Dinner @ Shiraishi Japanese Restaurant

April 26, 2015 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

And if one remembers, I mentioned in one of my past reviews in December 2014 of how a friend last minute cancelled our dinner appointment at Shiraishi when I had been wanting to head back (cause my first dinner in November 2013 was really memorable, just that I regrettably did not take sufficient photographs then to write a review for sharing. Ha!). So I was glad I finally got to dine at Shiraishi earlier this month. Talk about determination, eh? Haha.

It was a very impromptu dinner for my second visit to Shiraishi. We reached the restaurant at 8.35pm and sat at the sushi counter. While looking at their menu, the few options which grabbed my attention were:-

  (A) Sushi-kaiseki course at $135, $170, $200
  (B) Sushi edomae course at $180
  (C) Omakase course at $250

And upon enquiring on the difference between the $180, $200, $250 courses, I was told by the staff that the prices determined the ingredients. Ie, level of premium. And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and seasonal menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Omakase course, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Pre-appetizer, $5 (above) – Shortly after placing our orders, we were served Japanese wild vegetables dressed with sesame sauce (kogomi goma-ae). The staff did not introduce the dish. Rather, I figured what it was by looking at their seasonal menu. But what really shocked me was that we were charged extra for these! I only realised it after we left the restaurant and was ‘studying’ the receipt. $5 for a bowl! Shouldn’t these be included in our courses? I am not a big fan of being served vegetables for my omakase course. Yet, I have to pay (more) on top of my $250 omakase course? Hmm…


(B) Appetizer (above) – The chef presented me with seasonal items of firefly squid with vinegared bean paste (hotaru-ika) and boiled broad bean (tenmame).

(C) Sashimi (above) – Assortment of yellow tail, yellow tail belly, sea bream, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), tuna belly (ootoro), ark shell clam and Hokkai shrimp (shima ebi).

(D) Simmered dish (above) – Steamed vegetable with seasonal simmered young bamboo shoot (wakatake-ni) and sea bream roe.

(E) Grilled dish (above) – Sea bream fish sperm (above, left) and snapper cooked in mirin and sake (above, right). And for the young ginger, I was told to eat the white portion as the pink portion could be pretty fibrous.

(F) Fried dish (above) – Deep fried blow fish (fugu karaage) with bonito sauce. I thought the season for puffer fish was over, so I was a little surprised to be presented with this. However, a couple seated at the other end of the counter was asking the chef about their supply of puffer fish. And if I did not hear wrongly, these were man-made (supplied from the farm). And the puffer fish tempura was quite good although I could choose, I prefer the novelty of eating puffer fish in the sashimi style. Ha.

(G) Sushi (above) – Tuna belly, flounder, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), sea urchin and sea eel. My favourite was the chutoro with 3 slices given. Such a mouthful! Yum.

(H) Soup (above) – Clear soup with clam.

(I) Brown tea (above)

(J) Dessert (above) – Musk melon and yuzu ice cream.

2) Sushi-kaiseki course, $170 comprised of:-

(A) Pre-appetizer, $5 – Similar to mine; Japanese wild vegetables dressed with sesame sauce (kogomi goma-ae).

(B) Appetizer (above) – Assortment included jelly fish, tomato, sesame tofu and sea whelk. And I was pretty impressed with the sesame tofu. Its texture was smooth with the aroma and faint taste of sesame.

(C) Sashimi (above) – Yellow tail, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), sea bream, prawn (ama ebi) and salmon.

(D) Simmered dish (above) – Steamed vegetable with tofu made from soya bean.

(E) Grilled dish (above) – Sole fish.

(F) Fried dish (above) – Deep fried small shrimps (sakuraebi kakiage). We were given dipping sauce and sea salt (not pictured) to go with the tempura. And this was pretty good. The more we had, the more addictive it was. But skip the salt as it just made everything salty. Ha.

(G) Sushi (above) – Tuna belly, yellow tail, tuna, salmon roe, mackerel, sea eel and egg (tamago).

(H) Brown tea

(I) Soup – Clear soup with seaweed and tofu cubes.

(J) Dessert (above) – Agar jelly cubes and sweet bean paste in syrup (anmitsu).

3) Chirashi sushi, $90 (above) – This was not included in the 2 courses we ordered. But having seen this on instagram, I enquired with the staff at 10pm (last order timing) if we could order this as a-la carte but in small (portion) for sharing since my friend and I did not have much stomach space left. And the chirashi was personally prepared by head chef Shiraishi where different cuts of tuna were used. And this was really good. But don’t mix the different ingredients up, also as instructed by head chef Shiraishi. It’s meant to be enjoyed as rice-tuna, rice-uni or rice-salmon roe. Yes, just ‘dig in’ literally with the spoon and enjoy. However, I was not too impressed value-for-money wise. I’m not sure if this is the same chirashi on the menu. But if it is, I would be pretty sore. The chirashi (box of sashimi with rice) on the menu is priced at $90 and comes with miso soup or clear soup. Our a-la carte order of small portion was also $90! So hmm… Can anyone who had ordered the menu’s chirashi enlighten me?

Frankly, I was not too impressed with my 2nd dining experience at Shirashi. It could be due to the season for the less than stellar dishes. I went during winter in my previous visit (December 2013) where we were treated to crab, etc. It’s spring during my repeated visit (April 2015).

Then, there was the service. I was definitely disappointed to have my sushi served (together) on a plate as to having the chef prepare the sushi one by one before us. Initially, I was comforting myself that it was probably because my friend and I came pretty late. However, our sushi was served at 9.40pm. That’s 50 minutes before closing time. So it wasn’t exactly ‘too late’. I also noticed some of our sushi were prepared by head chef Shiraishi (not in front of us) before the plate was passed on to his co-chef to prepare the remaining sushi. Hmm…

So yes, I did wonder if I am being overly critical since I came with high expectations due to my memorable 1st visit. Maybe. So with that, I am not giving up on Shiraishi. I will be back again. Probably in the later part of the year. Hopefully, service would be better. And I will be more vocal too and request for ‘sashimi & sushi only’ omakase.

And if one plans to come for their omakase and would like to get a feel of what would be served, one could refer to their website first for the monthly updated seasonal menu since Shiraishi includes seasonal items into their omakase course. So yup! =)

7 Raffles Avenue, The Ritz-Carlton, #03-01/02, Singapore
6338 3788, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7