Okinawa Prefecture and Gurunavi launches Okinawa Menu Fair 2018 in Singapore with 5 participating restaurants. These specially created menu is available till 28 March 2018. We have the opportunity to taste the wonderful ingredients from this Japan Prefecture made into highly palate dishes at Ristorante Luka.
In case, you are wondering who are the other 4 restaurants that offer the Okinawa Menu; they are PIXY Bar & Cuisine, O-Ku Japanese Tapas Bar, Kabuke and Kinsa Sushi
Okinawa Menu Fair
The Okinawa Menu introduced by the Italian restaurant, Ristorante LUKA, comprised 3 dishes. It fills me with great anticipation to find out how Okinawa-flavored food can combine with Italian house cooking style.
Prosciutto Cotto Di Agu
First dish of the Okinawa Menu uses the Aguu pork, a native pig of Okinawa which contains lesser fat and cholesterol (for those concerned with their health). The higher level of Glutamic acid in the pork gives a richer flavor although I cannot really ‘taste’ it. (I mean what is Glutamic acid supposed to taste like??)
The pork is made into dry-cured ham in-house, a typical Italian culinary. It is then served in thin slices, drizzled with oil, a dash of black pepper and topped with some vegetables (rocket leaves, capsicum, leek, carrot and zucchini if my memory serves me right) among other seasonings.
First look at the dish – raw and heavy (with fats and oil). First taste for the dish – perfecto! The pork has a very clean and refreshing taste with absolutely no porky smell. Very unlike most prosciutto which are on the salty side. Each vegetable with its own distinct taste complements the meat very well. It enhances the overall taste, making this a very appetizing Aperitivo. It is surprisingly light even with the fats and the layer of oil. I am blown away by this dish.
Spaghetti Alla Chitarra Con Bottarga E Hotaru Iku
The Okinawa flavor in this dish lies in the pesto trapanese sauce (made with Okinawa Leaf Garlic) used to toss the house-made spaghetti. Unlike garlic cloves, the leaves has a mellower taste and leaves a fragrant aftertaste. However, it’s a pity that the thick slices of garlic cloves that went into the dish over-powered this subtle taste.
The Hotaru Ika (loosely translated from Japanese as firefly squids) appears in the spring and summer seasons crowned the pasta. They have a soft texture that makes it easy to bite into. The pre-fried only helps to tone down the fishy-taste.
The portion was just nice for me (as the oil used in the dish is slightly heavier) and allowed some space in my stomach for the second main course. Overall, it is not as good as the first one. Perhaps the appetizer is so good that it has unwittingly set the bar higher for the subsequent dishes.
Fritto Di Pesce Gurukun
Gurukun is a type of white-fleshed fish, a double-lined fusilier. Simply said, it is a relative of the snapper fish. Placing the deep-fried fish on top of a toss of clams, tomatoes, sliced asparagus, lemon and Fregola (pasta beads). Sprinkled chopped basil leaves for finishing.
The flesh has pure sweetness. It was imported from Okinawa two days ago to make this dish. It reminds me of the fishes I have had in Hokkaido and Scotland where the catches are few days old. I always thought it’s a ‘waste’ to fry fresh catches, but this is too good that I will not want it any other way. The fried layer is thin and crispy. It savour hints of cereal but I am not certain if this ingredient was weaved into the batter. Thumbs up for the fish.
As for the toss base, I find it pretty heavy. On close scrutiny, I saw a thick layer of oil that appeared at the top of the sauce. I tried to scrap it away but to no avail. I am a clam-lover but after 3 or 4 clams, I had to stop. Perhaps a little less oil will make this dish another winner like the appetizer.
Overall, the Okinawa menu is worth a try for anyone keen to have a taste of Okinawa. The Aguu pork may not be as famous as Japan’s Kurobuta pork but the culinary skills of the chef at LUKA has definitely made it a memorable dish. And if one is not overly sensitive to fishy-taste, the spaghetti is still a decent dish. If not, one can skip it and go direct to the second main – deep fried Gurukun fish. Hopefully, the chef will go easy on the oil in the second main so that one can enjoy the clams and pasta beads!
18 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088441
Tel: +65 6221 3988
Mondays – Saturdays 1200 to 0000 | Sundays 1800 to 2200
- North-South Line – Tanjong Pagar station
- North East line – Outram Park station
- Either before Wallich Road or after Craig Road 80, 145