Mandarin Gallery near Orchard Road station
After visiting Shinji so many times, it’s time for me to move on to other prominent restaurant. Hashida Sushi is definitely a heavyweight in edomae sushi. Having its first restaurant opened near Tsukiji Market by his dad in Tokyo, Kenjiro Hashida decided to open an overseas branch in Singapore a few months back. With 20 years of sushi making experience under his belt, it is no wonder that the sushi here is almost impeccable and exciting. His resume could all be found from the official site and knowing that he’s also a celebrity chef in Japan, I knew that I need to visit his restaurant and am glad I did so. Had the Ayame lunch set which costs $120 and there were some excitements at some point.
Starter was edamame cake with edamame beans, salmon roe, wasabi and yuzu. The edamame cake was really soft, almost like a pudding and I think it’s texture is a little rough as it is from edamame. The wasabi makes this starter a bit refreshing actually.
Grilled eel chawanmushi with soy milk skin. Really smooth chawanmushi there and the eel was soft, well cooked and not dry at all. Maybe it’s the way it should be, but I thought it may be just slightly bland. If it could be just slightly more heavy tasting, I would really love this chawanmushi. Of course, it is still very different from the usual ones that we have from chain restaurants that are usually sweet and filled with crabmeat and chicken. This is more refreshing and light I thought and I love it.
Then the sushi course kicks off with suzuki japanese sea bass. Really fresh fish and thick meat. The sushi here I realised is slightly different from Shinji. While Shinji chooses species that melt in your mouth easily, Hashida’s felt a little more firm and springy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still really fresh and delicious and isn’t tough at all. I believe this is so as it may be a different kind of fish altogether. The fish slices here are also quite thick and substantial.
I find this name weird. It is called cumberjack. Very fresh again definitely and has that slight springy texture too which I like. The freshness somehow stays in your mouth a little longer when its slightly springy.White shrimp sushi with smoked salt. Salt was from spain. To be honest, its really my first time having sushi with salt instead of shoyu. The salt actually made this sushi very heavenly. Shrimp was very fresh and the salt added a salty fragrance to it. A very fresh way of making sushi to me. When I commented that I really loved this seemingly just delicious sushi, the chef was really happy.
Penshell sushi. The penshell was slightly seared and gave it a slightly smoked fragrance. It wasn’t burnt at all and the shellfish still retains its springiness and softness. It’s springy and soft at the same time. Thus, it allows you to savour the freshness a little longer.
Fresh uni with salmon roe and wasabi on top of sushi rice. This is really fresh and a very traditional Japanese dish. I am not a bit fan of salmon roe as I find them really salty when they burst but I could still accept this with the wasabi. The wasabi doesn’t stink your nose at all as it is freshly grated. It’s my first time seeing the chef grate the wasabi in front of me. The sea urchin was very buttery, creamy and had a peculiar taste. Think I am one who prefer my uni with fishes as well but this one is still a very good bowl of traditional uni rice!
The last sushi is really a winner. It was supposed to be a chuttoro but chef was so nice to mash up otoro and put it as a stuffing for me. This basically was chuttoro overload and decadence. There were three layers in it actually and if you realise you can barely see the rice base except for 3 grains. It is that much chuttoro. The top bit is a thick slab of chuttoro, underneath it is that pinky slice of fatter chuttoro (found near the chuttoro and ottoro) and the final layer at the bottom is mashed ottoro. I think he’s trying to model the actual anatomy of the fish. As it was so thick, this piece of excellent sushi stayed in my mouth for quite a while and really you could feel them melting away quickly and it was so good. I just wish I could have a second piece of that. Really beautiful sushi there.
Dessert was another winner! The right I thought was just red bean paste but actually has dark chocolate in it. Felt like I was eating an okashi from a Japanese sweet shop. Really lovely and reminded me of those nicely packaged souvenirs that you always get from Tokyo. The macaroon came as the biggest surprise I thought. It may look less appealing than those from Laduree but it’s actually as good in its own right. The biscuit was soft and chewy and not too sweet at all while the filling was a little chocolatey and after a few seconds, you could actually taste black pepper. Yes, indeed, it is black pepper macaroon. I was very delightedly surprised as I have never had such macaroons before. Am quite impressed with the chefs interpretation of macaroons. So yummy and I told him kanpeki which means perfect. So good! Excellent! Superb! Everyone sang praises of his dessert after they had it.
Hashida Sushi is really another wonderful sushi hang out place. Saw another pair having the Omakase menu and it looks really good as well. Of course, I made a comparison with Shinji and I thought Shinji as a whole is just 0.5 notch higher than that of Hashida. Shinji is stilled ranked number one in my heart but Hashida Sushi is definitely a competitor for Shinji and ranks closely behind Shinji. If I were to be pedantic, I would think that Shinji is still better in his rice as his rice is served lukewarm while its just room temperature at Hashida. Also, you will be served 13 pieces of sushi at a similar price.
But of course, this restaurant is still excellent in my opinion and you will not be disappointed in the quality of the fishes. I am glad that they chose different fish as that allows them to distinguish themselves from Shinji. And the breed of the fish here is definitely more springy than that of Shinji. Two contrasting restaurants indeed. I like the fact that all the chefs here are from Japan. I also really applaud the chef’s creativity in creating such a decadent chuttoro sushi. It literally is chuttoro burger. And I especially like his take in his desserts, very exciting, interesting and most importantly memorable.
Verdict: An excellent restaurant (Must go and revisit!)