Singaporeans are very familar and big fan of Korean BBQ. What about Japanese style and to be specific, Hokkaido BBQ? I never thought of Japanese BBQ, until I had the opportunity to dine at The Hitsuji Club located along Circular Road with Raffles Place being the nearest MRT station. Along this highly densed F&B street with variety of choices such as Ramen Bar Suzuki, Dojo, and many drinking hole, survival is solely for the strongest, which means they have to be very delicious.
This Japanese restaurant though is not well-known to local Singaporean but is certainly popular with the Japanese. Their original restaurant is from Japan hence that could be one good explanation. And in Singapore, their parent company operates a number of restaurants which include the Ramen Bar Suzuki and Mikoto. With these signs, I am sure, most would agree with its authenticity.
At Hitsuji Club, they are a Jingiskan restaurant, therefore the menu offers specifically lamb meat for BBQ. The lamb meat were imported from Australia. We know that there is a signficant portion of local do not enjoy lamb but we would urge you to read as you might uncover conversion.
First Appetizer we have was the White Round Cabbage Caesar Salad ($9) which was pretty unusual, since most uses Romaine Lettuce instead of Cabbage. As for the taste-wise, I thought it was refreshing.
Among the 16 Japanese appetizers, there are popular and familiar items such as Edamame ($8), Lotus Root Chips ($8) and Fried Chicken ($9). We tried 2 of the not so well-known items; Smoked Japanese Radish with cream cheese ($9) and Kimchee ($6). The former item has a smokiness flavour on the preserved radish and we thought cream cheese was an interesting add to the prickle. For the latter, comparing with their Korean counter-part, it was sweeter and with lesser sourish punch.
As the parent company of The Hitsuji Club operates some Chinese Restaurant in Tokyo, they brought some of the items into the restaurant. One of which we tried was the Boiled Chicken with sesame sauce ($6). We love it.
Before we begin our BBQ, there are some condiments and sauce to accompany the lamb meat since these meat aren’t marinated. Diners could choose to dip in salt, peppercorn, pepper or a special concocted Jingiskan sauce and flavour-up with garlic and chilli.
The restaurant offered 3 set. First is the Jingiskan Set ($30) consist of lamb leg and vegetable. Next is the Premium Jingiskan ($45) with lamb fillet, loin and vegetable. Lastly which we strongly recommend, the Premium Jingiskan with Lamb Chop Set ($65). Each set is good for one to 2 person. In the photo above it worth 2 sets.
Our favourite is of course the meaty lamb chop, followed by the fillet and lastly the loin. We will tell you why if you read on.
Since we love the fillet, we went ahead with Fillet with salt and japanese leek ($20) too. Texture of fillet is soft to the chew and easily mistaken for as beef. A dip of salt and perhaps some pepper, elevated the flavour. Some love it with peppercorn, while others love it with the Jingiskan sauce. My choice of eating is with salt alone or with salt and japanese leek. I am not one who love japanese leek but I really thought the fragrance from this vegetable is far better than having salt alone.
Standard Lamb is another part of the lamb meat the restaurant offered. This part of the meat is slightly chewy. If you opt for their buffet, these are served. The most chewy part is the Loin. Most importantly, if you are worry about the gamey taste, we rest assured you that there is none. We were informed by the restaurant manager that good quality lamb should not have this unpleasant taste.
If you doesn’t enjoy doing the BBQ by yourself, the good news is that the service crew is present to do it for you. First, they place a large piece of lard in the centre and then lined the vegetables at the perimeters of the grilling pan. Finally, place the meat in the centre.
Save the best for the last, hence the Lamb Chop were last to cook. Finally it is time for the chunky meaty lamb chop that was tender and succulent. End it with the lamb fat which most our diners felt there is hint of foie gras taste.
Though among our group we don’t have anyone who doesn’t eat lamb for we do have 2 who doesn’t enjoy the gamey flavour and both enjoyed the BBQ at The Hitsuji Club and felt the lamb taste very much like beef, especially true for the fillet. As for myself, I love it too. I would highly recommend for anyone who love BBQ and in particular to the lamb fan.
The Hitsuji Club
65 Circular Rd, Singapore 049419
Mondays – Saturdays 1800 to 2300 | Closed on Sundays
- North-South line or East-West line – Raffles Place station
- North East line – Clarke Quay
- Prudential Tower along Cecil Street 57, 131, 167, 700, 971
- Opp AIA Tower along Robinson Road 10, 10e, 70, 75, 100, 107, 128, 130, 162, 196, 196e
- OCBC Centre along Church Street 186 , 970
- OUE Bayfront along Shenton Way 10, 10e, 57, 70, 75, 100, 107, 128, 130, 131, 162, 167, 196, 196e, 700, 971E
- Clarke Quay Station along Eu Tong Sen Street 2, 12, 33, 51, 54, 61, 63, 80, 124, 145, 147, 166, 174, 190, 197, 851, 961
- Opp Clarke Quay Station along New Bridge Road 2, 12, 33, 54, 147, 190
- Boat Quay along South Bridge Road 51, 61, 63, 80, 124, 145, 166, 174, 197, 851, 961
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.