Food Review: Sushi Sei At Holiday Inn Singapore City Centre | Sushi Kaiseki Dining Experience By Kaiseki Master Chef
The Place Tucked away at level one of Holiday Inn Singapore City Centre in Orchard is a newly opened Japanese Omakase restaurant, Sushi Sei. It is an intimate size Japanese setting with a counter seating which can accommodate ten diners, so there is close interaction with the chef. There is also a small private room which can accommodate six diners. The minimalist looking Sushi Sei is helmed by Master Chef Saitoh from Sapporo, Hokkaido.
The Food Ingredients are specially flown in from Toyosu Market in Tokyo and Hokkaido several times a week, where the Omakase Sushi Kaiseki Dinner Courses are priced at S$400, S$500 and S$600, comprising of up to six appetiser dishes followed by nigiri (sushi), dessert and freshly whisked matcha (green tea) to conclude the meal.
Lunch courses are available from S$200, with a different set of menus. At the time of launch, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with just one seating per session. In celebration of Sushi Sei’s opening, the restaurant is offering a 30% discount for all Citibank and UOB cardholders.
For context, the S$600 dinner menu includes 6 dishes of appetisers, 10 pieces of nigiri, dessert with matcha.
The first appetiser I had is a bowl of Hokkaido cod milt, Uni, caviar, ponzu jelly, gold leaf and abalone. Love the freshness of each ingredient here, especially the creamy milt along with the Uni.
The second appetiser is a series of small dishes on a plate – there is a small bowl of Blue squid and bonito; Smoked duck: thinly sliced Octopus; Mackerel nigiri rolled with kombu; White radish; Flounder rolled with kombu; and the centre of the plate of a Hokkaido cream cheese topped with black beans. My favourites are the fishes rolled with kombu, which gives the fish a nice layered flavour. Leave the freshly made cheese cube to the last, which has the strongest flavour of it all.
Next up is a clear bonito-based soup course, with ingredients like Kinki fish, hairy crab, mushroom and yuzu peel.
For the sashimi course, I had four types of sashimi, which comes in two pieces each – Hirame (flounder), Shima Aji (horse mackerel), Tai fish (sea bream) and Chutoro (fatty tuna).
Next up is a bowl of Unagi and Eggplant course, topped with Uni.
The last appetiser is the Miyazaki A5 Wagyu beef with tomato, wafu sauce along with wasabi.
On to one of the main highlights of the meal for the Nigiri act. Chef Saitoh makes a sushi rice blend of Koshihikari rice from Niigata Prefecture and from Hokkaido, one which he updates each year after tasting and curating the new season’s rice; and seasoned with red vinegar, wasanbon sugar and salt. Here are some of the Nigiri sushi I had:
Baby Sea Bream
A satisfying, highly fatty tuna with ultra-soft texture.
One of my favourite type of fish for Nigiri, this is topped with caviar with bits of yuzu zest with a tinge of citrusy notes.
Hokkaido (Hamanaka) Bafun Uni
A luscious and fresh texture and flavour along wrapped in a fresh and crisp seaweed.
Negitoro & Ikura
Miso soup before dessert.
For dessert, I had a plate of seasonal fruits, followed by a cup of freshly whisked matcha.
Rants Prices for dinner are relatively steep as compared to most other Japanese omakase restaurants in Singapore.
Will I Return Again? Given the location and price tag, Sushi Sei is not one restaurant you will stumble upon, but a destination dining in order for it to be successful. The menu offerings are on the pricier range, though you can expect quality ingredients in the courses such as Uni, Wagyu Beef, Caviar and Otoro. That said, the restaurant does need a more representative signature dish on its menu in order for it to stand out amongst the steep dining competition in Singapore.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
11 Cavenagh Road
#01-13/14, Holiday Inn Singapore, City Centre
Wednesday & Sunday: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 9:30pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 6pm to 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays
Ranted by The Ranter