Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Senmi Sushi at Emporium Shokuhin

Was really excited to hear of the opening of Emporium Shokuhin, located at the new wing at Marina Square. We visited yesterday and was suitably impressed - it reminded me of a supermarket in Japan! Rows of fresh seafood and dry-aged meat, with dried produce and dairy as well.

The emporium is massively huge - it consists of a number of different restaurants (Senmi Sushi, which I am going to blog about in this post), Burosu Honten - a ramen joint, Umi + Vino - a seafood and wine bar, Tsukeru - a shabu shabu outlet, Gyuu+ - a meat joint, and Takujo - an omakase joint.

Senmi Sushi does have a lovely ambience: a long sushi bar where you can watch the chefs prepare the sushi and chirashi bowls, and light wood which is so Japanese-like. Orders are taken through a touch-screen pad (probably an iPad) which makes for convenient ordering. The prices were not too prohibitive: swordfish sashimi going at S$8 for 3 pieces and salmon sushi going for less than S$2 per pop. For bluefin tuna, akami sushi was sold for S$5 - still pretty alright.

We ordered some nigiri to start: a trio of hotate (scallop), akami (lean bluefin tuna), and tamago (egg custard). I am happy to report that all of them were very very good, as good as many a joint in Japan. The akami was rich, deep, and flavourful (I somehow preferred it to the o-toro that I ordered later on, which was more fatty but did not have such a deep taste), the scallops were sweet and meaty, and the tamago was sweet and fragrant. Altogether, very good! (8.75/10) One thing that they can learn from one of my favourite places (Koji) is to have a special sushi sauce for brushing, rather than using the generic shoyu, since a special sushi sauce would have more flavour as it would be combined with mirin and reduced to form a nikiri.

We also ordered the chirashi don (S$18) - for S$18, this was pretty generous. The fish was of top quality - the chutoro was fatty, melt in your mouth, very rich; the salmon was also very flavourful, more so than other salmon; and the scallops - wow it was really good, so succulent and sweet. A special shout out goes to the hamachi (hidden from view) - also very tasty. (8.5/10) 

The only failing - in my view - is that they didn't give us fresh wasabi and we were forced to use the powdered / paste stuff instead, nasty little things. 

Do I prefer it to Koji's? Hmm, it's a tough fight. But I have to say - Senmi Sushi is excellent in its own right. It is authentic, is at a good price point, and is absolutely delicious. Do I wish that it had its own hikiri sushi sauce? Hell yeah. Did I wish it had fresh wasabi instead of that green looking weird crap? Hell yeah. But - overall - for what it is - it's pretty darned good. Highly recommended.