Author: Alex Chua
Celebrating its 30th year anniversary, RE&S launches exciting promotions starting with ‘Mentaiko Madness’ at four of its restaurant concepts: Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store, Kabe No Ana, Men-ichi Japanese Ramen and Ichiban Sushi. For those of you who are clueless about mentaiko – it is a mildly spicy version of tarako (salted cod roe), a popular umami-packed ingredient in Japan. Its versatility allows easy pairing with rice or noodles to create appetising snack or meal. For RE&S, the popularity of this crowd-pleasing ingredient inspires new culinary creations, and over 21 dishes from these four restaurants will have mentaiko in it.
Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store
Leading the Mentaiko bonanza charge is Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store, featuring a menu exclusively dedicated to all things mentaiko. From now till September, you can order items include Aburi Mentai Mayo Salmon Don ($14.80), Mentaiko Mazesoba ($12.80/ $13.80 with onsen egg), Mentaiko Mayo Cheese Imo Mochi ($2.30) and a not-to-be missed Mentaiko Ice Cream ($3.90).
Mentaiko Mazesoba is one case in point of how I would prefer my mazesoba to be. The deliciousness comes when you stir and mix the components of the dish before slurping. The al dente noodles is topped with generous hunk of mentaiko, pork chashu and bamboo shoots. Tossing this dish is a fun and aesthetically-pleasing endeavour and, of course, tasted on-point.
If you’re dining with a big group or family, then Ichiban Sushi could be the preferred dining option. Look forward to noteworthy dishes like the Kaisen Mentai Roll ($13.90), Tori Mentai Cream Udon ($12.90) and the unforgettable Ishiyaki Mentai Chazuke Wazen ($21.90). My all-time favourite Mentaiko Ice Cream is also served here =)
The Ishiyaki Mentai Chazuke Wazen (above) comes with flavourful stir-fried pork belly and onion pieces, served over rice in a hot stone bow; with a whole wedge of mentaiko, alongside seaweed-battered dory fish with Japanese tartar sauce, chawanmushi and mentaiko ice cream! Wholesome, complete, value-for-money, definitely suitable to those with big appetite!
Men-ichi Japanese Ramen
Well-known for their collagen rich tonkotsu soup made with the perfect balance of pork and vegetables, Men-ichi Japanese Ramen is one store I patronizes frequently whenever there is a need to satisfy my ramen-slurping indulgences. And Hakata Mentaiko Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.90) definitely hits the spot when it comes to comfort food. Brewed on high heat for over 10 hours, giving it a rich and milky consistency. Topped with ramen, spicy cod roe, Japanese charsiew, half-boiled egg, this piping hot bowl warms my soul like a welcoming embrace.
Kabe no Ana
Fun fact: did you know that Kabe no Ana is the original mentaiko spaghetti creator in Japan?
This Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant has upped the ante with four new mentaiko creations, including Mochi Mentaiko Pizza ($16.90), Mentaiko Gnocchi Set ($22.90), Mentaiko Maze Spaghetti Set ($21.90) and Mentaiko Cream Sauce Omu Rice Set ($22.90).
I simply find the thin-crust Mochi Mentaiko Pizza irresistible. Replacing the base with mentai mayo instead of tomato sauce and creative toppings such as Japanese mochi, squid, prawns and seaweed, making it a truly unique yet elevated pizza experience!
Saving the dessert to the last, the Mentaiko Ice Cream is rich and creamy with a spicy endnote. Taste like innocent vanilla ice cream yet intriguingly smoother with a satisfying kick in it. For the adventurous dessert-lovers, definitely remember to grab a cup before ending the meal!
Mentaiko Madness at RE&S Promotion Dates
From now till September (Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store)
From now till 4 June (Men-ichi Japanese Ramen and Ichiban Sushi)
From 3 April until 2 July (Kabe no Ana)
Author: Alex Chua