food review December 23, 2016
I had the great fortune of having an Omakase dinner at Sushi Murasaki at Millenia Walk recently, where I was served with many different types of sushi and assorted Japanese food items. I love omakase style dining because whatever the chef decides to serve is seasonal and the freshest you can get. For that night, we got to try the 雲 Kumo omakase set, which is priced at S$180++ for
2 appetisers, 3 kinds of sashimi, 6 pieces of nigiri sushi, a mini premium don, signature soup and dessert. The dining environment was quite zen and austere - you sit in a row facing the chefs who will be busy preparing the food. "Is it worth it?" you must wonder. Well, read on to find out!
Prices for dinner omakase start at S$128 for the Gen set without the premium don and one less sashimi. The premium don is worth 3 nigiri sushi and one hot dish, if you compare the Kumo set with the Murasaki set. Hmmm.
Chefs are busy putting together delectable goodness for us to consume! Look at that precious box of uni (sea urchin). Made us very excited.
We started with an appetiser of cold Hairy Crab Meat, which was sweet and fresh. I love de-shelled crab. We got off on the right feet!
Then we had some Smoked Spanish Mackerel (not pictured) which again was quite impressive. The mackerel meat was firm and fresh despite my reservations when it comes to mackerel. I will stop using the word "fresh" from now on because every single item on the menu was like so.
Next up, some sashimi. I was disappointed that the Otoro and Chutoro sashimi was ONE SLICE EACH. It was so incredibly tasty just on its own. Highlight #1.
The next dish was one of the dishes ranking number two from the bottom up. I did not enjoy this Tilefish, despite the cute presentation. It was quite strong in terms of having a fishy taste, and was not elevated by any other flavours.
Thankfully there's the Lobster with Truffle to make up for it. One of these 3 appetisers (there's the tilefish and hairy crab) was an extra by the way, if my math is correct. The delicate fragrance of the shaved truffle on some sweet juicy lobster was such a luxurious combination.
6 pieces of nigiri sushi followed suite, each one stronger in flavours than the next. They are none of your typical nigiri from sushi restaurants, so I'll say this portion is definitely worth it. The seasonal Shimaaji (striped horse mackerel) sushi was cheery and delightful, like a gentle breeze in spring.
There's also the Kinmedai (golden eye snapper) sushi, which was a little more intense in flavour. This might be the first time I'm having snapper in form of a nigiri sushi.
We also had the baby snapper, which is the Kodai (baby snapper) sushi, topped with a slice of fresh truffle. To be honest? I can't really tell the difference between the kodai and kinmedai, but I ate both up in a bite. There's just a teeny bit of Japanese rice underneath the generous slices of raw fish.
Then something a little bit more exciting - aburi otoro (tuna belly) sushi! The tuna belly makes an appearance again, this time lightly torched and topped with bits of gold flakes and caviar, meticulously placed on top by the sushi chef in front of us.
Then, probably my favourite of the 6 - the stellar aburi foie gras with uni (sea urchin) sushi. It reminded me of the foie gras prawn sushi I had at Hakumai at International Plaza. The combination of both land and sea butter was genius.
We had the uni (sea urchin) sushi on its own to end of this segment of the omakase. There was a creamy taste of the sea with this - no metallic tang that usually accompanies less fresh sea urchin. IMO the last three nigiri sushi especially justified the pricing.
Then the bowl of resistance - the mini premium wagyu don. There's a reason why this alone can be 'traded' for 3 nigiri sushi and one hot dish. It was a rhapsody of the best of everything we had before and more - black truffle, uni, foie gras, onsen egg, IKURA (my favourite), and little cubes of wagyu! I died and went to food heaven. This is what Sushi Murasaki is famous for, and for good reason. Even if this is a little 'unorthodox' when it comes to Japanese food, I reckon, don't care la, just eat! BEST DISH EVER that night.
Erm, after that we went straight to the other spectrum with my least favourite item of the omakase menu - the konbu and bonito clear soup boiled with kinmeidai (golden snapper). It was lukewarm, fishy and plain - nothing to shout about. I would have preferred a classic miso (no seafood!).
Fortunately we ended things on a sweet positive note with the Hojicha creme brulee. A fusion of East and West done in the most balanced way. I loved it and felt this was worth its place on the menu.
I bet you want to know overall if this entire affair was worth the trip and the $$$. Well, I'll say it's 80% worth it. I felt like its quite easy to dethrone this omakase if the restaurant just lowers their prices and offer similar items. However, I did enjoy the quality of the food and the dining experience even if there are some misses on the menu. The wagyu beef bowl tho - made up for the rest.
#02-08, 9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, Singapore 039569
Daily 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm