Singapore | Nadaman なだ万
As an old shop that has always been unique without losing its originality, Nadaman has been providing diners with traditional Japanese cuisine since 180+ years ago. Nadaman is specialized in Kaiseki, which often described as 'the art of transforming the blessings of nature into food' that focuses on exquisite purity of taste – rooted in the past but looking to the future – is perfected at Nadaman.
An elegant and distinctive venue, the restaurant features sushi and teppanyaki counters and kaiseki, with private dining rooms available.
Lunch menu is divided into sets and a la carte. For set lunch, you can choose from kaiseki, sushi, teppanyaki or traditional sets. As Nadaman is famous for its Kaiseki-ryouri, both of us orderd the Hiru Kaiseki ($65), which is the only kaiseki set during lunch. The menu includes 7 courses, and it changes every month.
The fragrant and refreshing "Yomogi" tofu with wasabi wonderfully brought us to the cherry blossom in Japan. Made of rich green mugwort (yomogi) leaves, the tofu was chewy,simple but very delicious.
Deep-fried "Shrauo" icefish and "Taranome" Vegetable was coated with a very thin and crispy layer of flour and well-fried, left the inside tender. It was seasoned with a pinch of salt and best kept the original flavor.
Simmered green beans
Next comes the Raw Fish: “Sakuratai” cherry blossom sea bream served with sour plum soy sauce. Different from the typical sashimi served with wasabi and soy sauce, sea bream - one of the best seasonal fish, was served with sour plum soy sauce, which was a very interesting 'new' try. The sea bream was juicy and fresh, and the sour plum soy sauce was very refreshing and whet my appetites.
Simmered Dish: Deep-fried greenling and seasonal vegetables with granted radish sauce came in a very beautiful and royal bowl - yes, kaiseki is such an exquisite cuisine that feeds all five senses.
Refreshing ourselves with Vinegar Dish: Crab meat, Chinese yam "Mekabu" and "Wakame" seaweed with wasabi vinegar sauce before starting the main course. The crab meat was fresh and bouncy, very clean and refreshing taste.
The Grilled Dish was changed from sliced beef rolled with bamboo shoots to Grilled cod, sweet green chili, shredded spring onion as the beef was sourced directly from Japan and was out-of-stock on the day we visited. The cod was well-grilled, tender and has a lovely sweet flavor. While i found the sauce is a little bit too heavy (salty) for my liking (while my friend found its okay lah). But in general i still enjoyed it.
A warm bowl of "Nyumen" hot noodle with deep-fried sakura shrimp cake - comfort yet flavorful. The sakura shrimp has a very appetizing fragance, it was very crispy and makes the simple noodle soup very umami. The hand-pulled noodle was neat and smooth.
Grilled rice ball with "Fuki" miso was nicely grilled, i especially like the crispy side with miso paste, which is more flavorful. However the rest part of the rice ball was quite bland for my liking even it was grilled with few silver fish. The pickles on the side was pretty crunchy and flavorful.
Dessert: "Matcha Shiratama Zenzai", red bean and "Mochi" with white bean paste sauce was a bit too sweet, expect those two mochi as the flavor didn't 100% went through the mochi.
Overall, we enjoyed the simply lunch kaiseki at Nadaman pretty well. I have tried their sushi sets and a la carte items in HK but trust me, Kaiseki is a much safer choice, especially if you are a first comer. Although few dishes were not perfectly seasoned for my liking, the quality of the ingredients was quite high and generally impressive. I especially love the first half of the meal, as well as the grilled fish if it can be less salty.
The service is 5-star hotel level, very friendly staffs and serves everything efficiently. For the price of $65, i feel it pretty worth the money. Very few Japanese restaurants in Singapore provides such high-quality kaiseki courses at a reasonable price. Anyway, I don't mind to come back every month to taste the best of the seasons in Japan!
Note: DBS cardholders can get 10% off, but i recommend you to book online to enjoy 15% off of your total bill.