Kanpai to Obanzai Fare at Rockon Tokyo

With heartfelt, simple dishes and great sake, Rockon Tokyo might just be our home away from home.

Obanzai, home-styled cooking native to Kyoto, is centre stage at this intimate hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Led by head chef Sekiya Katsuyuki, Rockon Tokyo serves up unassuming dishes the likes of potato salad, tsukune (chicken meatball) and daikon with Italian lemon olive oil, and a cube of crab cake croquette.

As with any respectable Japanese restaurant, fresh produce is flown in at least twice a week from the various prefectures. He also makes his very own natto sauce and pickles that are served with different parts of tuna: akami or chutoro. We especially loved his dessert of sake lees ice cream over a warm charcoal-grilled pineapple slice.

Chutoro with Narazuke Pickles (Image courtesy of Rockon Tokyo)

If Katsuyuki’s simple dishes don’t hit the spot, there’s also the option to kick things into overdrive with copious amounts of caviar, ikura, uni, and truffle shavings. The humble tamago kake gohan or TKG is reinvented as Rock On! Tokyo Treasure Box, where the yolk sits in a cloud of torched egg white meringue. It comes with bowls of caviar, crabmeat, ikura, and uni as well as a whole truffle brought to the table in its own Louis Vuitton monogram-patterned box.

With it, Koki Miyoshi pours us a warm cup of Kauin Truffle Rockon Tokyo and before we can take a sip, shaves a truffle over it. Part of the omakase meal’s sake pairing, the heat of the rice wine releases the fragrance of the fungi and it’s the first thing that hits the olfactory senses.

Rock On! Tokyo Treasure Box (Image courtesy of Rockon Tokyo)

Miyoshi is the sake sommelier around these parts – he owns Kamoshita Japanese Restaurant in the vicinity as well – and gets a twinkle in his eye when you indicate you’d like some to drink. Head straight for the rare sakes such as Juyondai Daiginjo or Isojiman Daiginjo if you’re familiar, otherwise opt for his sake pairing that seems to be as evocative as the food.

Rockon Tokyo is located at 106 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088525.

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Lu Yawen

Editor in chief

A free-spirited creature, she enjoys both the shiny and gritty things in life. She envisions a home by the ocean with weekly dive expeditions and art exhibitions.

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