If you haven’t tried The Sushi Bar, you’ve totally missed out on some pretty damn good Japanese Food. (also you must be a suaku because this has been super popular over the past couple of years)
No really – after travelling to Japan almost yearly from 2006-2010, I must admit that I got a little picky with my Japanese food. In Singapore, no sashimi was just as fresh, and just as creamy as the ones I’d tried in Tsukiji fish market, and I had to settle for NTUC sashimi!
But a few years ago, my parents discovered this gem in Far East Plaza, nested on the third floor of the hidden mall that marks the start of Orchard Road. (unless you headed there every week for lunch after school, *ahem*).
Pardon the poor photos, these are pretty old phone photos – thank goodness my dad took pictures during our first visit anyway! Their very first unit in FEP was really small, and all my mum remembers was that the green tea tasted funny :p They did move to a larger location on the 4th floor of Far East Plaza (#04-28) in 2013 (if I’m not wrong!).
I can’t count the number of times I’ve eaten at The Sushi Bar now – it’s truly the only place in Singapore that I’d head to if I want some fresh and reasonably-priced sashimi/sushi. Too bad that you’ve got to queue/make reservations in advance – if you’re craving for some sashimi on Saturday noon, you’re out of luck! I’ve had to queue for one full hour before we were let into the restaurant before – bearing in mind that a queue snaking around the corridors of FEP typically already forms up to half an hour before the restaurant is open at 12.30pm.
I think I’ve brought practically all my groups of friends and family here to eat heh – and most of us agree that this is (arguably) the best Aburi Salmon Roll you can get in Singapore 🙂 In case you’re not sure what aburi is, aburi is flamed and seared – the top of the fish is lightly seared with a blowtorch, enhancing the flavourful fish oil. For me, this light aburi completely changes the way the sashimi tastes – it’s this rich, umami flavour that leaves a lightly charred (but pleasant) aftertaste. It may however be a little jelak for some, so you might not be able to down that 10th slice of sashimi you thought you could finish.
Over Chinese New Year, my family brought my cousins’ family (who live in Shanghai) to eat there, and the only gripe my cousin had was that there was too much 料 and too little rice (he was absolutely dying by the time he got to the last 8 slices). C’mon – is that even an issue?!?! Their slices are thick and creamy, and served at the perfect temperature – I really hate it when sashimi is served freezing cold, or warm and droopy at room temp! (I did however find that their tuna was slightly dull; in general, I find tuna one of the most tasteless kinds of fish you’ll find in Singapore, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise/deal to me.)
Yesterday, we visited their new outlet on the 5th floor of Ngee Ann City (#05-34/35). It’s nestled in a corner, along the stretch of restaurants (near Best Denki!). This outlet is a ton more spacious than the FEP one, and the chairs/booths are a ton more comfortable than the stools at FEP to be honest! I was itching to visit the new branch as I’d heard that there were new dishes available – my favourite aburi don :’) :’) and a wagyu don. They were golden, by the way – I’d definitely recommend that you try them out.
Lynette, one of the 老板s, was truly warm and pleasant and shared with my dad (who’s super, super talkative) the Sushi Bar’s beginnings. My mum really likes their selling ethic – “This is the way you do business! You sell delicious food at reasonable prices, and people will keep coming on their own. If you keep overpricing and cutting the quality of your food (like that restaurant next door *ahem*), you’ll close down in no time”. I certainly hope that this place sticks around for good – if you’re ever in Singapore and craving for some Japanese food, you should definitely head down to The Sushi Bar!