Address: 76 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189558
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 12:00pm – 3:00pm; 6:00pm – 10:30p. Closed on Sundays
Reservations / Official Website: shinjibykanesaka.com
Shinji by Kanesaka: 1 Michelin Star Sushi, Carlton Hotel, Singapore
This is one of those “Go high or go low” moments. Middle range restaurants are no longer worth the experience and price, and so I find that Michelin Star restaurants are becoming more and more worth your money. Shinji by Kanesaka is one of them.
Having experienced Sushi Yoshitake and RyuGin in Tokyo and an Omakase at Taian in Osaka, I can definitely say Shinji by Kanesaka truly belongs to the Michelin circle. The quality of the sushi here by Chef Shinji’s helm is unparalleled by Singapore standards. To those who want a more elevated experience, the Omakase is raved by the Michelin cult (and something I’d like to try at one point when I have more time.). For those who want a taste of Shinji by Kanesaka, I highly recommend the Tsuki, a spread of 12 nigiri sushi, soup and dessert, where you’ll experience the balance that Chef Shinji advocates.
Memorable pieces in my Tsuki included the Bafun Uni. It is fortunately Uni season in Hokkaido. Sea urchin is at its creamiest towards the end of August for Hokkaido, while other variants are more seasoned during October. Nevertheless the Uni is one of the best I ever had.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Anago as well — freshwater eel which is also in season during the Obon. It mirrors closely to the freshness of the Anago I had at Sushi Yoshitake (which was 3 Michelin star, of course).
Regular crowd pleasers in any Michelin sushi experience, Chuttoro and Otoro, made its appearance in the spread. Both are melt-in-your-mouth and again, one of the best.
It’s worth mentioning that the Spanish mackerel, surprisingly, along with the marinated tuna (which was unconventional for a sushi), were flavorful and clean.
The Hokkaido Ebi, however, astounded all of us sitting at the sushi counter. The sweetness stole the show.
Finally, I don’t normally enjoy Ika or Maki rolls, but Shinji by Kanesaka attempts to convert me with the taste of the rice. It is neither heavy or sticky at all. Just right. Just balanced. And I believe it is the one of the reasons why Shinji managed to pull it off with such a simplistic array.
A small cube of Tamago and a bowl of miso soup caps the meal, but it is slightly underwhelming compared to the Tamago I had in Sushi Yoshitake. Meanwhile the sea salt ice cream is refreshing, and I wish it is something sour in palate.
Other sushi served in Tsuki:
For anyone who dreams of Jiro in Singapore, Shinji by Kanesaka is worth the alternative and the price tag. Always make a reservation and note that there’s a $150 security deposit as always for any Michelin restaurant.