sun with moon has a pretty interesting history if i may say. this moderately upscale (more expensive than your casual sushi tei and ichiban boshi) started off at wheelock and gained much praises and rave reviews and quickly became the place to have a chic, delicious japanese meal what with creative favorites like their kamameshi rice and tofu cheesecake. at the peak of its popularity, it was practically impossible to get seats without prior bookings and the restaurant expanded to central, and then chijmes.
but then, somehow the expansion hasn’t done it much good, and the fierce competition at central (with all the other well-marketed and delicious japanese restaurants) forced the eventual closure of the central branch (now replaced with sque rotisserie and alehouse by emmanuel stroobant.. i wanna go try). and to be honest, the standard at wheelock has also somewhat disappointingly dropped, so it was with a sense of reservation that we headed back for another try. (mind you, i was very tempted to just head to skinny pizza or cedele next door)
the restaurant is a chic, artfully designed space using much wooden elements and dim lighting to create an almost sensual effect. tables are nicely spaced apart so you get a sense of privacy to catch up on the latest gossip (its pretty obvious the design of the place is to attract girls somehow). i noticed that the ceiling had english translations of haikus sprawled across which to be honest, is tad contrived and a little trying too hard to be atas.
and mind you, they do charge quite a bit for their food (since they want you to feel that this is an upscale place). sushi of 8 pieces go for roughly 20 a plate whilst mains go for 15 – 20 and sets go from 20 – 40. you can’t just go on an ordering spree here as you could possibly do at sushi tei.
lets look at the food.
i chose this because the japanese restaurant at cornell university does an absolutely heavenly rendition of grilled eel + cream cheese + avocado sushi roll (that’s called out of control) and i really wanted to taste something similar. and to be honest, this is disappointing. the flavors don’t mesh well together (honestly its lacking the avocado imo) and the resulting flavor in the mouth isn’t one that is cohesive or particularly memorable. and when you charge $10 for a plate of sushi, i would wish for a certain standard.
a restaurant recommendation, the kamameshi is essentially japanese rice cooked in an iron pot, where the rice normally gets slightly burnt at the bottom, giving a nice flavor to the dish (something like a mild version of a claypot). to be fair, the pork belly tasted great and had the melt-in-your-mouth sensation but what confused me was that when i poked the soft boiled egg and mixed the rice together, the watery-ness of the egg made the rice kinda wet and there wasn’t that slightly burnt effect in the end. (i dunno.. maybe the iron pot wasn’t hot enough, but my mom’s salmon kamameshi worked out fine). all in all, its a decent, special dish that can’t be found easily at other japanese restaurants but be warned that the flavors are somewhat lighter than what we singaporeans are commonly used to.
a sentimental classic – the tofu cheesecake is light, very smooth and also very tasty. i don’t understand the concept of the cage to be honest, in my opinion its another example of the restaurant trying too hard but.. ah well.. they’re trying. its a tasty, satisfyingly good dessert- almost like the japanese variant to panna cotta with berries compote, though the berries here didn’t exactly go very well with the cheescake. wonder why.
all in all, to be honest, this place isn’t as good as what it used to be during its heydays. but there’s still good food and its worth a visit once in a while when you have to meet those gal pals and chit chat/bitch/catch up and the likes. lol. or yeah, a good dating spot i suppose. 6.75/10
sun with moon japanese dining and cafe | 501 Orchard Road, #03-15 Wheelock Place | japanese, upscale, desserts