Have been wanting to visit Sushi Hashida for a long time but I eat out everyday, spending lots of money, and I can’t just bear to part with $300 on one meal without a special occasion. Hashida Garo is to Sushi Hashida as Miu Miu to Prada. Garo offers a less expensive sneak preview of what Sushi has to offer.
Naturally, there are major differences between the siblings: Sushi serves traditional omakase whereas Garo focuses on desserts (about $6-$10), and attempts to combine art with food. Abstract paintings don the walls, a space in the centre of the room for tea ceremony. Sushi and Garo are different but same same, in that we get a sense of the chef’s prowess–a delicate, soft touch.
The most expensive set lunch, beef set, goes for $90. Our eyes automatically censored that set. It’s like the sun, looking at it hurt our eyes.
Tip: Normally in Japanese restaurants, they would provide a lunch set with chawanmushi and other sides. Garo’s lunch menu is a little strange, some sets come with sides, and some don’t. For example, the buta kakuni (pork belly $29) has sides but not the unagi ($27.90), although they are similarly priced. It’s best to study the menu description.
Although the pork belly set gives more bang for your buck, both pork belly and unagi have a lightness that is suitable for a hot day. The pillowy unagi has a texture close to cotton candy, so soft as it bends around the chopsticks, dissolving in the mouth. Despite being pork belly–it’s not their fault they are fat–it comes across as refreshing and refined, not greasy and heavy. Fat can be elegant too, you know.
The set also comes with desserts and tea. (A cup of tea here costs $5-$10 if you order a la carte.) Fu manjyu ($4 a la carte) is a mochi stuffed with white bean paste, lightly tinged with yuzu, steamed in a piece of fresh bamboo leaf. Lovely end to the meal.
We left puzzled why the restaurant was empty. Sure, it’s priced slightly higher than elsewhere, but the standard of the food, the service, and the tranquility of the space compensate for the price. But then again, if this restaurant gets crowded, it will lose the charm of zen that I so adore.
We paid $67 for two persons.
333A Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Road #04-16, SINGAPORE 238897
T: +65 6235 2283
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.