Lunch @ Sushi Dai // CLOSED

October 6, 2014 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

I was falling into a somewhat depression after having not eaten omakase behind the counter in what seemed to be a long while. Haha. And with that, a quick outing was arranged to check out 11-months old Sushi Dai which I got to learn of from the magazine Epicure.

Just prior to making reservation, I was looking at the lunch and dinner menus on their website. And the difference between their lunch’s omakase tsuki set ($250) and dinner’s omakase kokoro set ($340) was that dinner offers additional maki sushi. And hence, I concluded it’s actually more value-for-money to head down for their lunch.

And for the first time, I headed down for Japanese omakase on a weekend afternoon. I normally have mine on weekday evening. And the restaurant was really quiet. The other group of 5 Japanese who were at the counter too were already onto their last dish.

As with my homework, we ordered the omakase tsuki set priced at $250 which allowed us to savour an appetizer, a serving of assorted sashimi, two assorted dishes, ten pieces of nigiri sushi, soup and Japanese fruit.

And with that, we started our lunch:-

1) Appetizer (above) – Platter of duck, sweet potato, radish, abalone, yam, prawn and tuna. We were told to remove the skin of the yam before consuming. Skin came off easily by peeling although chef assisted me with mine. Ha.

2) Assorted sashimi (above) – Anti-clockwise from left, we were served kochi (magochi) which did not need to be dipped into any sauce, achi topped with ginger, tai and otoro. The slices of sashimi were fresh, although the otoro did not exactly melt in the mouth as I expected it to.

3) Assorted dish (above) – Ikura chawanmushi. We were told autumn and winter are seasons for (fresh) ikura.

4) Assorted dish (above) – Grilled tai fish. This was really good. Fresh and juicy. Served along with the fish were vegetables like crispy yam slice, gingko nuts and radish. I really liked the deep fried yam slice which was like a yam chip!

5) Nigiri sushi (above) – White ginger, kochi with grated yuzu, tai, leather jacket with liver, kinki, akagai (ark shell), geoduck, (long legs) crab, chutoro, otoro and tamago with seaweed. We were given a small folded towel just before the sushi was served. An indication for us to use our hand to pick up the sushi. And into our second sushi, the chef asked if the portion of rice and wasabi was sufficient. So it could be that he was worried we were almost full that the portion of rice was really small. But size aside, that fact that I had to be very careful in picking the sushi up as the rice felt it could / would fall apart was not too good. I also noticed that the lid of the rice pot was not put back with every making of our sushi. Which is a pity cause that would have kept the rice warm.

6) Clear soup (above)

7) Assorted dish (above) – Rice with salmon roe and sea urchin (uni).

8) Japanese fruits (above) – Pear, persimmon and a slice of pumpkin pudding that was made solely from pumpkin, egg and sugar. No flour used at all.

I left the restaurant feeling not too satisfied with our dining experience. It felt as though something was lacking somewhere. Was it the ambience or was it the service?

It could be because we came on a weekend afternoon that we had the entire place to ourselves. And probably because of that, I could easily pick up the whispering between the waiting staff. Something which I probably wouldn’t notice if the restaurant was bustling with people and noisy with conversations carried out by patrons.

In addition, my intention to sit at the counter was to see some slicing action. However, although the $4000 chopping board was in full view, we did not see any. Before our sushi were served, I caught the Japanese chef trying to discreetly pass our non-Japanese chef a tray of readily sliced sashimi (meant for our sushi). I would have preferred if the Japanese chef took over the sushi segment, especially since we were the only group at that point of time.

But that aside, our chef made lots of effort to interact with us. Which was also how we learnt that the chairs we were sitting on cost $1500 each.

There’s also some debate if Sushi Dai is really an outpost of Tsukiji Sushi Dai. I am not too sure if they are, but ultimately, the association should only be used in drawing the initial crowd. After which, it should very much depend on the restaurant’s actual performance to build up a regular base of customers. Which sadly I feel that one can get a better experience and better deal out of our hard-earned money elsewhere.

6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Mandarin Hotel, Level 4, Singapore
6820 0637, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 6
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7