PUBLISHED April 6th, 2021 06:00 am | UPDATED April 16th, 2021 01:06 pm
The wonderful thing about the Japanese dining scene in Singapore is that there are places for all occasions. For your everyday sushi fix, budget joints are a dime a dozen; for the splurge-worthy moments, you can count on a star-studded cast restaurants to serve up nothing less than a culinary symphony in nine courses or so. This list is definitely dedicated to the latter – if you’re planning to be pampered with omakase menus, here’s where to go for the finest seasonal creations in Singapore.
Sleekly dressed in marble tiles and elm accents, dining at Takayama is a treat for all the senses. Gorgeous interiors aside, there are also mesmerising sights, sounds, and aromas from the skillful work of Executive Chef Taro Takayama and his team right before you. Drawing on his long experience as Master Chef at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore and various three-star Michelin restaurants, Chef Takayama curates Osaka-inspired lunch (S$150++) and dinner (S$280++) omakase menus with fresh ingredients that promise epicurean bliss. Expect downright decadent creations such as the Foie Gras Monaka – a crisp wafer shell filled with foie gras ice-cream – and Steamed Japanese Abalone served with truffle.
Takayama is located at 6A Shenton Way, #01-09/10 OUE Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815, p. +65 6224 0864. Open Mon 6.30pm–10pm, Tues-Sat 12pm–2.30pm and 6.30pm–10pm. Closed Sun.
Fukui is hardly a blip on most of our Japan travel radars, but it should be – this coastal prefecture teems with fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan and pure spring water that translates into extraordinary sake. Bringing us the best of Fukui is an eponymous omakase concept on Mohamed Sultan Road, helmed by Head Chef Nick Pa’an. Starting from S$88 for a six-course lunch to S$338 for thirteen courses of pure indulgence, the creations here pack plenty of culinary curveballs – unagi garnished with popped rice, uni tempura, and even negitoro playfully served in a rice ball. Check out our review here.
Fukui is located at 25 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 238969, p. +65 6509 0909. Open Mon-Sat 12pm–3pm and 6pm–10.30pm. Closed Sun.
Awash in ethereal light and pale wood tones, Esora is our idea of dining zen. The first Japanese concept by The Lo & Behold Group, this kappo-style 26-seater serves up seasonal menus centred around Chef Shigeru Koizumi’s love for nature (S$338++ for an 8-course dinner). The lineup is ever-changing, but you can be sure plenty of seasonal whimsy will be involved – sashimi presented against a backdrop of autumn foliage, tarts delicately shaped like chestnuts, and more. While you might expect sake pairings, Esora raises the bar with a unique flight of hand-blended teas to complement each dish. Check out our review here.
Esora is located at 15 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238964, p. +65 6365 1266. Open Wed 6pm–10.30pm, Thurs 12pm–10.30pm, FRi-Sun 5pm–10.30pm. Closed Mon & Tues.
You might know Fat Cow for their well-marbled wagyu, but this Japanese steakhouse does some exquisite nigiri too. Ring in springtime with their Haru Matsuri Chef’s Table Omakase (from S$120++) starring a lineup of seasonal dishes from creamy hotaru ika to sweet, rich botan ebi. Available for lunch and dinner from 1 April to 30 June, the curation comes paired with one spring-inspired Roku Gin cocktail.
Craving something meatier? The Wagyu Omakase (S$250++) beefs up your epicurean experience with a handpicked selection of wagyu cuts across six Japanese prefectures. Available only for dinner at 7.30pm, you can expect treats like A4 Ohmi Wagyu sukiyaki, spiced up with fun conversations with their chefs about meat. Check out our review here.
Fat Cow is located at 1 Orchard Blvd, #01-01/02 Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649, p. +65 6735 0308. Open Tues-Sun 12pm–3pm and 6pm–10.30pm. Closed Mon.
Dining at chef Kenjiro Hashida’s latest Amoy Street space begins with a feast for the eyes: a sandō-inspired pathway that eases your way into the restaurant, a ceiling undulating to mimic nebulous clouds, and sleek Hiba wood countertops. Your palate, of course, can also expect a feast with his imaginative courses, beginning from S$120++ for an omakase lunch and S$350++ for dinner. Whether it’s snapper dusted with gin salt, sakura ebi tofu turned into tempura, or potato salad like you’ve never tasted before, surprises are par for the course here. Check out our review here.
Hashida Singapore is located at 77 Amoy Street, Singapore 069896, p. +65 8129 5336. Open Tues 7pm–10.30pm, Wed-Sun 12pm–3pm and 7pm–10.30pm. Closed Mon.
The Orientalist House
Omakase crossed with private dining adds up to an intimate experience like no other at The Orientalist House. Helmed by F&B veteran Michel Lu, this private kitchen is set in a Geylang landed home, and showcases both gourmet experiences and pan-Asian craft expressions from The Orientalist Spirits. Crafted by chef-in-residence Reiko Yoshikawa, the current 9-Course Private Dining Experience (S$138 per pax) stars seasonal produce flown in from her personal contacts at Toyosu and Tsukiji markets. The cuisine leans toward homestyle while lacking nothing in elegance – unagi simply graced with yuzu salt, ebi wrapped in fresh tofu skin, and more.
The Orientalist House is located at 2 Lor 36 Geylang, Singapore 398137, p. +65 9061 9636. Open Tues-Sun 5pm–10.30pm by appointment only. Closed Sun & Mon.
Swoon-worthy Japanese nosh at wallet-friendly prices – Sushi Jin is one of the rare breed of restaurants aiming to achieve both. An Omakase Lunch menu at this Les Amis Group restaurant starts from just S$80, and involves sushi, sashimi, and cooked dishes crafted around produce fresh-flown from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market. Think bluefin tuna belly that melts over the tongue, crisp tempura laced with hints of truffle, and nigiri piled decadently high with foie gras, uni, and caviar. Check out our review here.
Sushi Jin is located at 1 Farrer Park Station Rd, #01-11/12 Owen Link, Singapore 217562, +65 6443 3378. Open daily 12pm–2.30pm and 6.30pm–10.30pm.
There’s no mistaking Masaaki even from afar – its pink wallpapers dancing with cranes and ceiling billowing with waves of washi sheets are quite the eye-catcher. In the open kitchen, a traditional okudo or stone charcoal hearth takes pride of place, over which chef-owner Masaaki Sakashita (formerly at Hashida Sushi) sears seafood with a deft hand. The sushi is undoubtedly a highlight here, with gems like straw-smoked Spanish mackerel laid over fluffy rice marinated with aged red vinegar. A six-course lunch begins from S$120++, while a nine-course dinner can go up to S$380++. Check out our review here.
Masaaki is located at #B1-17 South Beach Avenue, 26 Beach Road, Singapore 189768, +65 6388 1555. Open Tues-Sun 12pm–2.30pm and 6pm–10.30pm. Closed Mon.
Behind the hinoki wood counter of his intimate restaurant, Head Chef Ryosuke Harada lavishes meticulous effort on his omakase offerings – from creamy dollops of uni to time-intensive cooked gems like stewed tuna tendon and fish liver pate. While you’ll find hearty Bara Chirashi (S$50) and sushi sets for lunch, omakase is the only way to go for dinner, with three selections ranging from Umi (S$130) to Shoju (S$300) which showcase Mitsuya’s signature creations. There’s a well-curated list of small-batch sakes to pair, including a couple of junmai daiginjos exclusive to Sushi Mitsuya.
Sushi Mitsuya is located at 60 Tras St, Singapore 078999, p. +65 6438 2608. Open Mon-Sat 12pm–3pm and 6pm–11pm. Closed Sun.
Mikuni translates to “three kingdoms” in Japanese – a fitting name for a sprawling 150-seat Japanese restaurant that doesn’t stop at just amazing sushi. The sizeable menu is separated into three categories, headed by a a trio of veteran chefs determined to redefine traditional Japanese flavours with global experiences.
The Sushi & Sashimi station sees Chef de Cuisine Masa Nakao showcasing the beautiful freshness of his Jou Sashimi (a selection of four seasonal sashimi) while seasoned chef Eric Yong sizzles up seasonal seafood from the Teppanyaki counter with riveting showmanship. From the Robatayaki section, how does some smoky Kurobuta Pork Belly, King Prawn, or Kabocha Pumpkin fresh from the charcoal grill sound? For maximum indulgence, there’s currently the March Omakase Menu (S$208++), which sees seven delectable courses of sashimi and grilled meats.
Mikuni is located at Level 3, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560, p. +65 6431 6156. Open Mon-Sat 12pm–2.30pm and 6pm–10.30pm. Closed Sun.
A veteran heavyweight in our Japanese fine dining scene, Shiraishi at The Ritz-Carlton is all about Edomae sushi done right. The catch here is flown in from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji Fish Market each week, plopping fresh and juicy onto their fluffy rice beds. Their Sushi-Kaiseki options start from a wallet-friendly S$150 for seven courses and go up to S$270 for eight courses of premium delights, including lusciously seared wagyu beef. If you’re in the mood for full-on feasting, there’s an open-price Chef’s Recommendation menu tailored to your tastes by Head Chef Shiraishi Shinji.
Shiraishi is located at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue, #03-01/02, Singapore 039799, p. +65 6338 3788. Open daily 12pm–2.30pm and 6pm–10.30pm.
Top Image: Takayama