Japanese food lovers are constantly on the quest to look for the best sushi or Japanese food in Singapore. Once you have tasted the ones in Japan, nothing can really measure up to the standards but with the increasing number of authentic Japanese restaurants opened by Japanese chef, getting premium sushi is no longer an uphill task.
All sushi lovers would have heard about the documentary Jiro dreams of sushi which tells the tale of Jiro Ono; a 85 years old sushi chef who owns the Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo which is a 3 star Michelin restaurant. It would be many dreams to at least try the sushi made by chef Jiro at least once. While we wished Jiro Ono opened an outlet in Singapore, we have another chef Nakano Jiro who set up Sushi Jiro over 2 decades ago with the sole aim of providing as authentic a Japanese dining experience to guests as possible
Located within Marina Mandarin, Sushi Jiro is quite an up class establishment with quite limited seats. There is a full length sushi counter where customers can sit right in front of the chef who are preparing the sushi and sashimi.
A fine dining experience, the restaurant itself is set in simplistic clean wood furnishings with warm lighting. There are also private rooms available for bigger groups nearer to the entrance of the restaurant. Many sushi enthusiast would probably love to sit at the counter seats so they can have a conversation with chef Kenji Nakagawa who helms the kitchen at Marina Mandarin outlet. Diner who prefer a private experience can take any of the table seats.
The table setting is simple and straightforward just like the sincerity of the chef preparing the dishes.
One of the star course is the Imperial course at SGD 550 for 2 persons. There are also other Omakase courses available for individuals. The prices here are definitely on the high side but the quality you get is also premium quality as the fish is flown in 4 times weekly from Japan’s Tsukiji market.
We had the sashimi platter with 8 kinds of fish; salmon, yellowtail, tuna, fatty tuna, Kai fish, swordfish, sea bream and yellow jack. Each kinds had 2 slices which were cut very thick and juicy. My personal favourite was the sea bream, kai and the yellow jack. I found that the chutoro fatty tuna was not fatty enough and did not melt in my mouth. We subsequently found out that the Tsukiji market is closed for the holidays and thus many fishes were not available. The fish slices were fresh but did not taste as good as what we had in Japan.
Surprising the sushi was much better with thick slices of fishes and a nicely made roll of vinegar rice. The rice temperature was just nice and warm but did not affect the taste of the fish and the rice stuck together nicely in a tight bundle.
The kai fish was so food that we ordered an additional 4 slices at SGD 30 which is a high price for sashimi in Singapore.
Since the sashimi did not match the standards of the ones in Japan, we moved on to the other dishes. The chawanmushi was different from the usual ones at other restaurants as it came with yuzu slices on top. The first spoon of the egg was extremely refreshing as there was a light citrus taste with the savoury steamed egg. Together with the chicken broth in the steamed egg, the juice of the yuzu was light and fresh on the palate.
The soft shell crab maki came in surprising huge rolls with a huge crab in the middle and many thin slices of cucumber and big dollop of mayonnaise. The maki was huge and can’t fit into one bite which makes it slightly messy to eat.
The mixed tempura came with 2 prawns, 1 fish and loads of vegetables. The batter was very crispy and tasty when eaten on it’s own and very soft and savoury eaten with the dipping sauce. The vegetables itself is fresh and sweet without losing it’s natural flavours.
The grilled cod fish was rather small in size for the price but it was well grilled with a nice toasted surface and crispy skin but the flesh of the fish is still milky, creamy and soft.
Overall, the service and food served at Sushi Jiro was good and of high quality standards but I was slightly disappointed at the sashimi as they were not as good as I had expected as there are more Japanese restaurants in Singapore getting their fish supplies from Tsukiji market and they taste much closer to the ones in Japan. For the price I was paying, I had much higher expectations.
Address: 6 Raffles Blvd, #04-600 Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore 039594
Operating hours: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and 6 pm to 10.30 pm