Plentyfull

Plentyfull is a multi-concept retail cum restaurant outlet in Millenia Walk. Having passed by the place on several occasion and glanced at the menu, my immediate thoughts were the pricing is slightly above market rate.

Since we had to visit Suntec to run some errands, we ended up in Millenia Walk to hunt for food options. The $9 craft beer promotion caught my attention so we decided to settle our dinner here.

It was only then I realised that everything at Plentyfull is made from scratch with the freshest seasonal produce sourced from farmers and artisans locally and internationally. That was probably the key reason why their food is priced slightly above the usual. I ordered the Chef’s MainSeafood black rice with scallops, mussels and prawns for $34 and the Duck Confit for $28.

The food portion was on the small side, even for a lady. Taste wise, it was decent but nothing to shout about.

Given Singapore’s limited land use for agriculture, it is granted that fresh produce items would be more costly. However I don’t see the value-added of using these fresh produce for straight-forward, simple dishes which I could whip up on my own. Perhaps a more refined menu could better justify their pricing.

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Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant

Usually we wouldn’t visit Japanese restaurants in Singapore shortly after returning from Japan trip as we would still be raving about the quality food there compared to local options. However we were presented with this rare opportunity where we did not see the legendary queue outside Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant!!!

We first noticed the new shop way back in October 16.  However when we tried to dine there, they told us that they are not opened yet – apparently it was some soft-launch period as we already saw many other influencers/instagrammers posting photos online. Presumably “invited” guests? Since then, we had been waiting for the chance to visit them albeit the queue.

I also heard of story from a colleague back in the days when the shop was newly opened.  He arrived at the place at 5.50pm and was pretty happy to be the first in line, only to be told at 6pm when the shop opened that they were fully booked. He was turned away…

It was not surprising that the shop has gathered many raving reviews since this place is run by the same people behind Teppei Japanese Restaurant – another restaurant whereby I had tough luck trying to secure the elusive reservation with the need to make phone calls or join the physical queue at the shop on a specific date/time – roughly 3 months in advance to make a reservation for their omakase-only dinner. I eventually gave up and till now haven’t been there for their dinner.

Compared to Teppei, having the opportunity to dine at Man Man 6 months after their opening was a modest wait.

Ordered their Kimo Don comprising of Kimoyaki (liver) and Unagi, Tamgoyaki, Soup and Pickles. The sauces are all lined up on the table for guests to add according to their preference. The liver was well-grilled with a smokey and chewy texture with bits of black charred parts adding to the carcinogenic level (though I wouldn’t mind an occasional ingestion of those literally to-die-for bits).

We also ordered the Large Sakura Hitsumabushi which was available during April to coincide with Hamami season in Japan. The Hitsumabushi is the Nagoya style of eating Unagi where you can enjoy the dish in 3-ways.

First way is to eat the original (as-is), just dig in as per it was served. Second way is to mix the unagi with other condiments (seaweed, freshly grated wasabi) with the rice.

And finally, pair the unagi and rice with in the condiments including the chopped onions, then pour the Broth provided into the bowl. The addition of the broth helped to make the dish lighter and easier to chow down. After having 2 portions of the rich unagi, this version really helps to cut through the oil.

The unagi here are grilled to a nice crisp outer texture, very different from the glaced and slightly mushy type which are more commonly available in Singapore.

I guess the only way for me to enjoy unagi here is to order takeaway. Yup, the place allows takeaways. I even went to the extend of checking with the staff on whether we need to join the queue to wait for our turn before we could order or we could just walk right to the counter to place our takeaway order. Pardon me for being particular about it, but I had a bad experience “queuing” at Teppei for takeaway….

Having recently returned from tasting the 1-Michelin Star Unagiya Hirokawa うなぎ屋 廣川 in Kyoto (we queued more than 2 hours for that), I would say the max I would invest is 1 hour wait for Man Man to dine-in.

1 Keong Saik Road #01-01
Singapore 089109
Tel: 6222 0678

P.S Given that they were listed in 2017 Michelin Bib Gourmand List since Jun, I think the queue would only grow longer than before! And they only allow you to be seated when the whole group has arrived. We saw a group came and said 1 of them was parking the car, the staff asked them to wait till their friend show up at the shop before they would seat them. 

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Snacks & Food from Osaka

As with other visits to Japan, it is almost customary to include a post that round-up the snacks and food that I tried.  Starting with my favorite find: Ice-creams from konbinis (convenience stores).

Limited edition Raspberry Custard Haagen-Dazs bar was delightful both in terms of its sweet pink colour and its well-balanced sweet yet fruity combination.

Just when I thought nothing beats this limited edition flavour, I found another contender – Double Cookies & Cream, also a limited edition flavour. Love the cookie bits on the crust of the ice cream! This flavour is a lot sweeter than the raspberry version but was my #1.

Other than ice cream, we also tried a uniquely Osaka drink called “mix juice” (mikkusu juusu). It is a mixture of milk and a mixture of fruit juices like orange and banana. We went to a few convenience store before spotting this from a vending machine instead. How does it taste? It’s very sweet and with a consistency that is slightly more watery than milk shake.

Also found Melon-flavoured Calpis which sadly tasted way too artificial… I very much prefer the Peach-flavoured Calpis (see post).

Walked by McDonalds and saw the Hokkaido Melon flavoured milk shake which is hard to resist! Singapore‘s McDonalds no longer carry milk shake least to say Melon flavoured one! It tasted pretty good, not too artificial and not too sweet.

Our buying never stop and we brought back a pack of Kuidaore Taro Pudding. The attractive packaging was a huge plus, it even came with the cute cone hats and individually packed caramel sauce and crushed caramel packets.

Even at the airport, while waiting to board our flight we grabbed these Persimmon Leaf Sushi – a speciality dish from Nara. The salted persimmon leaves are used to wrap the sushi for preservation as they have anti-bacterial effects. The box of 3 pieces included Mackerel, Salmon and Bamboo Shoots. These sushi are convenient to eat and has a nice fragrant from the persimmon leaf. Chomped it down while onboard the short internal flight.

Last-but-least, even while transiting at Narita Airport, we spotted Coolish x Calpis. This resembles our old-school ice tubes, albeit in a modern packaging and it is Calpis flavour!

A whole row of Sakura trees lined up to bid us goodbye at Narita Airport~

More eating onboard our ANA flight. We started with appetizers of Sesame stick, Foie-gras mousse with apricot gelee and 2 kinds of olive and cheese with herb oil, and a glass of Champagne~

When flying on ANA, I always choose their Japanese meal over the International meal. For this flight we were offered Washoku from Nagano. Starting with Zensai (a selection of morsels), Nimono (Simmered plate) and Kobachi (Tasty tidbits).

Shusai (Main course) of Grilled Shinshu salmon with sake lees-based miso sauce, Steamed bun with nozawana green and Steamed rice with miso soup and pickles. Paired my meal with Junmaiginjo, a great plus of flying with ANA is their sake offerings!

Dessert wise, we had a Pierre Herme Paris and ANA collaboration – Emotion Infiniment Chocolat. Followed by a mini bottle of Baileys. =)

We also took the opportunity to order a light snack of IPPUDO “Soraton” (pork broth) Ramen. Although the smell of instant noodles always seems so alluring onboard flights, this bowl of ramen was a tad too savoury for my liking. They had probably tried to adjust the flavouring taking into consideration that guests’ sense of taste are likely to be affected on air.

My final souvenir brought back from this trip are the Starbucks cards from Kyoto and Osaka.

Added these to my collection of Hokkaido and Tokyo cards.

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551 Horai 蓬莱, Osaka

551 Horai is one of the most popular Chinese food chain in Osaka, famous for their Butaman (豚まん, pork bun). They have a high concentration of stalls littered all across Osaka and we also saw them in Kyoto. There is always a queue whenever we passed by the outlet in Kyoto hence we skipped it due to a packed schedule back then.

Got the chance to try their famous buns, which can be bought fresh or even as frozen food! Actually they also serve other Chinese dishes such as siew mai, gyoza etc. but were sold out when we visited them. The outlet that we visited even has a dine-in area serving Chinese food like fried rice, soup noodles etc.

In honesty, I don’t quite understand the hype behind these pork buns…They are as ordinary as our 大肉包 in Singapore. Somehow Chinese food 中华料理 seems pretty popular in Japan??? I recalled having passed by Paradise Dynasty outlet in Tokyo and there was a long queue to get in~

Another popular restaurant that we saw a long queue for is Chibo 千房 – a place selling okonomiyaki. However instead of getting an okonomiyaki, we ordered a gyoza teppan takeaway since it was sold out at 551 Horai.  It turned out to be quite an interesting find as their gyozas are served teppan-style. Instead of the usual dumpling shape, these are fried flat such that the skin are thin and crispy.

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Wanaka Sennichimae Honten, Osaka

Having spent an afternoon exploring Tennoji area we were back in Namba area for more street food. We tried another Michelin Bib Gourmand listed Takoyaki shop – Wanaka Sennichimae Honten.

Unlike the version served at Umaiya, the takoyaki served here resembles the ones we have in Singapore – topped with generous bonito flakes.

The centre of the takoyaki is slightly softer and more creamy while having a golden brown colour outside.

This shop is located within 5 minutes-walk from Namba station and there are a few other street food finds situated in the same area which I would cover in subsequent posts.

Photos taken earlier:

Took the subway and stopped at Shinsekai (新世界) to see the well known landmark of Osaka, Tsu-ten-kaku. This area has a nostalgic old-school atmosphere which is totally different from the modern Umeda part of Osaka.

From there we walked over to ShitennojiJapan‘s first full-fledged Buddhist temple, constructed more than 1400 years ago.

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Meoto Zenzai 夫婦善哉, Osaka

After a satisfying beef yakiniku meal, we headed around the corner to queue for our desserts at Meoto Zenzai. The shop was established since 1874

Although there is a queue outside, it moves pretty quickly as they only serve 1 item – red bean soup. We waited only about 10 mins and were shown to our table. The tiny shop space only seats about 15 pax, most guests leave quickly after finishing their dessert.

Each person is served 2 bowls of the red bean soup, they are exactly the same. It was served this way as the name of the shop 夫婦善哉 means couple red bean soup. However the shop does not allow sharing of 1 serving. Each guest must have 1 set by themselves as it is bad luck to eat it separately by 2 people.

I must say the serving is really only for 1 pax. Although it is served in 2 bowls it is actually very shallow. We had no problem finishing it despite having a full meal before coming here.

They use local produced azuki (red bean) specifically the Tanbadainagon grown in Kyoto and Hyogo which is a premium variety.  They serve it with a salted kelp for guests to refresh their palate because it gives a great contrast to the sweet red bean. This dessert makes a great comfort food when served warm during the cooler season.  A mouthful of this deliciousness goodness would fill my heart with ‘Happiness‘!

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Matsuzaka-gyu Yakiniku M, Osaka

Since we wouldn’t be travelling to Kobe, the alternative option to trying out quality wagyu is to try Matsusaka wagyu 松阪牛 which is available in some restaurants in Osaka. As we had a short planning time, it was a slight challenge to source for an available booking slot. We had to settle for lunch instead of our preferred dinner slot at Matsuzaka-gyu Yakiniku M. The restaurant has 4 branches Dotonburi area – all within walking distances, so it is easy to go to the wrong one if you didn’t get the exact address.

I liked that the tables are all private ‘rooms’ for small groups (2-4 people). Actually, they are not exactly ‘rooms’ per se, each table has booth seats and a curtain partition such that every dining group has some sort of private space to enjoy the meal comfortably. Ventilation is also well-managed. In fact we were initially wary of having to walk around town in our grease-tainted clothes for the rest of the day but it turned out well, and it wasn’t really a concern at all.

As for the menu, there are options to go ala carte or set course platter. We opted for the latter – DX platter with 6 different parts of  Matsusaka beef and vegetables for 2 pax.

Here’s the amazing and beautifully plated platter~ Look at the fats distribution on the beef~ The 6 parts range from lean (Ran-Ichi) to the marbled (Sirloin steak).

To show the difference of the parts when grilled, you can see that the one on the left belonged to the lean part whereas the right side belonged to the marbled part. The marbled parts turned crispy, hence more fragrant and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture that does not require much chewing compared to the lean part.

This place is heaven for beef lovers! A very satisfying meal.

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