Ginza Yoshihiro Omakase at Marina Mandarin Singapore
Every established hotel needs a decent Japanese restaurant and Ginza Yoshihiro from Tokyo Japan has taken over the defunct not-so-swell outpost of Sushi Dai (also from Tokyo) at Marina Mandarin Singapore. With over 30 years of history, Ginza Yoshihiro provides authentic Japanese cuisine in both gozen (from $32) and omakase (from $128) format, featuring selected seafood in season. Head chef Hisayuki Nishioka aka "Bob-San" helms the Singapore outlet and he was previously head sushi chef at Hide Yamamoto (Marina Bay Sands).
Other than the sushi and sashimi (fish flown in from Tsukiji thrice weekly), oden is also a specialty here. Dinner at Ginza was a surprise as I was simply told by Chef that I would be well fed. Looking at the succession of dishes that follow, you can be sure that this was an extension of their most extensive Botan set ($188).
Appetizer of the crunchy Mozuku seaweed from Kyushu served with a palate lifting white vinegar. Plus a firm piece of Monkfish liver which was a tad fishy for me.
Next, a Kurobuta pork shabu with daikon in the light oden broth. The well simmered daikon had soaked up all the goodness in the soup (which is flavored with the sweetness of the Momotaro tomatoes) and disintegrated in bites. Can't fault the meat for sure. There's also the wagyu version!
And a whole boiled Momotaro was served after! Got my vitamin C in with this juicy fruit! This is a signature dish and I can absolutely comprehend while digging into the translucent jelly center.
Our sashimi platter of Kinmedai (Chiba), Hirame (Aomori Flounder), Otoro, Kanpachi (Chiba), Aji (Kagoshima).
Next, the Spanish horse makerel which was accompanied with a ginger and spring onion paste to take away the strong fishy flavor.
We quickly progressed on to the Yakimono course (hot plates), and this Grilled Otoro looked more like grilled pork belly with the layers of fats! Super smooth (super oily) and it's au natural.
Then to add some crunch, a huge shrimp tempura from Mie, served with matcha salt. I'm not a huge fan of big prawns as they easily dry out. This was ok however but the batter was a little thick for me. That said, the crunch factor is 100, even after my shoot and snaps and fooling around with my Stupidgirl.
And these amazingly crunchy, sweet and tangy Amela tomato from Shizuoka. It's like a fruit! For real. And so damn good.
Another oden, this time a succulent crab leg from Hokkaido. I typically have the meat cold but this hot version did not take away any of that sweetness.
Finally sushi! Bob San was head sushi chef at Hide but he focused on preparing the oden that night. Our Sushi Chef Ng Kam Kuan treated us to great cuts of fish that were perfectly balanced in terms of the seasoning and cut. My only qualm is that the rice balls were a little loose and I was fearful that it would disintegrate when I pick up my sushi.
Shirame with yuzu peel from Aomori.
Kinmedai is my new favorite fish with great flavors and firm bite.
Then we had Engawa, the buttery Aburi fin side meat of the Hirame. Oh that char.
An endomae type sushi is the Chutoro marinated in soy. It really brings out the umami in the fish and it was supper soft and buttery. That said, i do prefer the fresh one.
I've finally determined my preference for fatty tuna. I was quite certain it was Chutoro (medium fatty tuna belly) but now i'm super clear. So... It's Chutoro sashimi, and Otoro sushi. I don't like my sashimi to be too oily on its own.
That said, when Otoro is served with the warm sushi rice, some of the rendered fats from the warmth of the sushi rice gives the rice more flavor and it's absolutely delicious.
Uni is always a highlight and this Bafun Uni sushi was super umami.
I was surprised at the Sardine ball which wasn't too fishy and quite comforting on the tummy after all that food!
Negitoro Temaki! Love the amount of spring onions in this one and that light fragrance from the sesame. Love this one. Super smooth minced tuna.
The greedy us requested for more specials and Chef Ng served us this Chutoro with Uni! Unbelievable. Chef Ng promised to call me again after he improves the tempura Uni dish that we tried. I think all that is needed is more uni to give it the creamy texture.
Ended the meal with fresh fruits. Japanese grapes, persimmons, and melon are the best!
There is also a Tomi, Sake and Soju Bar at Ginza Yoshihiro and the drinks are directly imported from Japan. Bar bites are made by Bob-san to pair with the cocktails as well.
6 Raffles Boulevard #04-600, Singapore 039594
Marina Mandarin Hotel
Tel: +65 6734-8842
Daily: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6 - 10pm
Bar: Mon - Thu (4.30pm - 1am), Fri - Sun (4.30pm - 2am)