Dinner @ Hakumai Sushi

March 15, 2015 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

I have been meaning to come to Hakumai for their omakase. But it was a little difficult on my end to get a friend who was willing to splurge on omakase as Hakumai needs all parties (sitting) at the counter seats to be having omakase. Even if 2 friends was doing omakase with 1 friend ordering the kaiseki set which ranges from $69 to $198 from the set menu. Hmm…

And on the day of our dinner, while looking for the unit #01-50A to the restaurant, I was a little surprised shocked to see a small door when I came from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Thankfully, that was not the main entrance. Pasted on the door was a small sign asking patrons to continue walking straight before making a right turn. Ha.

Upon seated, head chef Gary Ng asked us for our preferences. To which, my friend said “sashimi and sushi” which meant he was going for ‘Hakumai sushi omakase’ while I chose to have sashimi, sushi and some dishes from the kitchen. Meaning I went for ‘Hakumai omakase course’.

And so, from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), we ordered:-

1) Hakumai omakase course, $168 comprised of:-

(A) Appetizer (above) – Comprised of baby sea eel, corn and shirauo. My friend’s appetizer had oyster instead of baby sea eel. And that’s because I told chef Gary I don’t take beef and oyster.

(B) Assorted sashimi (above) – And on my plate was a small bowl of flying fish marinated with truffle with a huge variety including swordfish (slightly torched), scallop (slightly torched and not shown in picture as it’s hidden beneath), mentis shrimp (cooked), surf clam, salmon (slightly torched), hairy fish roe, yellow tail, Spanish mackerel (slightly torched) and sweet shrimp. And I have to say, chef Gary was very generous with the variety and serving. The slices were pretty thick!

(C) Dish #1 from kitchen (above) – Baby abalone which was pan-fried with butter.

(D) Dish #2 from kitchen (above) – Meat ball of Spanish mackerel, mixed with truffle. I did not like this though. While the exterior was fried nicely such that it was slightly crispy, the meat within was a little dry.

(E) Dish #3 from kitchen (above) – Cold angel pasta hair with truffle, sakura ebi, caviar and flying fish roe. This was good!

(F) Assorted sushi (above) – And I was served 10 pieces comprised of toro, flounder, amberjack, yellow tail topped with caviar, salmon belly, flounder fin, scallop with cod roe mayonnaise sauce, sea urchin topped with yuzu, botan shrimp and foie gras and minced tuna belly with spring onion. Again, the serving was huge! The slices of the fishes were thick and long. When my first piece was served, I couldn’t help but immediately notice that the slice of toro was so long that it was even tucked in. I also realised chef Gary like to torch a lot. Most of our sushi were aburi style. Which was a little overload for us as it made some too oily. Like the flounder fin.

(H) Soup (above) – And just when I was expecting to be served miso soup (as with other restaurants), I Was given a very rich soup of prawn, mushrooms and egg. So filling!

(I) Dessert (above) – with 4 choices for the ice cream flavours (black sesame, grape, yuzu, green tea), I went with black sesame. And together with the ice cream, the staff presented me with honeydew and yuzu jelly. However, the yuzu jelly was pretty bitter.

So the differences between my $168 omakase course and my friend’s $168 sushi omakase were my 3 dishes from the kitchen and 2 additional pieces of sushi which he had. In fact, when we were onto our sushi, we asked chef Gary how he determine the end to the sushi. We asked this because we were starting to feel pretty full and was wondering how many more pieces there were to our sushi course. And we were told there’s no limit. “You can keep eating till you’re full. But more sushi means more costly,” chef Gary joked.

So yes, if one don’t have the ‘full expression’ on one’s face, the chef will keep loading one with sushi. So communication is important at Hakumai. If one is starting to feel full, it’s good to tell the chef rather than let the chef guess from one’s expression. Although chef Gary would go up to the customers at the 9th sushi to check on the customers if they could stomach more sushi. Personally, I say 4 to 6 would be a good number for the sushi.

So yes, Hakumai provided a very value-for-money meal. If omakase is not for one, there’s the set menu too. Although one would need to sit at the table seats if ordering from the menu. Will I recommend Hakumai? Definitely for its value. But not if one is looking for a very authentic experience in terms of ambience and sushi. Since not everyone may agree bigger is better.

10 Anson Road, International Plaza, #01-50A, Singapore
6224 4790, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 11:30 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7