When you walk into Takumi, you’re warmly greeted by their staff who will lead you to the main dining room which seats twelve. Each diner surrounds a central cooking area that puts them in constant contact with the cooks who prepare their meal in front of them. This intimacy is one of the things that makes dining at Takumi special.
The décor is a modern approach to classical European dining. Simple rectangular mouldings frame lights around the cosy room and muted beige, greys and off-white tones are juxtaposed with the marble, chrome and metal cooking area. Take a look at the flatware and plates as well. From Christofle cutlery to handcrafted plates, bowls, and serving platters, each piece is a work of skilled craftsmanship and art.
We were lucky enough to visit at the beginning of the white truffle season. Chef Mori has prepared a special Autumn tasting menu that highlights the delicate flavours of the prized ingredient flown all the way from Alba, Italy. With his French-Japanese cooking style, Chef Mori is able to elevate the ingredient in creative ways.
The Amuse Bouche was creatively presented in a lacquered serving tray filled with legumes, Japanese maple and ginko leaves. A pan-fried ravioli, taro and truffle pudding and a lemon curd cream roll were all great starters, but the taro pudding, that takes on the infused flavour of the white truffle is the star.
Next we were served kuro awabi—the most prized Japanese black abalone varieties—over tagliolini, and shaved white truffles. Unlike many other abalone dishes, Chef Mori pressure cooks the abalone so that the usually tough flesh is soft and tender. The rich taste of the shellfish and pasta is complemented perfectly by the subtle umami notes from the shaved white truffle.
The next dish was a seared filet of Kinmedai, or golden-eye snapper served over an intense broth made from seaweed and crab. The snapper is a light flaky fish, and it is married perfectly with the intense seafood broth.
For mains, we had the lobster and Takumi’s famed slow-cooked Wagyu tenderloin. The lobster is contrasted with an artichoke and lemongrass emulsion with freshly-shaved white truffles and was sweet, fresh and herbaceous. Takumi’s Wagyu has become the restaurants signature and for good reason. Slow-cooked over the course of the dinner, the Wagyu is as tender as it gets and is rich, nutty and flavourful—if it’s your first time, it’s a must try.
While the rest of the menu was great, surprisingly, the standout was the Panna Cotta with white truffle ice cream. It’s likely most people have never tried white truffle ice cream, but hands down, it has become my favourite flavour. The closest I can describe the flavour is umami-vanilla-truffle, but that simply doesn’t do it justice.
All in all, Takumi is a wonderful dining experience that is great for special occasions or just a night you feel like splurging. Its Michelin star is well deserved and Chef Daisuke Mori’s creativity and attention to detail shows in the menus he creates.
Takumi, The Oakhill, 16 Wood Rd, Morrison Hill, +852 2574 1299