Perched on the 24 floor of Shangri La, Nami provides a spectacular view of Singapore. I didn’t know the Japanese restaurant is so classy or I wouldn’t be wearing my berms, coming from gym. (There is a smart casual dress code, but they let me go.)
Usually for Japanese restaurants of this price range, they specialise in food from a prefecture or an aspect of Japanese cuisine. A sushi restaurant or a robatayaki restaurant or a kaiseki restaurant, etc. But here, I am not sure what it is.
In any case, there is a wide variety which caters to everybody. The seafood comes 4 times a week from Toyosu Fish Market (where Tsukiji has moved). The set lunch starts from $50. My partner ordered the lunch mini course ($120) while I ordered a la carte.
I ordered the exorbitant tuna belly don partly because the menu says it is “Not To Be Missed” and partly because I thought it is tuna belly otoro slices. Spoiler alert: it’s not served in slices; it’s negitoro or minced tuna. The menu could have made it clearer; the menu merely writes “tuna belly.” There is a huge difference between minced and sliced otoro. I wouldn’t have spent $95 on minced otoro.
Besides negitoro, there are uni sea urchin, ikura salmon roe, white shrimp, and an egg yolk. (For the price, it better be cancer-curing egg.)
My gripe, besides it being minced, is there is so little for $95. They could have given more rice, with a soup, an appetiser, a chawanmushi, and a dessert. Am I right?
That said, tastewise, it is fantastic. The ingredients are pristine without a hint of fishiness. Ikura is bouncy and pops in the mouth. Nice proportion of different materials so that they play off each other and each mouthful is a new feeling.
Of course, I wasn’t full so I ordered the a la carte sashimi for myself. Yikes. Another exorbitant dish with 9 thick slices of salmon, yellowjack, and kinmedai. The sashimi are sliced too thickly and as a result, it makes chewing difficult. They should have sliced them thinner. The kinmedai is seared on the surface, and while there is a nice smokey flavour, it overpowers the delicate taste of the fish. I’d prefer it just on its own.
The Mini Lunch course (7 courses) is so much more worth it. The appetiser itself already has 4 different dishes. It even has uni, so no need to order the a la carte.
One problem with the mini lunch course is that there are too many soup dishes. A good Japanese meal requires balance but here there are three soups.
On that day, the lunch set consisted of tuna, amberjack, sweet prawn, and seabream. See this is better than my a la carte sashimi. Smaller and less expensive pieces for sure, but as part of the lunch set, it is quite worth it.
The set lunch includes a beef-and-chicken course. Usually they are combined into one course but that day, they split the chicken and beef, so there are two dishes. The chicken is cooked in the Yanagawa style as a soup with some crab. CRAB!
Finally, the penultimate course before the dessert, the miyazaki beef is paired with nasu (eggplant). The beef is excellent, fatty but not greasy. It has a nice bite, and not those tender sort. I don’t like extremely tender beef, it’s unnatural, so this texture is wonderful for me.
The food here is excellent but the a la carte is way too expensive. I suggest ordering the sets.
The initial bill was $350 for two persons, but with the credit card discount, we paid about $300. I want to return to eat the set lunch.
Shangri La Level 24, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
tel: +65 6213 4398
12noon – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm daily
Decor / Ambience: 9/10
Price / Value: 5/10
You may be interested in…
–The Gyu Bar, Stevens Road: WAHgyu Yakiniku Udderly Delicious, a Must Go for Beef Lovers
–Kamoshita, Neil Road: Oden Izakaya, Better Than Japan’s Restaurants
–Mizuki Tempura & Sushi, Ngee Ann City: Visited Twice for a Reliable Review
–Shiraishi, Ritz Carlton: Strangely, Tempura is Better Than Edomae Sushi
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.