The restaurant that we initially wanted to go to for lunch was fully booked, so we decided to look around for somewhere close by. By chance, I had seen this place on the way and we decided to give it a go.
The first thing that strikes you is the number of plants, both outside and inside. It is great to see plants used this way. The decor was strongly Japanese influenced, interesting and pleasant. As you entered there was a glass display case showcasing their desert selection. Nice!
I was a bit confused by the menu. Was this a Japanese fusion place, Mexican / Latin American fusion or something else? There was mention of "Pacific Rim" flavours. We ordered one entree (Pinegar - beef sirloin and soba noodles) and Pata Grande (crispy pork knuckles) - to make room for dessert.
The server asked if we were sharing and brought sharing plates. This is a nice gesture as most other places we have to specially ask for sharing plates.
Any concern about the menu was soon put to rest when the food arrived. The Pinegar had multiple levels of flavour. The steak cooked medium. The server didn't ask how we wanted the steak but medium suited us well as I like mine rare and my wife likes hers well done. So, she had the more cooked sides and I, the less cooked middle.
The Pata Grande was even better. The slow cooked pork knuckle was tender, yet with a crispy skin. Nicely accompanied by intricately pickled daikon and a coconut shrimp paste with an unami hit! We ordered the potato chips option but I think this would equally go well with the rice option.
It is such a pleasure to see a bold chef creating layers of deep flavours and textures that challenges established norms. What a breath of fresh air! We would definitely go back to try the other items on the menu.
Lastly, we ordered dessert. This was equally bold with literally multiple levels of different ingredients, ranging from coconut ice cream and shaved ice to custard. I have to say this one didn't quite hit the mark but I still appreciated the effort and thought that went into it.
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