November 10, 2015

Dera-uma is yet another Japanese eatery situated in Skyview Shopping Plaza and joins the likes of its sister restaurants, Oiden and Mappen. Dera-uma exclusively offers Tamago-Toji rice bowls and with so many different protein options to choose from you'll be hard-pressed to make a decision. In addition, they specialise in the mix and match of Japanese-style gourmet salads with the ability to choose from a selection of fillings, toppings and dressings.

Dera-uma salad order form
The salad customisation possibilities are really endless and it's all conveniently done via their simple ordering sheet at the counter so grab a pen and tick away.

Salad counter
The salad is prepared in front of you once you hand in your order form at the cashier.

Cashier and drinks area
Unlike Mappen and Oiden next door, the drinks weren't self-serve, although that wasn't an issue as the wait time was minimal and service was quick so you'll be sure to receive your desired drink immediately and sort out payment at the same time. The drinks available from left to right were mugi-cha (roasted barley tea), green tea and iced lemon tea all for the price of $1.50 each. Mugi-cha and green tea were their non-sweentened iced teas while if you fancy a sugary beverage then the iced lemon tea would be your pick.

Dera-uma menu
It was casual Japanese eats galore, much like the style of Oiden but with the exception of their exclusive tamago-toji donburi, mix and match salads and their sauce katsu-don range. Yuri mentioned that the chef of Dera-uma hails from Nagoya and so the sauce used is a variation that is unique to that city. I will have to come back to try it and taste how it differs to typical tonkatsu sauce.

They also had a minibar of tempura which you may also choose to add to your meal.

Left: Mugi-cha Right: Green tea
The teas were super refreshing, cold and brewed well as the corresponding flavours were fairly concentrated. My favourite would have to be mugi-cha and was a tea I had never tried before. The taste of roasted barley was strongly discernible and I remarked to DT that it had similar notes to coffee with each sip which then dissipated quickly to be replaced by the usual tea aftertaste.

Since I opted for the toji-chicken katsu bowl, it involved simmering the already cooked chicken katsu in a runny mixture of eggs, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and sake to create a delicious loose omelette infused with a lightly sweetened broth. Two eggs would be used for the regular sized bowl and three for large. I liked the open view kitchen which meant you could watch the staff in action as they prepared the food. The toji bowls are cooked with careful attention as eggs are finicky things and therefore need to be checked on periodically.

Wagyu beef salad with wasabi dressing
Yuri mixed and matched our salad for us as I didn't know where to begin with the abundance of options available. We picked the green salad with boiled egg, seaweed and corn kernels as fillings (extra fillings can be had for 90 cents each), wagyu beef as the extra topping and finally DT chose the wasabi mayo dressing (medium amount). The salad turned out great with a good portion of thinly sliced stewed wagyu beef that made the salad more exciting and yummy. I really liked the sweet corn kernels and together with the surprisingly strong wasabi dressing created a medley of flavours.

Curry and beef hamburger steak with cheese and ontama egg
I don't think I can ever tire of eating Japanese curry as there is just something so immensely tasty about it. It particularly caters to my palate as it's not too creamy like traditional Indian curries and more savoury making it extremely addictive with a serving of rice. Dera-uma already had me at the rich curry and with the combination of a flavoursome minced beef patty it was truly difficult to resist. I have no trouble eating just steamed rice and Japanese curry alone but occasionally, some sort of meat added into the mix can make it a lot more enjoyable than it already is.

Melted cheese, minced beef steak, poached egg, Japanese curry and fluffy white rice, what a splendid combination it was. The patty was soft, slightly moist in the centre and seasoned well to be salty in flavour. We enjoyed it by breaking apart the beefy goodness with our chopsticks and rationed bite-sized morsels of it with a bit of rice, curry and cheese. An incredibly comforting meal for any time of the day, rain or shine.

Toji-chicken katsu bowl (regular) $7.50
Katsudon (crumbed pork fillet) or chicken katsudon would be one of my top favourite Japanese foods to eat and there are a number of restaurants where I have tried it but never felt that it was comparable to what I had in Japan. However, I believe I have found my answer to that problem as I would absolutely return to Dera-uma for their tamago-toji bowls. The omelette was spot-on for consistency and flavour. It's tricky cooking anything where eggs are implicated as they are easily over-cooked to the point of no return or underdone. 

So I was really impressed when I discovered that it wasn't overly runny otherwise there would have been a pool of sauce and egg mixture sitting at the bottom of the bowl and eating wet soggy rice isn't my thing. You can also tell in the above photo that the egg whites weren't overdone either as they had a silken look and texture to them. The chicken katsu itself was far from bland. Being covered in the omelette meant the deep-fried exterior had absorbed the delicious flavours from the light broth it was simmered in making them perfectly succulent, sweet and salty pieces of joy that complemented the bed of rice underneath.

Dera-uma translates to really delicious and the eatery serves nothing less than that so it definitely stays true to its name. Apart from being really delicious their meals are also super affordable so you really can't go wrong with the place.

If you're a Washoku Lovers member already you can currently show your card at Dera-uma to get a free iced tea drink (valued at $1.50) which would go perfectly with your meal. The hamburger steak curry rice with ontama egg and cheese was a special variation we had the opportunity to try that wasn't available on the menu at the time of dining but could potentially be available soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Becoming a Washoku Lovers member is absolutely free: Sign up

Thank you to Yuri from SDMG Marketing for the invitation to dine at Dera-uma

Dera-Uma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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  1. I love Japanese Curry! :) All pictures look great! :))

    1. Thank you! Japanese curry is my favourite curry hehe :)