Hashida Sushi is the Hubs' favourite place for Japanese kaiseki/omakase; I think the ritzy restaurant shares top spot with Shinji.
Both are exquisite, and guarantee a mind-blowing, almost reverent, dining experience. Of course, meals at award-winning restaurants like these don't come cheap. With a mid-ranged Omakase dinner priced at $300 a pop, you may have to sell a kidney to finance a meal at Hashida. My two cents' worth: you only really need one kidney.
We were attended to by Chef Yuji Sato, a benevolent, taciturn man who reserved his energy to whipping up a most exceptional dinner.
The 19-course meal kicked off with a wonderfully silky Hokkaido squid draped over a shiso leaf, capped with a spoonful of creamy uni, caviar, in a pool of ginger ponzu, and finished off with a shower of gold flakes.
Next up was a warm plate of shirako (sperm sac) simmered with shitake, Japanese eggplant and a fried green pepper in delicate dashi.
The ice-plate was the coolest sashimi platter I'd ever seen, layered with frosted daikon paper on which squid liver and squid (top right) were laid on, together with octopus sashimi and a suction cup (top left), and a couple slices of halibut sashimi (bottom left) which was paired with a sake and sour plum dipping sauce. Love love LOVED the halibut, and ditto for the sauce which was such a refreshing change-up from the usual sashimi shoyu. I've realised I really don't like squid or octopus sashimi...these really required a strong set of jaws to chew thoroughly.
Premium halibut capped with kombu pearls sushi. Save for the surf clam, all other sushi were outstanding.
Seared bonito slicked with creamy sesame sauce, kelp and garlic chips
Aburi yellow jack sushi
Sea perch fillet fried and brightened with a hit of lime squeeze.
Yellowtail belly sushi
Surf clam sushi - strictly as a matter of preference, I'm not a fan
A shoyu and sake braised octopus sucker enlivened by a bold yuzu kosho (yuzu pepper).
Soy-marinated blue fin tuna sushi
A most decadent uni and ikura Hokkaido rice bowl. So generous that the ratio of ikura to rice was ridiculous.
Broth seasoned plainly with hiratake mushroom and crab cake.
Seared perch handroll
A trio of sweet treats rounded off the omakase, with dark chocolate infused with yoghurt and red bean paste.
Fresh musk melon and Japanese grape
And a lovely heart-shaped fuchsia yuzu macaron.
Chef Sato at work with that humongous slab of tuna belly. YUMS.
#02-37 Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
Tel: 6733 2114
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 7pm to 10pm for dinner;
Closed on Mondays