>$60

Minka, Oxley Tower: A Copy of Teppei, Serving Japanese Sushi Omakase

Minka at Oxley Tower, which isn’t at the (in)famous Oxley Road but at Raffles Place, is a no-frills Japanese restaurant serving rice bowls for lunch and omakase for dinner. The restaurant consists of just a bar and a small table to sit 6 persons. They fly their seafood in from Japan.

It is helmed by–as the website states enigmatically–“Chef J” who has over 15 years of experience. Actually, not to belittle J’s experience, just to state as a fact: many sushi chefs who open their own restaurants have more than 15 years of experience because it is a difficult craft to learn and because they follow their masters until the masters die (and you know how long life Japanese are). So while 15 years can see a baby grow into a teenager, in the sushi world, it is not considered a big deal.

Appetiser

For lunch, the rice bowls start from $13 and goes up to $39. For dinner, they offer sushi omakase sets: $38 (12 courses, early bird 6pm seating), $68 (16 courses), $98 (20 courses), and $148. We went for the $68 set, but saying it’s 16 courses is stretching the truth a little. They consider serving 8 pieces of sushi as 8 courses, and 2 types of sashimi as 2 courses. Even when counting piecemeal, I think they forgot to serve us an appetiser; we only received 1 appetiser, instead of 2. Oh well.

Yellowtail and swordtail

After an appetiser and a vegetable (we got spinach that day) comes the sashimi, yellowtail and swordtail. Swordtail is, in my opinion, one of the most under-rated sashimi, and one of my favourite. However, here, the swordtail is warm and has lost that milkiness flavour it is known for. By the side is a plum-sauced shark cartilage, quite rare to see in Singapore but common in Japan.

Clockwise: Ika squid; Hokkaido scallop, aburi with lime salt; sea bream

Then comes the 8 courses of sushi. They use white rice with black vinegar here so the rice looks as if it’s brown rice. The pieces are a tad small but there are some good surprises. The texture of the ika squid is just right: soft and chewy at once. The aburi-ing of the Hokkaido scallop has dried it, although the lime salt is interesting.

Igai Mussel

Sometimes, the sushi, like the seabream, come across as slimey, and good sushi should never be like this, but there is something interesting here. I have never eaten or even heard of kazuki, and here they serve the toro (belly), which is almost as good as otoro.

Clockwise: Kazuki toro, Kapachi, ikura with yuzu zest, tuna 

Their otoro here is nice but you can tell the quality isn’t as good as fancier restaurants’. The yuzu zest goes very well with ikura.

Golden eye snapper (kinmedai) and ikura ricebowl

The penultimate end of the meal, served together with the soup, is a very very minuscule rice bowl of kinmedai and ikura, so small you can eat it in 2 bites. But it is nice. The kinmedai is warm and almost buttery.

Dessert: choice of black sesame or matcha ice cream

The food here is not bad, and I did get some education with reference to the kazuki toro. It’s also nice that they included the usually very expensive otoro in the 8 sushi. But it isn’t memorable enough for us to want to return. The servings are tiny and we remained hungry after the meal. We paid $156 for two persons. No GST.


Minka
Oxley Tower #01-06, 138 Robinson Road, Singapore 068906
tel: +65 86891686
M – Sat: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm
facebook

Food: 6/10
Price: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Decor / ambience: 5.5/10


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Nami, Shangri La: Do NOT Order the A La Carte
SENS Sushi & Grill, Holland Village: When I Maki in the Summer


Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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