Lunch @ Ki-Sho [Revisit]

March 17, 2018 in Japanese

After a re-visit to Saint Pierre, I decided to re-visit Ki-Sho next. And my string of re-visits should be surprising since it’s known (by now that) I prefer checking out new eateries. Just saying. Keke. But I guess one can say I was curious about Ki-sho’s lunch menu. And because Ki-sho only does lunch service on weekdays, I only managed to drop by when I applied leave to extend the long (Christmas) weekend longer. Haha.

I arrived at the restaurant punctually for my 1pm reservation. And from the lunch menu, I ordered:-

1) Taihaku, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Seaweed with ark shell, scallop and vegetables.

(B) Dish #2 (above, left) – Yellow tail (buri).


(C) Dish #3 (above) – Crab, tofu, sea urchin, mushroom, lotus root and salmon roe (ikura) with dashi vinegar jelly.

(D) Dish #4 (above) – Tilefish (amadai) with its scales fried to crisp and battered baby yam from Kyoto served in yuzu-plum sauce.

  
  
  
  
  

(E) Dish #5 (above) – It’s stated on the menu that the $250 course includes 8 pieces of nigiri sushi, 1 aburi otoro sushi and 1 aburi hida beef sushi. Mine had a slight variation since I don’t eat beef. For my 8 pieces, I was served lean tuna (akami), Spanish macakarel, striped jack (shima aji), spotted prawn (botan ebi), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), premium fatty tuna (otoro), charcoal-grilled (aburi) black throat sea perch (nodoguro) and sea urchin. As for the beef, it was replaced with tuna-yolk-urchin which I honestly enjoyed very much. However, it was disappointing that while I was seated at the correct half of the counter where head chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto stood, my sushi was made by chef Tohru san instead. I wasn’t aware there was more than 1 chef in-charge of the food, especially sushi making, since there was only chef Hamamoto san when I previously came for dinner.


(F) Dish #6 (above) – Rice bowl of chopped spotted prawn (botan ebi), tuna, salmon roe and sea urchin.

(G) Dish #7 (above) – Soup with sesame-soy tofu.

  

(H) Dish #8 (above) – Warabi mochi, matcha chocolate, wafer with ice cream within and musk melon.

Was I happy with my lunch at Ki-sho? Well… It was a good meal. But I ain’t going to lie. I arrived with the expectation that I would be served by chef Hamamoto as with my previous meal at Ki-Sho. So I was disappointed when I wasn’t. I guess I need to be very specific in my future reservations.

And because I was sitting beside a group who went for the $450 omakase, I left the restaurant regretting having not opted for the more expensive course. My neighbours were served precious ingredients like 1-week aged wild caught baby tuna (meiji) and wild caught ‘lost bonito’ (mayoi katsuo). Of course, one wouldn’t know what seasonal ingredients the restaurant have for the day. But ah… I couldn’t help but feel it was such a waste. It’s not everyday that one get to eat such rare delicacy even if one goes for the $450 omakase. Sob.

KI-SHO 葵匠
29 Scotts Road, Singapore
6733 5251, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Lunch @ Ginza Sushi Ichi [Revisit]

December 5, 2017 in Japanese

After a satisfying meal at Shinji, it got me craving for more sushi. And because I am one who don’t like returning to the same eatery (too soon), I decided on 1 Michelin-starred Sushi Ichi. I mean, my last meal at Sushi Ichi was in 2014; Before they relocated and before they were awarded Michelin star. So yes, it was time to return to Sushi Ichi. =)

Through Chope, I made reservation for weekend lunch. And I thought I should also add that it was a solo affair. I guess I was reminiscing much of my solo Tokyo trips. Kekeke. Having had chef Yukinori Kawakami on my previous meal at Sushi Ichi, I made a request for him again.

With Sushi Ichi located in Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, it was easily accessible. Just a mere 5 minutes walk from Orchard MRT station!

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), I ordered:-

1) Lunch omakase, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Appetiser (above) – Sweet shrimp (ama-ebi), mixed mushroom with chrysanthemum, and octopus braised in soya sauce.


(B) Assorted sashimi (2) (above) – Jack fish and shell fish.

(C) Dish #1 (above) – Japanese belt fish served with chestnut tempura. I always thought belt fish had many bones cause of the one I previously had, but the one served at Sushi Ichi had none. Such a joy to eat! And the chestnut was very sweet. I enjoyed it very much!

(D) Dish #2 (above) – Striped jack (shima-aji), shabu shabu.

  
  
  
  
  

(E) Nigiri sushi (8 pieces) (above) – Assortment of grouper (kue), big-eye snapper (kinmedai), marinated tuna, baby white shrimp (shiro-ebi), seared premium fatty tuna (otoro aburi) and sea eel (anago), egg omlette (tamago), and rice bowl with sea urchin and salmon roe. Since I don’t count the number of sushi during my meal, it’s only when I am writing up my review that I realised the egg omelette and rice bowl formed part of the 8 nigiri sushi. Hmm…

(F) Roll sushi (above) – It was only from watching chef Kawakami san make the roll sushi that I realised red vinegar was used to season nigiri sushi’s sushi rice (shari) while white vinegar was used for the roll sushi’s. Interesting.

(G) Miso soup (above) – Soup with yam.

(H) Dessert (above)

While I was having my lunch, I couldn’t help but drool over what my neighbours were having. They had dishes like abalone, crab, etc. So when I was making payment, I enquired about the different menus. And the staff explained the quality of ingredients varied according to price. So for the lunch options, the premium ingredient in $100 Tubaki, $150 Botan and Lunch Omakase ($240) courses were lean tuna (akami), medium fatty tuna (chutoro) and premium fatty tuna (otoro) respectively. And for me who was eyeing my neighbour’s dishes, I would need to get the Dinner Omakase course at $430.

Would I recommend Sushi Ichi? Well… Honestly, it didn’t give me the ‘wow’ factor. But at least one would assured that Sushi Ichi won’t let one down (too much).

GINZA SUSHI ICHI
320 Orchard Road, Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, #01-04, Singapore
6235 5514, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tues – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Service: 8
 
* Closed on Mon

UPDATE: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.

Lunch @ Shinji by Kanesaka (St Regis)

October 9, 2016 in Japanese

It being the birthday of my InstaGram GirlFriend (IGGF), it goes without saying that we had to celebrate with Japanese cuisine. And at Shinji, no less!

If one doesn’t know yet, my IGGF loves her sushi-s and is a regular at Shinji (Raffles Hotel). So when I learnt she has been wanting to check out Shinji (St Regis), lunch reservation was made for Saturday with special request for chef Kobayashi. Yes, birthday girl’s request. =)

Located within St Regis, it’s a 12 to 15 minutes walk from Orchard MRT station.

Upon entering the entrance of Shinji, the waitress led us to our (counter) seats. And I immediately noticed Shinji at St Regis was more spacious, had higher ceiling and went with a less warm lighting. And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Yume (omakase special), $250 comprised of:-


  

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Sweet fish (ayu) and herring roe.

(B) Dish #2 (above) – Assorted sashimi of golden eye snapper, tuna and giant clam (ishigakigai).

(C) Dish #3 (above) – Poached tuna cheek with grated radish soaked in ponzu sauce.

(D) Dish #4 (above) – Long spine sea urchin wrapped with flounder (hirame), topped with salmon roe (ikura).

(E) Dish #5 (above) – Grilled sole fish (taichiuo).

  
  
  
  
  
  

(F) Dish #6 (above) – Sushi assortment of sea bass, yellow tail, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), otoro (premium fatty tuna), horse mackerel, short spine sea urchin (bafun uni), prawn and sea eel (anago) served 2 ways (sweet sauce and salt), omelette and hand roll of minced tuna.


(G) Dish #7 (above) – Tuna soup stock with mozuku sea weed.

(H) Dish #8 (above) – Fruits.

2) Yuki (15 pieces sushi course set), $180 comprised of:-

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Sushi assortment of flounder, big eye snapper (kinmedai), sea bass (suzuki), yellow jack, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), baby white shrimp (shiro-ebi) topped with caviar, otoro (premium fatty tuna), gizzard shad (kohada), pacific saury (sanma), horse mackerel, violet sea urchin (murasaki uni), short spine sea urchin (bafun uni), giant clam (ishigakigai), tiger prawn (kuruma-ebi) and sea eel (anago) served 2 ways (sweet sauce and salt), omelette and hand roll of minced tuna.

(B) Dish #2 – Similar to mine; Tuna soup stock with mozuku sea weed.

(C) Dish #3 (above) – Dessert.

(D) Dish #4, Complimentary (above) – And Shinji at St Regis celebrates patron’s birthday differently from Raffles Hotel’s. Instead of elaborated party props and dance moves, the staff at St Regis’s Shinji celebrated in what I called “the refined way” with just a fruits platter that included a candle (not photographed). And with a birthday song, of course. And as we tucked into our desserts, chef Kobayashi san shared that they didn’t dim the lights cause unlike Shinji at Raffles Hotel which only had 3 switches, there are too many switches for the many lights at St Regis’s Shinji. He joked that they don’t know which switch is for which section!

What’s my take on Shinji at St Regis? There’s no doubt about the execution of food. However, in all honesty, my lunch omakase experience didn’t feel like it was worth $250 due to the choice of ingredients. Especially for the appetiser and cooked dish. Crab and (more) sea urchin for me please! And because I am also a visual person. The non-extravagant plating failed to leave an impression.

But if one comes for lunch, I would encourage one to opt for their sushi set over the omakase course. I was impressed with the many exotic fishes included in my IGGF’s sushi course set. Like the pacific saury which was in the season (Autumn) and is a small fish priced at $400.

And the ultimate question of “Shinji at Raffles Hotel or Shinji at St Regis?” Both outlets are distinctly different. But I would go for the former. I preferred their distinctly vinegared sushi rice (shari) and the choice of warm lighting which made the space feel more inviting, warmer and cosier.

SHINJI BY KANESAKA
29 Tanglin Road, St. Regis, Level 1, Singapore
6884 8239, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.

UPDATE 3: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.