We scored the best seats in the house: front and center at the counter where we were entertained by the affable chef. We ended up spending a languid 2 hours at dinner, making our way through the various courses, all the while getting an exposition on the intricacies of Japanese haute cuisine. The mastery exhibited by the chef was dazzling, and every course was absolutely sublime. So glorious my heart sang. And because the chef had seasoned everything to an exquisite perfection, there was no need for additional soy sauce or wasabi. The service was also faultless; attentive, obliging and gracious.
The icing on the cake: payment by an OCBC credit card entitles you to a 20% discount off the bill, guaranteeing a return visit. Apparently, the menu is revamped every 10-14 days, so you can bet your bottom dollar that we'll be back then.
The Hubs had the 14-course Bizen Set ($250) comprising an appetizer, assorted sashimi, a simmered dish, a steamed course, 8 pieces of nigiri, miso soup and dessert. Shortly after being seated, we were both served a refreshingly chilled amuse bouche of beancurd skin contrasted with briny ikura pearls.
The appetizer course...
of a cup of freshly shredded hairy crab crowned with ikura and dressed in a piquant wafu sauce...
and a decadently creamy monk fish liver, served chilled and meltingly fatty, dressed simply in soy...
the spongiest tamago ever, and poached tiger prawn...
with a baby green pepper tempura, grilled sweet potato, steamed gingko nuts, and grilled Japanese butterfish (managatsuo).
The Sashimi Platter (eaten from left to right in order of increasing intensity of flavours) with jack mackerel, golden eye snapper (kinmedai), and yellowtail, all swimmingly fresh, plump and sweet
So anyway, there was this incredible Simmered Dish of the smoothest Handmade Sesame Tofu ever, chunked with hairy crab and fried gingko that was wolfed down so fast I didn't get any pictures. Oops, my bad!
The Steamed Dish of tile fish (amadai), mushrooms, Japanese tofu, Japanese leek, cod fish sperm sac (shirako) and sided by a bright lime-aided ponzu sauce. Once we got past the gross factor of ingesting reproductive organs, we found that the cod fish sac was surprisingly mild, almost tasteless even, and possessed a delightfully chewy texture.
And we're onto the nigiri courses, starting with the Razor Jacket Nigiri
The Tuna (maguro) was sprinkled with yuzu zest for a spritely lift.
This may sound sacrilegious, but I actually prefer medium fatty tuna (chu-toro) to the prized fatty tuna belly (otoro). I've always found chu-toro to be a better balance of the fat and meaty. Sushi Ichi's most premium nigiri selection is the Chu-Toro, luscious and sinfully delicious.
Arc Shell (akagai) Nigiri, chewy and firm
Japanese Tiger Prawn Nigiri, incredibly sweet and fresh
Sea Eel (unagi) Nigiri, lightly burnished with a teriyaki sauce and dusted with yuzu zest, walked the fine line of tart, sweet and smoky.
Maki of Gourd and Toro, with a couple of Tamago, perfectly exquisite
Miso Soup laden with plentiful honshimeiji, silky tofu and sweet hairy crab shreds
Dessert of crunchy Pears, Husk Melon, Jelly and Strawberry Ice-Cream, and a couple cubes of chocolate cake
I had the 15-course nigiri-centric Hagi Set ($210) encompassing an appetizer, 12 pieces of nigiri, miso soup and dessert. The complimentary amuse bouche of beancurd skin and salmon roe (ikura).
of shredded hairy crab topped with ikura and crunchy julienned cucumber
and a baby green pepper tempura, poached tiger prawn, grilled sweet potato cube, fluffy tamago, steamed gingko nuts, and grilled Japanese butterfish (managatsuo)
Jack Mackerel Nigiri; milky and chewy
Black Rockfish Nigiri (Kuro-Soi), aburi-ed, mild and melty
Tuna with Yuzu
Squid Nirigi (ika), chewy and creamy
Horse Mackerel (aji), capped with grated ginger to counter the stronger flavour of the fish
Arc Shell Nigiri
Scallop Nigiri, soft and mild
White Shrimp Nigiri, incredibly sweet
Sea Eel Nigiri
Miso Soup generously chunked with honshimeiji, tofu and hairy crab
Dessert of Pears, Melon, Jelly and Strawberry Ice-Cream
Scotts Square #02-02
6 Scotts Road
Tel: 6299 0014
Open for lunch: 12.30pm to 3pm on Tuesdays; 12noon to 3pm from Wedesdays to Sundays;
Dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm from Tuesdays to Sundays;
Closed on Mondays