Daily: 17:30 - 23:00
Last order at 10:30pm
Hide Yamamoto's latest dining venture at Marina Bay Sands his a take on the chef's signature Japanese cuisine a twist of California. Dishes from this restaurant include a wide range of sushi and even flame broiled burgers.
HY California, located near the giant Louis Vuitton store at MBS, has a great view. Looking out at the Singapore skyline, it’s hard not to be impressed. But that’s not to say that other restaurants in the area don’t have equally stunning views, and in this respect HY California (yes, HY stands for Hide Yamamoto) does better than the others by offering above decent food. as the name suggests, the menu is definitely not traditional Japanese, with items like California rolls made with cooked beef and other travesties. But most things are done well, with the fried chicken deserving special mention for a perfectly fried batter. In fact, I actually prefer this place to the actual Hide Yamamoto restaurant at MBS, just because of the friendlier prices and more relaxed vibe.
Dropped by HY California @ Marina Bay Sands for lunch one weekday afternoon. This visit was prompted in part due to my previous visit to Hide Yamamoto and my curiosity was piqued when I learnt of the existence of a cheaper alternative - HY California. HY California offers indoor seating with a couple of counter seats and tables as well as al fresco dining along the pathway. Full length panels offer patrons who decide to sit indoors, a view of the pathway outside and plenty of natural light if you happen to dine during the day - a win win situation. Chicken Bento Set - There are various bento sets available for lunch but the sirloin beef bento set that I was aiming for had only 1 portion left so I went gave it up to my colleague and went for the chicken option instead. The presentation was aesthetically pleasing with small plates of sushi, sashimi, chicken, salad and tempura neatly placed within compartments in a wooden tray. Taste wise, everything came across as average and wouldn't seem out of place at "lower end" eateries like Sakae Sushi or Ichiban Sushi. Lunch for the 4 of us cost about $96, which isn't really expensive but the general consensus is that food quality hovers around the average mark at best. I can understand that HY California is a casual eatery but the service level, food quality and pricing somehow fails to convince me why I should choose it over the likes of Sushi Tei or Ichiban Sushi/Boshi. See all my pictures here.
HY California is difficult to miss as one strolls along the bayfront promenade. There is a poster showing its celebrity chef owner Hide Yamamoto and his impressive resume and it piqued my interest. I was particularly drawn to the chef’s daily special of a bento box with six kinds of appetizer for $20 on the day I checked it out. The bento box, which included appetizers such as sashimi tartare with baguette, yellow tail carpaccio and oyster tempura, was quite delightful and value for money. However, two other dishes that I tried were quite average. Ingredients in the ‘Singapore’ sushi roll, which was supposed to comprise tuna, salmon, avocado, tobiko, mango, rice paper, spicy miso aauce, did not blend well. The pancetta wrapped chicken thigh dish was over-priced with two chicken skewers for $12. The dessert – Japanese melted pudding – which was egg custard with bitter caramel sauce was quite nice with a smooth texture without being overly sweet. Overall, there is nothing outstanding about the eatery to merit a repeat visit.