Sushi Kimura, Palais Renaissance: Better Than Michelin-Starred Sushi Restaurants

 A funny incident occured at Sushi Kimura at Palais Renaissance. A server offered fukusa (Japanese cloth) as a placemat for my camera. I said, “It’s ok. I don’t need it.” And then Chef Tomoo Kimura said, “It’s to protect the table!” Not the camera! Hahaha. 

My friend whispered to me, “What’s so special about the table?”

“I guess it may be made from hinoki wood?”

She asked again, “What’s special about hinoki wood?

“I dunno but many high-end sushi-ya use it. It’s tradition.”

Kimura overheard our conversation and chimed in, “Yes, it’s hinoki, 150 years old.”

Sushi Kimura is helmed by Tomoo Kimura with more than 15 years of experience at top sushi restaurants in Tokyo and Singapore, including the one-Michelin-starred Ginza Sushi Ichi and Sushi Hashida. He serves Edo-mae styled sushi, priced at $120, $180, and $250 for lunch, and $280, $330, and $390 for dinner.

Here are some of the features used in ingredients:
-organic Fujisu vinegar from Miyazu city, Kyoto. To make it, they use five times more rice than other vinegars from a method called lio Jouzou.
organic soya sauce from Aritaya, Gunma prefecture.
-Tsuya-hime organic rice from a family farm in Yamagata prefecture.
-Shin nori cultivated in Ariake sea
-Hokkaido spring water to cook rice and other dishes (actually you can buy this in Meidi-ya).

Are you impressed yet?

We were there for lunch and took the $180+ set and my friend was blown away by the food. It began with an appetizer of fresh yuba (beancurd skin) with yuzu jelly, ikura, and a smidgeon of wasabi. Clean and bright. The chawanmushi is a trove of hairy crab with a dab of sour plum. “An unusual combination,” said the friendly Kimura. We agreed, unusual but delicate and delicious.

The sashimi course consists only 2 seafood, one of which is a conch shell variety, which is crunchy. My friend adored it, but it was pretty strange for me.

The fish is marinated in a sesame sauce and, by the side, a pumpkin mashed. The texture is slightly powdery for me, indicative of over-cooking. It’s safe to say their cooked food isn’t as consummate as the sushi.

Clockwise: Buri (adult yellowtail or hamachi), meichidai (sea bream), hirame (flounder), maguro zuke (marinated tuna)

Shari consists half of the sushi and what differentiates the shari here from elsewhere is that it’s warm, pillowy, and sweet, with imperceptible hints of vinegar. As such, it takes a backseat and accentuates the fish, educing the flavor of the fish.

The fish here is treated differently from other restaurants too: usually fish is limp which doesn’t require much chewing, but here the fish has fantastic, firm texture which we like.


There are, however, 2 or 3 pieces which are heavy-handed with wasabi or soy sauce or both, causing distraction from the umami of the fish. But the distraction passes as you chew more to get to the underlying flavour of the fish.

Chutoro, ebodai (butterfish), and sanma (Pacific saury)

That said, it is still an eye-opener. Never had I a better yellowtail full of bliss. This is also the first time I ate ebodai and sanma; the latter is umami af.

Signature bowl: 2 types of uni (North and South Hokkaido, with both male and female uni); ikura; negitoro (minced tuna); tamago

When I asked my friend how the meal was, she said, “This is so much better than Shinji. Given Shinji’s price, I’d rather eat Cold Storage sushi. But I’ll definitely bring my husband back here.”

I totally agree with my friend’s review. I have heard many good things about Sushi Kimura, and it doesn’t disappoint. I still like Ashino better, but Kimura is one of the better high-end sushi restaurants in Singapore, and, I think, better than the two sushi restaurants that receive Michelin stars.

We paid $470 for two persons

Sushi Kimura
390 Orchard Rd #01-07 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871
tel: +65 6734 3520
tue 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-10pm, W-Sun 12pm-3pm, 7pm-10pm. Closed Mon.

Food: 7/10
Price: 5.5/10
Service: 9/10
Space/decor: 7/10

You may be interested in…
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Sushi Murasaki, Millenia Walk: The ULTIMATE Beef Donburi
Sushi Mitsuya 鮨三矢, Tras St: Recommended by Japanese on Separate Occasions 
Southpaw Bar & Sushi, Jalan Besar: Cali-Styled Sushi Bar with Whiskey Pairing

Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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