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Of Quayside Isle (Sentosa)

Quayside Isle of Sentosa never did have a strong enough appeal to pull the man and I to visit, unless such a time as this when we just merely want to enjoy the company of our good friends who had made plans and beckoned us to this side of town. Surrounded by yachts and boats, it felt like we were away from Singapore, on a holiday of sorts, a respite even for a few hours.

And dinner was at Ezoca. I didn't know there was a Japanese restaurant at Quayside, much less that Ezoca is a Japanese restaurant because of the atypical name. But it was brought to my attention when I saw a couple of reviews on the net.  It seems to be somewhat fine dining (no salarymen seen) and focuses on serving seasonal set course dinners, though there is also ala carte available.

Dinner course was $288 per person and there is a small discount for 2 or more diners in a party. Not everyday food, but then quality Japanese food never is cheap, even in Japan. As with typical course dinner, we had lots of different types of dishes cooked in different styles, different textures, etc.

prawn, tofu, cream cheese and  freshly toasted walnut - delicious!

seasonal grilled sanma sushi - the poor fish was seared to death. It was tough and not much flavor.

Chawanmushi with clams, winter melon and tomato salsa - somewhat an adventurous combination but does nothing exciting to the taste. the clams were overcooked and slightly tough. Too bad, because they were very sweet.

Sashimi - kinmedai, white shrimp wrapped with kelp (both were so good I wanted more); there were toro and hokkigai sashimi as well. The hokkigai was marinated in some odd strawberry sauce. I hated it.

Grilled Omi tenderloin which was fatty and delicious. Salt and mustard served on the side.

Soup of conger eel - the Man found it too light but I beg to differ. It looks and taste light initially but the richness grew and the soup was rich and gelatinous. Maybe from the stewed grilled mochi inside.

Dessert - rice wafer filled with homemade azuki beans, caramlized apples and ice cream; peeled grapes with wine jelly. As expected, a typical Japanese dessert that is much too sweet but at the same time oddly addictive.
I am missing a picture of the rice course, which was worth a mention. While it looked unsubstantial in quantity, it was just right after many courses of food. Plus, the rice was steamed together with seasonal mushrooms and chestnuts so it was extra flavourful. Served alongside was a tempura shrimp that was very well executed (not oily, crunchy outside, sweetness of prawn retained) and together with a bowl of clear soup and pickles. Much as I want to leave something behind, I finished the rice because together with the fried shrimp, this was a course of simple comfort food at its best!

Overall, food was good with a couple of misses. I love Japanese course dinners because of the thought behind each dish, the use of seasonal ingredients to let nature shine, the pairing of food and serving ware and food styling that reflect the season and also match the dish. Having tried food styling, I know it's not easy to do. I would put this definitely as a special occasion restaurant and something different on Sentosa island. IMO not suitable for big groups larger for 4 especially when seating indoors because of the potential noise level that could disturb other diners.


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