So during the (client-side) boss' farewell, he decided to choose Iketeru for a lunch with the core team. Since I've been refraining from eating Japanese unless it comes recommended*, I thought this should be good after hearing quite a bit about it.
Naturally my colleagues were also eager to know if the food would be authentic. They were even amused when I pronounced Iketeru =.="
The lunch menu consisted of various set meals. I guess ala carte is only served during dinner. We were seated near the windows, but from where we sat I could see private tatami rooms and sunken-table style sitting which kinda look Japanese.
Deciding to be adventurous I went with the seasonal set, to which the waitress cautioned that I may not be able to stomach some of the flavours as they were made to Japanese standards. I raised an eyebrow and
I was warned that my set would come in 2 trays. The first was supposed to be the appetizers in 4 dishes. I was very delighted that they took the trouble to cut this chilled sesame beancurd in the shape of a cherry blossom, but I wondered if the flower was also of the same sort.
As I scanned each dish with its exquisite shape and texture, I was beginning to relish the experience already. The colleagues next to me didn't appreciate the care and detail that goes into each dish, in pairing with the right bowl of the right shape and colour, thus thought me mad to even marvel at my food.
Another Japanese fried favourite - the croquette. Made up of mashed potatoes and and minced meat, it looked like takoyaki from the outside. I can still remember the warm crunchiness which went really with the Japanese mayo.
Sashimi is a must, they even laid it with the standard shiso leaf which is said to preserve and sterilise food. Must say the tuna wasn't as fresh as I hoped - but then again, I have yet to eat really fresh ones here!
Boiled seasonal vege with bonito flakes. Tasted as healthy as it looked.
The 2nd tray came with more dishes, which I presumed to be the main dishes. In this little white bowl were bamboo shoots (takenoko) with celery stalks. This could be the one the waitress thought locals may not take an instant liking to. Also very healthy.
Their chawanmushi was very smooth and really well done! Just enough with the right amount of seafood.
Actually, the main meal should be the chirashi sushi which is rice with lots of diced up sashimi and topped with preserved ginger. Plenty of salmon, tuna, bits of vege, bamboo shoots; very colourful. In fact can be a meal on its own. I used to order this at a little restaurant near our church in Tokyo, but of course in a bigger serving.
To be honest I was really stuffed by now, and thought I'd be done by the 2nd tray, and of course that's what the menu said. To my absolute surprise, there was even a 3rd tray! It was the grilled salmon which was splendidly done with the right amount of gravy and garnish. The salmon skin is a must - crunchy goodness.
I was really quite embarrased by the 2nd tray already because everyone had promptly finished their food and they had to wait for me. So when the 4th (yes FOURTH!) tray came with dessert, I had to quickly gobble as much as i could. The boss was nice enough to say he would play with the jigsaw game he got as a farewell gift while waiting for me to finish!
Think this set could have been better enjoyed if it was for dinner instead >.<
Food : 8/10
Service : 7/10
Ambience : 6/10
* There is an exception, and I'm ashamed to say I've failed my own principles when I willingly obliged to go for Sushi King because I'm tired of having to explain why I have to preserve the memory of good Japanese food. And also because there's lack of choices around the office.