It was the tatami mats that attracted me to try this place. Hashida Garo’s concept is very fresh in Singapore. They’re sort of like a gallery, tea house and restaurant all in one.
Their menu is simple. They obviously have more choices for their Garo Sweets than savoury dishes.
A message from the chef wraps every pair of chopsticks. ありがとう！
Unagi Ippon – $19.80++
Having tried the best versions of unagi in Narita and Nagoya (Hitsumabushi style), I sort of gave up on unagi in Singapore. However, this one is easily the best I’ve had in a long time! The texture was soft and the flavour was just right. The accompanying ingredients like eggs, seaweed and pickles complimented perfectly too and I actually finished everything in this bento box. Not a grain of rice left. I enjoyed the miso soup too.
Moving on to tea and desserts now…
Matcha, Black Tea and Hojicha Macarons – $3.50++/each
The Hojicha was a flop in my opinion. It’s nowhere near Sadaharu Aoki’s! However, the Matcha and Black Tea was really good. The Matcha flavour resembled Matcha Kit Kat while the Black Tea was just too fragrant to be true. I rate the flavours highly but the texture needs improvement. The shells were dry, not chewy and not crispy. It was like meringue over whipped. They can refer to Pierre Hermé or Ladurée’s cook book for some help.
Fukamushi Sencha Ei – $5.00++
Now this is the best cup of Japanese green tea I’ve ever tried. I couldn’t believe how smooth it was yet being so flavourful! The green tea I’m used to getting usually feels puckery with tannins on my palate but this wasn’t. The flavour was so strong too, it’s unbelievable. I asked for the origin and I was told it’s from Kagoshima. I asked if it was for sale but currently their retail section wasn’t ready yet.
I liked how they presented me with a fact sheet about green tea and this made me feel even better sipping my tea. One cup is not enough.
Some other customer ordered the matcha and I got to see it being prepared tea ceremony style, on the tatami mat. I am so going to Japan soon.
Overall: A very interesting concept with quality food.
333A Mandarin Gallery
Orchard Road #04-55
10:00am – 10:00pm