Another new Japanese restaurant has opened! I found out from the chef (and I'm guessing he's the boss? Or one of the partners) that they actually opened in Aug if my memory serves me right, but the official opening was only recently!
The chef has been in Singapore for 4 years now and speaks rather fluent English!! Do converse with him if you go down for a meal :) He worked previously at Waku Ghin in Singapore and honed his culinary craft in Kyoto since age 17/18.
The sushi bar seats only 10 people and its a traditional wooden setup, I like the relaxing feel it brings. They only have 3 Omakase menus to choose from and they differ in terms of price (obviously) and mainly, the number of seasonal dishes in the menu. We took the $280 per pax menu which has 5 seasonal dishes.
There was a menu laid out (pictured below) on the table when we reached and this was the menu for the $280 set which the chef recommends cos its the "just right" kind of menu. $230 one may not be enough and the $330 one may be too much. So we listened to him and took the $280!
Basically each menu has:
Seasonal dishes (3/5/7 dishes depending on price)
Hida wagyu dish
Seasonal fruit & granite
Yuba with Wasabi
Yuba is something that is made from soybeans and the chef says that this is homemade. The sauce accompanying it was incredibly salty. This was the only not so favourable dish during the meal. 2.8/5
French Oyster with Ikura
The oyster was so SO plump and juicy!!! One of the best oysters I've had in my life I think and I've had quite a lot. Really fresh too. The broth was light and slightly sweet. Overall, this was very enjoyable! 4.5/5
Shirauo and Nano Hana
Shirauo is the small white fish and nano hana is rapeseed. Very light, sweet and fresh. The fish was slightly crunchy. The word "fresh" is going to come up a lot here because all of us agreed that the food there is really fresh and good. We heard the other diner comment that food there is really fresh as well. 4.2/5
Crab and Crab Roe
This crab is the female Hokkaido snow crab and according to the chef, they're kinda like the hairy crabs we eat, cos we mainly eat them for the roe! The usual hugeass Hokkaido snow crabs Singaporeans so love are males. The female crabs are in season now. Roe isnt as sweet as hairy crab but this was still enjoyable because of the freshness. 4/5
Uni and Caviar
Decadence, decadence, decadence.
I believe this will tickle lots of tastebuds!!! It was extremely good! The chef was super generous with the portion of uni, there was another big slab of uni below. And the uni is sweet, not just your run of the mill (and sometimes some places even give you smelly ones that've gone bad) uni, this was good and sweet. The "jelly" that accompanied it was integral because it helps you break the "jia lat" feeling after eating too much of uni as its refreshing and just helps you cleanse your palette. Honestly the caviar doesnt do much here in terms of taste, texture wise maybe a little but overall, the focus is on the uni. Our waiter told us that this is the chef's speciality and rightly so! 4.7/5
Did you know that there are many different colours of uni? As in the shell! Call us slow/mountain tortises, but we only knew when the chef told us! There's white, purple, green, blue, black etc. and the diff colours are found during diff seasons!
This is monkfish liver and it was not what you'd expect! Apparently, this costs as much as a monkfish, so says the chef. The texture is something like that of foie gras/tofu, very smooth and soft. But the taste is not strong, not overpowering unlike foie gras and doesnt have the pig liver taste. This one's mild and very smooth. We enjoyed this a lot! And were very impressed. It was done very simply, with just ginger on top. 4.6/5
Kue Soup in Dobin Style
Kue is known to us as grouper and this soup was boiled for 4hrs with the fish head and other ingredients. The soup is different from the usual teapot soups we get outside, its less sweet and more of a slightly salty but fragrant taste.
Inside, there's a generous portion of the kue fish! Which is super fresh and sweet tasting. Goes very well with the ponzu sauce served with this. 4.5/5
Otoro, botan ebi, ika, chutoro, yellow tail
We were advised to eat it from left to right otherwise the toro may just cover up the taste of the rest. As a general statement, all of the sashimi can be summed up w a word - FRESH. The ika was a little chewy but crunchy too and was rather sweet. Botan ebi was not too bad in terms of sweetness as well. Yellow tail was rather normal. The otoro and chutoro (fatty parts of the tuna) were quite melt in your mouth but unfortunately had not much taste. 4/5
Fugu Shirako with White Truffle
I thought this was a rather unique dish! Fugu Shirako is basically sperm of the pufferfish (fugu). I've eaten whale sperm before at Aoki but this one was much nicer in terms of taste and texture! This doesnt have a strong fishy smell and its really soft. There's no white truffle taste in this at all though. But I wasnt complaining because it was done so simply that its natural sweetness and flavours shone through which is what I like in my food. Below the shirako looked like it was chawanmushi but it was more soy beancurd haha because it tasted more like the latter! 4.5/5
I'm not sure how this was cooked but am guessing maybe seared? We had our beef course changed to this because we do not take beef. But this was yum yum :) Done very nicely, the fish was not too hard nor too soft and some parts still melts in your mouth. By itself, it doesnt have much taste hence its served w wasabi, sea salt and ponzu sauce! I felt that it went really well with ponzu and sea salt. 4.4/5
The chef at work - Chef Hamamoto!
White snapper sushi
Taste-wise, nothing much to shout about but 'twas fresh.
Ark shell sushi
This was crunchy and slightly sweet, one of the better akagai I've eaten
This again didnt have much taste.
The chef makes his own rice as rice is very very important in Japanese culture esp at specialised restaurants! His rice is quite nice but somehow I feel Shinji's has more flavour.
Miso Soup with clams
This was so-so
Pear and Granite
The pear is the soft kind of pear and was v sweet!! Granite was cold and was a refreshing end to the meal.
Service was really good - polite, friendly, helpful. When we left the restaurant, the waitress actually stood outside the restaurant and waited for us to drive away when she sent out us. Okay this restaurant is housed in a colonial building along Scotts Road (yknow the ones with SKII Spa Boutique/Song of India those?) yup so our car was parked like next to the restaurant so she waited for us the whole time to send us off. I'm not sure if the valet is compulsory but they didnt drive our car to us, we had to go and drive our own car, so might as well just park it ourselves right?
Would I go again? Yes I most definitely will. My family and I agreed that this is almost on par with Shinji so it'll definitely remain on our to-go list! The menu changes with the season.
29 Scotts Road
Mon-Sat 6.30-10.30pm (last food order: 9.30pm)
Sunday and PH closed
Do note that the sign saying 29 Scotts Rd is quite small, and there's no obvious signage for the restaurant. Its after the SKII Spa Boutique if you're coming from Newton MRT side. This website shows where it is, click.