When we first heard about Ristorante Takada – Tokyo Italian Cuisine By Chef Masahiro Takada, we had our reservations. We couldn’t exactly fathom why a fine dining restaurant serving Italian-Japanese fare would choose to be located in Alexis, a mixed development condominium along Alexandra Road. But since we were already shopping at Ikea Alexandra and the restaurant was just walking distance away, we decided to make a reservation and give a try. The restaurant had a modest facade but we were delighted by the selection of fine wine the moment we stepped in.
The friendly Japanese waitress got us comfortably seated and shared with us their set lunch for the day. She explained that there is no ala-carte menu and Chef Masahiro Takada’s seasonal set lunches do not disappoint. To be honest, it was quite a relief not to go through the painful decision process. Let’s just have what the Chef recommends for the day! We started our meal wth an unassuming looking Mushroom Soup that contains milk froth with infused tofu followed by sincere Fresh Bread made by Chef Takada himself in the kitchen.
Our waitress shared with us that most of the staff in the restaurant are Japanese. The restaurant used to be located at Keong Siak Road but to resolve customers’ parking issues, they decided to move to this quiet joint at the fringe of the city. We will be sampling two of their set lunches today. Let’s start with the first set!
Lunch Set A ($108++)
The appetiser “Flower pot” Burrata Cheese & Caponata With Smoked Duck was particularly pleasing to the eyes. It is interesting how Chef Takada brought the flower pot concept from desserts and adapted it to fine dining. We love the freshest of the fruits and vegetables that were specially brought from Hokkaido for the dish.
Our warm appetiser – Black Tempura ”Shirako” proved to be a very provocative dish. We had no idea that we were having the cod’s milt which is the male genitalia of fish. Thankfully, we managed to taste it before the waitress introduced the dish. The flavour and texture were pretty similar to the usual fish flesh that we are used to. She explained that the testicle for the male codfish is considered a delicacy for Japanese and is usually only available from October onwards until December. Guess we just checked our exotic cuisine checklist for the year.
There were 3 choices for pasta for the lunch sets. We made the decision to forgo the Tagliatelle Wagyu Bolognese with Smoked Ovolini. Their signature – Tagliolini Pasta with Hokkaido Sea Urchin & Squid-ink Sauce was served for our first set. Folks who love fresh seafood would adore this dish. Chef Takada was generous with his Hokkaido sea urchin and fish roe. To enjoy the pasta, sample the squid-ink sauce in the accompanying sea urchin shell and dribble your preferred amount to amplify its taste.
Although there was a choice for fish of the day for our mains, we decided to go for their Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek. Have we shared how much we love the presentation of their dishes? They have a Japanese lady chef that specialises solely on the plating. The beef cheek was soft, tender and done to perfection!
Our dessert – Chestnuts Creme Brulee with Chocolate Gelato was presented by Chef Masahiro Takada himself. He wanted to make sure that everything was alright and we were enjoying our meal. He told us that although the lunch set menu is fixed, he and his team do go out of their way for special requests. There was once a regular customer who came with a guest who was vegetarian. His team was notified in advance and they managed to whip up a vegetarian meal to suit the guest’s palate.
Lunch Set B ($148++)
This premium set starts with Carpaccio (Raw) Fish with Frozen Gremolata as the appetiser. Depending on the season in Japan, the fish served could be either Yellow Tail, Tuna or Sea Bream fish. Sometimes, flounder fish may be presented as well. The infusion of nitrogen to freeze its seasonal vegetables was quite a sight to behold! Air-flown direct from Tsukiji Market, the raw fish retained much of its freshness and sweetness. This is a very refreshing starter dish.
Weighing between a seasonal fish from Tsukiji Market and Kagoshima Wagyu Steak with Red Wine Sauce, we went for the signature latter. The waitress told us some of their regulars come just for the steak and often requested for a larger portion. Preparation for the steak was a tedious process which requires Chef Takada to simmer the steam in boiling water for close to 30 minutes before putting it on the grill. The result – premium steak with the perfect texture and wellness.
For desserts, we ordered Tiramisu Takada – Chef Takada signature. He did a small performance to creat the dessert which you will only get to see if you order the set.
All set lunches also come with Petit Four of either Okinawa Brown Sugar Madeleine or Australian Gooseberry Summarized Chocolate before ending with coffee or tea. Overall, we enjoyed the food and hospitality of Chef Takada and his team. We were really glad to chance upon this sincere and value-for-money Japanese-Italian Fine Dining restaurant in Singapore. To ensure freshness of their ingredients, they only accept reservations, so do make a advance reservation if you are keen to sample their set lunch menu. The full information of the Ristorante Takada are as follow:
Address: #01-07 Alexis Condominium, 356 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159948 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm (Lunch) & 6pm – 10pm (Dinner). Closed on Monday and 1st & 3rd Sunday Each Month | Tel: 6339 3969 | Email: [email protected] | Website: ristorante-takada.sg | Facebook: ristorantetakada.sg | Instagram: ristorante_takada