Sublime sushi, spectacular sashimi and stunning sake, outside of the Land of the Rising Sun there’s no better exponent of the magical creativity than Singapore’s Japanese restaurants.
Here’s our guide to the best places to find sushi in Singapore.
Arguably Singapore’s best Japanese restaurant, Japanese celebrity chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida seats just 26 per sitting with views of the sushi preparation area and a promise to deliver an immersive omakase experience alongside focused customer service to fully enjoy a menu that epitomises the Art of Sushi.’
With prices hitting as high as S$500 for the world-class dinner menu, you will eat the most exquisitely and intricately prepared food made from the freshest ingredients and outside of Japan, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better sushi.
Tomi Sushi Bar
Tomi might be a chain with four restaurants in Singapore (and 14 in Japan) but if you look past the modest, mass-market, clinical appearance, you’ll find authentic Japanese sushi of an exceptional quality at very reasonable prices. What more could you ask for?
They use the very best Koshihikara rice and different soy sauces for the sushi and sashimi – it’s the little things that make all the difference – and although these aren’t the cheapest sushi bars in town, they stand up against independents at twice the price.
Kaiho Sushi in Cuppage Plaza has been described as a ‘Japanese food lover’s paradise’ and while it’s not the most appealing place from the outside, as you step inside you are transported into a restaurant where the quality of the sushi and the supporting cast wouldn’t feel out of place in Tokyo.
The food is beautifully prepared, all throughout the chef’s seven-course S$100 omakase menu taking in an odd but tasty morsel from the salmon head, sashimi, nigiri sushi, soup, grilled fish, tempura and dessert but you can also order à la carte where highlights include raw salmon roe with sea urchin, tender snow crab leg and the Japanese omelette.
Koh Grill & Sushi Bar
One of Singapore’s best-known food writers describes Koh Grill & Sushi Bar as ‘honest Japanese food at affordable prices’ and while it is exactly that, the Orchard Road eatery has an ace up its sleeve that is becoming increasingly hard to ignore.
Be prepared for long queues up to an hour but it’s worth the wait for their Shiok Maki, a Singaporean-inspired maki made of avocado, unagi and aburi salmon ‘drenched with a supremely addictive creamy sauce that is seemingly a legit mixture of mayo and mentai, then topped with a copious amount of tobiko.’ Other variations include charcoal-grilled eel wrapped with lightly-toasted salmon but for a quick fix of excellent Japanese flavours, the Koh Grill & Sushi Bar is hard to beat.
This is as close to a genuinely perfect experience of Kyoto kaiseki cuisine as you’ll find outside the Kyoto Prefecture. Chef Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara has united taste, texture and presentation and at the same time has elevated dining to a form of expressive art with ‘the entire meal forming an elaborate canvas of colour, flavour, scent, and texture.’
With the Hana Omakase menu set at S$328 per person, this is not a quick bite before the cinema restaurant; rather it’s a world-class fine dining experience delivered by one of the world’s best kaiseki masters.
There are half a dozen Itacho Sushi outlets in Singapore and while they retain a fast-food feel that appeals to teenagers before they go off to the cinema, the food is made to order and classically well-prepared sushi needs little prose. It’s cheap (some of the sushi is as low as 40c), tasty and perfect for sushi in a hurry.
The branch at ION Orchard is reputed to be the best of the six but in truth, there’s little between them. Expect to queue at peak times but it’s worth it when you finally get to your table. The sushi is ably supported by good tempura, good noodles, good soup and a proper buzz but people come for the sushi and it’s easy to see why.
Mikuni’s Executive Chef Moon Kyung Soo has mastered the culinary trinity of stunning presentation, world-class ingredients and exquisite technical skills and with every dish he creates, he blends traditional with modern for one of the best Japanese sushi restaurants in Singapore.
A renowned Sake sommelier and live Teppanyaki, Sushi and Robatayaki stations add to the theatre of Mikuni and while dinner can set you back S$500 a couple, the stunning kaiseki dishes offer discerning guests a multi-sensory dining experience that will stay long in the memory.
Google the ‘top 10 sushi restaurants in Singapore’ and Tatsuya will appear on almost every list. Based in the Goodwood Park Hotel, the chef has created a truly sensational menu that even El Bulli king Ferran Adria hunted out on a trip to the Garden City.
The food is seasonal, ‘straight-out-the-sea’ fresh and the restaurant has been described as ‘the grand-daddy of Japanese cuisine in Singapore…where freshness is unparalleled and attention to detail is unrivalled.’ This is Japanese food of the very highest quality.
Specialising in oden – the Japanese winter comfort food of a light broth with ingredients such as boiled egg, daikon, fish, seafood and seasonal vegetables – Ginza Yoshihiro fly their fish in from the world-renowned Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo three of four times a week so you know you’re getting some of the freshest fish of the highest quality in all of Asia.
Another speciality is ten-don, a combination of tempura and donburi – delicately battered meat or vegetables on a bed of rice and while the sushi and sashimi are both outstanding, for an authentic taste of Japan in the Marina Mandarin Hotel, Ginza Yoshihiro should be near the top of your ‘must eat’ list.
Located in the lobby of the Hotel Miramar on Havelock Road, Ikoi is a Japanese à la carte buffet restaurant serving some of the best sashimi in town including salmon, yellowtail, swordfish and tuna but don’t max out on the fresh fish!
The maki, nigiri and handroll sushi is excellent, as is the tempura and noodles and for a set price of S$38, Ikoi represents outstanding value for money. A menu highlight is the crispy salmon skin handroll that you can hear crunch from three tables away!