Ever since I ate really good bluefin tuna from Sushi Tokami in Tokyo, I have been addicted to top quality hon maguro (Bluefin tuna), not the cheap yellowfin stuff that most restaurants serve you when you order maguro. No, real bluefin tuna is a thing of beauty; it has that deep, rich almost meaty flavour that is more full-flavoured and deeper tasting than all of the yellowfins. In Singapore, only certain restaurants claim to serve bluefin - the top end restaurants like Aoki, Shinji, and Tatsuya certainly; and that's why I do enjoy my trips at Koji since they serve bluefin at a not-so-exorbitant price.
When I saw photos of awesome bluefin tuna from this newly-opened restaurant called MaguroDonya Miuramisakikou, I knew I had to try it, since the tagline was that the restaurant served top quality hon maguro at reasonable prices.
So off we went, on the restaurant's opening day. It was rather empty, as can be seen from the photos - perhaps as we went rather late, close to 8pm.
Service was pleasant and courteous, we were taken care of by the friendly and amicable David who asked us how we knew about the place and was certainly keen to show us all the dishes and to provide us with much needed recommendations. He informed us that they just had a tuna cutting not too long ago, and presented us with this platter of delicious tuna cuts - man, it looked almost like cuts of beef!
We were presented with some complementary o-toro, which was just sublime, unctuous fats. So delicious. I mean, just look at the marbling!
We decided to each have a 'set', to be paired with some sides for sharing. I had the sushi set which came with tuna maki, ikura gunkan, uni gunkan, maguro akami nigiri, salmon nigiri, o-toro nigiri, botan ebi, and two types of white fish - I think they were kanpachi and tai though I can't be so sure. Either way, the sushi was good; I loved the delicious akami and the otoro was just sublime with all that fish oils. The price: S$42.
David brought out a large tuna collar that was left over from the cutting and asked if we wanted to take it - it would be charcoal grilled, he said. Trust me, this thing was massive. We duly obliged...
And soon, about 30 min later, we are presented with this charcoal grilled beauty - the collar of the bluefin tuna. It was seriously huge - good enough for 4-5 people.
Here's another photo to show you the size of the thing. Meat wise, it was yummy; the tuna meat remained extremely moist, and there were parts of the flesh which were just pink and juicy and tasty all at the same time. We had much fun rummaging into the crevices of the tuna collar in order to pick out the choicest parts. Would certainly order this again, but too bad that a tuna only has 2 collars. This was 8.5/10. By the end of the evening we were just stuffed with fish oils!
We also had some assorted sashimi; there was a platter of 3 types of maguro (akami, chutoro and otoro). Good stuff; I liked the otoro best for its fatty unctuous fish oils; the chutoro was good too. (8.5/10). Not the most top quality tuna since it was partially farmed, but still better than most.
I didn't really like the swordfish though - it tasted rather tough and sinewy, not at all like the choice mekajikis that we enjoy.
Another thing one should order when one's visiting MaguroDonya is the scrapped sushi - it is basically toro that has been scrapped near the bones from the leftovers, and is painstaking work but all of the meat ends up in this huge massive gunkan which boasts good flavour and is certainly good value for money. 8/10
I left the restaurant really stuffed, and full of fish oils, but excited to return - it's encouraging seeing more and more Japanese restaurants coming into Singapore from Japan. It would certainly be lovely if we could see some gastro-izakayas like Kanemasu, Kotaro and Nakamura in Singapore as well, pairing gourmet food with expertly chosen sakes. And certainly the sake scene could improve a great deal, since we often see the same labels at regular Japanese joints (Hakkaisan, Kubota, Dassai, Kikusui are some names that come to mind). But I digress - Magurodonya is a promising new entry into the world of Japanese cuisine in Singapore and certainly worth a visit.
|A photo of the tuna collar once we were done with it.|