5Morsels of Delice •
07 Aug 2015
After a recent string of good finds, I am excited to find another one: Shinzo Japanese Cuisine where I can get exceedingly fresh sashimi at an amazing price.
The interior of the restaurant is more of the minimalist zen type, kind of reminds me of the environment in Shinji, except for the atmosphere here that is more boisterous and casual. Almost all of the seats in there are around the counter, saved for two tables near the entrance. The place is not big, but it does have that cosy feel.
Time to rave about the sashimi: for a lunch set of $38, I got a platter of thick slices and morsels of fresh, raw seafood that are beautifully arranged on the plate. Salmon, mekajiki, hamachi, fish roe cake, hotate, ama ebi and yes, chutoro—all expertly prepared and have that firm texture indicating the freshness. Mekajiki, hamachi and especially chutoro can especially have that offensive fishy smell if are not of the freshest quality, so the moment I tried the mekajiki here, my expectations was raised. And the chutoro—I am actually apprehensive about trying otoro in most establishments since a lot had disappointed me on this aspect—has none of that smell despite being laden with fish fats. This fatty slice of meat may not have that melt-in-your-mouth quality, but it has that buttery flavour that I appreciate. The hotate and ama ebi are so sweet that I finished them up with just a dash of horseradish.
The supposedly generic salad also surprised me. Fresh springy seaweed—the purple rough strands among layers of vegetables—are added to impart a very unique texture and a dash of unami to the dish. The batter used for the tempera is very well-done in the sense that it is of a very thin layer, so that I don't feel like eating copious amount of fried starch, and is extremely crispy, even after I set it aside for a while before tucking into it.
Another highlight of the meal is the spicy tuna maki. It is not spicy, more of sweet, but I am loving it because mashed tuna with chopped spring onions added totally works for me. This is so tasty that I rank this as my second favourite maki. The last savoury dish served is the soba in clear broth. The taste is extremely light, where the flavours come from the seaweed added. Feeling very full, the refreshing soba, instead of a heavy starch-laden dish, is welcomed. The honeydew is oh-so-sweet. The watermelon is, well, kind of like the lowlight of the meal, but it is just a minor gripe.
The service is excellent: friendly and very meticulous. The service staff make the efforts to introduce each dish when serving up the food, and will even inform that the raw items in the set meal can be changed if one only eats cooked food. I am impressed, really.
Not only am I going to be a regular of this restaurant, I am going to recommend this place to others.
This review (with pictures) can be found on my blog: http://morsels-of-delice.blogspot.sg/2015/07/shinzo-japanese-cuisine-delightful.html