The Japanese have a knack of creating beautiful, unusual and divine food. My love for all things Japanese grows more with every mouthful and every visit to this unique country. Japanese restaurants in Singapore are a kind of pleasure and pain experience though. Usually they are pretty good, but the pain comes when you pay. To get anything like the quality you enjoy in Japan we have to pay sky high prices. When I first arrived in Singapore I was on a bit of a mission to find affordable sushi and I wrote about 5 Affordable Sushi Restaurants quite some time ago now. Sushi Mitsuya needs to be added to the list.
My friend L has a deep love for sushi and is always on the lookout for new places to take clients and friends. As a thank you for her support of a charity event recently I took her to Sushi Mitsuya for a special lunch. Sushi Mitsuya isn’t cheap but the lunch offer is extraordinarily good value. Not only that but the intimate space, in typical Japanese counter style, is perfect for catching up with a friend.
Our choice was to go for the ‘Ichie’ set that included an appetiser, an 8 piece sushi medley, Makimono (little rolls), soup and dessert, for $60++. The serving size was the perfect lunch time amount. Bigger eaters might upgrade to the next menu which comes in at $100++.
Our first appetiser was seaweed in a pink dressing. I can’t recall entirely the flavours but it whet our appetite for things to come. And just look at the presentation of the bowl and the gorgeous chopsticks and chopstick rest.
The salmon then arrived and was served with a gelatinous topping. My first thought was to scrape off the topping being that gelatine is far from my favourite ingredient. Then I thought, no, I should give it a go. I was delighted when the broth flavoured topping simply melted on my tongue. The cold salmon with a firmer texture was perfectly complemented by the topping. Gorgeous and unusual.
Next up was flounder. Served with a teeny tiny bit of soy the fish itself was soft and tastier than it looked. The simplicity of sushi means that the ingredients need to speak for themselves, which this one did.
The scallop course was possibly my favourite. Neither of us were super keen on raw scallop but these babies, from mainland Japan, were a firm texture that was complemented by the lime dressing and black salt. When we got chatting to Chef we asked if these were Hokkaido scallops and he said they weren’t. Apparently Hokkaido scallops are softer and not as good for sashimi. News to me but something I’ll remember.
Next was the mackerel. As usual for mackerel the fish was fishy but I enjoyed the mirin (I think) glaze and accompanied with pickled ginger this was a wow of a mouthful.
As each dish was served to us by Chef he would explain what we’d be eating. Tuna belly arrived next and was as divine as it looks. So soft and melty in your mouth. We also loved that the individual items were served to us, rather than a plate full of food all at once.
Our unagi (eel) was an unusual version served with cooked brown rice. I’ve never before seen brown rice used in sushi and it was a nice complement to the gently cooked eel on top.
The makimono rolls were served together and included three tuna rolls and three cucumber rolls. The rolls were freshly made in front of us (as was everything) and you could taste and feel the difference in quality compared to many sushi restaurants in Singapore.
Dessert was vanilla icecream with tofu custard. It certainly looked pretty but Japanese dessert isn’t really my thing.
Chef was the adorable Ryosuke Harada who has worked in Japan and Hong Kong but has now made Singapore home. He spoke impeccable English and was a master at his work, diligently preparing food for his customers sitting around the counter, interacting with all of us as he did. Chef makes great efforts to fulfil service expectations and in Hong Kong he went as far as to learn Cantonese so as to be able to communicate better with his customers.
Sushi Mitsuya is a great venue for a work lunch or quiet friend lunch. The bar seats 18 and is ideal for two or maybe three at a push. There’s also a private room for 6 to 8 people. Menu options range from a Chirashi Bowl set at $50++ to the Chef’s recommendation at $180++.
60 Tras Street, Singapore
phone +65 6438 2608
Open Monday to Saturday for lunch between 12pm to 3pm and for dinner between 6pm and 11pm