Saturday, December 13, 2008

friday meal part 1 - Nanja Monjya

After a two weeks hiatus i finally managed to meet up with Cece to catch up, have a wonderful dinner and were both looking forward to dessert and alcohol. i made a reservation to this wonderful japanese restaurant called 'Nanja Monjya'. Edeline recommended me to the place. She mentioned that she visited this restaurant with Gail and enjoyed the food thoroughly! so i called and opted for the table with teppanyaki on it.

When we first got in, we found a note (below) which indicated my name, how many people and the time. i found this so sweet and cute! couldnt resist using my lousy camera phone to take a pic which in turn drove my pics taking craze for the night.

When we were seated at table 6, we felt an immense amount of heat arising from the hotplate. it was HOT! Felt like sauna for your face!

Purple chopstick cover. Cool!

The red menu and wet tissue with interesting smell.

opening the menu and looking at it was rather intimidating. given that fact that the big words are in japanese and english fonts were really tiny!! it was kinda mind boggling. besides this menu, there were yakitori menu, grilled item menu, drinks menu etc. in short, many many menus! So, we took the shortcut and asked the staff to recommend.

the appetizer. cold soba. not bad texture!! though too little to really savour and taste it :D

our spicy (not very actually) mentaiko (cod roe) monjya yaki. It's a wet version okonomiyaki-ish kind of dish which you will eat with a small spatula. in the mix are leek, lots of crunchy cabbage, spicy cod roe, rice cake, marmee-ish noodles and i can't remember what else.

the mix is then being poured onto the hotplate and allow to slowly cook. we were told that after it's being spread, we can eat within 5 mins.

so we used the small spatula and started to scrap from the sides which cooked faster and became rather crispy. so when you put it in your mouth, you get a slight crisp, wetish and crunchy texture. the sauce if very flavourful too! think they must have added dashi stock to it. can taste a bit of bonito. it is very delish!

next came the okonomiyaki. the one we selected was a house fave. pork belly okonomiyaki. this is a dried version, as you can see, there are cabbage, pork belly, leek, ginger and an egg to mix the ingredients together.

here's the okonomiyaki waiting to be eaten. it takes about 10 mins for it to cook. the staff partial cook the thin slices of pork belly first. after 5 mins on this side, it was being flipped over.

here is the end product. mayo/sweet/spicy sauce is added according to your liking. they of coz have the dried bonito flakes which you can add as much as you like. it's put into a rather mid size 'pot' which is quite plenty considering people can be greedy and put everything onto their okonomiyakis.

the dried version is pretty good too. crispy on the top and bottom and still wet and slightly mushy in the centre. it's good mushy as the cabbage is still crunchy and it doesn't taste like there's any flour in the mix which i think is most wonderful and how authentic okonomiyakis should taste like.

quote cece: 'Am i in Japan?!'

i really couldnt agree more. reminded of the last time i was in osaka where my host family brought me to an similar kind of restaurant pub. absolutely delish! those that you get in taka basement food court will never be able to compare.

we then got greedy and tried the tofu, mentaiko with melted cheese (above). when i ate this, i felt like i was in heaven!! the cheese was nicely melted, partially crispy and mixed with the mentaiko, it good enough flavour to eat together with the tofu! i truly love it! Cece says it's a tad salty though..

we'd definitely head back to the place again and try other stuff. we paid a total of $54 for the 3 dishes ordered and i think it's reasonable. remember to make reservations as it's very popular. the restaurant is really generous as there was only two of us but gave us a 4 seater table. We didnt order any drinks and just had ice water which were FOC.

service was promp and excellent. MUST TRY!!!

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