Azabu Sabo: Delectable Japanese Sweets Eats & Tea
Making quite a buzz since its opening in Marina Square in the month of June 2006, this Japanese restaurant has grown from strength to strength. Azabu Sabo is part of a successful chain of Japanese Restaurants that has its origins from the funky street of Azabu in Shinjuku district, where its flagship outlet was opened, and has since expanded to 59 outlets in Japan , Hong Kong , Taiwan and finally Singapore . The essence of Azabu Sabo lies in its Hokkaido-inspired recipes and style, with the chefs from all the countries working together to maintain a unified yet creative front. That means that local diners here will be able to share the same culinary experience as those dining in Japan , Hong Kong or Taiwan .
Its décor shows an accurate illustration of what is happening in Japan now; with contemporary features being juxtaposed against classical elements. As a result, traditional paintings and motifs of old Japan are spotted alongside a fully lacquered crimson flooring, white leather seats and red metallic tables. The energy of Azabu Sabo is loud without being overwhelming, which has attracted a rather youthful crowd of Singaporeans, particularly favoured by the women, to being regular patrons of this teahouse.
The selection offered here very much follows the style of Hokkaido , with all the ingredients air flown from Hokkaido regularly every week to maintain its freshness and authenticity. There is no compromise or leeway given to the quality that this teahouse has set for itself. Under the care of a Japanese executive chef, the team of chefs in the kitchen whips up a range of appetizers, bento, ramen, udon and salads.
An interesting option to try out would be the Hirahira Udon Tounyu Jitate ($11.80), which is a dish of soft and tender handmade noodles that comes with chicken and peeled hairy crab, all served in a wholesome bowl of soya bean milk. This was certainly praiseworthy as the combination of tastes that was afforded was excellent, and especially recommended for people who have a penchant for soy products. Also, do try the omelette curry ($14) that is generously served over a large portion of Japanese rice and comes accompanied with a bowl of salad. Their curry truly packs in the punch with its light creamy texture, which had bits of beef within, and traces of subtle spiciness which will please any palate.
The main draw – The Japanese Sweets, Eats and Tea
Known for its dazzling dessert selection, an experience in Azabu Sabo is not complete till you have savoured the authentic Japanese treats that have made this teahouse so well-received. The weight and health-conscious need not fret as the desserts made daily in the kitchens of Azabu Sabo are all low in fat, sugar as well as cholesterol. I recommend the Japanese rice-cake with top-grade red bean paste that is soaked in caramel and sprinkled with a coating of golden flour, as well as a scoop of their famous green tea ice-cream served in a bowl of dumplings and red bean paste, both just $6.50 each. The strong aromas of the green tea ice-cream complemented the sweetness of the Hokkaido red beans very well, which was altogether neutralized by the subtly flavoured dumplings that proved to be an excellent combination of tastes. Those in favour of something a little more different should choose from a range of different flavours of ice-cream that is served atop a warmly grilled Hokkaido sweet potato. In addition, do not miss out on trying their creamy and rich green tea or black sesame milkshakes made fresh daily, priced at $6.50 each.
It is easy to understand why this place has gained popularity in such a short time after its opening. Having made its name around its large selection of light desserts, Azabu Sabo has successfully inaugurated a refreshing novelty concept for the locals that is so easy to love. It is worth noting that a Japanese ice-cream specialist has been specially brought into Singapore just to create the soft and creamy textured ice-creams that have made this teahouse so popular amongst the young and old alike. Besides its exquisite selection of quality Hokkaido ice-cream and desserts, Azabu Sabo has also proven to be rather apt in offering a suitably sumptuous lunch or dinner affair, with a focus on health and wellness, for its patrons to enjoy a well-rounded dining experience.