In Japanese, Omakase means to “leave it to the chef” and when done well, it is an enchanting experience. Mizuya Omakase restaurant has just opened its doors in Farrer Park. Since I am a big-time Japanese foodie, of course, I raced to try it! The Mizuya experience was a beautiful showcase of the freshest, most imaginative plates of sushi and sashimi and reflecting the grace and skill of the chef.
Flossie’s rating: ★★★★
Welcome Mizuya Omakase
Chef Kenny is the creative force behind Mizuya Omakase restaurant and he greeted us enthusiastically when we arrived early one Saturday night. In true Japanese-style, we sat at a homely wooden bench facing the kitchen; a privileged position from which we could see everything the chef was preparing.
Mizuya Omakase was formally known as Southpaw Bar & Sushi until the current owners took over. A full course Omakase menu with whisky pairings is $188 dollars per person.
Starting with Sashimi
Our Omakase meal began with sashimi. In Japanese, the direct translation of sashimi is “stabbed meat” although strictly speaking, sashimi is uncooked fish without rice.
An elegant elongated plate with two pots was carefully presented in front of us at the start of our meal. The first pot cradled raw salmon sperm, the colour of pale peaches, which melted like fish-fat in our wet hungry mouths.
The second pot was chopped-full of pickled nanohana; young shoots of the rapeseed plant sprinkled with bonito flake. To complete the plate was a sugar tomato, red as a blooming heart. The combination of salty sea-like flavours and fatty textures against fresh, tart produce awoke our appetite. It was the perfect start of our multi-course meal.
Our next dish, carefully sliced by Chef Kenny, was paper-thin flounder decorated with caviar and soaked in truffle oil. Talk about mouth explosion! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a dish so frail yet so robust. I devoured each sliver ever so slowly, hoping the whimsical ocean-like waves of flavour would never cease to lap.
Fat cuts of sashimi followed in quick succession. A strip of fatty tuna, pacific pike (秋刀魚) with ginger, raw octopus (namatako), sweet cream-like prawn and muscley ubugai shellfish. The seafood was crisp and served with a ramekin of soya sauce infused with yellow flowers.
We finished our sashimi course with lightly marinated Thai sea bream sprinkled with young spring onion.
Our sashimi starter was a tasty beginning, but I grew more excited by the sushi bites that followed. We were first delighted by a thick slab of fatty tuna atop snow-white rice. But, our expectations were quickly exceeded when a blood-red finger of trim tuna topped with creamy horseradish was plated next. The nasal fragrance of freshly grated horseradish negated the need for any additional wasabi.
Strips of pink-tinged sea bream, torigai shellfish and fatty-fried foie gras were beautifully presented as our sushi-orgy continued, with each bite more luxuriant than the next.
The rich and fresh flavours could almost forgive the more Westernised sweet prawn sushi with flame-grilled mentaiko that was eventually served. It was not at all typical Japanese, although we readily ate it because it tasted delicious and, well… who doesn’t like a bit of mayo on their sushi (even if it’s not traditional)?
You eat sushi with fingers in Japan. We tested the method out with the chunky gob of sea urchin nigiri that completed our sushi set.
To close out our meal, we nibbled on dried stingray chips with mayonnaise. This is supposedly an awesome beer snack as well. In this instance, the thick flakes, rough like foot callouses, helped to rid our palettes of fishiness and prepare our tongues for dessert.
A petite bean-based flower cake, neon pink and dough-like, was the grand finale. I opted not to eat this spoon of prettiness. I was already content and I did not want to over-indulge, least of all, on red bean mush.
No meal is complete without alcohol. At Mizuya, if you order sake then corkage is free! So we enjoyed a small carafe of chilled house sake (reasonably priced) and bought along a bottle of our own prosecco, cheap as chips, from the Wine Connection at City Square Mall.
Mizuya Omakase was a wonderful experience. The food was fresh and, for the most part, prepared in a true Japanese manner. Whatsmore, the atmosphere was jovial. We watched Chef Kenny prepare fishy masterpiece after masterpiece all the while delighting in his friendly banter. What an entertaining night, I’ll definitely be back again!
Mizuya Omakase Restaurant
11, #01-04 Cavan Road
Cavan Suites, Singapore 209848