Life can be unfair. Whilst many chefs and restaurants struggle to earn one coveted Michelin Star, some chefs like Joel Robuchon and Shinji Kanesaka each received Michelin stars for two restaurants in Singapore at one go. In the case of the latter, both the Shinji by Kanesaka sushi restaurants at St Regis Hotel and Raffles Hotel received the one star recognition in the 2016 Singapore Michelin Guide. They are regarded to be the best sushi restaurants in Singapore. I was fortunate enough to be invited for a omakase dinner at Shinji by Kanesaka Raffles Hotel recently.
Shinji by Kanesaka Raffles Hotel is done up like a typical sushi restaurant in Japan. Simple light wood finish all round. We were seated at a long counter that accommodates about 16 customers. The photos on the Shinji website seem to suggest that there is a smaller private dining room, but I did not see it. It could be located at the other side of the entrance.
Here are pictures of the Shinji by Kanesaka menus for lunch and dinner. The dinner menus range from $220 to $450. Our dinner that day was a complimentary dinner which the UOB bank extends to some of their customers. We were told that it was a customised dinner course which is quite similar to the $300 Omakase Wa course. Essentially a five-part dinner with sashimi, cooked dishes and sushi as the main events.
Dinner kicked off with an appetiser – chopped radish with mushrooms.
The sashimi part of dinner started with some seared tuna topped with slices of yam.
The yellow jack sashimi – beautifully translucent.
Sea urchin and squid sashimi – the sea urchin was the best item of the evening. It was pure luxury to eat these blobs of gold. Where does the sweetness come from in a sea creature?
Barracuda sashimi, slightly seared.
Another highlight of the night – baby tuna sashimi. More tender than the adult ones. No fibrous textures. Just juicy and rich. Eaten with a soy sauce mixed with ginger.
A cooked food dish – mountain potato and yam from Kyoto and steamed king crab and sea urchin. This signalled the end of the sashimi part of dinner.
A palate cleanser of chopped mango before the start of the sushi items.
Several courses of sushi followed. Mostly different types of fishes including tuna and mackerel, ending with the prawn and sea eel items. Each with different colours and textures. All wonderful. The best one was again, the sea urchin item. Sweet and rich and an amazing complex taste.
The flow of sushi finally stopped. Each item on the menu was small, but they all added up to make up a substantial meal. It was actually quite a heavy dinner. Next were pickles and a nice bowl of clam soup. The seafood taste was moderate but very pure. I forgot to take a picture at the start. Here is a picture of the clams at the end.
The omakase dinner at Shinji by Kanesaka Raffles Hotel ended with some amazingly sweet musk melon and some less sweet persimmon. Apart from the high quality of food, being seated at the counter with the experienced chef right in front of us made it a superb experience to eat at this wonderful restaurant. He watched the pace of our eating, and prepared the next items so that there was no overload and yet ensured no gap in the momentum of eating.
Overall Rating: 5 TOPs
Shinji by Kanesaka すし道 真次
Raffles Hotel #02-20
1 Beach Road
(via Seah Street lobby)
Lunch: 12pm to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm
Closed on Sundays
Telephone: +65 6338 6131