Daidomon At United Square Shopping Mall

First Date, No Tongue!

This blog was recently invited to a tasting event at Daidomon with some of the major Singapore lifestyle magazine editors, newspapers editors, journalists, -why the hell not? – a golfing magazine writer and some freelance writers, one of whom was a former FHM Covergirl.

Not that I am one to toot my own horn, but this blog had eyes only for the other meats mainly because I didn’t recognize anyone.

Daidomon is located rather far from the main entrance, however, the attraction of “witnessing Wagyu beef being sliced” was great enough to overcome any inertia. Yes, this blog is easily distracted if you know the right buttons.

We were made welcome by Stephanie Ngooi of The Right Spin and Stanley Yeoh, the Managing Director of Daidomon.


Stanley is a very earnest and keen person who has strong views about serving quality meats at Daidomon. It’s great to see someone with such passion. And after a short introduction to the restaurant history, the Saikoro Gyu (Short Bone Beef with Radish) was quickly seared and served along with mushrooms sauteed in butter.

Saikoro Gyu

I enjoyed both with the beefy taste of the beef and the juicy mushrooms. There’s something magical about combining butter and mushrooms. Some complained that the beef was tough, but I felt that it had a nice density of bite and flavor.

I felt that the Scallops with Kiwi would be a little off-kilter mainly because the large Kiwi may overwhelm the Scallops, so I just rubbed the Kiwis on the scallops and ate it like that. It was delicious with the sweet scallop counterpointed with the citrusy-sweet Kiwi.


My initial assessment was right when someone, a tech community manager, insisted that I should have the scallops should be eaten with the Kiwi. In the end, I conferred with Stanley and suggested perhaps the amount of Kiwi should be reduced to just a touch, maybe into a puree with a dot of puree on the scallop, because while the taste combination was great, the ratio of portions could be fine-tuned. He seemed receptive, but only time will tell. 🙂

The next tranche of meat introduced Daidomon’s pork: the Buta Toro Karubi (Pork Collar) and the Pi Toro (Pork Jowl Fillet). Interestingly, everyone except this blog felt that the pork collar and the pork cheeks were very fatty.

Buta Toro Karubi
Buta Toro Karubi          Buta Toro Karubi
Pi Toro          Pi Toro

This blog tried referencing Thomas Harris’s Hannibal to explain that of any mammal, the cheeks are the softest and tenderest part. Eventually I gave up since none of them appeared to know who Hannibal Lecter was, so I asked if they noticed any of their parents/grandparents always went for the cheeks of the fish; this connected with them. Yay!

Pi Toro

Anyway, it was tender not “fatty”, (it’s called “Collagen” which is the new Botox). Anyway, I liked the slight chewiness of the pork collar which I always thought made good soup or stew because of the collagen.

I stopped in mid phrase as I was explaining pork because the Wagyu Belly was brought out. Up till now, I’m sure most of you have never seen Wagyu belly before because, well, it’s udderly covered up (*rimshot*).

Anyway, back to the beef belly. Ever wonder why the beef in the beef bowl rice at Yoshinoya is so tender? That’s because they use the meat close to the belly. This is not your Wagyu rib-eye or your Wagyu Sirloin, no, this is Wagyu Tokujo Karubi. Wagyu does not get better than this.

And I felt there’s something poetic about describing the marbling as little Sakura flowers.

Wagyu Tokujo Karubi
Wagyu Tokujo Karubi          Wagyu Tokujo Karubi
Wagyu Tokujo Karubi          Wagyu Tokujo Karubi
Wagyu Tokujo Karubi

Yes, it was again described as “very fatty”. Sometimes I think maintaining that “thin” look is a heavy cross to bear. To me, the Wagyu Tokujo Karubi was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Those who have been reading this blog have noticed that I’ve since changed my opinion about Wagyu steaks. Wagyu is not meant for thick steaks. It’s meant to be sliced thinly for Shabu-Shabu, Sashimi or Yakiniku. So Dodaimon is doing justice to Wagyu by serving the best Yakiniku in town with the Wagyu Tokujo Karubi.

Wagyu Tokujo Karubi

Then came the Jo Tan (Cow Tongue or more accurately high-grade tongue). I thought it was Ox Tongue, but it was not. Supressing Hokkien puns (oh you know which ones), I moved closer to see how it was cleaned, dressed and prepared for cooking.

Basically, only the back part of the tongue is suitable for eating. So after some cleaning (I spared you the gory parts), the tongue is frozen slightly. This is to make it easier to cut, but before this is done, now here’s the good bit, the tongue is shaved thinly to remove the layer of flesh that gives that “frozen” or “freezer” taste.

Finally, the shaved tongue ( 😆 ) is sliced thinly.

Best Part Of The Tongue (For Eating)
Jo Tan          Jo Tan
Jo Tan          Jo Tan
Jo Tan          Jo Tan
Jo Tan

With a little seasoning and some marinading, it’s off to the grill. A noteworthy thing here is the grills are smokeless which is a great boon for those business lunches where you really don’t want to go back smelling like smoke.

Jo Tan
Jo Tan          Jo Tan

The lifestyle brigade felt it was too fatty. I found it to be outstanding, with its slightly crunchy bite and a light garlicky counterpoint to the sweetness. Wonderful!

Jo Tan

I took leave to attend this tasting event organized by The Right Spin and I must say I enjoyed myself tremendously because it was great to see passion for meat and astonishing sensitivity to fat.

Dodaimon has been around since 1982 and the United Square location has an bright, comfortable and airy feel to it. I must admit that once I got home, I actually wrote to all my friends to organize lunch and dinner here.

You should too.

Dodaimon is at 101, Thomson Road #01-14/15, United Square Shopping Mall, tel: 63567577 and at 371 Beach Road, #01-07, Keypoint, tel: 62952077.

Jo Tan

Posted on 10th Dec 2008 in Japanese


There Are 10 Comments


mabel commented on December 10, 2008 at 11:39 am

the evenly sliced tongue looks like a work of art by itself..so gorgeous.
I’ve always only eaten at Aburiya, but will go check this one out all the same.


Camemberu commented on December 10, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Wow, for a while I thought the first pic was an eyeless vole!

Great photos, look at the marbling on the wagyu! And hey, nothing can be too fatty at a BBQ!

Yum, I wonder how this compares to Gyukaku or Aburiya…


reixc (XY) commented on December 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm

WOW. So this is the real deal you told us about! Very very tempting. And it really isn’t too fatty. I went to Daidomon at Beach Road once, but it wasn’t exactly an impressive visit.


Peter Chong commented on December 12, 2008 at 11:28 am

Excellent review…enjoyed reading it. Will go try it out.

I do agree with you that wagyu is not best to be grilled and eaten as steaks. Wagyu should be sliced, lightly grilled, eaten with perhaps soy sauce with a hint of lemon, and Japanese rice. For a real steak, we gotta go to the Americans. Or possibly Heston Blumenthal’s Perfect Steak?

If you like, I wrote a blog entry where I lament about lack of availability of good steaks in Singapore…sigh.



Ivan commented on December 12, 2008 at 4:27 pm

@mabel: Oh yes! There’s a lot of effort involved!

@Camemberu: Thanks! I’ve not tried Gyukaku yet as there’s no compelling reason yet. 🙂

@rexic: I’ve been to the Keypoint one, but the one I went is pretty new.


Ivan commented on December 12, 2008 at 4:27 pm

@Peter Chong: Interesting write-up, thanks for the link. Stay tuned next week when I publish something more in-depth about this subject.


Peter Chong commented on December 12, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Will stay tuned. I will publish on my blog a recent experience in Hong Kong too…air dried USDA beef, cut lovingly…1.5 inch thick, grilled Chicago medium.


Ivan commented on December 13, 2008 at 1:51 am

@Peter Chong: Excellent! Here’s the air-dried Wagyu we got in Singapore. We ate it as is and it was as rich and delicious as Spanish Jamon Iberico:



food.recentrunes.com | This Blog And The Musings Of A Virgin commented on February 16, 2009 at 1:56 am

[…] we went to Dodaimon since it was more or less central to everyone. Here’s his review of the place. Hopefully, […]


food.recentrunes.com | 2008 In Review commented on January 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

[…] we saw some Kimchi action. A high point was the invite by a tech PR company to a tasting session at Daidomon with leading lifestyle and golf enthusiast magazine writers. The rest of December was spent with […]

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