Pikelet would sooner have a platter of sushi than a tray of cupcakes. For his 6th birthday we did the unthinkable. On a whim we decided to whisk the whole family off to Tei-An at One Arts Plaza, on a busy Saturday night without a reservation! We were playing with fire taking kids to a place we only reserve for date night.
Upon arrival, we sheepishly told the hostess we didn’t have a reservation but Pikelet just had to have their stellar sushi for his birthday dinner. She eyed our 6 year old and 3 year old nervously and told us we needed to give our table back by 7.15pm which was perfect since the kids have to be in bed by 7.30pm. I hoped that would be incentive for them to rush our food out a little too.
“May I have uni, please?” Pikelet asked our server politely. She glanced at me and I gave her a nod to his request for sea urchin, a Japanese delicacy. The check at the end of every Japanese meal is never a pretty sight when Pikelet is around, but he enjoys his sushi soooo much, we always give in. “It tastes like deep sea jelly,” he muses. There happened to be two other older children at the restaurant at the time I was happy to see them with their own pieces of uni too.
Platters of sushi follow and Pikelet ascended to sushi heaven – fresh scallop, unagi eel, salmon, big eye tuna. Then came the grilled mackeral. Lollo held his nose at this point. He still hasn’t garnered a taste for fish much less a robust smelling fish. When it comes to freshness,Tei-An delivers. The flesh of the mackeral was delicate and encassed in a buttery crisp oily skin. “I love the skin,” Pikelet says, pulling the pieces off and popping them in his mouth like chips.
Lollo requested for age dashi tofu – a firm silken piece of tofu lightly dusted with potato flour and lightly fried and placed in a warm tentsuyu broth made of dashi, mirin and shoyu. It is topped with finely chopped scallions and bonito flakes. Tei-An’s rendition was delicate and flavorful. It is a great first introduction to children who are unfamiliar with tofu and I do want to note that Lollo would not go near tofu a year ago.
There are also many options that do not involve sea creatures like their famous soba noodles. We like their cold soba sampler which comes with different dipping sauces including walnut, sesame and traditional. And the hearty hot duck soba soup always satisfies. There’s also an array of unexpected dishes like the 48 hour braised beef or their buckwheat risotto with mushroom, bacon and truffle oil.
By the end of our sushi fest, we were too full to fit in dessert. The lovely light Japanese cheesecake we always ordered had to wait. Besides, the kids had bellies as big as pumpkins and it was time to roll them off to bed.
Tei-An with kids… we made it!
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Till our next Happy Meal
ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Although Tei-An is touted as a soba house, they have one of the best sushi in town as well as unusual Japanese dishes
- Ambience: Zen, modern and serene
- Service: As elegant as their restaurant
- Kid Friendliness: this is not a place for children normally but it is not impossible
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Go early or go on a weeknight is my advice!
- Parent Foodies Tip: The Toto washlet ie the pimped out toilet with it’s oscilating and pulsating sprays is wonderful to play with after a few of their lychee mojitos! However, I wouldn’t show the kids or else they will never leave the bathrooms.