Ramen King Keisuke Takeda is hell-bent on ruining me! Ruining my lo-carb diet, that is. As if it’s not good enough that he is adding on unnecessary inches to my waistline with the food from his 14 other restaurants, he has now created a new concept at Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke. Sukiyaki + Gyu Don = Sukiyaki Don.
The restaurant is located at Onze, Tanjong Pagar; a building so new, I don’t think many tenants have moved in yet. It’s just next to Tanjong Pagar Plaza, opposite 100AM. Luckily I stumbled across it while I was looking for parking, and ended up parking at Tanjong Pagar Plaza itself.
Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke is all, and only, about the beef sukiyaki don. I walked in to be greeted by a hunk of meat (I am NOT talking about chef Keisuke, although sure, with his unflinching gaze and silky ponytail, one might think of him as such) but instead, that luscious, marbled, pink wagyu beef that was set upon the counter-top like an art piece display.
And then, there’s the tantalizing smell of sweet stock that greets your nose. That stock, my dears, is the foundation of the sauce that the beef is cooked in, and which is served to you as an extra condiment, should you feel the need further flavour up the beef.
It’s all done a la minute, and like a performance, the chefs, all of whom are looking mighty sharp in their pressed and pristine whites, start the dance of preparing the sukiyaki don.
Raw brown sugar is caramelized in the pan, before mirin, sake, soy and dashi is added to make the sauce. Slivers of freshly-sliced beef are then swirled around in it, till pinkish brown, then the mushrooms and veggies are added in.
Your rice bowl is then topped with this mixture. Now, speaking of rice, you’ll see clay pots looking all purposeful, sitting on open flames, steaming away Koshihikari rice from Niigata. Known as Donabe, these double-lidded pots apparently steam the rice in a gentler manner, making for a more flavourful lo-carb diet buster.
There are just 2 options on the menu at Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke – US Prime Beef ($13.90)or Yonezawa Wagyu A4 ($29.90). I had the luxury of trying both, and well, obvious as it might seem, I’d suggest going for the wagyu. It’s just that much more luscious to eat.
And while beef is the star at Beek Sukiyaki Don Keisuke, let’s not forget the complimentary accompaniments, which are definitely a notch above the usual miso, pickles and tofu.
The miso soup is prepared from two miso pastes and fish powder, it has quite a bit of depth to it. Between the cabbage and cucumber pickle, and the pumpkin, beetroot and burdock one, I preferred the latter – maybe because I was feeling some heat in it, or maybe because the colours were so pretty!
My favourite side dish has to be the sesame tofu, though. First, I LOVE sesame. So that’s already an easy sell for me. Second, one bite into the soft, paste, and yes, you’re in smooshy sesame heaven.
Seeing as how there are just 14 counter seats, I’m glad I had accepted the pre-launch media invite to Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke, which opens on 24 September. Well, queues might be impending, but it’s worth a visit!
Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke
Address: #01-01 Onze @ Tanjong Pagar, 11 Kee Seng Street, Singapore 089218
Contact: +65 6535 1129
Daily 11.30am to 2.30pm; 5.00pm to 10.00pm