After a quick google-ing, I found out Ooi Japanese open till late. Thus, a call was quickly made to enquire and to make reservation. And over the phone, the staff said it was no issue if we could reach by their last order which was at 10.30pm. However… Maybe it was the hunger, or my Formula 1 wannabe friend that we managed to reach by 10pm! Yeah.
And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), we ordered:-
1) Seasonal omakase course, $250 comprising of:-
(A) Appetiser – Baby sea eels, black beans, vinegared sea cucumber, ginger, spring mountain vegetable, eggplant, herring roe and tofu. The Japanese sea cucumber was different from our Chinese’s. These were crunchy. Its texture somehow reminded me of fish head soft bone that I had elsewhere. For the tofu, we were told to try it plain before trying it with sea salt. And I preferred it plain. I liked how smooth and milky the tofu was
(B) Assorted sashimi – Prior to my visit, I had read fellow blogger Bibik Gourmand‘s post and learnt of chef Koichi’s skill which is not acquired by many. And thus, when I placed my order for omakase, I specifically requested for the mantis shrimp. My heart nearly dropped when they thought they had run out of the mantis shrimp. As one can see from the menu, items are crossed out when they’re sold out for the day. And I was given kanburi (amberjack), kinmedia (alfonsino), toro (tuna belly), nama shako (mantis shrimp), yariika (arrow squid), hirame engawa (flounder fin), nama maguro (tuna) and jisaba (saba mackerel). And indeed, we were told only a handful of chefs in Japan had the skill to remove the shell and serve these fresh without boiling. Lady boss was really cute as she joked with us, “Chef catch mantis. I catch chef (as husband).” Haha! However, the mantis shrimp was a little (too) mushy for my liking. But given that only a few chefs could serve this raw, and that we are lucky to have one of the few chefs in Singapore to try these mantis shrimp sashimi (conveniently), I say it’s a must try!
Due to the (silly) 3000 characters limit, continue to read my review on other dishes here:PART2
The warmth of the staff at Ooi Japanese left a deep impression on us. My friend and I felt very loved, which showed in the most simple task of topping up of our green tea. The staff would change the entire cups to ensure our teas were hot. And most of our dishes were also presented to us by lady boss who explained everything in great detail. We felt very special as she went “Chef specially prepared this… “, “Chef wants you to try…” But of course, after having tried their omakase course, I realised the various components are also available on the a-la carte menu. Thus, if one knows his/her likes, one may go a-la carte instead of omakase
Although they close at 11pm, they did not rush us when we only managed to finish our meal at 11.30pm. Lady boss and the staff even walked us out when we left the restaurant. Such great people, really!
PS : I am a blogger too! Lifestyle blog, Food Blog
My friend loves Japanese food so I picked this place off here after reading the reviews.
As the reviews say, this place is tiny! As you walk in, first is the private room following by the "bar seating" style as you walk in, then 3 (or 4) more tables a few more steps inside. You can walk the length of this place in about 10 steps. But it's lovely, cosy, with their own Japanese folk coming in to dine; you know the place is good when the locals eat there ;)
We were told to wait for awhile (a few seconds maybe) as they apologized and thanked us for waiting while they cleared a table for us. Aww...
Cosy quiet little corner. :)
The menu took us some trouble to understand how to order, in the end we got the (only) wait staff to help us with ordering and recommendations.
My friend loves ootoro so we ordered some of that, a sushi plate with only ONE toro so we ordered another SINGLE toro separate (see pictures included).
The grilled fish was recommended by the staff so we took that. No regrets! Wonderfully tasteful.
We ordered some Japanese booze, and you get to choose your cup from a beautiful range which will be shown to you.
Sorry I didn't take a picture of the beef! (Can't remember what we ordered) but it was goooooood, the black sesame sauce over it added a fragrant kick that makes you go "mmmmmm" when you put it in your mouth. Friend and I were still 'wiping' up the sauce even after we finished the beef. That was the first dish, it was quite late and we were hungry.
Anyway, the sushi plate, you are at the "mercy" of the chef what fish he wants to give you. The toro is a definite. I cannot remember which dish the miso soup comes with, but the soup has a good deal of ingredients and taste.
As for dessert, we ordered green tea ice cream with red bean (Japanese classic) but they were all out of the green tea ice cream! Lady boss is ADORABLE (what my friend says "charming"), she came up to us to apologise and "cry" (imagine those cute Japanese girls with their two hands rubbing their eyes and crying), and even said "so pai seh", but offered us vanilla ice cream in replacement.
[You can ask for her name card. She's definitely Japanese but knows words like 'pai seh' and 'sayang'. Hahaha!]
The vanilla was HEAVENLY! Your usual sticky red bean "paste". Just nice sweetness that goes very well with the vanilla ice cream.
One thing to note, the telcom reception is a bit wonky, apparently a lot of her customers tease her about the bad reception; she joked with me saying her customer bully her about "not paying the phone bill" as my friend had to go outside to make a phone call.
Charming place indeed, with an even more charming lady boss. And a real deal of Japanese food! If you don't mind the price, of course... :P
For pictures, please visit foodmakespeoplehappy.blogspot.com
Having read many reviews online about this small little restaurant serving good authentic Japanese food in Cuppage Plaza, I decided to have dinner there with my family last Saturday. We were ushered into a private room for 4, and the restaurant was really small! The outside can at most sit about 10 people max or less?? Haha. We ordered the omasake which cost around $260 per person. Basically you can tell the waitress what you want included and they'll do it for you!
Tofu from Kyoto, Shimeji mushrooms, Seaweed, Ume - soaked for 4 days, duck with miso paste and cucumber, edamame (fresh ones), fish roe
The tofu was had the distinct taste of soy which I liked. I loved the seaweed! The ume wasnt sour at all. Duck with miso paste was interesting (: 3.5/5
Sashimi Platter - Honmaguro, white shell, kampachi, uni (sea urchin), squid, otoro, prawn (grey thing)
The prawn was really interesting!! Apparently they're the only restaurant which does it. The toro was really melt in your mouth (: The uni wasnt very sweet though. The squid was v hard to chew and the rest were okay only 4/5
Seasonal veg - pumpkin, burdock, eggplant, pepper (which can only be found in kyoto), jelly made of the soup they used to cook the veg in, melon
WOWWWW this dish was awesome!! It was so clean tasting and so sweet!! The veg were definitely fresh and superrrr sweet and yummy!! (: Esp the melon! 5/5
They have 2 kinds, the sweet kind and the salty kind. This is the salty one, the sweet one's the one used for sushi. This was really eggy goodness!! 4.5/5
Grilled Ayu Fish
Now this fish has a reallyyyyyy soft flesh!! Supersuper good because its so soft! But it also has quite a lot of bones so haha but its a worthy trade-off because the fish is just so good! 4.7/5
Grilled Sama Fish
This meat wasnt as soft but it was nonetheless sweet and fresh! 4.6/5
Simple dish done excellently 4.7/5
Didnt really like this haha found that it doesnt have much taste! 3.4/5
Grilled Jap Corn
The corn kernels are very uh small only so its quite hard to eat! Not v sweet either 3.4/5
Not bad! V crispy 4/5
Seared assorted sushi
Umm cant really differentiate the diff fish cos they all taste almost the same, quite disappointed at this. Certainly doesnt live up to my expectations. Maybe I've been spoiled by Tatsuya's wonderful rendition of seared sushi? Btw MUST-TRY Tatsuya's seared sushi okay? Best best best!!!! I give this 3/5
Loved the fish they put in the soup because the flesh is so sweet and soft! Good good 4.3/5
Musk Melon & Jap grapes
Neither was sweet, such a letdown sigh
Overall, the experience at Ooi was only so-so. Wasnt what I expected it to be? Although service was definitely friendly and good. I think Shinji at Raffles Hotel serves the best Japanese in Singapore followed by Tatsuya, Goto and Aoki (all 3 same ranking haha).
I try to pop by this quaint restaurant every time I return to Singapore. And this time, it's no exception.
Situated in Cuppage Plaza, sometimes coined little Japan as there are many good Japanese establishments here. Although I believe there are more sleazy pubs/clubs in the building.
Ooi is a small restaurant with approximately 20 seats altogether, hence reservations are a must! The clientele in Ooi is predominantly Japanese.
Food: As the season changes, so does the menu. Most of the products are imported to Ooi 3 times a week, to ensure the produce is fresh. This visit brings about food from the Summer season which means it's the opportune time to come here and try the rare Mantis Shrimp sashimi. Each visit here, I have always ordered their Omakase, ranging from the $150-$220 ones. They are usually 8-11 courses.
All in all, Ooi's food is delightful and refreshing. I have always enjoyed my visits here, of course, part of the reason is due to Hiromi-san's humour and her singlish, and her very, very shy husband.
Service: One of the rare places where service is really sincere and personal. This is a place where I always readily give a tip.