Thursday, March 15, 2012
RESTAURANT: Shinji by Kanesaka
In some ways, Shinji by Kanesaka is the eponymous fine-dining restaurant in Singapore. Want stupidly good ingredients? Fly them in from Tokyo every day. Want a 2 starred chef to open a place? Fly him in. Just make sure it's all shiok because these locals are a picky lot.
While it may be located in the upmarket Raffles Hotel, you walk in an Shinji transports you to a small omakase den in Japan. You sit at the bench with a dozen or so other people in front of one of the sushi chefs and order one of the set menus. Of course, you have to go for the ultimate: the omakase shin menu. $450 just for food. Countless tastes and some fairly exotic stuff.
I was expecting a somewhat subdued and respectable feel to the place, but everyone is having fun, shouting across the room, drinking sake with the sushi chef.
The parade begins. Amazing, pristine sushi. One after the other. First sashimi, then nigiri.
Different cuts of the best tuna I've ever had in my life, including fatty tuna that just melts in the mouth. Two different types of sea urchin, arc shell clam, hairy crab, mackeral, lobster, codfish liver (insane. Similar to foie gras), abalone, prawns, insane blue prawn roe, sea eel, on and on and on.
One dish was just ridiculous. Earlier, chef served two types of sea urchin, from different coasts of Japan, and asked which I preferred. Here, he brings back my favourite, mixes it with rice, tops with tuna (I think) minced with daikon and tops that with salmon roe. Borderline tears.
It all concludes with a big wedge of the stupidly expensive Japanese musk melon. Similar to a honeydew, but impossibly ripe and juicy.
A tremendously memorable and enjoyable experience. Staggeringly good seafood. I'll be sure to return if I come back to Singapore.
Around $600 with sake.
Shinji by Kanesaka
L2, Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road