Located in the heart of Marina Bay, Ginza Yoshihiro (Singapore) at Marina Mandarin offers nothing, but the best highlights of gourmet oden and omakase experience, coupled with premium sake and finest Japanese whiskies.
The kitchen is helmed by second generation Chef Nishioka (“Bob”) while his younger brother runs the restaurant in Tokyo. Apart from devoting his energy into the culinary world, Chef Bob holds a strong passion for Judo and hopes to continue his training during his small pockets of time.
Ginza Yoshihiro offers a thoughtfully curated menu consisting a popular selection of hot Japanese dishes, fresh handmade sushi and sashimi, and including three types of omakase meals. If decision isn’t your strong point, you will find it incredibly easy to order food in minutes.
The restaurant specialises in oden, a classic Japanese cuisine that most Japanese diners will turn in to as the perfect antidote to a long cold winter. It is the quintessential comfort food in Japan comprising ingredients like daikon, fishcakes, tofu and vegetables simmered in a kelp-based stock for several hours.
The oden served at Ginza Yoshihiro are not the 7-Eleven or supermarket-variety oden where most of the items are heavily flavoured and factory-produced. Chef Bob redefines the oden cuisine using only quality ingredients with subtle blend of flavors, that truly has to be the ultimate comfort food.
At Ginza Yoshihiro, it isn’t all about gourmet oden. The restaurant also offers Omakase, a series of deftly crafted courses made from the freshest Japanese ingredients in store. The prix fixe omakase menu starts from $148 for Ayame (five-course), $168 for Kikyou (eight-course) and $238 for Botan (nine-course), each menu includes the signature oden dish and varies seasonally.
The Botan dinner starts you off with a trio of appetisers comprising Japanese spanish mackerel, cooked Shirako (cod milt) in a tangy sauce and five kinds of sashimi such as otoro (tuna belly), chutoro (fatty tuna belly), kanpachi (amberjack) and botan ebi (shrimp) served in a platter.
The sashimi were generally fresh as the restaurant has a frequent import of seasonal catch from Japan. Having tasted the goodness of Shirako before, it wasn’t mind boggling but a pleasant delight to me.
What followed, was the signature oden – serving a plump and luscious Japanese tomato in a delicate tasting dashi stew made from kombu and bonito fish flakes. Then there was the beef shyabu shyabu, a perfect foil for the tasty beef which has been simmered till the flavours of the broth were fully absorbed into the tender meat.
The restaurant uses Hokkai-ebi, the genus species of prawns found along the northern shores of Hokkaido which can grow up to 13 cm in size. Lightly battered, deep fried and served with a dip of matcha salt to remove excess oil from the tempura.
The Botan omakase also include a grilled item – soy glazed tuna; three pieces of seasonal Nigiri Sushi – maguro, unagi and uni; and the classic Negitoro hand roll. All the dishes were thoughtfully curated and well executed.
Dessert was a naturally sweet platter of seasonal fruits from Japan – melon, satsuma mandarin and strawberries. Round off the meal with some sake or Japanese whisky like the stunning Hibiki – the best seat in the house is definitely by the sake bar, where you’ll remove your shoes to put on your comfort hat.
If you like Japanese dining a little bit classier than average, visit Ginza Yoshihiro for a slightly upmarket taste of the gourmet oden or give it a go at the quality-priced omakase.
*Omakase menu items may subject to change based on seasonal availability.
Ginza Yoshihiro (Singapore)
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #04-600, Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore 039594
Reservations: +65 6734 8842