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Shinji by Kanesaka @ Raffles Hotel

12:00 PM , , 0 Comments



Shinji by Kanesaka, I once shunned it because of its pricey lunches. When most other outstanding restaurants were having bento sets to the lovely tune of $30-40, here was Shinji with double the price. I suppose price does equate quality in the game of Japanese cuisine. The occasion arose for a visit – how timely to celebrate my birthday. Forever 21 once again.



Getting to Shinji was quite a maze, methinks just take the stairs from Halia and it brings you direct.



A left and right and left and we walked in a circle before finally reaching. 


We both opted for Sushi Edomae ($220) which comprised of 15 pieces of nigiri sushi, maki sushi, soup and fruit. The chef gently reminded that we could exchange our sushi options for sashimi as most ladies found it “too filling”. I gamely jumped onto the bandwagon crossing my fingers that I would not need a supper option after this meal.



Napkins for a start. 



Our chef for the night.



The rest of the entourage. 



Guess what?



Baby Sea Eel was served in a tiny bowl – translucent slithery and slippery threads and they had their eyes intact. Figuratively they looked like their older counterparts only way smaller, juicier and tasted like a hybrid of squid and jellyfish. A strange encounter indeed with the texture and taste.


Sayori Middle Fish

The pink gradation was too pretty to ignore before everything was gone in a flash. 



Yellowjack

Done sashimi style, the freshly sliced fish went so well with just a dash of shoyu.


Semi Tuna Chutoro

I get all excited when I spot tuna belly, and this had to be more than just melt in my mouth – the unctuousness of the fish made it such an oily affair.


Baby Shrimp with seasalt, served in a clump no bigger than a baby’s fist. These shrimps were terribly small and sweet, the freshest we can ever get. The dab of seasalt made a lovely contrast of sweet and salty.


Torched fish

Seared at the edges, I could just get used to such doneness of fish.


Baby Blue Fin Tuna, six month old served with ginger miso


Seeing the rows of uni in the box already made me smile and having the chef pile them all on my freshly pressed sushi had to be one of those proud moments – having been to Hokkaido, these triumphed all those eaten there. Perhaps price and quality does match afterall, each mouthful was so rich and velvety – it made foie gras pale in comparison.
 


Kimidai Snapper

A brush of soya made it just the right balance of savoury in a sushi. 


Aji

Never say no to horse mackerel, the colours were too pretty to ignore and foodgasm it was.


The chef was industriously peeling these large prawns soaked in brine before my very eyes, even carefully removing the bunches of fish roe. And they were not for us. Instead, it was just grilled prawn sushi which was equally delicious. 


Deshelling prawns is such delicate work. 


Chefs hard at work plating the sashimi platters. 


Drooliciously fat prawns.


Palatte cleanser of a variety of preserves – mandarin orange, radish and eggplant. A refreshing take on sorbet and I never thought how clean tasting these raw vegetables and fruit would taste. 


The boisterous chefs returned with props and gave me quite a hilarious surprise – happy birthday to me! My very first savoury cake and yes, it tasted extra special.


Tuna meatball soup took home all accolades – I hate my fish balls yet this floored all of them. Hearty and wholesome, I would not mind having an entire course of this. 


Belittle the eel sushi not, incredibly sweet and soft. 


Tuna Maki, pickles and tamago


I am not quite a pickle fan but these crunchy bits were so addictive!


The best tamago ever eaten. I never quite got the whole fuss about sweet egg and it turns out those I have been eating religiously through the years were infact overcooked. If this is any yardstick for a good tamago, it has to be slightly hard on the edges and custard like in the middle. Almost like dessert. 


Yubari melon and strawberries made up the very prized plate of fruit.

The rest of these pictures belong to the original menu of just sushi.



A simple ooze of lime juice makes such a huge difference. 



Scallops, so fresh!



Ika. 








Flounder




Tuna.



More of the luscious cut.




Baby shrimp sushi.



The thing about eating Japanese is, unless you are completely well versed with the types of fish if not everything just tastes good without a good idea what exactly. Not that I am complaining either.



The classic way, with your hands and just a dab of soya. 



Expected thoughtfulness.

Like all my Japanese culinary travels have pointed out, salmon is hardly considered part of the repertoire of ingredients served over the counter and likewise for Shinji, tuna belly is a bare minimum. A very exquisite experience which more than explains the difference between them and the rest of the Japanese restaurants around. Definitely worth a return, just a matter of when.  On hindsight, 15 pieces of sushi is manageable.

Shinji by Kanesaka 
Raffles Hotel, Level 3

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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