Once in a while I like to take leave from work, make a lunch reservation at a nice swanky restaurant and slowly savour my wonderful & peaceful lunch – no need to rush back to office, no noisy diners bitching agitatedly about what happened at work (sometimes even with their mouths full) and no need to frantically wave your hands to attract attention of the ever busy servers.
Today we visited Shinji by Kanesaka at Raffles Hotel (they recently opened another outlet at OUE Tower). They were ranked at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (#32, 2013) and is the outpost of one Michelin-starred original (Sushi Kanesaka) in Ginza, Tokyo.
The decor was the typical Japanese zen-liked theme with seats at the sushi counter. We ordered the Omakase Special Yume 夢 and selected a Michizakari sake to go with our meal.
Appetizer of Baby Scallops was served, they were really fresh and chewy. Next was Shima Aji, Shiro ebi (Small white shrimps) served together with long spikes Sea Urchin from Hokkaido. The sea urchin was rich, creamy and without much of the briny taste.
After finishing the Sashimi, we were served Assorted cooked dishes. As it was start of Autumn in Japan, we were served a dish decorated with the maple leaves that had turned red. Shellfish, Steamed Octopus and Fried River Crab (from Kyushu) served with Ginkgo nuts. I was totally captivated and attracted by the cute tiny crab and almost couldn’t bear to eat it – I left it to the last, only eating the crunchy crab after enjoying the chewy shellfish and octopus. The chef saw me amazed by the kawaii crab then brought out a bowl of live crabs to show me…although seeing the live crab species made me felt a bit guilty about eating their counterpart…Anyway this was a testament to how fresh their ingredients were~ Next was Japanese spinach with chrysanthemum and fried sakura shrimp. This time round there wasn’t any live shrimp tank shown to me.
After the light vegetable dish, we were served Smoked Toro with onion sauce, we saw Chef passed the freshly sliced toro over to the kitchen staff to be slightly smoked before they served it to us upon pouring over the onion sauce. The toro was fresh, chewy and firm. The last cooked dish was Grilled Sardine, the char-grilled sardine was simply served with a dash of lemon and salt but it tasted excellent. I didn’t included the next dish as a ‘cooked dish’ cos it was to be eaten raw – Corn and Tomato. We watched the chef skillfully skinned the tomato, placed it on the plate before adding a piece of sweet corn and presenting it to us. Lo and behold – it was the freshest, crunchiest, sweetest au natural corn I had ever eaten. The tomato was equally good. Now I can totally understand why tourists to Hokkaido even visit the market to buy sweet corns back…
Nigiris followed: Sawara (Spanish mackerel), Chutoro, Otoro, Aji (Horse mackerel), Marinated Tuna, short spikes Uni, Ikura with rice, Japanese Tiger Prawn, Miso Soup and lastly Anago (salt-water eel).
For Maki we had Chopped Toro with Japanese Leek before reaching the pre-dessert with Japanese Radish and Egg Custard. Complete with a grand finale of the wonderfully sweet Japanese Fruits of Honeydew and Pear.
I was pretty impressed with the cooked dishes at Shinji, the fishes used for the nigiri sushis were very fresh however I felt that the variety was slightly lacking as they used a lot of tunas.
Overall it was a great dining experience and I had a fabulous meal.
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