Tamagoyaki (卵焼き) is a Japanese omelette made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg on an omelette pan called a makiyakinabe.
The dish may look simple to prepare but proper technique in controlling the flame and flipping the eggs take years to master. It is often served as a breakfast dish or as the last course of a sushi dinner; it is a dish telling of a sushi chef or even a Japanese housewife’s culinary skills.
Koki Tamagoyaki aims to serve up a premium version of the traditional Tamagoyaki with various toppings and fillings. You might have seen them around at pop up’s at Takashimaya or elsewhere.
Now, you can stop hunting them down at every food fair as they have finally taken up a kiosk space at the basement of Raffles City Shopping Centre, since 1st November 2016.
There are few variations of making Tamago but the version prepared at Koki Tamagoyaki is the hardest to prepare. Dashimaki Tamago is made using egg, dashi, mirin and shoyu (Japanese soy sauce). To make the eggs even fluffier, the mixture is strained to remove all the excess egg white.
All the tamagoyaki is made to order, and required to cool for 30 minutes in a bamboo roll before serving. This is to ensure that the tamago remains soft on the outside and moist on the inside. Be prepared to wait a short while or your order, it’s worth it I tell you!
We dropped by a week after their opening and was told that they were offering a soft-launch menu as they are still trying to fine tune certain operational aspects.
The Dashimaki Tamagoyaki with Braised Char Shu ($9.90) comes served with three slices of char-shu that have been braised for over eight hours in a house-made teriyaki sauce.
Each serving is garnished with spring onion, 7-taste chilli flakes and puffed sesame seeds. If you’re a lover of heavy, bold, meaty flavours you definitely need to order this for your next takeaway meal!
If you want a lighter option for your meal, you can opt for the Mentaiko Tamagoyaki ($5.80) or the Cheese Tamagoyaki ($5.00). My preferred one out of the two is the Mentaiko option, just because it really changes the flavour profile of the Tamago, giving it a salty and slightly spicy umami twist to it.
The cheddar cheese option is leaning more towards the sweeter side, but hey, cheese and eggs are the best of friends aren’t they?
Apart from the Char-shu topping, Koki Tamagoyaki offers four other topping options as part of their soft-launch menu. The two other flavours including one that we got to try — Crab with Tobiko Topping ($10.70), and Squid-Ink Tempura Ebi ($8.70) are available as of 20th November 2016.
The freshly shredded crab is mixed into a paste and chilled before serving. Topped off with flying fish roe (Tobiko) it gives each bite a nice burst of saltiness that pairs well with the soft and moist tamago.
Other toppings include: Charred Teriyaki Chicken ($9.40), Tonkatsu ($9.20), Braised Japanese Char-Shu ($9.90), and Flame Grilled Unagi ($10.50).
If you want something heavier apart from toppings on tamagoyaki, Koki Tamagoyaki also offers a choice of umami mushroom rice (additional $2) to go with your choice of toppings.
Now if you think Koki Tamagoyaki is all about savoury eggs and toppings – think again! Shuu by Koki is it’s venture into the world of pastries. We were amazed at how they were able to produce both sweets and savouries all in one small kitchen.
We spoke with pastry chef Alicia Wong — who has had experience working at Capella Singapore before joining the Koki Tamagoyaki team — and found out that they use a French and Japanese inspired recipe for their Shuu puffs.
Each choux puff is piped on the baking sheet and topped off with a croquet for that crisp and crusty topping. Visit them early as they sell out pretty fast!
Shuu by Koki is offering four flavours for their Choux puffs at the moment: (L-R: Black Sesame, Coffee, Matcha, Bourbon Vanilla). With each puff going at $4.30, it may seem pretty pricey but I assure you that you are paying for a quality product that will make you crave for more.
It’s really hard to pick a favourite as all the flavours have distinct characteristics that make them unique. For more intense flavours go for the black sesame that packs a light grey custard with a rich nutty flavour that will make you crave for more.
The coffee choux has an intense espresso aroma that is a result of using a powder made from the extraction of some of the best coffee beans in the world.
If you prefer something more refined, go for the vanilla bourbon which has a pleasant sweet and fragrant aroma or for a richer bitter-sweet flavour opt for the matcha choux that is sure not to disappoint the fans!
Do take advantage of their tea-time promotion to try all the flavours, with 3 puffs for $12 and 4 puffs for $15. Okay la don’t be greedy and buy to share the awesomeness with your friends or colleagues.
I expect Koki Tamagoyaki to do well, given how much effort and focus they put into perfecting their dishes. Their Shuu (Choux) puffs may be the priciest in Singapore but they are well worth their weight in gold. A revisit is definitely warranted when they launch their full menu.
Expected damage: $3.50 – $10.50 per pax