He has amassed a wealth of experience at Michelin-starred Joël Robuchon in Monaco, UMU in London and the Japanese embassy in Belgium before returning to his first love of Japanese cuisine at Keyaki.
We have a chat with the chef about his approach to cooking and what to expect from his debut Winter Kaiseki menus, available from now to 25 December 2017.
At Joël Robuchon restaurant in Monaco, I had the privilege to be part of the team to deliver the sublime dining experience that they are well-recognised for and at UMU in London, I experienced infusing contemporary Western elements into traditional Japanese cuisine. My work experiences in Monaco and London have greatly influenced me on my preparation methods and use of ingredients in my cuisine.
And what is your cooking philosophy?
The food you prepare is the reflection of what you have experienced combined with your imagination. I marry my creativity and experiences and translate my imagination into dishes that would be a culinary journey for my guests. I believe in upholding the traditional Japanese cooking methods in my cuisine, but weaving in cooking techniques that I have learnt and am passionate about.
Kyoto is a place close to my heart as I spent several years training there as a Chef. It has a long culinary history with specialties that are unique to the prefecture, and the cuisine is always a visual treat with its elegant presentation. It is about the delicate seasoning, placing importance on the natural taste of the ingredients, and the meticulous preparation and beautiful, elegant and exquisite presentation of food.
What is one dish from the new winter menu that you’re particularly proud of and want people to try?
I highly recommend all dishes, but if there is one dish that I have to single out, it would be the Grilled Tilefish with Sea Urchin Sauce. Amadai is a delicacy that is best experienced during winter as seafood in winter in rich in fat due to the cold waters, and when served with creamy sea urchin sauce, is one delightful dish not to be missed.
At Keyaki, guests can enjoy Ohmi Wagyu at all times and we import them from certified and designated farms in Japan, hence, the taste and quality of the Wagyu is excellent and consistent. We believe in sourcing for new varieties of Wagyu to import from Japan that have not been introduced to the Singapore market yet. We are currently planning for our annual Wagyu promotion next year. Many of our guests continue to return to Keyaki because of the cooking methods used by my team of Chefs to showcase the best of the Wagyu. The best way to enjoy Wagyu is to have it teppanyaki-style or grilled with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper.