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District Sushi has it hard in the hunger games. There’s at least two other Japanese eateries that do sushi and sashimi within Sunshine Plaza alone, and there’s God knows how many other sashimi restaurants within a five hundred meter radius. And we’re not even gonna mention the glut of Japanese eateries all around Singapore that specialize in chirashi dons, just like District Sushi.

However, District Sushi is nothing if not determined. It has survived in its minimalistic little shop space for a couple of years now and still continues to bowl out chirashi dons such as this bowl of salmon belly chirashi don ($16 nett). The most expensive item on their menu sits exactly at the $20 line, which does make District very competitive in terms of price. But what about the quality?

I’m glad you asked. The quality of the sashimi overlaid on the steamed rice was simply stellar, and the quantity of sashimi was downright delightful. While there were only three different kinds of sashimi within (salmon belly, octopus and a solitary sweet prawn), there were so many slices of each kind lavishly splayed all around the top.

The slices of thick cut salmon belly were supremely satisfying, while the thin slices of octopus brought a delightful chew and crunch to the textures in the bowl, and the lone prawn was subtly sweet and remarkably fresh.

Unfortunately, the rice within was a disaster. It was shockingly sour due to an unwelcome excess of vinegar within the rice, and the rice was lumpy and tough to break down. For the first time in history, I refused to finish the rice in a chirashi don and left a good lot of it untouched, instead focusing on the sublime sashimi.

The sashimi was definitely District’s saving grace. That, and their surprisingly mellow miso soup. The miso soup had an abundance of cooked salmon bits within, and was actually a delight to drink. Nicely salty, and with the right flavor combination to get your salivary glands raring and ready to go for the main course.

The service at District Sushi is fast, polite but slightly sketchy. The waitress was friendly and efficient, the food came out in short order, but she completely forgot our order of mentaiko scallops until my dad and I realized that something was conspicuously absent from our table towards the end of our meal. To her credit, she promptly put in the order and offered her sincere apologies for that spot of forgetfulness. No harm done, really.

While District Sushi certainly ain’t gonna be triumphant in the hunger games anytime soon, they’re not going down without a good fight.

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