Media Tasting at Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
I was introduced to Hajime by another foodie, Kenneth. Those who are not familiar with Japanese term, might be wondering what Hajime means. Beginning is the Japanese term for Hajime and short form for “Hajimemashite”. “Hajimemashite” on the other hand means “Nice to meet you”. It is Hajime‘s philosophy of returning to the food’s origin; the beginning and also their warmest welcome to all guests.
So who is the main chef behind Hajime? Hajime‘s kitchen is helmed by Chef Tan-San who is Singapore’s First Tonkatsu Chef. Chef Tan-San was trained in Japan and returned to Singapore in the year 1993 to helm Singapore’s first Tonkatsu specialty restaurant in Singapore, Tonkichi. And he took on the challenge of setting up Tampopo as the Pioneer Chef in the year of 2004. Chef Tan-San is acclaimed for different manifestations such as Kurobuta Pork Tonkatsu and Tonkatsu Ramen.
His passion for Japanese food to bring authentic Japanese cuisine that is affordable to everyone has led him to establish Hajime in 2016. Using premium Niigata rice, premium pork air-flown from Japan, and miso imported from Nagoya. And the most authentic way to prepare Tonkatsu; pork breaded using real fresh bread crumbs. The good thing is there is no GST and no service charge. It’s definitely a steal! Satisfy your Japanese food cravings under S$20.
These Potato Korokke are prepared and breaded to order. The potato are freshly mashed daily with Japanese pork bits. They are nicely packed together and captured the umami factor. And of course to ladies, who are health conscious like myself. Notice the paper tissue on Potato Korokke, it’s totally dry. Who doesn’t want another piece of tasty Potato Korokke; less the oiliness. And to my surprise that it remains crispy even when cool.
Potato Korokke at S$3.90 nett.
As the first appetiser started with a bang, I was having high expectation to the 2nd appetiser. The pork filling was juicy and moist however the skin was a little thick. It is appetise with a dash of Japanese La-Yu (chilli oil), giving a well balance of sweet, sour and spicy.
Gyoza at S$6.90 nett.
Coming to the main dish which is also my favourite from Hajime. Each fillet is prepared and cooked upon order. Don’t be surprised if you see a inner pink blush in your fillet. It gives the maximum amount of tenderness and juiciness while ensuring that the center of the fillet is actually warm. The miso sauce is blostered with Tonkotsu broth and red wine for the ultimate sensation. Something that I regret of not entering into the kitchen beforehand. It’s the special technique of Chef Tan-San, draining as much oil to get rid of all the greasiness.
The set also comes with a bowl of rice, home-made pickles, crunchy cabbage, water melon and not forgetting the Signature Tonjiru Soup. Tonjiru Soup is prepared using Tonkotsu Broth. The broth is simmered with Japanese Pork, various vegetables and a hint of yuzu for over 12 hours. Not the usual miso soup that is commonly found as a side dish in any restaurant. This is as good as making it as a main! It’s so good that I’ve asked if we could refill. Sadly, this soup is not refillable. Get refreshed with thinly sliced crunchy cabbage. Dress these crunchy cabbage with Wafu dressing, leaving your taste bud dancing light and be refreshed. End the meal with a slice of water melon to clear your palate.
Miso Fillet at S$17.90 nett.
A slight twist to this Katsu Don, the runny eggs with caramelised onions and home-made Donburi sauce are set comfortably on katsu that are set over the Niigata rice. While the rice will soak in the goodness of the sauce. It’s basically panko that’s not crusty but more moist so it’s best to finish as soon as possible! The set also comes with a bowl of rice, home-made pickles, water melon and not forgetting the Signature Tonjiru Soup. It’s the same soup that you get for Miso Fillet, yummy!
Katsu Don at S$12.90 nett.
Ebi Fry Ramen is inspired by one of the regular diners at Hajime. Chef Tan-San has taken all the feedback from the diners and created the first Ebi Fry Ramen. The set comes with Ebi Fry, Loin Rib Chashu, Nama Noodles in Tonkotsu broth. The ebi fry is prepared and fried upon order using fresh bread crumbs for the extra crunchiness. And loin rib chashu is marinated in-house using a special recipe sauce. It is topped off with bamboo shoots imported from Japan, bean sprout, Greens, dash of Japanese chilli oil and sprinkle of crispy Sakura Ebi. The nama noodles are soaked in the Tonkotsu broth which was infused with secret home-made sakura ebi paste and simmered for 12 hours. With all the goodness of the Tonkotsu broth and a familiar taste of our local prawn noodle soup. There is no MSG added, enjoy the ultimate natural goodness in the soup!
Ebi Fry Ramen at S$16.90 nett.
Good quality Japanese food at affordable prices. I’ll be back for more Miso Fillet, Potato Korokke and Ebi Fry Ramen at Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen.
*No Service charge(10%) and No GST(7%).
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