Cast Iron Restaurant Tasting Session

December 18, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cast Iron Restaurant Tasting Session
7 Fraser Street
#01-32 Duo Galleria


Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11:45am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 10:30pm,
Sat: 5:30pm - 10:30pm,
Closed Sun



https://www.facebook.com/castironsg/


This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from Little Tiny Sun, msginginly, Her Pen And Fork, Purple Taste, and Epicurious Caniggia.



Chef's Selection Of Sashimi (SGD $380 for 6 pax)



Traditional Japanese Omakase, Excellent Western Grills

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $50 / $180 per person.


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Opening for soft launch in October 2017, but with their official launch only scheduled for January 2018, Cast Iron Restaurant is a premium dining destination, a restaurant that specialises in a unique Japanese and American dining experience. 'Fusion' doesn't actually describe the cuisine at Cast Iron Restaurant, rather, think of it as a Japanese omakase experience, with additional American style grilled meats. We were fortunate to be invited during their soft launch for a tasting / sampling, and to give feedback - so the dishes reviewed here are subject to change, as the menu is being refined.

Cast Iron Restaurant Exterior
Cast Iron Restaurant Exterior


Cast Iron Restaurant Interior
Cast Iron Restaurant Interior


Us



Ambience at Cast Iron Restaurant is casual and intimate. The low, warm lighting lends a romantic feel, with spotlights creating shadows around the sturdy mahagony and wood furnishings. Touches of Japanese oriental paintings adorn the pillars, complementing the shades of wood, red, white, black, and brown. The highlight is the large open kitchen, with a bar counter seating, allowing you to interact with the chefs and watch as they prepare your meals. As much a visual feast for the eyes, not just the stomach!

Seating Outdoors
Seating Outdoors


Seating Indoors
Seating Indoors


Open Kitchen
Open Kitchen


Bar
Bar



Service at Cast Iron Restaurant befits an omakase dining experience. Personalisation is the highlight here, staff introduce each dish as it's served, and will engage you in conversation about its creation, and the ingredients used. As with most soft launches, product knowledge could be better, but staff do come across as eager and ernest, helpfully accomodating requests. I note they proactively offer to clear away empty / finished plates throughout the meal. You can even chat with the chefs as they prepare your order!

Table Setting
Table Setting


Decorative Side Plate
Decorative Side Plate


Chopstick Rest Neko
Chopstick Rest Neko


Chopstick Rest Dango
Chopstick Rest Dango


Chopstick Rest Fugu
Chopstick Rest Fugu


Chopstick Rest Tanuki
Chopstick Rest Tanuki



Food at Cast Iron Restaurant is largely focused on Japanese cuisine, with some American rotisserie grills on the side. Premium quality ingredients are used, and the execution is top notch, resulting in each plate being a delight. Generally, we were pleased with the majority of dishes served, being delicious and luxurious. Portions can be sized for both individuals or communal dining. Naturally, prices are high. Expect to splurge about SGD $180 per person for an omakase experience, or at least SGD $50 per person for a regular meal.

Sea Salt With Pepper
Sea Salt With Pepper


Grilling
Grilling


Team Of Cast Iron Restaurant Chefs
Team Of Cast Iron Restaurant Chefs


Chef Ming - Grill Master
Chef Ming - Grill Master


Chef 'Handsome' Anson - Head Chef
Chef 'Handsome' Anson - Head Chef


View Of Bugis, At Night
View Of Bugis, At Night



The Beer Yona Yona Ale (SGD $14) is an American style pale ale, brewed by the Yo-Ho Brewing Company in Nagano, in the Chubu region of Japan. It has a hazy golden orange colour, with a thick foam head, and aromas of straw, caramel, peach, and hops. With a name that translates to 'Night After Night / Every Night', it has a smooth, slightly dry, medium body, with tastes of lemon, malt, grass, and honey. Nicely semi-sweet with a low-medium bitter finish. Refreshing, very drinkable!

Beer Yona Yona Ale
Beer Yona Yona Ale (SGD $14)



The Whisky Hibiki 12 Year Old (SGD $25 per glass) is a Japanese whisky, with a light flavourful smooth body with an enticing and fruity note, tastes of grain, cloves, oranges, and sherried malt, with hints of lemon and almonds, and an exciting plum wine and honey aroma. The finish is bright and balanced, with a juicy apple cinnamon note.

Whisky Hibiki 12 Year Old
Whisky Hibiki 12 Year Old (SGD $25 per glass)



The Grilled Stingray Fin (SGD $13) is completely addictive! We couldn't stop going for more of this. The smoky grilled stingray fins have a semi-firm, chewy texture, but the kicker is the savoury salty meaty flavour that makes you want to keep reaching out for this. Served with a dollop of mayonnaise garnished with tobiko / flying fish roe. Great bar snack. Highly recommended!

Grilled Stingray Fin (SGD $13)


Grilled Stingray Fin
Grilled Stingray Fin



The Dried Beancurd Skin (SGD $7) is a misnomer, because it's basically regular plain tofu beancurd. And... that's it. Wished it was paired with something else, or at least served with a sauce to enhance the flavour. Weakest dish we had here. Hope they modify this before launch.

Dried Beancurd Skin (SGD $7)


Dried Beancurd Skin
Dried Beancurd Skin



They really need to work on giving their dishes more appetizing names. The Dried Overnight Sea Eel (SGD $10) is delicious, chunky slabs of meaty savoury sweet sea eel, tender to chew, bold in flavour. Marinated in mirin, each piece has a lovely smoky aroma. Possibly the best value for money dish here. Highly recommended!

Dried Overnight Sea Eel (SGD $10)


Dried Overnight Sea Eel
Dried Overnight Sea Eel



The Chef's Selection Of Sashimi (SGD $380 for 6 pax) is customised according to your preference and budget. We had a platter of 8 cuts of fish and seafood sashimi, garnished with carrots carved in the shape of flowers, wasabi, and watermelom radish cubes. This included fresh, thick, succulent, sweet savoury cuts of Aji / Horse Mackerel, Akamutsu / Rosy Seabass / Blackthroat Seaperch, Kanpachi / Greater Amberjack, Otoro / Fatty Bluefin Tuna, and Tai / Sea Bream sashimi.

Standouts for me included the unique Iwashi / Sardine sashimi, which has a bouncy texture with a briny salty sweet, slightly fishy flavour. The Botan Ebi / Botan Shrimp sashimi has a lovely bouncy texture, with a bold refreshing sweet flavour. Finally, the most decadent and luxurious item was the Uni / Sea Urchin sashimi, with its rich creamy soft texture, and intense briny salty sweet flavour. Highly recommended!

Chef's Selection Of Sashimi
Chef's Selection Of Sashimi (SGD $380 for 6 pax)


Chef's Selection Of Sashimi



On a subsequent visit, the Chef's Selection Of Sashimi (SGD $120 for 2 pax) had several new fish sashimi pieces which I didn't have previously. This included the Akami Maguro / Bluefin Tuna Loin, the Chutoro / Medium Fatty Bluefin Tuna, the Hamachi / Yellowtail, the Shake / Salmon, and the Ikura / Salmon Roe, which was delicate in flavour.

Chef's Selection Of Sashimi (SGD $120 for 2 pax)


Chef's Selection Of Sashimi


Chef's Selection Of Sashimi



The Male Roe / Shirako / Milt (SGD $24) is basically fish sperm. Has a texture similar to mayonnaise, but slightly more firm with a light chew, and a briny salty sweet taste. Served in a bright ponzu sauce to enhance the flavour, this is best eaten quickly when hot, as it takes on a more fishy flavour when it cools. Unique, acquired taste.

Male Roe / Shirako / Milt
Male Roe / Shirako / Milt (SGD $24)


Male Roe / Shirako / Milt



The Grilled Iberian Pork Platter (SGD $72) is not a single order per se, rather, it's a combination of 5 different cuts of grilled Iberian pork, all served together. Done in American rotisserie style, each has a lovely smoky aroma from being licked by the hot flames from the grill, with a moist tender texture and robust savoury salty flavour. Included in the 5 cuts we sampled was the Miso Marinated Iberian Pork Belly (Pancetta), and the Salt & Pepper Marinated Iberian Pork Galbi (Secreto). Served with a sweet apple chutney, which has a bit of bite.

Standouts for me included the Yuzu Marinated Iberian Boneless Pork Collar (Aguja), with its fatty tender texture and succulent oily savoury sweet flavour. The Salt Marinated Iberian Pork Jowl (Papada) With Leek is unique, for the bright burst of refreshing vegetal sweetness that cuts through the heaviness of the meat on the palate. Finally, the Salt Marinated Iberian Pork Belly (Solomillo) has the most natural fragrance from the grill, simple and straightforward. Good!

Grilled Iberian Pork Platter
Grilled Iberian Pork Platter (SGD $72)


Grilled Iberian Pork Platter



The Wagyu Misuji / Wagyu Beef Oyster Blade (SGD $34) features 120g of thin sliced wagyu beef oyster blade, which is a muscle meat just under the shoulder blade of the cow. Yielding only 3kg per animal, this has a deep, complex, rich flavour, with a soft chew to texture. Each bite is so juicy and smoky savoury salty in taste. Highly recommended!

Wagyu Misuji / Wagyu Beef Oyster Blade (SGD $34)


Wagyu Misuji / Wagyu Beef Oyster Blade
Wagyu Misuji / Wagyu Beef Oyster Blade



The USDA Prime Beef Tomahawk / Ribeye Bone-In Double Cut, Done 2 Ways (SGD $130) is so luxurious and delicious. A large hunk of meat, flame grilled till beautifully charred on the outside, yet the beef remains juicy and tender inside. Bold notes of meaty savoury salty flavours abound, each medium thick slice having a nice chew and a succulent fatty feel. This grade 'A' beef steak with high fat marbling is perfectly done to a pink medium, though you can also specify the doneness you wish.

The fattier cuts were served straight, garnished with a little salt. The leaner cuts were garnished with a green chimichurri sauce, made with finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, vegetable oil, oregano, and white vinegar. Lovely flavours of vegetal herbal sweet sour in taste. A side of Bone Marrow Butter, creamy smooth and rich in meaty fatty flavour, makes for a perfect pairing. Completely decadent. Highly recommended!

USDA Prime Beef Tomahawk / Ribeye Bone-In Double Cut, Done 2 Ways
USDA Prime Beef Tomahawk / Ribeye Bone-In Double Cut, Done 2 Ways (SGD $130)


USDA Prime Beef Tomahawk / Ribeye Bone-In Double Cut, Done 2 Ways


Bone Marrow Butter
Bone Marrow Butter



The Assorted Grilled Vegetables Plate (SGD $18) features a medley of fresh, perfectly grilled vegetables, including corn on the cob, sweet potato, shiitake mushroom, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, brinjal / eggplant / aubergine, and watermelon radish. Garnished with a little feta cheese, each piece has a smoky aroma, yet remains moist and tender, retaining the natural vegetal sweet flavour. Particularly enjoyed pairing the corn with the bone marrow butter. Highly recommended!

Assorted Grilled Vegetables Plate (SGD $18)


Assorted Grilled Vegetables Plate
Assorted Grilled Vegetables Plate



Ended with Sorbet - Matcha & Yuzu (SGD $Complimentary, Part Of Omakase Set). Of the 2, we preferred the yuzu sorbet for its robust sweet sour citrus flavour. The matcha sorbet was decent, but would have liked it to be deeper and more intense in taste.

Sorbet - Matcha & Yuzu (SGD $Complimentary, Part Of Omakase Set)


Sorbet - Matcha & Yuzu
Sorbet - Matcha & Yuzu



Overall, I enjoyed the dining experience at Cast Iron Restaurant. In particular, I think the omakase experience here is well worth the splurge, though everyday dining might be a stretch for most. Love the casual, intimate ambience, the friendly and earnest service, and the well executed, good quality food. Looking forward to returning again to Cast Iron Restaurant for more!


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