A less-talked about sushi restaurant has opened at the basement of Orchard Central.
Hanamaru originated from Nemuro, one of the representative port towns in Hokkaido known for its harvests of fresh fish throughout the year.
There are currently 13 sushi stores in Hokkaido, with 3 in Tokyo – most operated as a Kaiten-style conveyor belt sushi restaurant.
However, do not expect mass-market pricing similar to other chain sushi stores, as Sushi Shiki Hanamaru’s pricing suggest a more mid-tier level. Actually only realised that after really observing the menu closely.
Sushi starts from $4.80++ for a Ika (squid) Ingiri Sushi, to $7++ for Akami Bluefin Tuna, $10++ for Chutoro (medium fatty tuna), $12++ for Ootoro (fatty tuna), to $17++ Sea Urchin Sushi.
The plus point is, the fish used is imported from various parts of Japan with some not so common varieties, and its rather pictorial menu would provide brief descriptions of what is included in each sushi.
For a more budget meal, then the Burnt Soy Sauce Sushi ($15++ for 5 pieces) could do the trick, but that may not be the best way to savour the freshness of the dish.
After a rather long deliberation, my friend and I went for the Hanamori ($96++ for 20 pieces) with a variety of salmon, tuna, tako (octopus), yellowtail, uni and prawn sushi.
Generally, I liked that the restaurant offered relatively fresh fish – better than the average chain sushi store, and had types that were less commonly seen in Singapore.
However, the rice used was the stumbling block to a perfect sushi – slightly on the dry side, and therefore not as packed with grains falling out already when picked up with the chopstick.
The other ala carte dishes such as the Fresh King Crab Miso Soup ($8.50++), Handmade Fried Fish Cake ($7++) and Fried Chicken ($9.50++) were notable dishes.
I am therefore slightly conflicted with this place. The Japanese chefs seemed skilful at what they were doing, but price-point and consistency throughout dishes may hinder me to make frequent repeat visits.
Sushi Shiki Hanamaru
Orchard Central #B2-11/29/44/48 181 Orchard Road Singapore 238896 (Somerset MRT)
Tel: +65 66340211
Opening Hours: 11am – 2pm, 5pm -11pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 11pm (Sat – Sun)