Shinji by Kanesaka II – Lunch

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you feasted like kings because you had the excuse to. I sure did, and slightly regretted, but then again, not really. I don’t celebrate Christmas per se, but just took the day to indulge. I started my day with aromatherapy massage at Refresh Day Spa, and then lunch at Shinji, my favourite restaurant. It’s been a year since I last dined at Shinji and the meal was unforgettable. I wanted to dine there again and what better day to do it than Christmas? They serve the regular menu throughout the festive season and they are open, so it’s perfect, since most other restaurants charges extra. I made my reservations a few weeks prior, requesting to be served by Oshino-san.

This time, my dining partner and I went for the Omakase set ($250++). Essentially, it consisted of appetiser, 6 sashimi, 2 cooked dishes, 12 pc sushi, soup and dessert. What you will get is seasonal and what I had may not be what you’ll have, but I guess some items like otoro (fatty tuna), chutoro (medium fatty tuna) or uni (sea urchin) will always be there.

(L-R) Appetiser, tai, ikura, uni, fried gingko + calms + aburi halibut, ika, meji maguro, saba, fried pufferfish

The salmon roe was like none other. It tasted really like chicken eggs, but of course better with a different consistency. It was heavenly.

The uni (sea urchin) sent me to heaven too. Low grade sea urchin usually tastes bitter and this one’s totally different. The cooked fishes, not prepared by Oshino-san, but from the kitchen.

I don’t usuallly like gingko nuts but the ones served was really good. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it was simply different from those you get in your chinese desserts. The torched fish was really good too, texture was soft.

The puffer fish was good too. I don’t think I have ever eaten puffer fish, and I am not sure whether they always taste this good, but really, it was good. It’s not the dry kind of fish and it as quite bounciness. I do hope whoever who dines at Shinji after reading this post gets to try it too!

One item which I am not so a fan of is the saba (mackeral). To begin with, I don’t really take mackeral because I heard it’s quite toxic (causing skin sensitivity), and I do not really fancy the taste as well. As for the tai (sea bream), ika (squid) and meji maguro (baby tuna), it was as fresh as it can be.

(L-R) katsuo, chutoro, otoro, iwashi, aji, hirame, uni, kurumaebi, akami maguro 

For otoro (fatty tuna) and chutoro (medium fatty tuna), it was heavenly, as usual. Different from those served at other restaurants, since Shinji sources their fish personally from tsukiji fish market.

As for the only gunkan sushi here, the uni (sea urchin), it was heaven once again.

For the iwashi (sardine), akami maguro (tuna), kurumaebi (tiger prawn) and flounder (hirame), and bonito (katsuo) they were simply perfect sushi. I enjoyed the aji (horse mackerel) much more than the saba (mackerel) sashimi.

(L-R) sake, turnip soup with tuna, anago, minced fatty tuna hand roll, tamago, musk melon and peach

We ordered sake ($65.00++) to go along as well. Unfortunately I didn’t take down the name of the sake. It was recommended by the waitress. Initially, the sake wasn’t that pleasant, but somehow midway through I grew to really enjoy it, and it works well to cleanse my palate for subsequent items. Chef Oshino was very sporting when we offered him sake. He would gladly accept the drink which was quite entertaining.

The anago (sea eel) was served two ways, one with glaze and on with sea salt. Both were good and I can’t decide which style I prefer.

The handroll was shaped into a cylinder instead of a cone and while I am not a fan of hand rolls, this was quite a joy as the tuna was good.

The tamago was a cold sweet custard and not the egg roll version and that marks the end of the sushi course.

For dessert, Japanese fruits were served and as usual the musk melon ended the meal in the sweetest way possible.

The standard of Shinji remains like how it was the first time I was here and so did the price. I would recommend this place if you are serious about your Japanese food!

For my previous post: https://hungryinsingapore.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/shinji-by-kanesaka-lunch/

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