The Place Raffles Holland Village probably doesn’t ring a bell to some, but this compact mall in the heart of Holland Village does offer some good dining options such as Otto’s Deli Fresh and the few weeks’ old SENS Restaurant located at the basement. The 42-seater restaurant is in fact located within TASTE at Raffles Holland Village, a supermarket which carries fresh meat, wines and cheeses. The setting of the restaurant is casual and unpretentious, packed even on weekday nights.
The Food Expect a good selection of sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, sukiyaki, tempura, yakitori and tonkatsu dishes, along with a wide selection of Japanese craft beers, sake and wines. We were impressed and surprised that there are more than one hundred items on the menu, staying true to the name SENS which means flavours.
We started with one of my favourite Japanese cuisine, the Sashimi Moriawase Mix – 7 Kinds (S$78.80), a seasonal platter which typically consists of salmon belly, hamachi, tai, tuna and otoro. Great for sharing, this platter was a promising start in showcasing the freshness of the ingredients at SENS.
The Kurobuta Rosu Katsu (S$17.50) is easily one of my favourite dishes here. The deep fried breaded pork loin has the right amount of fat and is very tender, such that I find it good on its own even without dipping the meat in the sauce. The other surprising fact is that the chef doesn’t use Japanese Kurobuta, but Kurobuta from the US which was equally delicious.
If you have always loved Teppanyaki, go for the Sirloin Beef Teppan (S$18) which comes with thin slices of beef, served with Saikoro Sauce.
The Niniku Chahan (S$8), or garlic fried rice, is a simple dish but hard to perfect. This bowl of Niniku Chahan was aromatic and delicious – although we wouldn’t mind if they were to up the intensity of the garlic.
One of the best dishes we had here, albeit pricey, is the Wagyu Tataki (S$68.80). Served with Yuzu ponzu sauce, the ultra tender Miyazaki beef is seared with little seasoning but it is actually the best way to appreciate the full marbled flavour of the Wagyu. Out of so many different breeds of Japanese wagyu, Miyazaki Wagyu beef is easily my top favourite.
The Salmon Mentai Aburi (S$18.80) is good for sharing. Some sushi makis tend to fall apart very easily but this version has a really good texture.
Rants The open setting of SENS means that you have to be prepared for stares from the people shopping in the supermarket as you take your next bite.
Will I Return Again? For the quality, SENS is a pretty good and affordable casual Japanese restaurant in town, and I will say a much preferred option over the other Japanese chain restaurants in Singapore. For now at least, it remains a relatively hidden gem in this corner of Singapore.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
118 Holland Ave
#B1-12/13, Raffles Holland V
Tel: +65 6262 5618
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 11pm
Ranted by The Ranter