Opened at the start of the year, Takayama at OUE Downtown Gallery has been one of the few Japanese restaurant penciled into my bucket list of restaurants to visit this year. Offering a Kappo-styled dining experience, savour, discover the taste and artistry of flavours curated by Chef Taro and his team.
Takayama’s menus are influenced by the flavours of Osaka, and feature the freshest ingredients from each of the four seasons in Japan. This kappo-style restaurant has an intimate and cosy atmosphere right from the moment you walk into the restaurant, being greeted by the team to the setting of the table as you perch yourself nicely waiting to be in a treat of a lifetime.
On this night, we were sat down onto a table of four just behind the main kappo counter. For extra privacy, Takayama has two private rooms, Shirogane and Kogane, which can sit six and eight respectively.
An 11 course dinner with a 6 glass alcohol pairing.
First up, an appetizer that sets the tone of the entire dinner – Spot prawn, sea urchin soaked in egg yolk. The combination of flavours were incredibly delicious.
The second appetizer – Dadacha-mame with Japanese summer vegetables. Loved how chef used the innocent Edamame, pureed and served cold. Mindbogglingly good
Next up, Hairy Crab and Tofu
Otsukuri, Takayama style – Assortment of seasonal fish. Fresh cuts of sashimi airflown from Japan, one platter wouldn’t be enough to satisfy a sashimi junkie.
The next main and signature dish – Beijing Duck with foie gras cream. Definitely one of the highlights of the night. Imagine your usual peking duck, complemented with foie gras cream. All you gotta do is to wrap the beijing duck and foie gras cream together in the wrap and take one big bite of of it. Personally, I felt one serving wasn’t enough.
Over the course of the meal, we were fed extremely well,. The sakes and wines that were paired with our dishes as recommended by sommelier Joel were definitely on point. Kudos to the man.
Halfway through this Kappo-style omakase at Takayama and we were eager for more.
Steamed fish was next in line – Seabass and Japanese peppers. Steamed whole and portioned out individually, a mix of Japanese and Chinese influence here.
Another favourite of the night – Oven baked abalone. Covered and baked in salt, the flavours of the abalone are well preserved in the salt shell. Served with a generous douse of garlic every mouthful was aromatic and flavourful.
When I thought that you can only find good beef in Japan, I was so wrong. Takayama’s Grilled Kumamoto Wagyu sets the bar high. Grilled over charcoal, you can taste that distinct charred flavour in every bite. Rarely in Singapore do you find restaurants patient enough to grill meat over charcoal. Savour every bite.
We ended the savory items with some carbs as usual – Mapo tofu, Koshihikari . As this dinner is a collaboration with Michelin two stars Shisen Hanten’s Chef Chen Kentaro, we got a portion of his signature mapo tofu served with Koshihikari rice.
Ending the session, fruits were air flown from Japan – Musk Melon and white peach.
Chef had one more item up his sleeves, confections to end the night on a high – Matcha and Hokkaido Corn
2 and a half hour, 11 courses and 6 alcohol pairing, we came to an end to possibly one of my favourite meal of the year.
Takayama @ OUE Downtown
6A Shenton Way
Singapore #01-09/10 OUE Downtown
Nearby MRT: Tanjong Pagar, Downtown