Friday, August 12, 2016

Teppei Japanese Restaurant - Rumoured to be the Cheapest Omakase in Singapore @ Orchid Hotel [Singapore]

Despite the rumours, i know for certain Teppei Japanese restaurant at Tanjong Pagar isn't the cheapest for omakase in Singapore as another establishment had a deal that's less than S$30 before service charge and government tax.

To be fair, the number of dishes were reduced in that "cheaper restaurant even though it didn't go against the basic definition of omakase; namely, "(in a Japanese restaurant) a type of meal consisting of dishes selected by the chef.".

A few words of advice for those who have the intention to patronise the popular Teppei for their omakase - first of which is that you will be assigned bar counter seating and if you are looking for a romantic, quiet place; Teppei is not the place for you.

Secondly, there is zilch customer service as staff members will treat you like their family. To put things in context, i don't think you expect customer service from your mom who cooked for you at home. And like your siblings, they will not hesitate to make fun of you when the occasion arises.

The omakase (only for dinner) was priced at S$80 per person and with this amount (highest i ever paid for meals unless you count wedding dinners), your hot / iced Japanese tea came complimentary together with the wet tissue.

Let's now begin with the spread! I don't remember the names of the dishes and pictures shall therefore do most of the talking. Enjoy!

Appetisers (six in one) - not extraordinary and definitely didn't give me the punch i expected from n S$80 dinner but let's not be too quick to discount Teppei.

Live crabs in a plastic box - as omakase involves serving whatever fresh ingredients that are available for the chef's preparation, i am assuming then that the minuscule crabs would be in my tummy soon.

Sitting at the counter had its advantages - you shall be kept aware of what's next on the menu and with your eyes glued on the cooks, it's hard for them to fumble on hygiene.

Four kinds of sushi - the otoro (tuna belly) was almost melt-in-your-mouth kind and i seriously wanted to steal the piece from my neighbour's plate!

Chawanmushi - with a tinge of yuzu coupled with a strong seafood flavour; this is one chawanmushi Alex wouldn't hesitate to order a second helping and pay extra for it.

This has a sexual connotation; it wasn't obvious until the server passed it to you. The men would get a longer version than the ladies because the men have something the women don't have. Go figure.

Insides for your reference; a rolled up seaweed with rice, fish roes, meat and some crispy stuff. I found this a bit salty but a friend liked it a lot!

Green chilli with something savoury on it - it wasn't spicy at all and the topping kind of made the chilli rather nice to eat, and yes, this would be counted as one item.

The master cook, Chef Yamashita Teppei, hard at work. Don't be deceived by his seriousness; as the saying goes, still water runs deep.

An ikan bilis; this was what we were informed. However, i couldn't help noticing this looked familiar! Darn, it did bear a resemblance to grassy whom i just released earlier that day! Taste wise, almost like ikan bilis.

Sushi on a spoon - this is a common display in Teppei although you will not be holding the spoon yourself. Be prepared to be fed.

One of the cooks / servers will bring the spoon to right in front of you and feed you, literally. Just keep in mind that they may not be so willing to spoon-feed you immediately and may move back while you are about to close your mouth. For those who are watching, it's actually hilarious!

Scallop, tuna belly, truffle flake and sea urchin - the explosion of taste as the ingredients swirled around my taste buds! Amazing!

Flatfish with miso - how could flatfish taste so good?! So Family Outing wasn't kidding the viewers whenever the cast members appeared extremely excited when flatfish was one of the ingredients.

River crabs - now it's my turn to be teased. I was given just the claw while my friends had the full crab! It was already so small but gamely chewed it up, albeit in a much slower speed.

The server wasn't so bad after all; he passed me another one once he completed the round of distribution to the rest.

Sorry for the blurry picture; this was cinnamon ice cream with goose liver. Salty at first; the aftertaste was in fact palatable. A pity i gobbled it a bit too fast!

Deep fried Yellowtail with eggplant stuffed with prawn paste. The fish was similar to our normal saba fish and thought this was good yet not impressionable.

In celebration of Singapore's 51st birthday the next day, the server purposely came up with this display made of strips of Kagoshima beef! Do be careful of this cheeky guy; he was full of tricks and sometimes, we even wondered if the things he said was true. The ikan bilis came from him.

This was the aftermath; before then, it was full of popcorn-like kernels that you can pluck off and eat. Fresh and buttery, i guess i still prefer my sweet / caramel popcorn.

Bloody! Why did i get the top of this Japanese tomato?!

Again a tease by the same cheeky guy, he kindly passed me a "normal" one afterwards. Cold, sour yet enveloped by a layer of sweetness.

Kagoshima beef - i could have plates and plates of them; they were so juicy and full of flavour! I am feeling hungry now just recollecting how yummy they were as i slowly savoured them on Monday.

Japanese pumpkin soup - didn't seem to have a trace of pumpkin in the clear broth. Flavour was tasty and don't think this is your typical miso soup as it would be very far off. Strangely, there was a seafood sweetness to it.

A regular customer treated the crew to a round of Japanese beer! I have never dined in such an environment that's so full of vibe, energy and also allowed drinking on the job!

Snow melon - sweet as promised and yes, only one teeny weeny piece for everyone. If you like, you can request for an extra piece.

Piece of mango - not sour.

Another chef was preparing the main course - there were options to choose from and i neglected to take the picture for your benefit. My apology. There was rice dishes like uni fried rice, garlic fried rice.

Most of us (four out of five) opted for the 4 kinds of sushi as it came strongly recommended by one who had been to Teppei Japanese restaurant twice! So lucky right as reservations can be hard to secure!

The sea urchin fried rice - the order by the odd one out! Haha. He shared with his wife and both appeared to be enjoying it.

Our 4 kinds of sushi - i didn't regret my choice and the uni was so creamy! I thought the second from the right (my favourite) was beef but looking at the picture now, i think it's aburi fish. Whatever the case, i am not complaining except for the portion!

Lights switched off and followed by the singing of the birthday song! Add in the flashing neon spectacles and a candle on a bowl of fried rice and you can imagine how terribly festive the atmosphere was!

Chef Yamashita Teppei with his signature pose! Do feel free to request for pictures with him as he will gladly accede to your request. Our group took one although i wouldn't be publishing them one as my face was too bloated; no doubt the result of a satisfying and enjoyable meal.

Ice cream - the meal rightfully concluded with a scoop of ice cream. There were again different flavours and i chose the more unique yuzu which was zesty and nice. 

Would i be back? I will after i nurse back the emptiness in my wallet. By the way, the birthday boy was also treated to a bowl of special ice cream meticulously carved to the image of a snowman; content was full-fledged wasabi.  


1 Tras Link, #01-18,
Level 1 of Orchid Hotel, 
Singapore 078867


As above.

Nearest MRT Station
Tanjong Pagar MRT Station

Facebook Page

Omakase (Dinner) - S$80 per person
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

Additional Information
Don't bother walking in as chances are slim you will get any available seats. To avoid disappointment, do check the Teppei facebook page where announcements on bookings / availability are published.

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