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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tsukada Nojo

Bijin Nabe Bijin Nabe when translated from Japanese "Beauty Pot" seems to be quite popular for a while. We had our colleague birthday celebration in their Westgate outlet on a Thursday evening. Even though we were considered early, we were not the first in queue and had to wait about half an hour before table is ready.

Tsukada Nojo
Seatings were only available inside while their "outdoors" dining were no longer available. We took the time in looking at its premises and

What's up

We were greeted spontaneously by the staffs while we make our way into the restaurant. Interior was of typical Japanese restaurant filled with their culture made of wooden frames and ceilings.

Interior

While waiting for the food to be served, glasses of Iced Lemon Tea and Lemon Green Tea were served.

Ice Lemon Tea & Lemon Green Tea - $3 each
The first sight of the pot of white lumps was like "oh my god" upon looking at those wobbly bean-curd like pudding in the heavy pot.

White Lumps of pudding
These lumps were none other than the collagen and they were concentrated chicken stock. They were make of chicken bones, salt and water, boiled for 8 hours then cooled to become such super rich collagen. When we asked the server if there were any MSG used, she mentioned that there was little MSG added.

Closer look at the collagen
As the induction cooker started to heat up, the pot of goodness starts to melt and slowly dissolve as the clocked ticked.

Bijin Nabe - $25 per pax
Slowly,  those chicken that were buried under the rich collagen were gradually revealed. They were actually Jidori Chicken, a well known brand of chicken in Japan which were raised organically in stringent standards. They were shipped over from Japan by limited farmers thus considering "rare" chicken in such.

How to enjoy the meal was actually a knowledge. Perhaps without the efficient and patient server, we were will lost especially this was our first time dining there.

Chicken Collagen Soup
While the soup was really rich, tasty imported all the way from Japan. The first step was that we were told to enjoy the soup first in sips using the cups.  I couldn't believe my taste buds, they were indeed tasty!

Chicken Soup in Cup
The 2nd Step was that there were 4 different types of  spices available, namely chilli shoyu, Neggi Ginger oil, Yuzu pepper and red chili oil.

For the 3rd step, we stirred the soup followed by grabbing the pieces of chicken and have a taste.

Meanwhile, our side dishes came...

A traditional dish in Miyazaki which brought popularity wide in Japan. These fried chicken came in a pair served with Tsukada Nojo's homemade Tatar sauce and complimented with vegetables drenched with Japanese Sesame Sauce.

Chicken Nanban - $8.50
Comes in a tray of two, these Shumai were big with fillings tasted more like Xiao Long Bao from common chinese restaurant.

Tori Shumai - $5.80

Set for 4 portions were all combined in a serving, making up of vegetables as the majority.

Set with Bijin Nabe
What was most outstanding looking was actually the chicken minced meat that had filled the bamboo. Prawns and this chicken minced meat had make up part of the Bijin Nabe Meal.

Chicken Minced Meat

The sweet and pretty server dressed in her kimono explained that she will be making meat balls out of it and putting them to boil.

Server in Action


Close up of the vegetables

The creation of the server! She had actually placed the items in one by one and arrange them neatly, at the same time introducing the name of the items namely,  zucchini, watermelon radish, wintermelon, black fungus, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, tofu and mushrooms.

Pot of vegetables
For those who feel that the above was just too little. Noodles come at a later part when we had finished up with the vegetables. Although there were 4 portions / pax, we were only allowed to choose one type of noodle and share among ourselves.

Thick Mochi Noodles
Tsukada Nojo had deliberately decorated the additional seasame paste in heart shape form for everyone of us. The paste is to added into the noodles for extra taste.

Sesame Paste

Every ingredient adding a slight sweetness to the soup, like most of the steamboat / hotpots, the  flavorful base that was just too addictive! On a side note, the first refill of collagen is complimentary and subsequent ones are chargeable)

Prawns in Sticks
The most "powerful" flavored items for the last and that's these fresh prawns which were pierced right through its length.

Prawns
It's hard to bid goodbye after so much of fun and goodness. To get customers returning, Tsukada Nojo comes out with a witty marketing method by issuing everyone of its customer with an Assistant Manager name card for first timer. And for those who those with repeated visits, they get their promotions into Vice President, CEO and so on. All we need to do is to write down our name on the given name card and get it stamped during the next visit.

Assistant Manager

Thanks to the staff of Tsukada Nojo, these were being served as the desserts (mango pudding in cubes) illustrated by a girl with cake to celebrate my colleague's belated birthday.

Special Made
It was a delighting experience in Tsukada Nojo with good service from the servers. We spent about $150 for 4 pax (including taxes) which I felt was a tad expensive for Hot Pot items. However taking into consideration of the Rare chicken and "bean curd" puddings from Japan, it is still worth to visit once in a blue moon perhaps.

Rating: 3/ 5

Tsukada Nojo
Location: Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive #03-04 Singapore 608532