Food Review: Ginza Yoshihiro | Tokyo based Japanese restaurant first foray at Marina Mandarin Singapore
The Place Another fine Japanese restaurant opened in Singapore recently at Marina Mandarin Hotel. Ginza Yoshihiro hails from Tokyo, Japan with more than 30 years of history, specialising in Oden and Tendon. The Singapore venture is run by the son of the founder, Head Chef Hisayuki Nishioka, who used to be the sushi chef at Hide Yamamoto in Marina Bay Sands. I was fortunate to have a first glimpse of Ginza Yoshihiro on its grand opening day, where there was a tuna cutting procession to mark its opening.
I dont’t know about you, but this mega sight of chunks of tuna was orgasmic for me. Don’t doubt it, I had a few fresh slices of the Chutoro and Otoro, oishii!
The size of the restaurant is small and cosy, mainly split into the Shochu and Whisky bar area, a private dining room and a main dining area overlooking the Chef’s counter.
Ginza Yoshihiro Singapore aims to combine fine Japanese sake and wine with their cuisine, so be spoilt for choice here if you love Japanese alcohol.
The Food I had the Kikyou Omakase ($158), a seven course set made up of assorted appetisers, 5 kinds of sashimi, signature oden, yakimono, Kurobuta shabu, seasonal nigiri sushi and dessert. Other than the omakase sets, the a la carte menu has a concise selection such as Baba Chirashi Don set ($32), Maguro Don set ($42), Tempura Gozen ($45) and Oden Gozen ($38).
The assorted appetisers were quite exotic, with the likes of Salmon Head cartilage and squid liver. I would assume this is seasonal hopefully, as it is not my favourite kind of omakase appetisers.
With an assortment of Tai, Chutoro, Himare and Hamachi, there was nothing to complain about the fresh sashimi.
I was surprised to see tomato for the signature Oden as I was expecting radish or something akin to tofu. I’m beginning to appreciate tomato better, especially if it’s simmered in soup like this oden, making the tomato even juicer and tastier.
The Yakimono for our course was grilled fish, which was decently done.
For some reason we didn’t have the Kurobuta Shabu, which I didn’t mind since it was substituted with sushi! The sushi was definitely better than the yakimono. The sushi rice was firm, and the portion was generous. Out of the Chutoro, Hirame, Tai and Uni, my favourite ones were the creamy Uni and fatty Chutoro.
Most omakase meals end off with Japanese fruits. I used to look forward to having Japanese ice-cream after the multi-course meal but nowadays I’m surprised I find Japanese fruits equally enticing. The grapes and Melon we had were so juicy, just the kind of cleansing I needed at the end of the meal.
Rants If you are planning to order the omakase, it may be good to find out what’s the seasonal or assorted items, especially if you are a fussy eater like me. Else, be adventurous and let the chef decide.
Will I Return Again? The sushi and sashimi seemed to surpass the rest of the dishes I had for the omakase. I might return to try the a la carte menu such as the Baba Chirashi Don or Tempura Gozen. But with the relatively hefty price tag, it takes deep pockets to make this a regular dining affair.
Make your reservation instantly at Ginza Yoshihiro here.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Marina Mandarin Hotel
6 Raffles Boulevard #04-600
Tel: +65 6734 8842
Daily: 11.30 – 2.30pm, 6 – 10pm
Ranted by the Ranter