It seems like just yesterday that we got married. It’s 9 years now and next year, it will be the 10th. A decade of marriage is quite a feat eh. Not to mention having to accommodate my whims and fancies, and nonsensical requests (a good example coming up).
Our exact anniversary is coming Wed but I’d decided to give the hubby an early gift. It’s a lot easier to get gifts for him than him for me. No thanks to my general finicky nature. Comparatively, Gary’s taste are generally simpler. He doesn’t care much for brands or even designs. Clothes are just clothes. As long as they fit him and don’t look too outrageous, they are good enough. Best if it’s got something to do with his favourite EPL team, Liverpool. Having said that, I decided not to be predictable this year and get him (yet) another Liverpool or sports jersey.
Hence, I was thinking hard of what can I get him this year that he needs. Was just window shopping around until I come across this huge poster of popular Korean celebrity, Lee Min Ho, holding onto a dark blue laptop bag for the “Samsonite Red” label.
Ah yes!! A new laptop bag would be perfect. His current bag, a Samsonite replica, was given by a friend years ago and is looking a little worn down. The PVC parts are also fast stripping away. Contrary to his current rather bulky looking bag, this blue bag (which Lee Min Ho is holding) looks reasonably stylish and also functional from the numerous pockets and roomy interior.
So I got this bag and decided to “coerce” the hubby into THIS pose… LOL!!
For a laugh, I had posted in Facebook. Some of the comments were hilarious, including highlighting the similarities (“OMG, cannot see the differences!”, “Actually looks pretty close”). Hahaha… so funny…
In the evening, we had checked out “Torikin” (鸡金) at “Crown Centre” (557 Bukit Timah Road #01-14/16). Relatively a new kid on the block since it had just opened last Oct, but they have several branches in Japan. This area brings nostalgic memories for Gary as his secondary school and JC are nearby.
Last week, we had picked up the free “Oishi” magazine at Mediya supermarket. There were 3 nabemono (Japanese hotpot) restaurants featured in this issue. “Torikin” caught my eye just by the nature of their hotpot- “Mitzutaki”, i.e. a hotpot of fresh chicken and vegetables.
Oh yes, I love a hearty wholesome chicken soup that warms the stomach and the soul. Having tried and enjoyed “Tsukada Nojo” (love the soup but hate the crazy queues) and “Beauty in the Pot” (by the Paradise Group), “Torikin” had definitely piqued our interest.
Naturally, we will make some comparison with “Tsukada Nojo”. Price-wise, “Torikin” hotpot at $70 for 2 pax is more pricey than Tsukada’s $25 per pax. There are also more variety of other dishes including sashimi, sushi and others.
We had ordered the Hakata Tonpei-yaki, which is similar to Okonomiyaki, which is a mix of sliced pork and mainly shredded cabbage encased in an omelette topped with mayo and spring onions, and cooked as well as served on a sizzling hotplate. This tonpei-yaki is unlike the typical okonomiyakis that we had tried. For one, the cabbage was shredded very finely and the sauce (or spice?) used in the mixture is more savoury.
As we’re pretty famished, the tonpei-yaki was wiped out quite quickly.
Then came their signature fried chicken. The chicken is well-fried, except I don’t particularly like crispy fried chicken that is drenched in sauce. This makes the crispy bits a little soggy despite the delicious sauce.
Now comes their signature!
There is a process in consuming the “Mizutaki”. Oh, the wait staff will assist in this process and adding the ingredients in. Unlike “Tsukada” where a pot of pale yellow curds of collagen would simmer and “melt” into a state of thick broth, the “Torikin” soup is served as it is, and is milky in colour and less thick in consistency. According to their Facebook page, this collagen-rich soup is cooked for 7 hours using traditional cooking methods.
According to the menu:
1) Start with tasting the soup that is served in a small soba cup.
2) Next, eat the cooked chicken with their homemade ponzu sauce. Can also dip the chicken in the special Yuzu Pepper (looks like sambal but it’s actually a paste made from yuzu zest and chilli peppers).
3) While eating the chicken, the wait staff will add in the other ingredients- minced chicken (to be shaped into little balls) and the vegetables.
4) After everything had been consumed, the last stage involves adding in rice, egg and seaweed for a simple and yet flavourful pot of porridge.
Indeed, none of this nutritious soup will go to waste.
Overall, I find “Torikin” soup less salty. While I do enjoy the thick rich broth of Tsukada, I’d find myself gulping more water after that. The soup at “Beauty in the Pot” is somewhat in between.
After a very satisfying meal, we’d still have room for desserts at “2am: dessertbar” in Holland Village. I had truly screwed away my recent strict diet this weekend. But it’s alright cos it’s our 9th wedding anniversary!!
May we have many more years to come. That means, the hubby would have many more years to tahan my nonsense!! Yippee!! :)