The marrying of two cultures, both purveyors of high end cuisine and rich history, needs a calibrated and artisanal touch.
One could go disastrously wrong and incur the wrath of the notorious mafia or invoke the ceremonial harakiri of the ancient yakuza.
The Italian and Japanese Cuisine have little in common, but both are steeped in proud traditions and passed down centuries by artisanal virtuosos.
In the hands of a skilful maestro, the fused cuisine produced might well be in the imperious whisperings of a Don Godfather, making you an offer that you cannot refuse.
Meet Chef Masahiro Takada who spent eight years in Italy honing his skills in numerous Michelin Starred Italian restaurants.
In 2014, he opened Ristorante Takada together with two Singaporean investors who are veteran players in the Singapore Food & Beverage industry.
Chef Takada ensures the quality and providence of his food by importing ingredients from specific regions of Japan and Europe.
The focus is on the finest seasonal produce.
White asparagus and white truffles are imported from Europe, while the freshest seafood like Hokkaido scallops, Hokkaido sea urchin and bluefin tuna are sourced from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market.
The compact restaurant displayed clean lines with a contemporary design and was bathed in soft elegant lighting.
Cozy and inviting, with a mood of casual elegance.
To wet the beak
My dining companions brought along a bottle of 1997 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou
My favourite St Julien – soft, elegant and seductive.
Notwithstanding that the 1997 Bordeaux’s are reaching the end of their prime and ought to have been drunk up 5 years ago, I was hoping the bottle will do justice to the ethereal morsels we were about to savour.
And it did just that.
Silky with fine tannins. The aroma was alluring and the wine still exhibited opulence, albeit slightly muted fruits.
But still drinking beautifully.
Mushroom Cappuccino, was a delightful concoction of caramelised onion and mushroom puree, finished off with a truffle infused cream foam.
Served in a delicate teacup, the intense aromas were nicely captured when one sips from the teacup.
A delightful way to whet one’s appetite to start the meal.
Corn Brûlée with Prawns, Pickled cucumber and dashi basil emulsion
The corn brûlée was an interesting Appetiser. Made exactly like a creme brûlée dessert, the corn custard was subtle, finished off with a glazed sugar coating on top.
The prawns were nicely grilled and bursting with umami.
The basil emulsion was neutral but added a nice dressing to the crunchy cucumber slices.
Kampachi Carpaccio with green apple and chilli granita
I really liked the dressing for this dish.
The fish was really fresh and had a nice crunch.
But it was the granita dressing that was the real star. The green apple granita was nice and citrusy and gave it a splash of acidity which lifted the dish considerably.
Fresh, refreshing and those chilli undertones in the granita which gave a little kick, rendered the dish truly memorable.
Squid Ink Taglionili with Hokkaido Sea Urchin and Ikura
This dish is sublime and I can understand why it is a crowd favourite and one of the signature dishes of Chef Takada.
The Taglionili, hand-made by Chef Takada, was cooked al dente, and encased a generous portion of soft Uni (sea urchin) and Ikura (salmon roe), accentuated by a dusting of salted, cured fish roe (bottarga).
I took a bite before pouring on the squid ink. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente with a nice bite. Perfectly executed.
The flavours of the squid ink and the morsels of fresh Uni gave the dish a briny fruits de mer or “flavours of the sea” experience.
Sublime and magnifique.
Tagliatelle Wagyu Bolognese infused truffle
This sauce was just so tasty on so many levels.
The minced beef was Wagyu grade and tasted richer and more intense. And the subtle whiffs of truffle elevated the sophistication of the dish.
Kudos to the Chef on a flawless execution.
Mains – Crispy scale sea bass with carrot ginger purée / Braised beef cheek with mashed potatoes
I was happy with my sea bass.
The skin, scales and all, were fried to a fine crisp. The flesh was tender and succulent.
My dining companion wrapped his arms around his dish and did not allow me to advance to taste his mains of beef cheek.
So I can’t tell you how it tasted.
Yes you are right.
I shan’t dine with him anymore.
But just look at that color.
How not to order when the dessert has the chef’s name ?
And when one has been trained so many years in Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, his Tiramisu must be authentic and divine.
And it did not disappoint.
Creamy mascarpone cheese wrapped around coffee soaked fingers with a soft hint of alcohol.
I like my Tiramisu to be more laden with alcohol but that’s just personal. The alcohol undertones here are more restrained.
Good Italian chefs insist on using only Marsala in their tiramisus and no other alcohol.
Marsalas are more subtle than other liqueurs like Rum, Kahlua or Tia Maria.
This may account for the more subtle alcohol undertones.
But all of us enjoyed the Tiramisu immensely.
Burnt Cheese Cake with Gelato
Nice thick and creamy.
The burnt cheese cake provided a sweet finish to a most enjoyable dinner.
Ristorante Takada. Alexis Condominium
356 Alexandra Road #01-07
Tuesday to Sunday
Lunch 12pm – 2pm (Last Order 1.30pm)
Dinner 6.30pm – 10pm (Last Order 8pm)
1st week of the month:
Closed on Monday & Tuesday
2nd week of the month:
Closed on Monday
3rd week of the month:
Closed on Monday & Tuesday
4rd week of the month:
Closed on Monday