Popular Japanese sushi brand Ganko Sushi has opened its 101st outlet – the first outlet in Singapore, and its first one in Southeast Asia.
I remembering being to Osaka and seeing several Ganko Sushi restaurants around (its iconic logo of its founder Mr Kojima is unmissable) – popular with both locals and tourists.
“Ganko” means “stubborn” in Japanese, depicting the chefs’ ‘stubbornness’ in providing the best ingredients for the best price.
In Singapore, it can be found at UBS Building (previously known as “Park Mall”) right opposite Dhoby Ghaut MRT station (on the other end of where modern Hong Kong cha chaan teng Pi Food is also located).
Xi Man Unagi Restaurant is located next door to Ganko Sushi.
Ganko first began in Juso, Osaka in 1963 and has spread across 99 outlets in Japan and 1 in Hong Kong.
They are known as a family-style resto offering premium quality Japanese cuisine at affordable pricing.
Overseeing Ganko Sushi is Master Consultant Chef Murasawa Hiroyoshi, who is also consultant chef behind Hong Kong’s outlet to make sure they remain true to the Ganko brand. The Singapore team is helmed by Chef Kuwahara Toshiyuki who has trained under Chef Hiroyoshi.
In terms of food, Ganko Sushi is a playground of seafood masterfully transformed into creative sushi.
At the heart of its menu are assorted handcrafted sushi and freshly sliced sashimi served on platters, atop rice bowls or rolled into hand rolls.
A premium omakase menu is also available during dinner at $150 for 12 courses upon request.
Not all sushi are the same – what sets them apart are the quality ingredients used.
At Ganko, they only use premium Chidori Vinegar when preparing its rice for sushi. This special vinegar is made from a 200-year-old brewing recipe! It is a mild vinegar with a mellow flavour which cuts out the sourness of ordinary white vinegar.
They also serve all their sushi only with Marunaka Shoyu, a handcrafted natural soy sauce made using a brine-processing method not used anywhere else in Japan. It is one of the few remaining soy breweries still using traditional methods and tools that it’s recognised as Japan’s National Tangible Cultural Property.
Sushi platters are available with 3 up to 12 pieces.
Get a variety of selections, including seared sushi where they torch the fish or seafood before serving for a hint of smoky flavour.
Some of the highlights in their menu include Seared Alfonsino Sushi served with lime juice and sudachi salt (Aburi Kinmeidai), Seared Rockfish served with lime juice and sudachi salt (Aburi Nodoguro), Seared Fatty Japanese Amberjack Toro served with ponzu vinegar jelly and green onions (Aburi Amberjack Toro), Seared Medium fatty tuna with ponzu vinegar jelly (Aburi Chutoro), Green Onions Sprouts Sushi (Negi Sushi), and Medium Fatty Tuna Sushi (Chutoro).
Deluxe Sushi Platter ($58)
If you would prefer a selection, order the Deluxe Sushi Platter ($58) to feast on 10 types of sushi.
Enjoy a mix of makizushi (sushi with rice and other ingredients rolled up in nori), nigiri (vinegared rice topped with a slice of raw fish), gunkan, tamago, and other forms sushi.
You get to explore an array of fish and seafood including Sea Bream (Tai), Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro), Japanese Amberjack (Buri), Scallop (Hotate), Salmon Roe (Ikura), Shrimp (Botan Ebi), Sea Urchin (Hokkaido) Uni, Eel (Unagi) and minced fatty Bluefin tuna (Negitoro Maki).
Of course, a thick grilled egg (Tamago) which to me has a castella cake-like texture is included to complete the selection.
Assorted Tuna Sashimi ($39 for 3 types)
Best as an intro to sashimi for first timers or a sampler for more advanced eaters, the Assorted Tuna Sashimi plate offers 3 types: Akami, Chutoro, and Otoro.
Enjoy a spectrum of flavours and textures from different parts of the tuna. Akami is the lean, red meaty main part, while Chutoro contains a mix of lean and fatty portions.
Perhaps most desirable is Otoro, the tuna’s belly. As the richest and fattiest part, it dissolves in your mouth and leaves a sweeter taste.
Deluxe Sashimi Platter 5 Types ($75)
Take the pain of choosing out of the equation and get the Deluxe Sashimi Platter which affords you 5 types of sashimi.
You can have all your top 5 seasonal sashimi on one platter, perhaps a combination of Lean Red Tuna Meat (Akami), Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro), Fatty Tuna Belly (Otoro), Salmon and Shrimp (Botan Ebi).
Other sashimi options include Japanese amberjack, prime salmon, olive flounder, Japanese amberjack and striped jack.
Or octopus, alfonsino, red sea bream and horse mackerel.
And if these are still not enough, you can revel in this line up of shellfish sashimi: white shrimp, surf clam meat, Neptune shell, sweet shell, Botan shrimp, live ark shell and jumbo scallops.
Seared Flounder Muscle with Citrus Sudachi Salt ($7)
Do not miss Ganko’s Special Sushi page devoted to items created with unconventional ingredients.
Curious eaters will enjoy the rendezvous of flavours in each piece of sushi, such as the Seared Flounder Muscle.
Accompanied with salt and a wedge of Sudachi, a small green, round citrus fruit native to Japan and cousin of the more commonly used Yuzu.
Seared Fatty Tuna Belly with Ponzu Vinegar Gelée ($7)
A lusciously fatty slice of Japanese amberjack tuna belly is seared to lock in the juices and keep all the yummy flavours within.
Complement the savouriness of this mildly crusted fillet of tuna with the acidity of the ponzu vinegar jelly.
Rice Bowl Topped with Premium Seafood ($58)
For the ultimate seafood lovers out there, this Chirashi rice bowl is a dream-come-true. A bowl of rice topped with colourful sorts of marvels from the sea.
You’ll get not 1 but 3 choices: Premium Rice Bowl, Seafood Rice Bowl, and Salmon Rose Rice Bowl.
The premium bowl rewards you with 7 types of fish and shellfish – Botan Ebi, Ikura, Uni, Hirame Olive Flounder, Salmon, Toro, Snow Crab, and Amberjack. Plus, it comes with a topping of ikura and uni!
The Seafood Rice Bowl ($33) is just as chockful as the premium and offers 5 types of fish, ebi and ikura.
But if you are a big fan of salmon, get the Salmon and Salmon Roe Rice Bowl ($33) with generous slices of salmon topped with a dollop of ikura.
Tempura Bowl ($15)
Sink your teeth in a mix of light and crispy battered shrimps and seasonal veggies. Served atop fluffy Japanese rice, these tempura pieces are best enjoyed with dip of soy-infused sauce.
Other Ala Carte choices feature Shrimp and Seasonal Vegetables Tempura ($12), Teapot Soup ($10), Grilled Salmon with Citrus Flavour and Miso, and Warabimochi ($8).
Ganko Sushi Singapore
9 Penang Road, UBS Building #01-01, Singapore 238459
Tel: +65 8828 2280
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Ganko Sushi.