Flo and I being awesome friends decided to crash Alex’s birthday dinner on Monday. Of course, Amanda knew that we would be gracing their otherwise romantic dinner for two at Osaka Kitchen where Alex was keen to try their Teppanyaki Omakase set – the Okonomiyaki course in particular.
I was anxious already since the night before and found myself going on about my food fears to Flo. I’d seen the menu as well as photos of the food on Instagram, so yeah, I pretty much managed to work myself into a bit of a state.
I was to meet Flo at 6.30pm at Raffles Place MRT station but lo and behold, guess who spotted me alighting from the train? It had to be the birthday boy! Alex texted our group chat asking if I was in Orchard, before quickly correcting it to Raffle Place. I told him that I was meeting my dear boyfriend for dinner and quickly bid him goodbye.
Flo and I arrived at the dinner venue promptly at 7.20pm.
As you can see above, we had the menu set before us while Amanda and Alex made their way to the restaurant. When they did arrive, we feigned a little surprised although Alex obviously caught on very quickly and was really happy to have us celebrate his birthday with him.
Amanda, Alex and Flo opted for Set A which included a scallop in the seafood course, as well as Ohmi Beef Steak as their main protein, while I went for Set B which had no scallop, and Garlic Chicken instead of Beef.
Dinner commenced quickly beginning with a Cold Appetiser of Potato Salad and Pickled Cucumber. The cucumber was oishi but the potato salad I found a little lacklustre and didn’t quite finish it.
The next dish as Pork Belly wrapped in a thin Omelette drizzled with some kewpie mayo and sweet, slightly tangy, okonomiyaki sauce. I’m not really into pork belly but this was lean enough to have enough texture and not feel overtly ‘fatty’.
This was the dish I dreaded the most – Parmesan Cheese melted over a big wedge of Avocado. The base of the cheese formed a crust from being cooked on the teppan. We had a little tabasco to sprinkle on top to cut the richness of this course. It was creamy and gooey and extremely indulgent. Even as I ate this I felt bad. But yes, I did finish it anyway. The avo-cheese combo just hinged on being too cloying. But only just.
Remember this dish because I will refer to it again later in this post.
The Sesame Tofu probably evoked the most joy in us due to it’s high wobble factor.
It was almost mochi-like in its form, chewy in texture, and had a hint of nutty sesame.
This was the dish that surprised me the most. It’s called Beef Tendon with Vegetables on the menu but the beef was more like brisket. It was cooked until meltingly soft and exceedingly flavourful that the initial apprehension I had towards it quickly melted away. I found myself guiltily cleaning the plate of every morsel of meat.
As a self-declared seafood lover, the prawns were fresh and flavourful but nothing to shout about really. I sacrificed one in exchange for half of the big scallop Flo had and that was quite sweet and lovely!
I loved the spinach here but the chicken would have benefited from more seasoning or a marinade. The flesh itself had little flavour unfortunately, even when eaten with the seasoning powder on the side and the garlic chips.
The piece-de-resistance – Okonomiyaki. Apparently, Osaka Kitchen is known for making awesome okonomiyakis and this was made into a round pancake, and cut into 4’s – one wedge for each of us. I wasn’t blown away by this and found the batter too plain and heavy. Perhaps me not being a big okonomiyaki fan in the first place didn’t help in my appreciation for it but Alex finished his and then had the last 3/4 of mine that I didn’t touch.
This was a Cheese Mousse dessert that tasted quite like tofu with a slight gelatinous texture. It began with a hint of vinegar on the tongue, then went almost plain before the light cheesiness came through. That gave way to the touch of honey syrup on top that finished it on a sweet note. It wasn’t quite my cup of tea so I stopped at half but it was an interesting dessert nonetheless.
It was quite a relief reaching the final course. To be honest, I didn’t expect to clear so many plates of food and while the portions were not huge, the thought of the food altogether felt enormous to me. Flo told me multiple times before the meal that we would get through it together, and we did. Thank you baby.
I struggled the rest of the night with images of the avo-cheese dish flashing through my head and I woke up Tuesday morning feeling so much self-hatred and self-loathing at how awful I had been to have ingested so many calories the night before. I felt disgusted. All I could think about was how greedy I’d been and how I should compensate for all the extra calories consumed – What foods can I cut out or reduce? For how long should I ‘punish’ myself?
Then suddenly I got tired of ED’s torment and thought to myself to F*ck it and push ahead. After all, I’m supposed to be getting healthy and the meal on Monday, however many calories it contained, whatever the amount of fat in it, was a step towards what I keep saying I want! Moreover, it’s just one meal and Flo and my friends ate just as much if not more so why am I the only one in a frenzy?!
By lunchtime though, I started feeling angry with myself again and texted Flo. He called me and suggested I write down all the things ED was calling me, scrunch the piece of paper up, and throw it away. Then, he said to write out all the good things about myself on the glass ‘wall’ in the kitchen.
I agreed to it, although part of me wasn’t quite convinced of how well it would work. But since Flo had requested for my to take a picture of the piece of paper before I threw it away, I did it.
Interestingly, it helped me feel a sense of empowerment over ED and I strangely felt better with that simple act of writing all the hateful words/thoughts down and getting rid of it.
I then took to the glass wall where I wrote down the positive adjectives that I think describe me. Please ignore the ‘breakfast timetable’ – it’s there because it’s helping me break away from the breakfast I used to have every. single. day. Anyway, having the positive affirmation before me has been helping since I see it whenever I enter the kitchen. Sure, they’re merely words but incredibly, they hold so much power.
I shared with Dr. A in our session this afternoon that a small part of me, a little spark in me, is excited about becoming a woman again, curves and all. With time, I hope that this glimmer of light will grow and overcome the ED thoughts which Dr. A says will lessen as I get better. Will. I’ll share more about our session in my next post.
Right now, I’ll share with you this simple Arrabbiata Sauce recipe that I used for dinner yesterday. I wasn’t actually excited about having carbs even though I’ve had this arrabbiata sauce recipe pegged down a while, and was toying with the idea. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to actually eat pasta, so I asked Flo what he fancied and yup, turns out he requested for pasta with tomato sauce and tuna thrown in. Talk about telepathy and the world working against you. Or maybe it was working in my favour, and against ED’s.
This was adapted from Mario Batali’s Arrabbiata Sauce recipe although I’d suggest adding some fresh, sweet basil and oregano to help balance the slight tartness of the sauce.
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 Tbsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 tin Whole/Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp Dried Mixed Italian Herbs
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1 tin Tuna in spring water (optional)
- Heat olive oil in pan and add tomato paste and chilli flakes. Cook for 2-4 min until fragrant.
- Add tinned tomatoes and mash them up if they’re whole.
- Add dried herbs, black pepper and sea salt to taste.
- Stir in tuna and allow sauce to simmer until your desired consistency.
That’s it! I used Wholemeal Penne Rigati and topped the sauce with Gruyere Cheese because that’s what we had in the fridge. Ideally, you’d be using freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.
This is a simple sauce to make yet so hearty. It was challenging finishing my bowl of pasta but it helped knowing that I was having wholemeal penne. Looks like I’ll be moving away from cauliflower rice and zoodles/courgetti for a while but I know that it is for my own well-being. At the end of the day, carbs serve as fuel for the body and it is important to re-learn how to eat everything and anything, in moderation.