I’ve heard of this Edomae style sushi restaurant when they first debuted in Singapore, through the newspapers last year. I always remembered how the article said that ingredients were air flown almost daily.
I made a reservation for lunch at Shinji some one month ago, and coincidentally, it turned out to be during the week of World Gourmet Summit Wine & Restaurant Experience (WRX).
In conjunction with the WRX, they had a special menu which cost $230++.
We were seated at the sushi counter so we had a full view of how our sushi and sashimi was prepared. The fish in front of me looked so fresh and succulent.
We were very lucky to be assigned the Master Chef Oshino for the day, and all our sushi and sashimi was prepared by him! Everything looked so fresh, even the wasabi was freshly grated from horse radish ala minute by hand.
Japanese shitake, baby asparagus & tofu in persimmon konnyaku
This was the appetiser.
The fish sashimi served was the needle fish. It was marinate with some seasoning.
This tuna tasted like normal maguro except that it was very soft and tender. It was almost as tender as toro, but without the fats and oily taste.
This one’s a Japanese potato deep fried, sort of like tempura style, with a broth, also sort of like tempura style. The potato was somewhat like yam or sweet potato, and was very soft it could almost pass of as baked potato.
Turtle teapot soup
Initially I was reluctant to try the turtle soup as it sounded too exotic for me. After all, I’m not fond of gui ling gao. However, Chef Oshino mentioned the magic word – collagen, good for skin! So I decided to go ahead with this. And this was the best decision ever. The turtle soup was tasty, not nasty! There was tofu, leek, gingko, mochi and a slice of carrot inside.
The chef modified this sushi by adding fish liver on top.
I’m usually not fond of the typical squid served in Japanese restaurants but somehow this squid didn’t have the nasty rubbery texture! It was softer to bite. It was lightly salted with grains of salt when served.
Medium fatty tuna
Now this was an experience of a lifetime. I’ve had toro before at Tomi Sushi and Aoki but I never imagined how different toro could taste. If I were to classify it using grades of beef, this would be wagyu grade 9. The moment it went into my mouth I felt that I could never go back to ayam brand tuna anymore. The fatty taste was the best ever. It was so smooth and tender I almost didn’t need to bite. The only regret about this was that it was too soft and smooth it slid down my throat before I could finish savouring it. I still can’t believe I actually swallowed this!
After regretting that I swallowed the chutoro, the only consolation was that otoro was coming up next. So if chutoro was equivalent to wagyu grade 9, this would be a grade 12. Indeed this tasted more fatty than chutoro and I took caution not to let this oily piece slide down my throat. Though it was good, I feel that I would actually be satisfied with just chutoro as the difference is not as big as the price gap.
After being spoilt by chutoro, otoro and baby tuna, of course normal tuna was pale in comparison.
Other than the toro, this was the other highlight of the meal. Just seeing the stock of uni the chef was handling got me salivating. In my heart I kept hoping he’ll put more on the gunkan sushi! The sea urchin had texture like foie gras and was very soft and wobbly I loved it.
For my serving, the chef cut it into half as perhaps he thought it was too big to fit into my mouth. Sushi is meant to be eaten entirely in one mouth.
Minced fatty tuna with leek
This was the last tuna item for this meal. It was being minced in front of our eyes.
The chef made 2 versions – one with sweet sauce, and one salted with a touch of lemon zest.
This isn’t like the typical tamagoyaki you get from other restaurants. Instead of the omelette like texture, this tamago was more like a pudding. It was sweet and chilled. I guess it wasn’t prepared like tamagoyaki anyway. I haven’t had something like this before so it was something new to me.
Salmon roe on rice
This was served complimentary by the friendly chef. He called it “surprise!”. Unlike typical salmon roe, this one didn’t have a single hint of fishy smell in the juice. Indeed it was very fresh. Miso soup was also served, not mentioned in the menu.
The above was not my order but I was in awe at how huge this prawn was. According to Chef Oshino, this prawn was from Hokkaido and is only available during winter! The prawn was a large as a crayfish, or even bigger!
Every single bit of the prawn could be eaten. The flesh and roe was served raw to the customer and the head was sent for grilling.
Traditional Japanese sweets
This was our dessert. Matach ice cream with adzuki with shiratama, which tasted good but actually quite ordinary, and a Japanese musk melon. The musk melon was the highlight of it all. It had the taste of rockmelon/ honeydew but the juiciness of watermelon. It was very sweet and bursting with juice, definitely the first time trying something like this! Now I see why Japanese fruits are so expensive.
Citibank cardholders get to enjoy a complimentary glass of plum sake. The plum sake was very sweet and palatable, somewhat like the Hoshi Usagi Blueberry Sparkling Sake.
Overall: definitely the best Japanese dining experience I’ve had so far. Everything was the freshest you can get and it’s amazing how everything looks so photogenic. The chef at work kept the area so organized and tidy and it was entertaining just watching him prepare everything. I highly recommend this place!
Shinji by Kanesaka
1 Beach Road,
Tel: 6338 6131
Lunch: 12.00pm to 3.00pm (Mondays – Saturdays)
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Mondays – Saturdays)
Odeon Towers Car Park
Mon – Fri:
7am – 5pm $2.20 1st hr, $1.10 per 1/2 hr
After 5pm $2.20 per entry
Sat, Sun & P/H:
7am – 5pm $2.20 1st hr, $0.90 per 1/2 hr
After 5pm $2.20 per entry
14, 16, 36, 77, 106, 111, 128, 130, 131, 133, 14E, 162, 167, 171, 502, 518, 700, 857, 960, 56, 57, 100, 107, 961
City Hall (NS25/EW13)