I was not aware of this new eatery until my partner told me about it. The shop (same row as HSBC) used to be occupied by Umai-Ya and then Mikado. That's how volatile the restaurant business is at my area.
Since the closure of Hokano, my partner and I have lost our regular cosy Japanese hangout. Yeah, Rakuzen is nearby but it's just not the same.
Interestingly, we were seated at the same seat just as when we visited Mikado. Opposite, I could see the other seating, where you have to remove your shoes and maneuver yourself to get your bum on the cushion and your legs under the table. Trust me, it is very tricky and I was glad we were seated at a normal table. I was in no mood for any yoga-like moves.
As I flipped the menu, I realized that the items on the menu are similar to the ones from Robataya right down to the crockery. The only difference is that Chihiro's menu offers a trimmed down version of Robataya's. Are they from the same management? Maybe.
As soon as we were seated, we were served a complimentary pair of pork on skewers. Nice!
We ordered the Kaisen Sarada (Fresh Salad Topped with Soft Shell Crab and Crispy Prawn), Ninniku Yaki Meshi (Garlic Fried Rice), Teppan Beef Karubi (Stir Fried Beef on Hot Plate) and Buta Kyushu Yaki (Kyushu Style Pork Belly). For drinks, pretty standard, a hot green tea for him and an iced one for me.
The first item to come to the table was the salad.
A few seconds later the server came to whisk it away, explaining that they gave us the wrong one. It took them quite a while to send the correct salad to us.
The salad with soft shell crabs and prawns was really nice, dressed in a creamy sesame dressing. The soft shell crabs and prawns were deep fried and they were very crispy. I loved this salad.
My stir fried beef was nice enough, though the beef was not as tender as I would have liked. The portion is quite small although from the photo it looks like a big hot plate.
I did not taste my partner's garlic fried rice and since there were no complaints from him, I take it that it was good.
The Kyushu style grilled pork belly was tender and delicious except that I found the sauce to be too sweet for my liking. If only they could hold the sugar a little, it would be perfect.
It may look like we ordered too little but I was quite satiated. I have been trying to eat in modest portions, eating only until I am just full and not bursting at the seams. But old habits die hard.
Chihiro calls for a revisit and I hope this restaurant stays :)