Thursday, October 15, 2015

Over the MOOn at En Grill & Bar, River Valley

When faced with a busy day at work where you ended up traveling from west to east to central for meetings all in one day, the best way to end is it with a good meal. Agree? 


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A couple of months ago, Paul and I were invited to sample the newly updated menu of En Grill & Bar in River Valley. We have been to their branch at Bukit Timah where we had a delicious Japanese a la carte buffet dinner with friends but that was more than two years ago. I think a long overdue return just made perfect sense. What we love about En's line-up is how they gave a modern take on the traditional Japanese cuisine.

Be ready to entice your tastebuds with melt-in-your-mouth top quality Wagyu beef called the Motobu beef. In fact, En Grill & Bar imports this directly from the source all the way from Yanbaru ranch in Okinawa, Japan. I'm no expert in beef as I even abstained from it for a couple of years ago but I do know that the higher the grade level the yummier the beef is. That said, En Grill & Bar ensures that they only serve A4 and A5 grade beef to its customers on a daily basis.

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We started our meal with some Japanese tapas. Similar to its Spanish counterparts, tapas are appetizers served in small quantities and are best enjoyed with a glass of bubbly or to bring it closer to its Japanese roots, a glass of sake. We had the Tako Carpaccio (S$12) which is a plate of thinly sliced octopus and salmon roe drizzled with yuzu and truffle oil. Let me start by saying that the octopus meat was very good. I was somehow expecting it to be rubbery or chewy but it had a good bite and I love that the big salmon roe would just pop in my mouth. The mix of yuzu and truffle made a very interesting combination. We are all used to these two flavors on its own but combined, you get a nice citrus-y feel merged with an earthy aroma in every bite.



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For those who are not crazy about octopus, we had something much safer for our second tapas -- Wagyu Mini Burgers (S$16) which are bite-sized burgers and what made this special is that you can really taste the good quality beef through and through. I skipped the buns and happily enjoyed the thick burger patty inside.

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Moving on, we had the Garlic Gambas (S$16) which was a crowd favourite. Extremely tasty and the juicy prawns were just so addicting. I had to stop myself from using those burger buns to mop up the yummy garlic oil on my plate.

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For our mains, we had a wide array of Wagyu dishes. All were very good but if I had to play favourites, it would definitely be the Wagyu Houba Misayaki (S$28). I couldn't stop stuffing myself with these extremely tender slices of Motobu Wagyu Steak served with miso on houba (Japanese Magnolia) leaf. It's a very simple, straight-forward dish but it's one that I will surely go back to En Grill & Bar for.

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We also tried the Wagyu & Foie Gras (S$24) which was another winning dish. To be honest, I was expecting the typical grilled wagyu with foie gras but what came was a huge deep dish of pan-seared Motobu wagyu steak and small pieces of foie gras served with truffle teriyaki sauce and sweet potato crisp. The sauce had a nice sweet flavor however I could hardly detect the foie gras. Either it melted away or it was just too small to be noticed. The beef was so tender, as always. I tell you, have this with a bowl of Japanese rice to complete your gastronomic experience.

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For the kids, they'll probably enjoy the Sunny Side-Up Hamburg (S$18) which I felt was just a-okay but hey it's delicious wagyu burger with a well-cooked sunny side-up egg.

At this point, we were all feeling very stuffed already but the food just kept on coming!

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To "cleanse" our palette, we tried the Angel Hair Pasta (S$18.80) which, I have to say, was a good break from all the protein. If you got to have carbs then go for this! I love the addition of fresh sea urchin making each bite very creamy. It was served cold too! Yum!

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If you're dining with friends, I recommend that you try the Sumiyaki Morrawese (S$25) as you can all take your pick among the assorted yakitori sticks served on a charcoal griller. Normally, I avoid yakitori platters as you just get a mix of chicken in all parts, shapes and sizes. This was top class, I have to say, as it offers you a good choice of seafood (squid), veggies (asparagus and cherry tomatoes) and meat (chicken wings and meatballs). My favorite were the meatballs and asparagus. The squid was good but as it got colder, it got more and more chewy.

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We also tried the Wagyu Yasai Stick (S$24) which is a long skewer of Motobu beef alternating with slices of veggies.

I could hardly have another bite so when dessert came out, I relied on Paul to give me his thoughts about it.

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The Yuzu Cheesecake (S$7.80) was a light Japanese-style cheesecake with a very mild hint of yuzu flavor. According to Paul, it was pretty good but for hard core yuzu lovers, this might leave you wanting much more.

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The Matcha Tiramisu (S$7.80) was a good take to the popular French dessert but I have to admit that you got to be a big matcha fan to enjoy this. It's served with a scoop of red bean and the cake had a very airy, light consistency.

Oh what a good meal! While this meal alone costed me hours in the gym to make up for it, it surely got me dreaming about it days and nights after. I will surely be back most especially because En Grill & Bar is part of The Entertainer App's list of merchants where we can get 1-for-1 deals for an order of the Sumiyaki Moriawase, a main dish or two tapas.

Check out En Grill & Bar at 207 River Valley Road, 01-60 UE Square, Singapore. Call them at 6732-6863.

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