Divine Japanese

Divine Japanese

For Japanese cuisine that's the bee's knees.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

I normally hate edamame with violent vigour, but @nomiyasg have managed to turn said disgust into tolerance, and dare I say it, perhaps even an aloof appreciation. The togarashi (Japanese chili flakes) is the key, and pan frying is the catalyst that binds it all together.⠀

When the togarashi is sautéed together with the edamame, it crystallises into a scintillatingly salty & somewhat spicy lump. Some of the spicy sapidity gets leeched into the edamame, but the crystals that form are addictively crunchy, serving as a particularly loud flavour grenade that detonates in your mouth and leaves you shellshocked by just how stunningly sublime Japanese chili flakes can be when sautéed with a little TLC.⠀

As usual, down as much sake as you can with these peas. Thank me later.

It took all of, oh I dunno, two weeks before I was back at @nomiyasg. This time, we were going to conquer the menu and conquer it we did, along with two whole bottles of sake. Yes, my wallet’s still on fire, and my bank account has spontaneously collapsed into a black hole. Please stop asking.⠀

When it comes to appetisers at Nomiya, you’d be hard pressed to find a better choice than the Fugu Mirin Boshi ($12 before additional 10% service charge). It’s dried seasoned pufferfish, but it’s not lethal. It tastes a lot like the lot dried fish fillet jerky snacks we all loved as kids, albeit sweeter with a deeper, pleasantly fishy flavour. The texture, on the other hand, is reminiscent of bak kwa and has a thoroughly addictive bite & chew to it. It’s pure perfection to nibble on as you guzzle down the dizzying array of sakes on offer.⠀

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It took all of, oh I dunno, two weeks before I was back in Chinatown at @nomiyasg. This time, we were going to conquer the menu and conquer it we did, along with two whole bottles of sake. Yes, my wallet’s still on fire, and my bank account has spontaneously collapsed into a black hole. Please stop asking.⠀

You’d have to be absolutely mad to miss the small skewer selection that Nomiya grills on their compact charcoal grill. The king oyster mushroom ($4) and scallop ($9) are competitive choices for this category, with the juicy mushrooms stunningly seasoned & smoky from the binchotan grill. As for the scallops, they weren’t the largest, but they were definitely among the freshest shellfish in Chinatown. Seductively sweet, succulent & brilliantly bouncy, these magnificent mollusks were peak perfection just the way they are.

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@shoyakitorisushisg twenty percent discount for their premium bluefin tuna may be over, but they still dish out utterly unctuous Japanese fare such as this scintillating Sake Harasu Shioyaki Unagi Hitsumabushi. T’was quite the mouthful, just like this dish, which features binchotan grilled salmon belly & freshwater eel on a bed of that rice I’ve been raving about in previous reviews.⠀

For the uninitiated, hitsumabushi is eaten three different ways. First, you enjoy it in all of its naked glory, then after a few mouthfuls, you start piling on condiments. The final act in this three-parter is when you make the dashi stock in that there teapot rain on the remaining rice & unagi like I make it rain in the club. Just kidding lmao, I’m more broke than Lehman Brothers was in 2009. Please don’t tell anyone how I live.⠀

The salmon belly & unagi were brushed down with a titillating teriyaki glaze, and both were grilled to absolute perfection. The salmon belly retained its addictively fatty & moist characteristics, and it was snapped up in short order owing to it’s deliciousness. The unagi was definitely stole most of the limelight though, as the flaky insides made for a delectable contrast with the crisp crust that had formed around the exterior while getting grilled. The crust was unlike any other unagi I’ve ever eaten, as it was more akin to razor thin glass candy than the natural skin of the eel. Felicitous, flaky flesh encased in an almost shatteringly crisp crust? That’s epicurean ecstasy and you can’t prove me wrong.⠀

The additional condiments heighten the sumptuousness of the eel & salmon, which all gets dialled down to a mellow zen once you pour the dashi broth over the fish & rice combo. The deliciously light broth calms the mouthwatering medley down with its refreshingly clean, slightly salty subtlety, and warms your heart up in the way that only a sublime soup can.⠀

Sho, sho good, you gotta eat it to believe it. I appreciate the love, @shoyakitorisushisg!

📍 Sho Yakitori & Sushi⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
9 Raffles Boulevard⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
# 01-16/19 Millenia Walk⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
Singapore 039596⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
📞 +65 6333 1171⁣

For sashimi Sho good, it’s hard to beat @shoyakitorisushisg. They get all their sashimi fresh from Japan through the week, and the freshness speaks for itself. At $29.90, this Kaisen Chirashi Don is more expensive than most other places, but these top shelf ingredients are well worth the splurge.⠀

Thick slices of ocean fresh mekajiki (swordfish), ama ebi (sweet shrimp), salmon, tuna & salmon roe utterly bury the sublime sushi rice beneath the sheer volume of seafood. Each & every slice of seafood was amazingly fresh & flavourful, and the sweet shrimps were mildly crunchy & surprisingly springy. Once you’ve gotten through the fish & rice, the subtly sweet & splendidly spongy tamago (Japanese omelette) is there to wrap this delicious affair up.⠀

Oh and before I forget, I’ve been reliably informed that @shoyakitorisushisg has decided to extend their bluefin tuna promotion till the 16th of April due to popular demand! Yup, get 20% off their entire premium bluefin tuna range, so head on down before it’s all over!⠀

📍 Sho Yakitori & Sushi⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
9 Raffles Boulevard⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
# 01-16/19 Millenia Walk⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
Singapore 039596⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀
📞 +65 6333 1171⁣

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Fellas, don’t forget that tomorrow is the second last day that @shoyakitorisushisg offers 20% off their premium bluefin tuna range! Sho brings in humongous slabs of bluefin tuna on the regular, but they don’t hand out delectable discounts on it too often. Capitalise on it ladies & gents.⠀

For something even smaller yet more Instagrammable, the magnificent Mini Takara Don ($48.80++) is a diminutive box of five seafoods & diced avocado that have fallen into six orderly rows like a military precision drill squad. Ootoro (ultra fatty tuna), ikura, uni (sea urchin), akami (lean tuna), supremely sweet scallops, and creamy, luscious avocado are lined up and ready to march into your mouth & conquer your tastebuds. The orgasmic ootoro is as close to heaven on earth as you can get, but the akami is amazingly ambrosial too. Perfection in a box.

These are premium prices, but the ingredients & the quality within are absolutely topnotch. Thank you so much for having us, @shoyakitorisushisg!

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Fellas, don’t forget that today is the second last day that @shoyakitorisushisg offers 20% off their premium bluefin tuna range! Sho brings in humongous slabs of bluefin tuna on the regular, but they don’t hand out delectable discounts on it too often. Capitalise on it ladies & gents.⠀

Besides the massive chirashi bowl that is Tokyujo Toro Don, there are more petite options such as the pleasurably premium Tokyujo Chirashi Bakumori Don ($58.80++). Small in stature, but massive on luxury, this ricebowl sees stellar sushi rice getting smothered in cubes of salmon, scallop, swordfish (possibly, don’t quote me on this), ikura (salmon roe), uni, (sea urchin), and of course, chutoro (medium fatty) bluefin tuna.⠀

Now, I don’t quite believe that it’s chutoro because it’s so fantastically fatty! I mean, look at it, drink it in, that is sumptuous! Unintended possible upgrade aside, this small bowl punches way above its weight when it comes to pure satisfaction. The firm, fresh sashimi cubes are an utter delight to devour, and they’ll be gone in about sixty seconds.⠀

These are premium prices, but the ingredients & the quality within are absolutely topnotch. Thank you so much for having us, @shoyakitorisushisg!

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I promised a review soon, and I’m here to deliver today. Promises made, promises kept. Now, the crown jewel in @shoyakitorisushisg bluefin tuna selection is definitely the Tokujyo Toro Don at $48.80++. Sure, it’s a hell of a premium, but the premium ingredients within have earned that price tag fair & square.⠀

It’s a mega sashimi rice bowl, topped with negitoro (chopped tuna), akami (lean tuna), chutoro (medium fatty tuna), substantial scallops straight outta Hokkaido, ikura (salmon roe), and ten grams of uni (sea urchin). The tuna, as we’ve already established earlier, is about as ocean fresh as you can get without catching the tuna yourself. It’s slightly sweet & marvellously meaty, and it’s what makes up the meat of the satisfaction in this bowl. The chutoro is exceptionally fatty for the medium fat cut of tuna, and it’s exceptionally felicitous as a result.⠀

The scallops are rather gargantuan in size, and they are strikingly sweet thanks to their freshness & quality. The ikura are little mini grenades of juicy, briny deliciousness that explode in your mouth for a proper flavour fiesta. The uni can be rather polarising as it’s mildly briny & bitter, but I could certainly appreciate its creamy, smooth quality. Think of it as ocean butter, and you’re about there.⠀

The most underrated element in this bowl is definitely the rice. The chef that made this sushi rice is especially experienced in the art of rice, and it shows in the stunning quality of the rice in here. The sweetness from what might be the mirin & the sharpness from the rice vinegar are perfectly balanced as all things should be. It’s perfectly fluffy & moist, with just the right touch of starchiness to hold it all together. Perfection.⠀

I’d like to send a very heartfelt thank you to @shoyakitorisushisg for hosting us with such hospitality!⠀

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I don’t get to use #burpplebeyond often, so when anyone passes me the chance to use it imma grab at it. Onkei is one of the approximately SIX HUNDRED (bruuuhhh) restaurants that are in cahoots with @burpple Beyond, and it’s your typical Japanese katsu merchant.⠀

Fry ups are always nice, and @onkeitonkatsu is no exception. Sure, their tori (chicken) katsu is a little too greasy as the skin on the chicken fillet wasn’t cooked before getting coated in panko breadcrumbs, and the fat under it was still there. Aside from that, the chicken was superbly seasoned, and the crust was thin & deep fried to a beautiful brown colour. The pork katsu option fared slightly better despite being dry in spots.⠀

The Burpple Beyond set included a hefty fried prawn with your choice of chicken, pork, or fish katsu, and the prawns were acceptably fresh & deep fried to perfection. In addition to the surf & turf (or surf & surf if you pick the fish) main, a side dish of a duo of fried oysters & a pair karaage chicken pieces were generously thrown in with an endless supply of rice, shredded cabbage & tonjiru (a pork & veggie miso soup).⠀

For $39.90++ for this fabulous fry up affair, it’s a decent bargain. Normally a meal for two like this would set you back by at least sixty bucks, but with the magic of Burpple Beyond, you save a fair bit of moolah to spend on more alcohol. Now that’s what I call winning!

@gaijinsoulfood is a Japanese nondescript Japanese restaurant deep within King Albert Park mall. Their menu is loaded with cooked Japanese staples such as ricebowls, Japanese curries, ramen and udon. It’s a standard Japanese restaurant, not much different than the myriad of other Japanese restaurants in Singapore, which is why their signature Gaijin Tendon was a pleasant surprise.⠀

For $14.98 before GST, this was a tremendous tempura bowl. A chicken fillet, a thick slice of squid, a ponderous prawn, and some assorted vegetables were all coated in a crispy batter that threaded the fine line between thicc & too thick quite well. It was a little greasy though, but not revoltingly so, and I didn’t have much trouble polishing this bowl of fried felicitousness off.⠀

At fifteen bucks, this unassuming Japanese eatery has bested several tempura specialists that would’ve burnt your wallet to the tune of twenty to thirty bucks. Sometimes the gems aren’t hidden, you just gotta stop acting like a gaijin & explore what’s right in front of you.

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@kushiboysg is a brand new Japanese diner/watering hole at 134 Jalan Besar that’s all of two weeks old at time of writing. Their menu offerings are mundane, but the value is insane. Admittedly, this is a half sized bowl of unagi (freshwater eel) don that’s priced at $9.90, but the full sized bowl will set you back by...wait for it...a whopping $13.90. NETT. Yeah, it’s probably the cheapest unagi don around town, and it’s actually decently delicious.⠀

The adequately savoury & sweet teriyaki glaze envelopes the half fillet of freshwater eel, and the simple yet savoury unagi shares the bowl space with an explosive onsen egg & some rice. That’s it, but that’s all the nourishing nutrition you need to accompany your ten buck pint of Kirin or Asahi. I would’ve liked to see the chef season the rice or do something creative with it, like steaming the short grain rice with some sour plums for a little extra oomph, but that’s another thought for another time.

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I was certainly not planning on reviewing @sushirosingapore tempura items, but the minute I bit into the shrimp tempura, I knew I had to review it. As for the shrimp I’d already bitten into, it was destroyed in seconds. Gone, reduced to atoms.⠀

Normally at casual sushi restaurants, the quality of their tempura selection tends to range from barely acceptable to somewhat passable. However, Sushiro’s tempura is pretty topnotch stuff. The quartet of tempura shrimp is one of the most expensive items on the menu at $4.80++, but it’s actually quite a steal considering just how delightful it was.⠀

The passably fresh & firm shrimp, which possess a slight yet sure sweetness, is encased in an ethereally light tempura batter which is gently deep fried to a pale straw yellow colour. The prawns are competently cooked, and the light batter has managed to abstain from soaking up too much frying oil. Sure, I do wish that the prawns were salted better, but that’s nothing that a zippy dippy into some soy sauce can’t fix right up.⠀

As for the pumpkin tempura ($3.50++ per plate), it might just be one of the best pumpkin fryups I’ve ever had the good fortune of savouring. The exact same tempura batter forms a tastefully thin coating on the pumpkin, which is stupendously sweet & utterly unctuous. Unfortunately for this tempura, the orange veg acts as a sponge for the oil, which results in the pumpkin tempura absorbing considerably more oil than its shrimp brethren.⠀

It isn’t actually too bad, and I only started feeling a little too greasy after polishing off the second piece of pumpkin. Swigs of hot green tea between slices of pumpkin are absolutely essential to rinse down the grease, but its still a positively palatable pumpkin fry.⠀

Tl;dr: have a taste or ten of Sushiro’s tremendous tempura, and you’ll have no regrets in life. Guaranteed.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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