The Place Positioning itself as an affordable restaurant for premium Japanese sushi and sashimi, Hakumai Sushi and Omakase is the brainchild of long-time Chef-Owner Gary Ng whom had previously worked at Singapore’s first sushi restaurant Nogawa. Unpretentious, the space at Hakumai is basic, with a sushi counter seating at the entrance, and additional tables at the back for the more private diners.
The restaurant, which has been opened since 2013, is located at the far back of International Plaza. The no-frills vibe of the restaurant is made more pronounced by being located just next to humble local coffee stands and modest economic rice stalls.
The Food While branding itself as affordable, Hakumai does not discount itself from being an authentic Japanese restaurant. With omakase starting from just S$78.80 for a 8 piece premium sushi set, this might just be amongst the most budget Japanese omakase you can find in Singapore. Yet a quick search online, you will see relatively positive reviews of the omakase meals at Hakumai.
Since I visited Hakumai during lunch hours, I was not really in the mood for omakase and went straight for the set meals. Picked the Sushi Soba Gozen (S$29.80) which consists of 5 pieces of assorted sushi, a 3-piece Salmon Mentai Maki, cold Green Tea Soba, Truffle Sauce Chawanmushi, Miso Soup and Fruits. Indeed, you do get quite alot of food at a rather reasonable price.
Quality wise, the assorted sushi are the entry cuts of fresh seafood including Salmon, Maguro and Ebi. The Salmon Mentai Maki was quite enjoyable, though the Truffle Sauce Chawanmushi and Soba came across rather ordinary – which may not be a bad thing frankly. Overall, the Sushi Soba set definitely tick the right boxes for being affordable, yet satisfying.
The Ranter went for the Sashimi Gozen (S$38.80), which is amongst the more premium sets here at Hakumai. The set includes 8 slices of sashimi, an assortment of tempura and Truffle Angel Hair Pasta, with Truffle Chawanmushi, Seafood Egg Miso Soup and Fruits completing the meal.
The tempura was unimpressive, though the pasta was appetising, with a good balance of truffle and the dried ebi giving the dish an extra bite and flavour to it.
Rants A quick introduction by the service staff or the chef on the different cuts of seafood served would be a good step to up the ante at Hakumai. While being a modest Japanese restaurant, it should not come across as budget and most definitely not a mass-market restaurant such as Sushi Tei or Sakae Sushi.
Will I Return Again? Hakumai ticks the right boxes when it comes to affordability and balancing it with quality. Head here if you are looking to satisfy your sushi cravings, yet not break the bank for it. I am keen to return to give its omakase a try too.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Hakumai Sushi and Omakase
10 Anson Road
#01-50A, International Plaza
Tel: +65 6224 4790
Monday to Saturday: 11:30am to 2pm; 6 to 9:30pm
Ranted by The Rantee