Omakase お任せ is a Japanese term meaning “I’ll leave it up to you”.
It has been commonly used to describe a style of “menu” in Japanese restaurants in which the chef will prepare a the meal in accordance to seasonal specialties, at a specified price.
Over the last year or two, I tried to cover some of the highly-rated and Michelin-starred Omakase restaurants in Singapore. Not the easiest guide to compile due to the cost involved, difficulty in booking (long wait-list for some), and there is that much sushi that I can have in a short span of time before fatigue sets in.
Other than freshness and quality of ingredients and value-for-the-money; the environment, pacing and variety of the courses, along with personality of the chef all play a part for the dining experience.
Here are 12 of the best Japanese Omakase restaurants you can find in Singapore:
390 Orchard Road, #01-07 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871
Tel: +65 6734 3520
Opening Hours: Lunch 12:30pm – 3pm; Dinner 7pm – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Sushi Kimura 鮨来村 is a one Michelin starred fine dining sushi-ya located at Palais Renaissance, an exclusive shopping destination at Orchard Road.
Known for its seasonally curated Edomae-style delicacies, it sources 100% of its ingredients from Japan (including personally sourced organic staples) and offers a meticulously paired sake and wine list.
Owned by Master Chef Tomoo Kimura, a graduate of Hattri Nutrition College in 1997, Sushi Kimura aims to provide its guests the true taste of nature using unadulterated ingredients and time-honoured traditions.
The focus is on premium and seasonal ingredients, with fresh seafood flown in from Tsukiji market 4 times a week. He even travels to various prefectures in Japan cultivating direct relationships with organic producers.
There are three sets for dinner: Enshu, Oribe, and Rikyu.
Enshu ($280++) includes Seasonal Starters, Appetiser, Seasonal and Traditional Sushi, Signature Rice Bowl, Soup, and Dessert. Like Karatsu, this is only available at the Sushi Counter. Upgrade to Oribe ($330++) which has all Enshu item plus Seasonal Sashimi, Grilled Fish, and Refresher.
Known for its fresh, wild caught seafood and special attention given to basic ingredients like rice, vinegar, nori and water.
An abalone dish cooked for eight hours in sake deserves a special mention – it’s what the Michelin inspectors took note of as one of the most remarkable creations of this establishment.
The Signature Rice Bowl uses a special A-grade Tsuya-hime organic rice imported from a family farm in Yamagata prefecture.
Sushi Kou 鮓煌
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, 11 Cavenagh Road, #01-13/14 Singapore 229616
Tel: +65 8591 1933
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm Last Seating 1:30pm, Dinner 6pm – 10:30pm Last Seating 8:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
Sushi Kou 鮓煌 is a concept redefining traditional Edomae-style sushi, where the freshest fish and shellfish are given minimal treatment. Unlike other styles of sushi-making, this approach brings out the food’s natural flavours and oils.
Named after Kou 煌, the founder’s son, Sushi Kou is helmed by Chef Yoshio Sakuta with 20+ years of experience. This Hokkaido-born chef worked in several renowned sushi restaurants in Sapporo (such as 2-Michelin-starred Sushizen) before venturing to Singapore.
To ensure diners receive full attention and quality-prepared dishes, there is only one seating per session for lunch and dinner.
Choose either the Aya Menu ($380++) which gives you 10 pieces of sushi and three dishes, or the Kou Menu ($450++) for 10 pieces of sushi and five dishes.
The highlight would be the Steamed Abalone with Abalone Liver Sauce. This dish prepared by steaming the abalone, cooking it simply with sake, water and kelp. The secret lies in how long it’s cooked for maximum flavours.
For 5 to 6 hours, the abalone is cooked in a traditional Japanese stone pot to maintain the right heat.
The sauce is made from steamed abalone liver that gives it that added distinct rich taste, contrasted with the soft-chewy texture of the abalone slice. Sushi Kou 鮓煌 (Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Center)
Aya Menu: $380++ for 10 pieces of sushi and three dishes
Kou Menu: $450++ for 10 pieces of sushi and five dishes
Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade #01-11, 328 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188719
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Chef Koichiro Oshino has come a long way, and finally opened his own – at the ground floor of Raffles Hotel which marked a full circle for him.
He was instrumental to the renowned Shinji by Kanesaka in Singapore – both the Raffles Hotel and Carlton Hotel restaurants received Michelin stars for consecutive years.
Diners can expect an intimate sushi experience at Oshino. For dinner, you can choose between courses of Sushi Edomae ($350) with 20 pieces of Nigiri Sushi, Maki, Soup, Dessert and Matcha; or the Chef Omakase (from $500) with Appetiser, Sashimi, Cooked dishes, Nigiri Sushi, Soup & Dessert.
Lunch would be more ‘affordable’, with the Sushi Edomae course of 15 pieces of sushi at $180, and Chef Omakase from $300.
I found the sushi pieces particularly flavourful with a delicate punch. Chef has created his own blend of Japanese red sushi vinegar for the shari (the sushi rice) – which is sourced from this hometown of Yamagata.
The omakase course was also interpreted with various cooked dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients, and I found myself looking forward to the next dish and the next. Truly an experience that was top-notch and in harmony.
Very tough to get a booking, please reserve way in advance.
Chef Omakase Lunch: From $300++
Chef Omakase Dinner: From $500++
29 Scotts Road Singapore 228224
Tel: +65 6733 5251
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm (Mon – Fri), 6:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun), Closed Sun
Ki-sho is helmed by an affable Chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto, bringing with him a wealth of experience and creativity amassed from his apprenticeship days in Kyoto’s top culinary restaurants and one of Singapore’s top restaurants Waku Ghin.
The beautiful Ki-sho is housed in a grand colonial bungalow along Scotts Road, containing a main dining room of an intimate 10-seater sushi bar, and several other VIP rooms all furnished with distinctly artistic Japanese elements such as hand-laid flooring and gold leaf wallpaper.
The outstanding Japanese restaurant offers a selection of two different Omakase set menus priced at $300++ and $450++ per person.
This may not be the most affordable pricing around. But in comparison with the other top-tier Japanese restaurants available locally, we can see why it stands out.
The most aesthetically pleasing and perhaps indulgent dish was the Uni and Cavier – a beautiful ensemble of creamy Hokkaido sea urchin, luxurious Italian caviar, shiso flower and corn on a wasabi leaf, resembling the jubilant blossoming of flowers in Japan during spring time.
AOI Menu: $300++
KAI Menu: $450++
1 Fullerton Road #02-02A One Fullerton Singapore 049213
Tel: +65 6423 9939
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6 – 11pm (Tues – Sat), 6 – 11pm (Sun), Closed Mon
While there is no official verification, Japanese restaurant Shoukouwa could jolly well be the fastest restaurant around to be awarded 2 stars after opening. Just 4 months into operation.
The sushi restaurant at One Fullerton is a venture between the founder of Hong Kong’s 3-star Michelin Sushi Shikon and the Emmanuel Stroobant restaurant group (which is behind Saint Pierre).
A Mio Lunch Menu ($180++ per person) of 16 courses includes appetiser, nigiri sushi, miso soup, Japanese Omelette and dessert. Also available is the Miyabi ($320++) of 20 courses and Hana ($480++) of 25 courses.
The Omakase of Miyabi ($320++) and Hana ($480++) are also available during dinner, from Tuesday to Sunday, 6pm to 11pm (last seating 8.30pm)
For the most expensive set, what you get is a number of appetisers, four cooked dishes, sashimi, 13 pieces of sushi, miso soup, Japanese omelette, and dessert.
Do not be surprised at the space. It is an 8-seater sushi restaurant. Three chefs helm the restaurant. Much attention is paid on execution and details.
Sashimi is flown in fresh daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. The market is closed on Mondays, and so does the restaurant.
Some standout dishes: Monkfish liver with Uni made an thrilling blend of both types of creaminess, and a crab meat croquette which bursted with bechamel-robustness. Shoukouwa (One Fullerton)
Miyabi: $380++ per person
Hana: $480++ per person
Shinji by Kanesaka すし道真次 – Carlton Hotel
76 Bras Basah Rd, Lobby Floor, Singapore 189558
Tel: +65 6338 6131
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm Last Order at 2pm; Dinner: 6pm – 10.30pm Last Order 9pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Shinji by Kanesaka すし道真次 – St Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road, Lobby Floor, Singapore 247911
Tel: +65 6884 8239
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm Last Order at 2pm; Dinner: 6pm – 10.30pm Last Order 9pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Shinji by Kanesaka すし道真次 is commonly known to be the one of the best Japanese sushi restaurants in Singapore, and also considered by many as one of the finest outside of Japan.
The Michelin-starred restaurant used to be tucked away at the iconic Raffles Hotel, and has since moved to Carlton Hotel.
The highest tier is the Omakase Shin ($450) which includes appetiser, assorted premium sashimi, assorted cooked dishes, sushi, soup and Japanese fruit.
The next level Omakase Wa ($300) serves ‘normal’ sashimi without the ‘premium’. If splurging is an issue, there is an Edomae Sushi set ($220) comes with 15 pieces of nigiri.
Needless to say, the sushi is world-class, especially its tuna.
The pinkish Chutoro (medium fatty tuna) was so fresh it can literally slide down the throat, Otoro (tuna belly) rich creamy with amazing sirloin feel, and Akami (red meat) where you could almost feel the tuna melting in your mouth.
Chef’s Omakase Special Lunch: From $350++
Omakase Wa Dinner: $300++
Omakase Shin Dinner: $450++
Chef’s Omakase Special Dinner: $500++
Takayama Japanese Restaurant
6 Shenton Way #01-09/10 OUE Downtown Gallery Singapore 068815 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6224 0864
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 2:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Located at Downtown Gallery, Takayama Japanese Restaurant is where you can savour a medley of authentic Japanese flavours in its multi-course menu.
This is a “kappo-style” restaurant, similar to a Keiseki meal where elaborately prepared dishes which look like pieces of art, are served.
Chef Takayama is formerly chef de cuisine at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, and began his career at three-Michelin-starred restaurants Kashiwaya and Koryu in Osaka.
Takayama’s signature dish is the Abalone + Uni which can be found in the dinner omakase menu.
The other dish to look forward to is the “Otsukuri”. While it essentially means sashimi, I got a combination of Hokkaido uni, Toyama baby squid, Nagasaki Otoro and Chutoro and a couple of surprises – each item there elaborately presented and even paired with different soy sauces to bring out the best of the flavours. Takayama (Downtown Gallery)
Seasonal Lunch Sets: $68++ or $98++
Includes Homemade Tofu, Seasonal Otsukuri, Seasonal Cold Appetiser, Pickled Vegetables, One Seasonal Main, Hokkaido Rice, Miso Soup, and Fruit Jelly.
Dinner Omakase: $280++
Includes Appetisers, Otsukuri, Monaka, Signature dish of Abalone + Uni, Charcoal Grilled Sish, Oshokuji, Fruits and Confection.
333A Orchard Road #04-16, Mandarin Gallery Singapore 238897
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Ayumu あゆむ means “walking towards a new beginning and a new vision”. The restaurant specialised in Tokyo Edo style sushi which focuses on the freshness and flavours of the ingredients.
The produce is sourced daily from Japanese fishermen and suppliers, then masterfully treated with traditional techniques to accentuate its natural flavours.
One of the defining elements of their sushi, is they use a special blend of different types of red vinegar for their sushi rice (shari).
I had the Hazuki 葉月 Omakase ($320) which included seasonal appetiser, sashimi, cooked dishes, nigiri (6 pieces), signature roll, soup and dessert.
The higher-priced Omakase Minazuki (from $420) includes more premium and seasonal items.
I was served by Chef Nakajima Shintaro, which had his own quiet charm, and overall the vibes were refined and intimate.
My favourite piece was the grilled Sea Perch, prized for its fatty and delicate meat, amazing pairing with the rice and crispy seaweed.
Kannazuki (lunch): From $280++
Hazuki (dinner): $320++
Minazuki (dinner): From $420++
Camden Medical Centre #01-01/02, 1 Orchard Boulevard Singapore 248649
Tel: +65 6735 0308
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm (Fri – Sat)
The luxurious Japanese restaurant is best known to serve the finest Wagyu from reputable farms across the globe.
Its name will probably catch your end, in which “Fat” represents luxury and indulgence, and a play on the word “Fatt” which means “prosperity” in Cantonese.
The kitchen is helmed by Chef Shigeru Kasajima, who draws from his background in French cuisine, employing French influences in Japanese cuisine to create unexpected dishes.
You can often see him at the intimate omakase dining room, in which you can watch his skilful preparation and make interactions and conversations with regards to the food prepared.
In terms of food, diners can enjoy their choice of beef prepared in different Japanese methods, from Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki, Hobayaki or the ever-popular Sumibiyaki (Charcoal-grill).
Sumire Lunch Menu: $120++
Nagoyaka Dinner Menu: $250++
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
1 Tras Link, 01-18 Orchid Hotel, Singapore 078867
Tel: +65 222 7363
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Teppei Japanese Restaurant is well-known for its affordable Omakase, priced at $100++ for a 17-course Omakase (it used to be $80++).
It is recommended to book a month in advance (you can do so online), as the space is small and can accommodate only 22 diners.
If you are thinking quality is compromised because of its price, no. Some of the dishes beats those served in more respectable restaurants, especially the crisp deep-fried king prawn which makes all other tempura ebi look insignificant.
Chef Yamashita Teppei always comes with something different, according to the season and his mood. That makes every visit to Teppei worthwhile and memorable.
Ginza Sushi Ichi
320 Orchard Road, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel #01-04, Singapore 238865 (5 min walk from Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6235 5514
Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 2.30pm Last order at 2:00pm (Tue – Sun)
Dinner 6:00pm – 11:00pm Last order at 9.30pm (Tues – Sat)
Dinner from 6pm to 10pm Last order at 8.30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Ginza Sushi Ichi propelled further into the limelight after it won a Michelin star in Singapore.
The intimate 23-seater restaurant is a branch of the award-winning Tokyo based Ginza Sushi Ichi, helmed by 34-year-old executive Head Chef Masakazu Ishibashi, more affectionately known as Masa.
He comes from a line of sushi restaurant owners, and takes great pride in preparing sushi with an artful flair for his guests.
The interior is like a typical high-end sushi restaurant, with the sushi masters preparing food in full view of the patrons, with a counter made from a 200 year-old cypress trees.
Tuna and sea-urchin are the restaurant’s specialty. Ingredients are purchased directly from Japan and flown in 4 to 5 times a week so only the freshest picks of the season are served to the guests.
Lunch would generally be the cheaper option, which includes Tubaki at $100++ (appetizer, 10 pc nigiri sushi, roll sushi, miso soup, and desert), Botan at $150++ (similar to tubaki except 1 extra side, assorted sashimi and nigiri sushi is 8 pc), and lunch omakase at $240++ (appetizer, 2 assorted sashimi, 2 dishes, 8 pc nigiri sushi, roll sushi, miso soup and desert). Dinner options can also be selected for lunch.
For dinner, you can opt for the omakase nigiri at $220++ (appetizer, nigiri sushi, small dish, roll sushi, miso soup and desert), sushi ichi course at $300++ (appetizer, assorted sashimi, assorted dishes, nigiri sushi, roll sushi, miso soup and desert) and Omakase at $430++ (no fixed menu).
Resorts World Sentosa, 26 Sentosa Gateway Crockfords Tower, #02-135 &, 135A, Singapore 098138
Tel: +65 6577 6688
Opening Hours: Lunch 11am – 2:30pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Syun helmed by Japanese Chef Hal Yamashita located at the Resorts World Sentosa RWS at Festive Walk, is part of their line-up of celebrity chef restaurants.
This is one of those restaurants that I liked immediately upon stepping in, warm and professional Japanese service, Japanese Wabi-sabi concept for its décor, and natural wood used for its furniture, beaming with rustic elegance.
A more ‘affordable’ 5-course dinner tasting menu is available, offering Sea Urchin Rolled By Kagoshima A4 Wagyu Beef Topped with Smoked Caviar, 3 Kinds of Fish Carpaccio, Grilled Cod with Saikyo Miso, Yuzu Miso Sauce, Dried Mullet Powder and Parmesan, Assorted Sushi (Tuna, Salmon & Unagi ) Served with Miso Soup, and Matcha Monaka Ice Cream.
Tasting 5 Course: $118++
Premium 8 Course: $178++
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