Eat At Seven
Suntec City North Wing, next to the Sky Garden (Just follow the signs and you wouldn’t get lost in the convoluted mall)
As excited as the chefs and owners are, this may be one of the most exhilarating collaboration that you could ever get in the Japanese food industry in Singapore. One of the first when three premium Japanese restaurant brands are all sheltered under one roof; it definitely is a smart move to discern themselves from the seemingly saturated Japanese market over here.
Don’t be fooled by the less inviting English name of this conglomerate, as housed within are three authentic restaurant brands, all hailing from trustworthy Japan.
1. Maguro Donya Miura Misaki Kou Sushi & Dining (First overseas venture to Sg)
Apart from the fact that it perhaps has one of the longest and hardest Japanese name to a restaurant (Even slightly Japanese conversant me inevitably fumbles over this super long name), everything, from the import of its maguro to its sashimi slicing and fish grilling, is spot on over here. Unlike many other Japanese restaurants in Sg, Maguro Donya flies in the whole Blue fin maguro, that weighes more than any of us, freshly by their collaboration carrier ANA. Priced at about $50 000, I guess this is only possible for the super successful Maguro-Donya that has a fleet of fishing trawlers under its command, not mentioning the sprawling number of restaurants it owns in densely populated Tokyo, Yokohama.
Exceeding the already elevated expectation, the Three cuts of Hon Maguro Sashimi ($38) would give you a smashing experience at such competitive prices. Finally, the gap between the top of top restaurants (eg, Shinji) and the upper middle could be filled by Maguro Donya! My main focus was on both the favourite chuttoro and ottoro apart from the Akami – which were excellently spot on. With a well-marbled texture, it tasted especially memorable when the ottoro actually has a slight natural sweetness to it. 美味い！
Turning those wonderful sashimi into sushi, you could again get the three cuts / three pieces at $28. Not abounding with rice, the sushi chef has skilfully struck a delicate balance between the thickness of its maguro cut and the amount of rice encapsulated underneath it.
Lets take a break from the raw, as this shimmering Grilled Maguro Kama (Cheek) was glistening like a gem. Beautifully coated with its own melted lipids, the cheeks tasted super moist and well-penetrated by its own fragrant fats. So much meat for just $34.
Doing its best to muscle against the most valuable lunch set, the Hon Maguro Megumi Trio lunch may be the hardest to beat by far! Served in three different preparation techniques, you would get the Akami sashimi, Chutoro Steak and Kama Yakimono all in a set! $49 till Oct 2015.
2. Nikunohi (First and only Overseas branch in Sg outside Japan, flying beef in from Kagoshima)
Alert for beef lovers – You know it already, how serious Nikunohi is in their beef when you see a diagram like this together with its imports from Kagoshima! No wonder the long queues it gets in Tokyo.
The premium rare plate (150g, $48) should be the more highly recommended platter which showcases three choices of beef parts. It was I think the tri-tip, rump and eye of knuckle that were served here, together with an extra plate of highly marbled Japanese Wagyu Sirloin (100g, $42.50).
So tender, soft and naturally fragrant these medium slices are that you really don’t need any dipping sauce to tuck them in. But of course, if you would like, the sesame, chilli and specially concocted salt at the side would also pair beautifully with these beef slices.
Apart from the grilled beef, Nikunohi also has an Italian chef that serves a range of tapas, some of which are made with beef entrails.
3. Nigiro Cafe (Where Tokyo’s best Caesar Salad is)
Just like a good welcoming Japanese cafe, Nigiro Cafe has an interior that looks modern, sleek yet not any hipster-ish at all, which I adore greatly. Bound to give you a relaxing time, with tables spaced comfortably apart from each other, the smart looking service crew will definitely deliver a more polished experience to you. An interesting note; try spelling its name backwards.
Fusion is the theme of this restaurant, that aims to intertwine seamlessly the elements of Japanese and Italian cooking. The young talented chef behind this restaurant has competed on Iron Chef at the age of 26. And also has its signatures rolled out for the cafe – Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad (touted as the best in a Japanese biweekly Magazine), Eggs Benedict and Deux Fromage Cake.
Boy oh boy, what a night hopping around three different restaurants at Eat at Seven! Emerging as my favourites – the Maguro Donya and Nikunohi restaurants were flawless in their own right and very value for money (what smashing prices do they have!), they have stepped up the game for the Japanese food Industry in Singapore. With this recent addition to the newly revamped Suntec Mall, dining there feels surreally, like a day out in Shibuya.
Special thanks to Xing Yu for the stellar night out!