Keyaki is one of Singapore's oldest, and more underrated, Japanese restaurants. Housed in a lovely picturesque garden within the Pan Pacific Hotel compound, the restaurant is a tranquil oasis, all zen-ed out and replete with the soft babble of the koi pond.
A full-range Japanese restaurant, Keyaki serves up a decent teppanyaki, in addition to the usual kaiseki/omakase menu. We got the prix fixe Kaze Teppanyaki ($140), an eight course dinner with an assortment of seafood and beef. While the food wasn't refined as Teppan-Ya at Mandarin Oriental (nor the chef as entertaining), it was reasonably and economically priced.
The Seafood course comprised a trio of bouncy prawns, a couple of plump scallops, and fillets of salmon and cod fish. They were cooked perfectly, and natural sweetness enhanced by the citrus-tinged shoyu dipping sauce.
The Beef course was an option between the Sirloin cut, which was only so-so.
And the sumptuous Beef Fillet, which was much better, with a melt-in-your-mouth lusciousness. Feel free to ask for extra lashings of that amazing garlic chips.
The Japanese Salad, a simple melange of mesclun and tomato wedge drizzled with a wafu dressing, was refreshing in its piquancy.
The Chawanmushi, smooth as a baby's bottom, was dotted with shitake, gingko nut, and chicken for added texture.
The Fried Garlic Rice, laced with a fluffy egg scramble, was excellent. There was also a plate of sauteed vegetables, but I wolfed it down before I realised I'd forgotten to take a photo.
The Miso Soup, flecked with kelp and beancurd skin, was middling in a most generic way. I passed on this.
The Amuse Bouche of lotus root slices marinated in sesame and soy, was surprisingly addictive.
I loved the dessert, a lime sorbet crowned with a strawberry. Light and tart and an excellent palate cleanser.
The requisite fire show, that's de rigueur of all teppanyaki.
The salt calligraphy, a kitschy finisher to the meal.
Keyaki Japanese Restaurant
7 Raffles Boulevard
Pan Pacific Hotel Level 4
Tel: 6826 8240
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner