Hinoki is a fairly new Japanese restaurant. There weren’t many reviews around at this moment but I decided to try it anyway.
I went on a Saturday evening and several tables were reserved. I was the first to enter at 6:30pm but by 7pm, several tables were occupied. I noticed that they have private dining rooms as well.
Above are the pages of the menu which comes with pictures. The rest of the ala carte dish selection includes Sashimi, Chinmi (appetisers), Sushi [temaki, maki, nigiri], Yakizakana (grilled fish), Agemono (deep fried), Ippinryori (side dishes), Noodles/ Soup, beverages, salad and dessert (ice cream only). I’d say they have quite a large selection to choose from!
And I had a hard time deciding what to order as everything looked so good!! I was deciding between the Sashimi Gozen and the Lady Bento. I ended up taking the Lady Bento as there’s grilled cod with mentaiko. My dining partner took their signature Hinoki Bento.
They served us hot green tea, which tasted pretty normal and a warm towel.
Salad was served first. Tasted like the typical Japanese salad you get. Nothing to complain about this.
The whole bento was served together!
Lady Bento – $32.00++
Hinoki Bento – $38.00++
My dining partner had the teriyaki cod (part of the set) changd to salmon as he doesn’t like cod. Hinoki was pretty flexible about this, which was good.
The salmon sashimi was kind of normal. I prefer the sahsimi from Chikuwa Tei or Sakuraya.
The maki however, was good! I like how there’s avocado in there. 3 pieces of this was not enough.
Soba maki. This was very interesting! Soba instead of rice for sushi. I loved this a lot! It was my first time trying something like this and I must say it’s pretty good. The salmon roe was delicious as well.
The cod with mentaiko was good as well! Especially the mentaiko sauce. The cod however, wasn’t that impressive but it’s still good. Cod seldom tastes bad anyway. The skin wasn’t as crispy as I would like it to be.
By the time I got to the tempura (prawn, pumpkin, leaf), the batter has somewhat gone colder which probably affects the texture. However, I could taste that it was good still. It wasn’t overly oily and the batter wasn’t tough.
The chawanmushi was just plain without any ingredients. However, I always liked chawanmushi because of the egg custard and not the gimmicky ingredients they put in. The chawamushi belongs to the firmer category and doesn’t jiggle much when shaken. However, the texture was very smooth and about perfect! You won’t see air bubbles in it. There was a thick viscous gravy on the chawanmushi as well which I like. The flavour of the egg custard was good enough to not make me feel the plain chawanmushi was bland without gimmick ingredients.
The miso soup was one of the best I ever had. The miso itself was very tasty. There were tofu cubes and tiny (like a 10 cent coin size) shitake mushrooms in the soup.
I tried one piece of aburi salmon from the Hinoki Bento and it was the best ever! It’s better than totally raw sashimi. I wish I could trade my salmon sashimi for aburi salmon.
From what I had today, the sushi was most outstanding. The others were delicious too, but not as memorable as the sushi. On my next visit, I would want to try the Hinoki Sushi Gozen!
They gave us 2 return vouchers which entitle us to 25% off, but it’s valid for only 2 weeks.
Overall: a good place to consider for a nice Japanese meal. I will visit again.
Hinoki Japanese Dining
China Square Central (South Bridge Court)
22 Cross Street
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Closed on Sundays
Mon – Fri
8am – 6pm $1.80 per 1/2 hr
6pm – 8am $3.00 per entry
8am – 6pm $3.00 per entry
6pm – 8am $3.00 per entry
61, 80, 145, 166, 197