Want to build up your muscle mass but are tired of protein shakes? Not into relying on beauty supplements for healthy, glowing skin? A chankonabe at ENChanko may just be able to help.
Chankonabe, also known as “sumo hotpot”, is packed full of protein and collagen despite being low calorie, and is the preferred dish for sumo wrestlers to build up their muscle mass during training. Sumo wrestlers may look big and chonky, but it’s mostly muscle that they’re packing, not fats!
You too, can get those gains by enjoying a steaming Chanko hotpot at ENChanko, Singapore’s first chankonabe specialty restaurant. Ladies will want to check out their collagen soup bases (addition of S$3) for unblemished, smooth skin as well.
We were drawn to the Buta Motsu Chankonabe (from S$30) as it featured ingredients that any kway chap lover would go gaga for, like pork stomach, large intestines, tendon, Iberico pork tsukune (meatballs), vegetables, mushrooms, glass noodles and more.
The pork innards were chewy and flavourful without any unpleasant fishy odour. Combined with the umami of the fresh ingredients and rich, milky collagen soup that had been steeped for over 10 hours, I found myself devouring bowl after bowl.
If you aren’t a fan of innards, you can opt for their chicken-based Signature Tori Chankonabe (from S$30) or the seafood-filled Kaisen Chankonabe (from S$39) instead.
Do note that these chankonabes are meant to be shared between two or more people, but there are also individual hotpots (from S$14.80) with more options like Miyazaki Wagyu, Hokkaido Pork, and even a vegetarian-friendly nabe.
Don’t forget to add-on their Himokawa Udon (S$6.80) — ENChanko is the only place in Singapore where you can get this flat and wide udon that’s been trending all over TikTok.
It’s served on a bed of ice and you can eat it straight from the plate, or swish it around in the nabe for a few seconds before dipping it in the accompanying sauces (especially their sesame sauce!).
You should also try out their unique Mochi Kinchaku (S$6.80), a tofu moneybag that’s stuffed with really stretchy mochi.
ENChanko also offers kamameshi, another traditional Japanese dish that’s hard to find in Singapore. Think of an amalgamation of claypot rice and chazuke, but with an iron pot and genmai dashi stock instead.
Kamameshi has a unique way of eating that offers diners two different experiences in one dish. When it is served, mix the rice and ingredients and enjoy a few spoonfuls of it “dry” first. For the second step, pour the genmai dashi in and let it simmer with the lid on for a minute or two. Mix well after opening and you’ll find that it tastes wildly different from the “dry” rice.
We went for the Miyazaki Wagyu Truffle & Ikura (S$39) kamameshi, which blew us away with the pairing of tender wagyu and a strong but not overpowering truffle scent. Not to mention, the juicy ikura that exploded with each bite was simply just *chef’s kiss*!
The highlight for me was scraping the bottom of my pot for that crunchy, scorched rice infused with all the rich flavours of the dashi and ingredients.
There’s an ongoing promotion until 8 December 2023 where diners can enjoy complimentary Kamameshi sets with any order of sharing hotpots, so there’s no better time than now to bring your friends out for a gathering at ENChanko!
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Photos by Kaye Yeo