Since 1984, the Nadaman Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore has been serving up traditional Japanese cuisine. It has seen many visitors pass through their doors, and has even seen an ex-Iron Chef Japanese (Koumei Nakamura) helm its kitchens. Part of the highly acclaimed Japanese restaurant chain Nadaman, the Nadaman Singapore tries its best to live up to the Nadaman name of exquisite Japanese cuisine.
The menu at the Nadaman is as wide as one may imagine, and covers everything from teppanyaki to sashimi to sushi to tempura. For me, ordering from the a la carte menu / dinner menu will likely have me hit my food budget for the week, so the Nadaman is a place I will frequent only during lunch, where they have some particularly good value sets. My favourite is the Mini Kaiseki which usually clocks in at about S$45+++, and while this may seem a tad expensive, it is certainly good value for money considering the number of dishes served up. Alternatively, the weekend / public holiday set lunch is even better value at S$35+++, and the set comes with an amuse bouche, tempura, 3 salmon nigiri sushi, a california handroll, a soup, chawanmushi, a choice of teppanyaki or sukiyaki and finally a choice of either rice or noodles (udon or soba).
On my last trip there, I had the Mini Kaiseki and the menu was as follows:
Amuse Bouche: Milk Mousse, Boiled Crown Daisy, Dashi Sauce
The milk mousse is quite a staple on the Nadaman starter menu – I’ve had this a few times – and it really never disappoints. The texture of the mousse is like tofu, except creamier because of the milk, but less of a “bean” taste as little (or no) soya bean milk is used. The favourite part of the dish for me, is the freshly grated wasabi on the top of the tofu which just gives the tofu that little added kick.
Soup: Clear Soup, Scallop Cake, Vegetables
The soup had a nice smokey flavour to it, and gave the scallop cake an added depth. The scallop cake was sweet, though to be honest, did taste closer to a fish cake than a scallop cake. Sashimi course (Chef’s choice)
Having recently had some very nice tuna on our recent visit to Japan, I did not have high expectations for this dish, especially when I saw that the Chef’s Choice for the day included the ubiquitous tuna. Now tuna is a real favourite of mine, but of late, the tuna that I’ve had in Singapore has really dropped in quality (and I’m not even comparing it to what one gets in Japan, but just across the years). Well, I’m happy to say, in this instance, that the tuna did not disappoint. While the tuna was not the very sinful otoro, or the almost sinful chutoro, it was smooth to the palette and tasty to boot. The extra oomph that the fresh wasabi provided was also obvious in this dish.
Simmered Dish: Simmered Eggplant, Pumpkin Chicken in Yuzu Sauce
Japanese simmered dishes have a way of becoming comfort food, and this was no exception. The pumpkin chicken was a mixture of minced chicken mixed with mashed pumpkin and then shallow fried, and the pumpkin added a delicate sweetness to the minced chicken. Coupled with soft eggplant (which is one of my ultimate favourites), the chicken pieces soaked in to the tart yuzu sauce perfectly.
Grilled Course: Grilled Salmon with Egg Yolk, Baby Yams, Crisped Walnuts
In this dish, the salmon was well executed, crisp and burnt on the edges, soft on the inside. I imagine the emulsified egg yolk was meant to create a crust / sauce, but this was not all that successful. The walnuts and baby yams, while meant to be accompaniments, really shone. The yams were seasonally sweet while the walnuts were coated in a thin egg batter and just quick fried, giving it a crisp finish.
Rice course: Steamed Rice, Mushrooms
If there was one dish I would not recommend, it would really be this rice dish. It was under-salted, and had too much water put in the rice-cooking process such that the rice was mushy and tasted glu-like after a couple of chews. A real pity, as the meal up to this dish had been really great, but the rice really let the whole kaiseki meal down. If only less water had gone into the rice when cooking, the mushrooms would’ve been able to lift the dish much more than it actualy did, in this case.
Dessert: Mango Mousse, Milk Sauce
By the time dessert was served, there was really no more stomach to fully savour the mango dessert. Luckily, the small servings meant the dessert did not go to waste. This was like a mango pudding topped with an evaporated milk sauce, and while not horrid, was rather pedestrian. It felt like more mango should have gone into it to make for a more robust mango flavour.
Overall, while the meal didn’t quite end on the high that one would have hoped it would have, I still enjoyed my meal at the Nadaman Singapore thoroughly. The lunch Mini Kaiseki set is really good value for money, as are the weekend sets, and if you would like to try some good quality Japanese food, do give Nadaman Singapore a shot, and let us know how it goes!
22 Orange Grove Road
Lobby Level, Shangri-la Hotel Singapore
+65 6213 4571