Food Review: JinHonten At Shaw Centre, Orchard Road | Les Amis Group’s New Omakase Restaurant Concept 

The Place Located at Shaw Centre, I checked out the newly opened omakase restaurant Jinhonten, the latest addition by the team behind Wagyu Jin, Jinjo, Tenjin and Sushi Jin, under the Les Amis Group. Helmed by Head Chef Issey Araki, alongside Executive Chef Makoto Saito, it is an intimate setting with just 10 counter seats and 3 private rooms for between 6 to 8 diners (two of the VIP rooms can be combined into one bigger space). The interior is quite minimalist in design, with wooden finishings and exudes Japanese zen vibes. 

The Food There is only one prix-fixe menu each for lunch and dinner (S$180++ for 8-course lunch and S$450++ for 10-course dinner), where ingredients like seafood are procured from the markets in Toyosu, Hokkaido and Kyushu. Formerly from KYUU by Shunsui, Shun x Sakemaru and later, his eponymous restaurant Araki, Head Chef Issey has his experience at kaiseiki and kappo restaurants which he puts into his menu at Jinhonten. 

I had the 10-course dinner menu and started with Appetiser, a gorgeous display of Murasaki Uni and Tairagai (Japanese Pen Shell) from Hokkaido. It is topped with Kristal caviar and served on a homemade egg-yolk sauce, where the freshness of the ingredients is evident. 

The next course is a Steam dish, also one of chef’s signature dishes – Kuro Awabi. Also know as black abalone, you get an abalone dashi made with black abalone from Yamaguchi, konbu and sake, with no salt or sugar added along with steamed sliced black abalone with abalone liver sauce fortified with uni. The abalone is steamed for 4 hours, and topped with some wasabi. I personally prefer to have it without the wasabi which masks the good flavour of the abalone liver sauce. 

A Handroll Nodogoro “Benihitomi” is up next, where you get Grilled Nodoguro, or blackthroat sea perch grilled over the binchotan with sushi rice and homemade diced narazuke (pickled winter melon in sake and mirin) wrapped in a la minute-toasted nori sheet topped with freshly-grated wasabi.  

Sashimi is up next, where I had the Menuke (Pacific Sea Perch) served with salted kombu. It is probably my first time having this rare fish. 

As the dinner progresses, it is not hard to notice that each course showcases different style of preparation, with the next being Shabu Shabu. I had the Kinki fish from Hokkaido, which is filleted and flash poached in a broth made with the kinki fish bones and served with pumpkin somen.  

For the Deep-Fried course, the Managatsuo (Silver pomfret) from Yamaguchi is wrapped in spring roll skin and deep-fried to a golden-brown texture. It is served with fruit tomato sauce and topped with Kristal Caviar. 

The next course is a Refreshment dish before the main course, Japanese eggplant.

The Charcoal Grilled course is my favourite dish from the dinner menu as it features the acclaimed Hida Beef. It is a sirloin cut grilled over binchotan and served with rice salt from Hiroshima, where the beef is succulent and very flavourful. 

The last savoury course is a Donabe dish which features Kekani – Hokkaido Hairy crab rice with pickled cucumber, served with a homemade hairy crab ‘mayonnaise’ and spicy pickled mustard leaves. 

For Dessert, it is simplicity at its best where I had the Musk Melon from Shizuoka.

In terms of beverage options, the sake options include premium selections like La Isojiman (Yamadanishiki 18%) from Shizuoka, Tatenokawa Komyo (Dewasansan 1%) from Yamagata, as well as Niizawa Junmai Daijginjo Yamaguchi Akira (Kuranohana 7%) from Miyagi. 

Rants With only one menu option for dinner, the price for a dinner meal here is quite hefty. 

Will I Return Again? This is not an omakase to come for if you are looking for a sushi omakase experience. Personally, it leans towards a more kappo-style for me since the courses showcase a variety of preparation techniques. The lunch menu definitely offers more value if you want to experience an omakase meal at Jinhonten.

This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.

TheRantingPanda says:
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5

Jinhonten 
1 Scotts Road 
#01-11 Shaw Centre 
Singapore 288208 
Tel: +65 9635 0973 

Opening Hours 
Monday to Sunday: 12pm to 3pm (last seating at 1pm); 6:30pm to 11pm (last seating at 8:30pm) 

Ranted by The Ranter 

About theRantingPanda (1883 Articles)
of blacks and whites and everything else | singapore | food reviews, lifestyle & travel

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