Okonomi Kaiseki @ Keyaki, Pan Pacific Singapore.

Last weekend, the wife and I were invited to a tasting at the new Weekend Brunch at a Japanese restaurant. We found this interesting as for most Kaiseki, you don’t really have ‘options’. You pick the Kaiseki set you like and out comes the chef’s best picks for you. Here, they have what they call the Okonomi Kaiseki. Okonomi means ‘as you like it’. Chef Hiroshi Ishiii has this Okonomi Kaiseki on weekends.

I asked the wife if she’s interested to go, she thought for a while. Ladies have a rational side and not all emotional. She figured, it has been some time since she’s been here, so that is a tick. She’s also a preggie now and when she thinks of Japanese, so it’s a cross. So she was in a dilemma. That’s until I told her, you can choose what you want to eat. She exclaimed: Really?! You mean for every course, I can choose? Are you sure? OK, another tick. Let’s go!

Yes, that’s what the weekend brunch here is about. It does solve the problem many of us have with different family members or friends or spouse. The road block they always give you when you want to bring them out for meals.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

It’s a pleasure strolling to Keyaki at Level 4 of Pan Pacific. It’s suddenly so tranquil and peaceful. I don’t really see Japanese gardens at a restaurant in Singapore. I suddenly thought of Tetsuya’s in Sydney. Tranquil gardens ah…

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

The wife says, “Hey this place has changed a bit”. She’s right, they have done some renovations here recently. So peaceful that you want to spend some time reading here!

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

We were slightly late because of poorly planned route we took getting here. The jams are so unpredictable now. The gracious host was kind to us, but we felt sorry for the other guests who had to wait for us.

Here’s the menu. $75++ per person if you choose the non alcoholic version.
$125++ if you choose the unlimited sake, champagne, beer and some reds and whites version.

I shall not describe the details of a traditional Kaiseki meal. It’s really very interesting but it takes pages and pages to describe it and some of you might already know. I’ll describe our delightful experience here at Keyaki, course by course. Here goes:

1. Sashimi

  • this course is usually served as earlier courses and it showcases the fresh flavour and what’s in season.
  • choices are: Shake (salmon), Hotate (scallop), Amaebi (sweet prawn), Hamachi (yellowtail) or Assorted Sashimi (Shake, Amaebi, Hotate).

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

Almost the whole table has the assorted sashimi! The amaebi was really nice. So fresh, sweet and I wanted more. The scallop was good too. So I plucked a few of the chrysanthemum petals and had it with the sashimi.

2. Kobachi

  • the course is like the French style amuse bouche, it’s to awaken the palate and prepare for the meal. It’s usually light and refreshing.
  • choices are: seared beef with ponzu sauce, sweet miso-glazed konnyaku, unagi omelette, avocado salad and spinach with goma sauce.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Unagi Omelette was nicely done. Soft and light, it really whet your appetite for what’s to come.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
This was the seared beef appetizer. OK lah.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The spinach with goma sauce is good. Flavourful yet very light.
If popeye was to eat here, he will love the goma sauce over the spinach.

3. Yakimono

  • dishes in this course are cooked over high heat to give it a nice crisp crust.
  • choices are: Cod Teriyaki, Chicken Teriyaki, Grilled Mackerel, Grilled Prawn Skewer with Bacon, Pan-fried Pork with Ginger.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I love all kinds of mackerel and if it’s on the menu, 90% of the time, I will order it. Nice crispy mackerel, nicely salted and a happy me. It’s very hard to describe mackerel, if you are a mackerel person you will like it.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The wife is the cod or salmon person. If there’s cod or salmon, she will order it. The cod teriyaki here is nicely done. It’s also popular on the table as most people ordered this!

4. Nimono

  • for this course, food is simmered in Keyaki’s homemade dashi stock.
  • choices are: agedashi tofu, chawanmushi, chicken soup, simmered seasoned vegetables and simmered white bait and egg.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I enjoyed this simmered seasoned vegetable. The best part was the tofu that has soaked up the flavours of the stock. I have also learn how to make beautiful shape carrots next time I am cooking. This shape is nice ya!

 Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The Agedashi tofu was good too as it was not the chewy on the outside.

5. Agemono

  • this course is the hearty deep fried dishes, food dipped in batter and fried till golden.
  • choices are: tempura, battered oysters, battered soft shell crab, battered squid, battered seasonal vegetables.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Battered Squid was all right. It was done just nice and flavoured nicely. The portion was good too. Looks a bit overdone, but it wasn’t chewy though. Maybe the seasoning.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The battered soft shell crabs were good too. Crispy and nicely salted.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
We saw new friend Bino’s battered oysters and had to take a photo of it.
In fact, it might be the most popular dish for this course as most people had it!

6. Teppanyaki

  • this course serves food cooked over high eat on an iron griddle.
  • choices are: beef, scallop, prawn, salmon, chicken

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I had the urge for scallops then, so I ordered scallops. As you can see, nicely charred, and still fat and plump. The small touches that I observed, heated plates, it’s quite hot, ensure your food is still nice and warm when it is served to you.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The Mrs ordered well done beef and surprise surprise, it came out well done and it was still tender inside. Looks like the chef behind the teppanyaki does know how to control the temperature of the grill and the doneness of the meat.

7. Shokuji

  • this course is the final savoury course in the menu, to round off the meal.
  • choices are: spicy tuna roll, california roll, yakisoba, garlic fried rice and cold soba noodles.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The Mrs has the California roll. It’s one of the safe food for her. (Haha!)
The service staff said they had egg roe on it and it was omitted for her, so they only had sesame seeds for her roll.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I had the cold soba noodles. I like soba noodles and the ones here is nice and cold. I think it’s like an action food. You take some noodles, dip them in the sauce and then repeat.

I like more wasabi in my sauce, so I stole the wife’s wasabi and added my portion of wasabi, seaweed and green onions into the sauce.

8. Mizumono

  • the sweet note as the last course of the Kaiseki.
  • choices are: seasonal fruit (that day we ate it was musk melon), green tea ice cream, red bean ice cream, lime sherbet and read bean soup.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
It was a sunny day, so almost everyone had the recommended green tea ice cream.
Come to think of it, maybe I should have eaten the musk melon because it’s available.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Another safe food for preggies, read bean soup with rice cakes.
A bit too sweet for the Mrs who has a less sweet tongue. It’s a very heart warming end.

It was a nice meal on a warm Saturday afternoon. A nice cool, quiet place to spend the afternoon too and we met a few new friends.

To keep up to date with the restaurant, you can follow them at:

Weekend Brunch @ Keyaki
Pan Pacific Singapore
Level 4
7 Raffles Boulevard
Singapore 039595

Brunch hours: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Days: Weekends (and public holidays)

Tel: +65 6826 8240

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