Just a turn away from the bustling main road of Kampong Bahru Road, you could already sense the unique draw Chotto Matte exudes even before you step in.
Chotto Matte aims to offer a new dining experience that combines traditional Japanese cooking techniques with more modern western flavours.
After a menu revamp and change of chef, we’ve been invited to a tasting at this little spot in Blair road.
With a slight Victorian edge to its exterior, the restaurant is split into a main dining area, al fresco sidewalk tables as well as a private sushi bar where the chef will prepare an omakase feast right in front of your eyes.
We were intrigued to find out what this uniquely named Japanese eatery has to offer, whereby Chotto Matte means to “wait a moment” in English.
Under the extreme generosity of the chef and folks at Chotto Matte, we were glad to be presented with their special and rather impressive Omakase Lunch Set (starting at $88++), which included a hearty 3-course meal hand-crafted delicately by the experienced and talented Head chef Alan Tan who was also formerly from Kinki and Fat Cow.
Momotaro tomatoes with Mozzarella Cheese and Ginger Dressing/ Yuzu & Goma Dressing. The semi-creamy but still light mozzarella, complimented the cheese slices and tomatoes well with either sesame sauce or ginger dressing. The tomatoes were cold, sweet and refreshing, a perfect palate cleanser to start your meal right.
Mizu Tako & Shiro Maguro Carpaccio with caviar and black winter truffle and burnt cucumber, drizzled with truffle soya. Watching chef Alan focused on meticulously preparing this intricate dish was a fascinating closeup experience, with his brow furrowed in concentration.
The dish turned out to be delicately exquisite, and a uplifting start to the meal. Paired with black winter truffles and caviar, one could tell that Chotto Matte does not compromise on quality. Chotto Matte puts in utmost efforts into the finest detail; like charring the small bits of cucumber, which I really appreciated.
The finest and freshest ingredients were used, and Chotto Matte again, spares no expense in providing their customers with the finest quality and top notch ingredients to ensure their customers receive the whole Japanese experience.
Fresh cuts of salmon belly, tuna, hamachi, snapper, uni, tuna belly, scallop, among others. Their sashimi platter is of course, dependent on the daily catch, and thus, might differ from day to day. But rest assured only the freshest would be served.
Toro di toro (tuna belly on tuna belly). Watch as the chef blowtorches the premium sushi aburis before your very eyes, and the fat from these sashimi slices glisten and sparkle, calling out to your stomach. The resulting smell just serves to tease your stomach more.
Above is a aburi tuna belly sushi topped with more minced tuna belly, and garnished with a spring of flower petal. Everything pretty much melts in your mouth.
Next came a whole plethora of sushi cutely stacked in dim sum baskets.
Engawa Aburi (fish fin muscle).
Kimedai Aburi Truffle (Golden Eye sea bream with truffle)
Hotate foie gras uni (scallop with foie gras).
Seth: Pretty much a combination of all my favorite premium ingredients in one sushi. The heavy umami flavours from the foie gras and uni are balanced with the light, sweet scallop for some mouthgasm right there.
Ama Ebi Uni aburi (Sweet shrimp with sea urchin).
I liked the Engawa Aburi the best, with a interesting twist that is not found in usual sashimi outlets around town. Chotto Matte’s Omakase menu serves very unique and ingenious creations that are rarely seen in other places, not to mention delicious as well. Using such refined and exquisite ingredients, I certainly feel that their menu is well worth-it.
Kinmedai Nitsuke. Braised Japanese Red Sea Bream head. The meat was extremely velvety and fresh, which maintained a slightly firm bite to it throughout. It was braised in a light but tasty soya broth throughout, which allowed the flavour to seep subtly into the fish meat. Pleasant and pretty mellow, its taste was consistent throughout.
In the omakase menu, you get to choose what type of dessert you would prefer. Sweet or refreshing. Above is their sweet rendition, which included a creamy, black sesame ice cream, tasting of that freshly grinded flavour you get from good black sesame pastes. Paired off with cute, tiny chocolate lava cakes which actually pack a punch. Don’t be deceived by their miniature size, for a rich, chocolatey goodness oozes out with each bite.
The refreshing option: Peach sorbet with a slice of Japanese melon. Again, Chotto Matte demonstrates their uncompromising standards with generously presenting us with a slice of Japanese rock melon. We all know that piece of fruit unequivocally retails at around SGD$80++ per fruit. Talk about a golden rock.
We also tried their Katsu Apple Curry Sauce Set ($25), which I will continue to rave about to anyone for as long as Chotto Matte lives. Easily one of the best Katsu Curries I’ve tried, the folks over at Chotto Matte have managed to achieve a delicately well-balanced and extremely delicious Katsu curry dish. This dish, seemingly common, is actually something very much different from the usual rough blend. The apple curry gives one a much more refined and mellow taste, but yet uplifting on one’s palate. Paired with crispy yet tender and juicy pork loin, this combination could really qualify as a heavenly delight.
The Black Cod with Sweet Potato Puree Set ($30). It was a rather simple but unique dish, perfect for times when you would rather a cleanse in palate rather than something too heavy to swallow for a light meal. Interestingly paired with sweet potato puree, it allowed subtle tones of sweetness to pair with the cod, and the lightness of the potato puree also took away any excess oiliness or fishiness the cod might carry. Don’t be taken aback by the bright purple hues though, for the puree tasted nothing like artificial colouring, and instead real purple sweet potato imported from Japan.
All sets come with a salad, soup, rice and fruit; pretty worth it in my opinion.
The bar also serves up a great variety of cocktails, like this whisky sour with yuzu sorbet.
And who can forget the premium sakes available at Chotto Matte as well.
Overall, I would say Chotto Matte is a stellar location for excellent blended cuisine dishes that we could indulge in occasionally especially for the more adventurous. The food here is really seemingly engineered to perfection, and it would make for a great corporate or casual lunch.
But the restaurant borders more towards the a premium concept for me, and if your wallet is a little limited, I would still urge you to try out their set lunch meals. Especially the awesome Katsu curry which we all unanimously agreed to be outstanding.
Expected Damage: $30 – $100 per pax