The famous and delicious Sushi Ichi has been around in Singapore for quite a while but this is my first time paying it a visit. Considering that I’m a sushi/kaiseki fanatic, I am really quite slow. It is located on the 2nd floor of newly refurbished Scotts Sqaure and this is a pristine mall that I like a lot. Not only does it look plush, it is also not crowded at all.
The outside of Sushi Ichi really looks exactly like those high end Japanese restaurants in Japan, just a small board with its kanji name nicely calligraphed on it. It aims to serve premium sushi with a mix of Kyoto Kaiseki dishes. I love Kaiseki and I love Sushi, so when both could be eaten in a single seating, I am really satisfied. Needless to say, since they are comparable to the famous Shinji, Sushi Ichi also serves edo mae style sushi. We got the Tsubaki set lunch that has two assorted dishes with 8 sushi and dessert.
And a delicious, super soft chawanmushi was served to us. There is crab meat in this dish which is really fresh while the broth is fragrant and lightly savoury. Very delicious pre starter again. I haven’t had such soft chawanmushi before.
Then the first amazing assorted dish was served. I was ‘umai-ing’ all the way when I was finishing this plate. Start from the glass of soup and end with the tamago. The glass of soup like thing has a broad bean in it with some mango cubes and the broth tasted sour which really stimulates your tastebuds. Very appetising indeed. Then round the plate anticlockwise, we have the really soft fried crab, very Q octopus, lady finger, fresh sea bass, prawns and tamago. There is also a slice of genuinely sweet sweet potato hiding behind the leaf. The magical thing about this plate – it doesn’t require loads of condiments as that will mask the naturally sweet and fresh flavour. That’s a really high level of Japanese cooking I felt. Very delicious and beautiful plate indeed.
And the next assorted dish is this slightly fusion cooked food. There’s pan fried duck and lightly fried fish with a fluffy batter, both served on top of a lightly grilled Japanese tomato. While the duck is heavier in tasting, the fish together with the refreshing chopped condiments on top of it is lighter. The fish, as described by the chef, can only be eaten around this period and we must be lucky to get it. The duck has a pinkish hue which is so inviting and has an intense hoisin-like sauce on top of it. Delicious.
Shima Aji. Another mackerel species which is so good. Very fresh, fish with a great texture. Rice and fish was of the right portion and tasted perfect. There was another clam fish sushi that was so good as well but I forgot to take a photo as we were busy chatting with a lady sitting next to us. Shall wait for G to send me that photo before I place it up here. That shellfish was super delicious, very crunchy with a springy consistency.
This bowl of rice felt like a good small bowl of chirashi for me. Wasabi doesn’t sting your nose and the salmon roe makes the rice more creamy. Very delicious when eaten together with the succulent fish.
Said to be anago but I think I may have heard wrongly. Nevertheless, this is another artpiece. The skin was lightly torched I think (though I didn’t see them flaming it as I was too busy chatting) while the inside is still raw. Very delicious!
Instead of the usual negitoro (chopped tuna), the chef uses sea eel as one of its fillings (right row). They also make use of this interesting fruit kanpyo as fillings for the maki on the left hand side. It was crunchy and delicious.
We got the yuzu sorbet and red bean ice cream for dessert. Just like Shinji, the dessert over here isn’t strong and felt pretty OK. The red bean ice cream though was pretty good with lots of red bean chunks in it.
Yeah, it was full when we started off the meal, but we were the last to leave as we had a really lovely long chat with the sweet lady beside us. We were sharing loads of things, from food to life and she’s equally a foodie like me. We have so many restaurants in common that we have been to and our preferences are pretty much similar. A great day indeed to have made a friend over a sushi meal whom we will keep in contact with. And yes we also had a great banter with the sushi chef as I shared with him my eats in Tokyo and the places that we have been to. Again, like all Japanese chefs do, he sent us out to the door and bowed to us when we left! Excellent service with excellent food, what more can I ask for! Comparing Hashida, Shinji and Sushi Ichi, I would say that Sushi Ichi and Shinji are pretty much on par and this is an alternative sushi place for me to go to in future!
Psst… All OCBC card holders out there, this is a great opportunity to visit Sushi Ichi as they have a 15% discount for you guys. I was happy that I used it to pay for this meal and only have to pay $110 per person.
Also, this shall be a restaurant (official site) that I will visit when I am in Tokyo end of this year as it is actually much cheaper in Tokyo.
Verdict: An excellent restaurant