Intricate Japanese treats are available at Shinzo
The Japanese omakase-style meal seems to be gaining a strong foothold in Singapore, with more restaurants offering the meal on its menus.
Omakase loosely translates to ‘I leave it to you’, which means you leave your meal choices entirely up to the chef. Shinzo on Carpenter Street is almost a year old and it serves omakase meals almost exclusively under the eye of Chef Lawrence Chia, who honed his skills in Japan for many years.
The only seating available at Shinzo are bar seats in front of the open kitchen. The chefs often join your conversations here and there to encourage interaction between diners and the staff. It also helps that you see how the food is made.
When I was there, my spring omakase meal ($88) began with a small Snow Crab Salad with shiso leaves and citrus. However, I preferred the Sashimi Horse Mackerel with onion celery sauce more. The fresh taste of the sashimi makes this dish a good opening starter.
But the most impressive dish was the slightly bony Grilled Sweetfish with foie gras stuffed inside. You may not think that fish and foie gras go together, but they do! The creaminess of the foie gras complemented the meaty fish quite well. There are quite a few small bones in this fish, though.
One of the seasonal items available was the Fried Japanese brinjal in sesame paste. The short and slightly stubby Japanese brinjal was sliced in a criss-cross fashion before being deep fried and slathered in sesame paste. This was my favourite because the fragrant sesame paste on mushy brinjal was phenomenal.
The meal ended with a decadent plate of fine sushi. The meal comprised different sushi such as otoro (tuna belly), amberjack, flying fish, sea eel, and sea urchin. The chef advised us to start with the otoro first as its flavours are the most delicate. Dessert was simply two Kyoho grapes and yuzu sorbet. A great end to the meal indeed!
Note that menu items may vary.
Shinzo, 17 Carpenter Street, #01-01, Singapore 059906, Tel: 6438 2921
By Cheryl Chia