$40-$60

Ginza Yoshihiro, Marina Mandarin: Oden Like a Dream 

ginza-yoshihiro-singapore-reviewHailing from Tokyo with 30 years of history as a family restaurant, Ginza Yoshihiro at Marina Mandarin is helmed by Chef Hisayuki Nishioka, the younger son of the chef in Tokyo. Ingredients are imported from Japan 4 times a week.

ginza-yoshihiro-marina-mandarin
Seaweed & Monkfish Liver

Compared to other Japanese restaurants, Ginza Yoshihiro offers relatively affordable set meals for its location: set lunch starting from $32 to $88, and dinner from $38 to $88.

ginza-yoshihiro-oden-restaurant-singaporeNot only is it affordable, it is also very delicious. The best thing here is the oden, or Japanese yong tau foo. The soup is very very light, almost bland, and people who like oily, salty, heavy food will not like this. But when I drank it, it was like a dream, like I was transported to Japan. It is ineffable; it has become a feeling of Japan-ness, a cultural affect, not a taste anymore.

ginza-yoshihiro-oden-restaurant-marina-mandarinThe chef very smartly started us with a light tasting course and gradually graduating to heavier one: first, a simple tomato, then seafood, and finally beef and sardines. The ingredients, all imported from Japan, in the soup are delicious as they soak up the soup. The ball of sardines is a savory kind of fishy. The strip of wagyu beef is soft and guilt-free as a cloud. The kurobuta is faultless. And the tau pok absorbs all the essence of the soup, sweet like a darling. But the seafood, crab and tempura prawn, could be fresher .

ginza-yoshihiro-sgI saw the couple sitting next to us eating only sushi and sashimi, and I thought it’s such a waste, as if going to Ali Baba’s cave and taking a copper coin.

ginza-yoshihiro-singapore-menuThe sushi here is not bad, warm vinegary rice and thick blankets of fish, but it needs to be bolder on wasabi. Orgasmic sushi seeks a balance of wasabi and soy sauce, but the sushi here is somewhat dependant on the richness of ingredients.

ginza-yoshihiro-sgRightly so, at Ginza Yoshihiro, oden is the star, and sushi plays a supporting but important role. But I fear that most patrons, like the couple next to me, may be uneducated about oden and opt for the sushi. It would be a shame to spurn such sublime oden.

Ginza Yoshihiro
6 Raffles Boulevard #04-600 Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore 039594
T: +65 6734 8842
11.30am-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm
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Food: 8/10
Decor/Ambience: 6/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: NA (tasting)
Overall: 3.583/5

Written by 

This is an invited tasting. Thanks Darrelle and Michael. 

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