asparagus wrapped with Bacon) was wonderfully grilled with the salty bacon complimenting the lightly crunchy stalks of asparagus.


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#9 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:00 PM

The Tebasaki (Grilled Chicken Wing) was not as juicy as its deep fried counterpart but nonetheless still a good eat. On the other hand, I was surprised that the Uzura (Grilled Quail Eggs) was soft unlike the rubbery kind I had encountered elsewhere. Oishi!

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Buta Miso Zuke (Pork marinated with Miso) was good but very oily so I get jelak after just one stick. Moreover, the grilling skill vary from the two times I was there. The picture below was from the first trip but on subsequent trip, it was grilled to an almost charred colour.


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#10 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:15 PM

Nasu Dengaku (Eggplant with Yuzu Miso) - I can't really taste the yuzu fragrant nor the miso.

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Mentai Supagettii (Cod Roe Spaghetti) came dry mixed with just a little (too little actually) cod roe. Some sauce to coat the noodle would have enhanced the taste factor.

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Shifudo Pizza (Seafood Pizza) had a crispy base and nice chewy sticky cheese with a drizzle of mayonnaise and bonito flakes topping.

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A hot bowl of Ninniku Yaki Meshi (Garlic Fried Rice) which I ate with the swordfish sashimi; the raw/cooked and hot/cold combinations was a refreshing change of palate though a teaspoon more minced garlic would have helped improve the overall flavour.


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#11 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

Assorted Grilled and Deep Fried Dishes - As you can see, the grilled pork belly on the upper right was so dark in colour compared to the previous time. The Satsuma Age (Home-made Japanese Fish Cake) on the lower left hand corner was a bit softer and less springy than our local variety; just an average dish if you were to ask me.

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Tori Wasabi Mayo (Chicken Pieces with Wasabi Mayonnaise) - Crispy and juicy chicken chucks coated with a creamy yet ever so lightly wasabi taste.

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Shake Teriyaki (Grilled Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce) - Not a fan of cooked salmon but this dish was still passable for those who don't take raw fish.

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Not sure why the chef like to add the bonito flakes even to this Shitake (Grilled Japanese Mushroom) which doesn't need it. A light sprinkling of salt was all this dish required.


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#12 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:55 PM

Assorted Grilled Vegetables - I won't order the Shiro Negi (Grilled Leek) and Okura (Grilled Ladyfinger) again as they were too fibrous for my enjoyment but the Ninniku (Grilled Garlic) was nice with a charred smokey flavour.

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Assorted Deep Fried dishes - Teba Karrage (Chicken Wing) was very nice, flavourful and crispy outside, while juicy on the inside. The ladies at the next table kept spamming on the Ika Karrage (Deep Fried Squid). Maybe because there weren't any desserts included in the buffet menu, so I treated this Satsuma Imo Roll (Sweet Potato Roll) as one which was delicious in its own way.


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#13 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:36 PM

Not the gooey kind of Tako Yaki (Octopus Ball) I expected but at least it was served hot.

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My last dish of the day was the sweet and savoury Yaki Tori (Chicken in Skewer) which was just perfect with a touch of charred surface yet still maintained it moist and tender meat at the same time.

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You get this S$10 Voucher for use on your return trip but required a minimum spending of S$50 and valid only for Monday - Thursday.

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The Bill came up to S$37.66 which was considered cheap for a Japanese buffet. Food wise, there were hits and misses but generally still of acceptable quality. Just avoid the sushi though and you should be fine.


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#14 User is offline   Chatbud 

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 03:27 PM

Thanks, Kingfisher
I went recently with frens
My comments later

But more importantly, those wanna go tomorrow for mum's day
4 go but pay for 3 only + everyone free one bowl of yan wor (started since Thurs iirc, last day tomorrow)

UOB cardholders get 15% off Mon to Thurs (all eves and PH, mum's day, pa's day not applicable)

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#15 User is online   Kingfisher 

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:43 PM

It's S$58++ for Mother Day so it's just like you are paying for that bowl of bird nest.

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 10 May 2014 - 09:59 PM

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