Dinner @ Tamaya Dining

March 23, 2016 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

And it’s time for my long overdue Japanese omakase meal! =) And this round, my friend and I decided to check out Tamaya Dining. We liked that they open till really late. Allows me to go for my (crossfit) class prior to dinner for a guiltless meal. Keke.

Reservation was made for 2 people on a weekday evening. And over the phone, the lady asked if we wanted the alfresco seat, dining table (at level 2) or counter seats. Needless to say, I went with counter seats. Ha.

Upon arrival, the staff checked our reservation before leading us to the sushi counter. Clever usage of wooden poles shed us from what happened outside. And the menu for counter seat is only omakase. For kitchen dishes, one would need to request for the menu that’s for diners sitting at alfresco area.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), I decided to go for the $200 omakase course while my friend went for the $170’s. And while having our order taken, we highlighted to executive chef Koike Koji that I take no beef and oyster, but love my sea urchin. My friend also mentioned he take no beef. And with that, we started our dinner with:-

1) Omakase course, $200 comprised of:-

(A) Appetizer (above) – We were served wild vegetables, smoked duck and (thick) burdock soup. Chef Koji overheard our conversation (where we were trying to figure out what we were drinking) and tried to tell us “burdock”. I caught it, but not my friend. To which chef Koji went into his kitchen and took out a burdock for us to see. Nice.

(B) Sashimi (above) – And I was given an assortment of hairy crab, spanish mackerel where I could dip 1 slice in soya sauce and 1 slice with sea salt, and fatty tuna (otoro) (raw and seared).

(C) Grilled dish (above) – Black throat sea perch. We were told the salt at the side was for the broad bean.

(D) Deep-fried dish (above) – Puffer fish with ponzu sauce and ice fish.


(E) Sushi (above) – Assortment of big-eye snapper (kinmedai), squid with yuzu, premium fatty tuna (otoro), ark shell clam (akagai), eel, sea urchin, egg omelette (tamagoyaki), pickled radish (not pictured) and burdock. Unfortunately, the rice wasn’t sufficiently vinegared. It felt like I was eating normal white (jasmine) rice. But thankfully, the pot of sushi rice was changed halfway through our sushi course. So from our fourth piece onwards, the sushi got better. And although I expressed my love for sea urchin right from the start of our dinner, I was a little disappointed when chef Koji did not include any sea urchin sushi. For my $200 course, I was given only 4 pieces. So when we were told our next course was dessert, I decided to order 2 more; Sea urchin sushi and egg omelette (non-sushi). Saw pictures of their sea urchin sushi on instagram and was really interested in having it. =p And it was a nice surprise to see we were not charged for the extra 2 sushi when we were given the bill.

(F) Rice bowl (above) – Of white shrimp, sea urchin, salmon roe and gold flakes. Yum, yum!

(G) Soup (above) – Clam soup. We were also given pepper and chilli powder where we could add into our soup if we wanted to. I didn’t. And it was a nice surprise to find fish maw at the bottom of the bowl too. Yum!

(H) Dessert (above) – Melon, strawberry and apple.

2) Omakase course, $170 comprised of:-

(A) Appetizer – Similar to mine; Wild vegetables, smoked duck and (thick) burdock soup.

(B) Sashimi (above) – Oyster, striped jack (shima-aji), marinated tuna (akami) and premium fatty tuna (otoro). My friend shared a slice of his marinated tuna with me, and it was so good; Intense flavour and smooth. Even chef Koji admitted the marinated tuna was better than the seared fatty tuna which I was having for my sashimi. Chef Koji said the secret lies in the marinate! Hmm… And for 1 of the dishes, the slices of raw fish were placed on radish slices. When my friend asked if the radish could be eaten, chef Koji animatedly went “Wait, wait” before coming out with 2 dipping sauces (plum sauce and miso) for my friend to have it with the radish. Interesting.

(C) Grilled dish (above)

(D) Deep-fried dish (above) – Bell fish (Don’t think I heard this correctly. Probably belt fish) and ice fish.


(E) Sushi (above) – Assortment of big-eye snapper (kinmedai), squid with yuzu, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), scallop, eel, white shrimp, pickled radish and burdock.

(F) Soup – Similar to mine; Clam soup.

(G) Dessert – Melon and strawberry.

So although Tamaya Dining has been around for a long while now, we learnt from the staff that the sushi counter was only created 4 years ago when executive chef Koike Koji came on board. And although there were 3 chef (2 being sous chef) with 2 different groups of customer at the sushi counter, it was nice that chef Koji would personally prepare the sushi for (all of) us. I always preferred this kind of personal touch.

And if one doesn’t wish to splurge on an omakase dinner, one could opt for a very dinner by sitting at the (dimly lit) alfresco area or at level 2 for a quiet dinner.

Would I recommend Tamaya Dining? Well… In terms of value for money, it was pretty okie. But they are definitely one of the very few Japanese restaurants which has the sushi counter opened till really late. Like till 1am! Wow.

45 Cuppage Terrace, Singapore
6835 3539, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon : 18:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sat : 18:00 – 01:00
Value: 7
Sun : 16:00 – 23:00
Service: 7