I was recently invited for a tasting at Shirokiya CHIJMES, organized by OpenRice. Shirokiya is basically an Izakaya style Japanese restaurant hailing from Japan, but the unique twist is that they focus on healthy dining. Japanese food is already comparatively healthier to begin with, but here the definition of healthy dining here extends to wellness too – they have dishes incorporating collagen, hyaluronic acid, capsaicin and lycopene powder for example, which will promote cellular renewal, increase metabolism, support cardiac health and neutralize free radicals in the body.
The other “healthy” aspect they add to their dishes is the the seasoning used – their special Shiokoji, which made from rice koji (rice malt), salt and water. This ingredient is said to be more than just a seasoning. It can make meat tender and draw out the natural sweetness found in raw ingredients. The rice malt is said to contain enzymes and vitamins which are beneficial for the body.
Hearing all these gets me really excited. But first, I got to make sure the food tastes good. It is easy to make healthy food which tastes like crap. What about healthy food that tastes good?
Cold Tofu Sprinkled in Salted Rice Malt (Shiokoji) Dressing – $8.80++
Over the years I’ve acquired the taste for tofu (used to dislike it) and this one was simple but adequate as an appetizer. The natto on the side was not too pungent.
Avocado and Seafood Salad with Hyaluronic Acid Jelly – $20.80++
This has to be my favourite item for today. I love sashimi salad and this one was better with hyaluronic acid jelly. I believe in beauty supplements and I take it everyday to keep my skin hydrated. I like how there’s a variety of sashimi here, including ikura (salmon roe) and there’s avocado, for even more omega 3. The dressing provided wasn’t too heavy too and complemented well.
Bonito Fish Cooked in Hay Straw Marinated with Ponzu Sauce – $14.00++
The katsuo here wasn’t too fishy and I’m not sure whether the credit goes to the cooking method with hay (like real hay from the farm), but whatever it is, I enjoyed this one. The fish is smoked so technically it isn’t raw.
The ponzu sauce was on the saltier side, so you may like to go easy on it.
Ultimate Fried Chicken Wings with Sweet Sauce – $18.80++
This sort of reminds me of Korean fried chicken because the skin was the crackling sort and there was sweet sauce coated. It was not bad in my opinion and I really wouldn’t mind having it again! The “secret ingredient” here is white pepper which they imported from Japan, and it is said to be different from regular white pepper. Well I am normally not a fan of pepper but it wasn’t overpowering at all, so still good for me.
Kurobuta Shabu-Shabu Served in Collagen Soup – $38.80++ (for 2-3pax)
I was excited to know that there’s going to be collagen for this. I believe in collagen.
The collagen will go into the chicken soup first, and then the leek. The kurobuta pork slices are to be cook laid flat, and flipped over for even cooking. It isn’t meant to be like the usual steamboat style were you dip it into the soup.
The marbling of the pork was good because it’s kurobuta (black pig).
The pork was very tender due to good meat quality and because of how thinly it was sliced. It paired well with the leak. It was towards the bland side because the soup was very light to begin with.
Broiled Pressed Mackerel – $15.80++
This looks like Osaka style hako-zushi (box sushi) to me. The rice is not just plain rice, but seasoned with ginger inside. The fish was cooked somewhat like aburi style. Nothing went wrong with this one.
Warabi-Mochi / Bracken-starched Dumpling with Brown Sugar Syrup – $7.80++
For dessert it was mochi coated with kinako (soy bean power). The kinako is supplied by Mr Bean, which in Singapore is known for quality soy milk.
Brown sugar syrup is used to sweeten the mochi and of course you adjust the sweetness to your level. The mochi was very chewy and I liked it.
My overall impression of this place is good so far. The prices are affordable for a restaurant in CHIJMES, which is known for more premium food. The food standard was overall not bad, better than benchmark Japanese cuisine in Singapore but the major attraction to me is the added health factor in the dishes. I would not say no to trying this restaurant again.