Since their huge success from last year’s collaboration, Niigata City has paired up with Tóng Lè Private Dining once again to bring together the unforgettable flavours of Japan’s “City of Water” dining experience.
From 27 October to 11 November 2017, you can look forward to experiencing some of Niigata City’s best produce through Tóng Lè Private Dining’s exquisite six-course menu crafted by Chef Ken Ling, available for lunch and dinner. The hand-picked exquisite ingredients include Sazae (horned turban sea snail), Medai (sea bream), Kurobuta Pork (Also known as Kobe beef of pork), and of course Niigata’s famous Koshihikari rice, Niitaka (pear) and Okesagaki (persimmon).
Sazae 海螺 (Turban shell) is a prized delicacy in Japan that has a crunchy texture with good balance and pronounced flavour. Even though the clam is cooked with ginger and coriander paste, it retains the wonderful sweetness of the shellfish.
The Kelp noodle (umi shomen) in the dish is marinated with mirin, bonito and yuzu. This is one of the best noodle I’ve had in a while. All the diners at the table are thoroughly impressed by this first course.
Known as the ‘Dancing Mushroom’ in Japan, Maitake Mushroom is a natural flavour enhancer that provides ‘umami’ – the sixth flavour of Japanese food. Nameko Mushroom has a mellow earthy flavour with hints of cashew.
The main highlight of this dish is the tomato from Niigata. The “egg yolk” resting on top of the soup is in fact a spherification of liquid tomato. It is recommended to pop the whole sphere into your mouth and that is exactly what I did. This dish also consists of a tomato consommé with the blend of Japanese ginger flower and lemongrass. The slow cooked lobster in the soup also adds to the overall flavour of the dish.
Medai, Japanese Butterfish (also known as Blue Nose) is a type of seabream or snapper. High fat content gives Medai a naturally butter taste.
The Medai fish is cooked with a slightly spicy paste on the top, which is made with a blend of turmeric, yellow ginger, dried shrimp, garlic, shallot and lemon grass. This dish reminds me of the Indonesian Ikan Bakar dish which I’m a huge fan of. A squeeze of the calamansi on the top brings out the flavorful spices.
Kurobuta is known as the highest quality pork in the world due to its rich marbling, tenderness and rich flavor. It is often called the “Kobe beef of pork.” Hands down this has got to be the best pork I’ve ever tasted in a long time. No kidding.
The pork in the dish is marinated with garlic and leek and is served with a deep fried fig and sautéed lotus root on the bottom to add to the flavours. The dish is presented with three different sauces which are grated radish with yuzu, yuzu soy sauce and sea salt to enjoy the pork in different ways.
Uonuma, a city located in South Central Niigata Prefecture, it is famous for producing the best Japanese rice, Koshihikari – the crown jewel of Japanese short-grain rice. It is noted for its sweet and nutty taste with slight stickiness.
The dish has rice cooked and reduced in chicken stock, the rice and deep fried mountain yam cubes are covered in a mashed mountain yam paste. For texture crispy uonoma rice and shallots are served, along side with trumpet mushroom and finally topped with pepper crusted Hokkaido scallops. Before serving, a delicious seafood soup is poured into the bowl. This light yet umami-laden course is a perfect ending to the meal. That being said, I could do without the scallop which was a tad overcooked and too peppery.
Niitaka-Nashi Pear is a famous product of Niigata for a long time because of its rich history and the size of the fruit. It is crispy, juicy and sweet. The best season to enjoy this fruit starts from the beginning of October.
Okesa-gaki Persimmon is the representative of Niigata Prefecture’s autumn flavours.
Okesa Persimmons, is characterised by its smooth, fully-rounded and superior flavour. Not a fan of persimmons, I’m surprised to enjoy the persimmon tart in this three-component dessert.
In the centre, there are two types of pear which are the fresh pear and the pear soaked with red wine. The teacup dessert has molten persimmon purée on the bottom layer and is topped with pear jelly, fresh pear balls and basil seeds.
All in all, the sublime ingredients from Niigata City shine through the skilful preparation by talented Chef Ken Ling and this is one gastronomic meal you do not want to miss.
The Niigata City Set Menu will be served from 27 October to 11 November 2017. It is available for lunch between 11.30am to 3.00pm and dinner from 6pm to 11pm (priced at $120++ per person). For reservations and more information, please call 6634 3233.
*This is a collaborated post in partnership with Niigata City Food Fair and Tóng Lè Private Dining.
Tóng Lè Private Dining
OUE Tower, Level 8 & 10, 60 Collyer Quay Singapore 049322
Tel: +65 6634 3233| Website
Mon – Sat: 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm