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It's exciting at Tomo

Just as I thought I had seen and ate everything from Chef Thomas, he surprised me yet again at a recent dinner where I brought the parents alongside for a treat. With their preference in mind, I told Chef to go easy on the raw stuff and just to serve us more cooked food. But Thomas really knows my heart. He went ahead and set up a sushi plate just for me and as a result, I got to enjoy best of both worlds that night. Thank you, Chef!

We started off with the usual suspects, just to get going - yasai sticks with miso, wakame salad, leatherhead fish jerky and baby sardine crisps, etc. The first new dish that appeared was a salad. It seemed like no biggie, really, composed of Japanese spinach, bitter rocket and cherry tomatos for color variety. No biggie, except that the greens became just vehicles to slurp up the delicious, sweet, sesame-soy dressing that balanced the bitterness most wonderfully. To pimp up the salad further, generous sprinkles of fried sakura ebi and bacon (and mind you, those were the fresh ones and not generic bottled "bacon bits") added touches of flavour and crunch.
A surprisingly interesting appetizer was the agedashi tofu. I thought it would be a safe albeit boring choice. But no, Tomo made it special by first coating each of the tofu with bonito flakes before a dip into hot oil. The result evoked that feeling of etherealness when you bite into the tofu. To give the tofu some flavour, each of the 4 pieces of tofu was adorned with a different condiment - grated daikon, grated ginger, nori and lastly, negi (spring onions) - and the different color tippings really made the dish looked appetizing. But be sure to douse your tofu with the accompanying soy sauce or else it could be a little bland.

While the parents were digging into the grilled items of yakitori and tender beef, I was anticipating anxiously for the shirako. I have been wanting to try it for ages and made it known as soon as saw it on the board.
[On a side note, I really like that thing - keeps me on my edge, and my meals rather exciting]
So what is shirako? According to my good friend, Wikipedia, Shirako (白子) means "white children" in Japanese. But not to worry, no children was harmed during that dinner. It is also a term for soft roe, but not roe at all, which is sperm of the fish. So anyway, Taa-ta!

To be honest, I was rather apprehensive when it appeared before me looking like a naked, boiled, vile-tasting, piece of brain. But curiousity got better of me. I went on to giving the "brain" a lemon shower, then broke off a chunk, dipped that into the ponzu sauce and ate.
WOW! It took me a moment to realise it actually tasted g-o-o-d! It was really creamy and melty, sort of like a softer, less rubbery version of "powder pig intestines" that you get from your favorite kway chap place. I learnt from Chef that the shirako was first boiled, then baked for a while. Hmm, I think I am ready to its raw form next time.
Somewhere along dinner, I also had the most amazing kama yaki, or, grilled swordfish collar. This was also a seasonal dish and I was glad it appeared that night - definitely one of the highlights! Amazingly, despite its thickness and after grilling, the flesh remained oh-so-succulent and juicy. And never underestimate the amount of meat in that bone; even the 3 of us picked at it for the longest time. It was just so more-ish i.e. no matter how big the piece, you just want to finish it all.
Lastly, I present the sayori sushi. It was fresh alright, but I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation. This picture might not show, but the sayori was actually in a little braid - kawaii desu!
If dinner is too daunting for you for some reason or another, but you would still like a reliable source of Japanese food, Tomo has got a few generic and afforable bento sets. Its location also makes a quiet spot for business lunch as well. On my way out, I noticed the set lunches are on an unbelievable deal at $15 now! Well, it has been reduced from $22, which I paid about a couple of weeks ago. The sushi and sashimi set was nothing exciting but decent.
But omakase dinner is the best.

Tomo Fine Dining
Level 2 Marina Square
(same level as Breeks, Seoul Garden etc)
Tel: 6338-4486


Cavalock said…
ha..finally made it there for dinner on fri. almost $200 for dinner for 2, but worth it.
yixiaooo said…
hey mia, everytime i read about tomo (and previously kaisan) from your blog, i get pangs of desire to visit.. haha =)
the hungry cow said…
I so agree! I'm looking forward to the day I get to try the omakase there. Haven't had one before. The Shirako really looks like a brain. I've gotta be pretty high to eat that! Lol.
mia said…
cavalock: $100 is really not bad at all. it would probably cost you more than that, for 1 person, at Shiraishi or Tatsuya :-)

yixiaoo: hee hee. but lunch is really lacklustre compared to dinner. tomo = omakase dinner. bring your family - your dad will probably love it!

hungry cow: just close your eyes and eat it. you will be pleasantly surprised by its yummminess! :P
caesy said…
haha...the thrill factor ya

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