The chirashi don at Chikuwa Tei | Photo: Priyanka Chand Agarwal
For thickly-sliced sashimi and a good value chirashi
Chikuwa Tei’s style of serving their sashimi as thick, irregularly-cut slices may not appeal to some. However, they have many loyal fans – those who have been coming for their sashimi fix since chef Peter Teo (of the now defunct Wasabi Tei) was the man in charge are still frequenters. While Teo has moved on to Mitsuba, the good-value style lingers on, and continues to appeal: of the vast and varied menu items, there always seems to be an order of chirashi (a bowl of sushi rice with sashimi on top) on every table. For $25 you get sake (salmon), maguro (tuna), mekajiki (swordfish), tai (red seabream), tamago (omelette), fish roe and a balanced rice-to-fish ratio. Order this and the perfectly smooth silken ikura (salmon roe) chawanmushi and you are set.
Chikuwa Tei | Address: #01-01, 9 Mohamed Sultan Road l Tel: 67389395 | Buffet hours: Daily 11.30am-3pm, 6-10pm
For affordable, fair-trade sashimi in a hawker centre
Lau Pa Sat Festival Market is not the place you expect to be tucking into blue fin tuna don (rice), but times are a-changin' with new generation hawker Alistair Douglas (formerly a seafood dealer, with ties to Japan’s Tsukiji market) serving affordably priced, high quality, sustainably-sourced seafood at Maguroya ("House of Tuna"). Think salmon don ($8), botan ebi don (eight prawns on rice for $12) and the most expensive dish at his stall, the otoro don (fatty tuna belly on rice, $22). Watch out for their daily "crazy specials", we hear there was an instance the aburi otoro don (flamed tuna belly on rice) set was discounted from $22 to $14.50. We've got our eye on the tuna kabutoyaki (grilled fish head, $25).
Maguroya | Address: Lau Pa Sat Stall 79, corner of Robinson Rd and Cross St | Tel: 85112961 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-10pm
UPDATE:Maguroya's last day at Lau Pa Sat was 13 August 2013 because their lease had expired. Maguroya posted on their Facebook page: "We may re-open at Lau Pa Sat [after Lau Pa Sat's renovations] or at another location. We will keep you posted."
Shinji by Kanesaka
Michelin-starred Edo-style sushi
This is chef Shinji Kanesaka’s first venture out of Japan, and clearly, it has been very well-received. The two-Michelin-starred chef now has two branches in Singapore at Raffles Hotel and the OUE Tower. Kanesaka specialises in Edo-style sushi, which is sushi that has been slightly preserved; the fish in soy sauce, generally served with slightly warm, vinegared rice. An experience here will set diners back at least $75 for nine pieces of sushi during lunch, and $220, $300 and $450 for the dinner sets. You’re not simply paying for the high quality ingredients, but also the expertise and the tactile experiences, such as dining on a sushi counter that was singularly carved from the trunk of a 220-year-old hinoki (Japanese cypress) tree. Expect different parts of the tuna served up in order of fattiness, and ebi (prawn) paired with uni (sea urchin) or a heightened textural experience.
Shinji by Kanesaka | Address: 1 Beach Road, Raffles Hotel #02-20 | Tel: 63386131 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 6-10.30pm