There are gems waiting to be discovered in Singapore, especially when it comes to Japanese cuisine.
Hailing from Tokyo with over 30 years of history, Ginza Yoshihiro has (quietly) opened at Level 4 of Marina Mandarin Hotel, offering a viable option for Japanese fine dining lovers.
The Japanese traditional restaurant has been known in Ginza for their Oden and Tendon dishes. The local outlet is helmed by Chef Nishioka, while his younger brother is still running the restaurant back home in Tokyo.
Chef Hisayuki Nishioka (centre) with his father Chef Yoshihiro Nishioka (right).
You can call Chef “Bob-san” (He seems happy if you do), who was given this nickname while working in Australia, and was previously Head Sushi Chef at the famed Hide Yamamoto restaurant.
Singapore’s Ginza Yoshihiro boosts of a modern Sake & Shochu Bar which is in clear sight upon walking in. Drinks are imported directed from Japan, many brands not distributed in Singapore.
It LOOKS like you would have to kneel while drinking, but there is an opening to rest your feet.
For food, turn left and you would be greeted with a traditional counter, where you can watch Bob-san display his culinary skills in preparation.
The menu is quite lean during its opening weeks, and more dishes will be added in time to come.
For ala carte, there are the Bara Chirashi Don Set ($32), Oden Gozen ($38, which comes with appetizer, chawanmushi, rice, tsukemono, miso soup and dessert), Yakizakana Gozen ($38), Tempura Gozen ($45) and Wagyu Sukiyaki Gozen ($68).
I genuinely enjoyed the Bara Chirashi Don (had it on a return visit) – a bowl of substantial portion of fresh sashimi and roe, added with torched eel for more savoury flavour, and a sprinkling of sesame with gave the fluffy rice a pleasant light aroma.
Accordingly to Bob-san, the best way to dine is to experience all Ginza Yoshihiro’s specialties through an Omakase set.
There are 3 Omakase options available: The Oden Gozen ($128), Kikyou ($158) and Botan ($188). We had the mid-range Kikyou, consisting of assorted appetizers, 5 kinds of sashimi, signature oden, kurobuta shabu, yakimono, seasonal nigiri sushi, and dessert.
While we were expecting some other components (like fish cakes) for the oden, we had a vibrant red Momotaro Oden instead – refreshing sweet and tangy tomato submerged in hot and lightly flavoured dashi broth.
The tomatoes are generally imported from Ibaraki, known for its quality crops.
For sashimi, we had 5 types – the Kinmedai (Alfonsino), Tai (seabream snapper), Hamachi (Japanese amberjack), Chūtoro (medium-fat Bluefin tuna belly), and Hirame (flounder).
Other than the usual favourite Chutoro, we also liked the Kinmedai which had unique texture that was slippery smooth, yet not too soft or crunchy.
The menu is still undergoing the stage of fine-tuning, but there will be an expanded variety which includes kushiyaki that we can look forward to.
The next time I come back, I will be keen to try their oden. After all, this is what they are famous for.
Ginza Yoshihiro Singapore
Marina Mandarin 04-600, 6 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039594
Open: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6 to 10pm (restaurant on weekdays);
Bar: 4.30pm – 1am (Sun – Thurs), 4.30pm – 2am (Fri – Sat)
Tel: +65 6734 8842
*This entry is brought to you in partnership with Ginza Yoshihiro Singapore.