Millenia Walk used to be a mall with multiple furniture shops and high end accessories shops but the foot traffic was so bad that they decided to undergo a revamp 5 or 6 years ago to be a more lifestyle oriented mall. With that change, they introduced a Nippon food street with 7 Japanese restaurants offering ramen, tonkatsu, sushi and sashimi, robatayaki and shabu shabu. With the existing Pullman Japanese bakery and new Mediya supermarket, Millenia Mall instantly became the new hot spot for lover of all things Japanese
I was looking for a restaurant for lunch after my visit to Mediya when I found Nozomi by Yoshi at the far end of the Nippon food street. A sister restaurant to Yoshi at Forum Shopping Mall which offers Kyoto Kaiseki Omakase, the Nozomi is a more casual restaurant offering bento sets, donburi and Japanese clay pot rice at more pocket friendly prices
As the restaurant outlook and signboard is simplistic and discreet in style, it could be missed if you were just walking by so they placed plenty of colourful digital signboards featuring their monthly promotions.
The restaurant itself is narrow in layout and pretty small with 6 bar counter seats where you can watch in on the kitchen action. Guest can only choose to sit at the regular table setting nearer to the full length window panels facing the walkway outside. The entire capacity of the restaurant is probably only about 25 to 30 without safe distancing consideration.
I was having a pretty late lunch therefore the restaurant was quite empty and I m not sure is some of the staff are on lunch break as the service was a tad slower than expected. I was attracted by the colourful pictures so I ordered the barachirashi don set with uni and ikura with Hokkaido
Priced at SGD 40, I had expected something more extravagant but the bowl in front of me was quite generic. While the ingredients are fresh, the grade of the fishes were not top notch. The serving was pretty small as the container was very shallow even though it looks huge from outside. The base was at the center of the container.
My friend ordered the zaru soba with sashimi bento set at SGD 22 which comes with cold soba, onsen egg, salmon sashimi, tuna nigiri, pork belly kushiage, miso soup and pickles. With the number of things offered, the price looked reasonable but the flavours were quite mediocre. The pork belly was cold and hard while the noodles were not springy. The fish was fresh but not top grade as well
We ordered the tako karaage for SGD 18 as we both loved octopus, however octopus was very disappointing as it was hard and too rubbery to chew.
The ikura chawanmushi at SGD 5.80 was quite decent with subtle flavours
They had a special crab meat croquettes ball so we order them to try
When I bit into them, I was pleasantly surprised as each ball was filled with creamy crab meat while the skin was fried till crispy.
Overall, the food at Nozomi was ok although for the grade of the sashimi, the price was a bit steep. They were known to be good with their clay pot rice but I did not managed to try them. Some dishes were really not so good like the pork belly which was served as a side dish as well as the tough tako. For better grade food, it would probably be wise to visit their sister outlet at Forum
Address: 9 Raffles Boulevard Millenia Walk #02-06, 039596
Operating hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 9.30pm