Mizuki Japanese restaurant on the 5th storey of Ngee Ann City has a smart concept: they have two counters, one for sushi and the other for tempura. In effect, they can share a kitchen (and cut costs) to produce appetisers and desserts. Customers can sit at the tempura bar or the sushi bar but they can order from both. It’s a specialised restaurant in tempura or sushi but it’s also a general restaurant to get both tempura and sushi. What a smart concept.
Because of their bifocal concept, we visited it twice on consecutive days until the waitress on my second visit recognised me and said, “Mochi for desserts again?”
For sushi, their lunch sets are priced at $48, $80, $180, and $250; dinner starts from $180 with increments of a hundred dollars for the next sets. For tempura, the prices for lunch range from $60 to $180; and dinner at $130, $180, and $280. What is bad about the menu arrangement is that you can only get both tempura and raw seafood for sets above $180.
A Michelin inspector always orders the cheapest set and so did I for the two lunch visits we did. (Actually my reason is I’m broke.)
The tempura experience first. One thing to note: ask the chef for condiment recommendation to go with your tempura.
The first course, spinach and beancurd skin in a dashi sauce, has skin so molten you can see it clouding the sauce.
The first tempura item, prawn, is just ok for me, but my throat was itchy. I have a mild allergy towards prawns that are not fresh.
Although the meal started disappointing, it soon soared. The third tempura item, scallop, (pictured below) is still raw in the middle. Huccalyly praised, “WOW the culinary skill of the chef is amazing. The food is perfectly cooked.” Indeed, the medium-rare texture of the scallop is so perfect and gives such a fantastic flavour.
The four item, anago or sea ee (pictured below) l, was equally marvellous. I’d never thought the sourness of a drop of lemon juice can play off the mild sweetness of the anago with a pinch of salt.
I’ve of course eaten scallop and anago many times and the deep-fried way of presenting them has amazed and surprised me.
Ended off with a small bowl of rice topped with diced tempura prawns. This dish goes best with the chilli powder, making it spicy and sweet like a tendon.
Absolutely delightful meal. We were extremely contented and satisfied.
Returned the second day to try their sushi. The first course makes use of the same ingredients (beancurd skin and spinach) as the previous day’s but they taste differently. Today, they mix the skin with mayo and the spinach is simply blanched. Equally delicious as the yesterday’s first course.
For the second course, we had a salad yesterday but today, it is a chawanmushi seasoned liberally with salt. Good.
Then we dive into the 8 pieces of sushi. They are not too bad. The mackerel can be less fishy. And some pieces have so much wasabi that it chokes me. The chutoro was a little too lean. I also find the sushi small. Wouldn’t hurt to give bigger slices and more rice.
The 8-piece sushi set lunch (+1 maki) isn’t as spectacular and satisfying as the tempura set; I had to go to taka basement food court to nibble something. The strength of the sushi set lies in its reasonable pricing but the tempura is superb.
We paid $70.60 per pax for the tempura course, and $56.50 for the second time we went back for sushi.
Mizuki Tempura and Sushi
Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road #05-32, Singapore 238872
tel: +65 6734 6308
11.30pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm, closed Mon
You may be interested in…
–MaguroDonya Miuramisakikou, Eat at Seven @ Suntec: Tuna Specialists. Just Order the Raw Stuff.
–Sushi Hashida, Mandarin Gallery: Probably One of the Best Sushi Restaurants in Singapore
–Five Ten Fifteen Twenty, Two Tendon Shops: Tempura TenTen at Raffles City Shopping Centre and Tensho (天勝) at Centrepoint
–Shiraishi, Ritz Carlton: Strangely, Tempura is Better Than Edomae Sushi
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.