It’s hard to find The Flying Squirrel, which is tucked in a back alley. We were lucky, we were just wandering about, couldn’t decide what to eat, and stumbled upon the restaurant. There was a certain welcoming glow when we stepped in, like we entered someone’s cozy home. And immediately, we knew we had to stay for dinner.
The restaurant is a very narrow strip of room–too claustrophobic for my liking–decorated in an industrial chic manner, just the way we hipsters like it. The service was friendly and comfortable, like old friends.
We sat at the bar and chatted with the sushi chef, Mr Kannu, who used to work in a defunct sushi restaurant, Inagiku, at Fairmont hotel. The restaurant is opened by local music duo, Jack and Rai, who have been performing for 15 years, and Jack’s wife, Angelina Leong. If I’m not wrong, she was the pretty, Korean-looking manager in charge of the restaurant too.
For starters, we had oysters ($36) and truffled ebi fry ($15). The five pieces of ebi fry didn’t have a strong truffle taste, which was too bad because the description on menu sounded awesome. I thought 5 pieces were too many; maybe there could be an option of 3 for $6, which would be more reasonably priced. The six oysters could be cheaper too although they were huge and quite delicious with garnish, accompanied by lime and yuzu ponzu sauce. But it was cleaned too well that we didn’t taste the sea in them.
For mains, the MUST-ORDER chirashi ($23, above) was exceptional and value-for-money. It had scallop, sweet prawn, tamago (egg), tuna, salmon, swordfish and a big piece of white eel. The end result was something orgasmic, with all different flavors mixing together.
The fusion foie gras aglio oglio ($29, above) was not the best decision I have made: it came in stir-fried ramen noodle, which honestly reminded me of instant noodles. But the smoked duck had a great balance, not too salty, and complemented the foie gras very well. While the combination–ramen, foie gras, smoked duck–worked beautifully, I wonder if it was overpriced because I was still hungry after finishing it.
So I told Mr. Kannu to hit me with three of his best sushi. (You have to order at least 3 sushi or sashimi). He presented toro sushi (tuna belly, $12, ouch), salmon belly sushi ($2), and amaebi sushi (sweet prawn, $3.90). The tori and salmon belly came in aburi form (seared with a flame). The real way of eating sushi is that you don’t have to dip any sauce or add any wasabi and as respect to Mr. Kannu, I ate the sushi as he served it without dipping. I usually don’t like aburi sushi (because I believe you shouldn’t burn good meat) and I never had a good prawn sushi before. But wow, all three were fantastic. The sweetness from the vinegary rice counterpoised with the freshness of the seafood. The sushi was one of the best sushi I have since I came back from Japan a year ago.
Including drinks, we paid $137 for two, a tad expensive, although we fall in love with this hole-in-the-wall. This back alley sushi enclave is like indie music to all the major blockbuster food corporations. Everything here was done right and the food ranged from good to delicious. Next time we come, we’ll just attack the chirashi and sushi, they are of better value and of great quality.
The Flying Squirrel
92 Amoy St
T: 6226 2203
Rating: 3.688/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.