Sushi Ichi – Moved to Marriott Hotel with modern contrasting zen colours

Sushi Ichi

Marriott Hotel near Orchard MRT

IMG_6765The second time here, this time a treat from V who just turned permanent. Having had a pretty good impression of Sushi Ichi few years back despite having Shinji as my favourite still (it may be time to pay Ashino a visit soon already), and since V has already been to the supposed Shinji treat (due to her impatience to wait for me to complete my sudden OT month), we settled for Ichi. Moved to their newly renovated nest at Marriott Tang’s Hotel from the empty upmarket Scott’s plaza for a mere 10 months, Ichi has been given a fresh breath of liveliness as shown by its sleeker design, with ornaments that are coated with strong contrasting zen colours, that has proven to be much more attractive than its blander colours in their previous premise.

IMG_6763Served by the funny Chef Yukinori, just like the first visit, I was however lucky this time to witness the use of that huge block of smouldering charcoal to give those slabs of fatty tuna belly a beautiful torch. Very interesting culinary technique that is instagram worthy at the same time.

IMG_6760Not wanting to make my recently turned perm friend go broke, I of course got the cheapest lunch set that includes 8 nigiri, wobbly and smooth chawanmushi, uni rice, appetiser and dessert. This octopus appetiser tasted light, elegant as both the springy poached octopus meat and seaweed complemented each other greatly while that gooseberry over there was the sweetest that I have ever come across (yes, they are usually always sour).

IMG_6766Featuring some sushi that have been beautifully compressed, this is the slithery white shrimp topping, that doesn’t give you the goosebumps with its natural sweetness.

IMG_6768Huge fat scallop that has blanketed that mash of sushi rice below it.

IMG_6769And the luscious slab of fish sushi.

IMG_6770This small bowl of uni rice, made into a gem with its petite sizing. Lovely creaminess that these uni has together with the popping ikura that gives the saltiness needed.

IMG_6772Ending off the entire colder sushi course, is the warm, yuzu fragranted anago sushi!

IMG_6773Was amazed previously and still as amazed by how delicious a brown sugar sorbet could be. Dense, lightly sweet, cut through beautifully by the intensely sweet and sour sour plum shreds. Huge contrast and a perfect ending to the meal! Oh yes, and I also have been to the main branch in Japan (Ginza Sushi Ichi).

Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.2/5

 

 

Tsukiji Sushi Dai – from the famous Sushi Dai in Tokyo tsukiji market

Tsukiji Sushi Dai

Marina Mandarin Hotel

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If you are a big fan of Tokyo, you must have heard of and been to Dai or Daiwa Sushi restaurant in Tsukiji fish market. You can never miss it as they’re the only two restaurants that constantly have a ridiculous queue! While the fishmongers are still striving to get the best auction in the wee hours, two queues would start to form up outside Dai and Daiwa sushi restaurant. By 7am, Dai would have an approximate 3 hour queue while the queue at Daiwa (helmed by the son) is much bearable – an hour long.

DSC_0489The queue does proceed fast though as it generally functions like the mrt, you get in order your food, finish once you are done and out you go from the other exit. And so, Dai has now opened a more upmarket branch in Singapore which joins the rank of Shinji, Ichi and Hashida. Expectedly, the prices at Tsukiji Sushi Dai is also at a more premium price, whereby it’s cheapest lunch set starts from $70 as compared to the $40 lunch we had at Japan (More premium cuts like Ottoro and uni were served there).

DSC_1114A whole set of sake glasses to choose from for the ojichan sitting beside us.

Tsukiji daiAs usual, the skeptical me and Q ordered the cheapest Hana set for $70 that comes with a starter, 8 nigiri, maki and dessert. Clockwise: Flounder with salt and yuzu, Snapper, Aji horse mackeral, forgot what is the last one though. They were fresh indubitably, but the fish did taste much less flavourful that those at Shinji and Ichi.

DSC_1111Starters: Vinegar marinated radish, swee potato, yam and simmered tuna. It wasn’t too memorable as the sweet potato did not exuberate the intense sweetness that I expected it to have.

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Some of the more interesting sushi I had, the akagai shell fish which has a good springy texture.

DSC_1125The amaebi (sweet prawn) one looked crystal clear and tasted quite sweet as well.

DSC_1134Really like the texture of the ikura over here. I usually would cringe at this as the salmon roes I have are usually very salty. Surprisingly, this wasn’t at all and quite palatable.

DSC_1129Love this presentation over here with the chuttoro emitting an aura. But, my biggest favourite was actually the sweet omelette with nori in it. Has a superb texture and is very delicious. The chuttoro though was again, not as well marbled.

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DSC_1141And finally the akagai maki which was very interestingly made I felt. Very good knife skill over there and the maki consists of arkagai, mint leaves and cucumber. Looks pretty scrumptious doesn’t it. It has a pretty good texture and is different from the usual negitoro that I have for maki.

DSC_1142And finally, dessert was pumpkin pudding that had the consistency of a cheesecake. Pretty good but the crust somehow had a bitter taste.

So yeah, after having my palates destroyed by Shinji (been there 4 times already), I have learnt to go to such edo mae sushi places with a lower expectation. I was quite hopeful initially when I saw warm shari (sushi rice) being served, but the fish is the most important after all. The key to a successful sushi really lies in the source of your fish. This did not disappoint but I doubt I will be back again. The ones over here are really not as delicious as Shinji while the appetisers were also on the bland side. After having been to four of these places, Shinji and Ichi clearly top my sushi chart while Hashida follows closely behind and Tsukiji Dai pretty much has to play catch up. And with it’s sushi priced so close to Shinji and Ichi, it definitely needs to step up its game. Well, it’s still a very fun and relaxing lunch as we chatted with the chirpy chef (He was amazed that we knew some Japanese colloquial words). Service is definitely very polite as well over here.

Verdict: An above average restaurant.