“Shinji will change the way you look at sushi,” she said.
And it has. While my experience at Shinji by Kanesaka at the Raffles Hotel will not upstage the memory of my first taste of uni at Tsukiji market in Tokyo, it certainly comes close. I had the 12-piece (Tsuki 月) Set Lunch Course and it was truly sublime. Piece after piece of amazingly balanced sushi (ika, chu-toro, shimofuri-toro, yellow tail, anago, maguro, negi-toro, Japanese barracuda, uni and others, which to be honest, I was too busy savouring to note the names). The rice is so delicious, but does not distract from the taste of the seafood, but instead, blends so well with it and enhances the taste of the seafood.
Master Chef Oshino’s use of ingredients to subtly enhance the taste of the sushi is what makes Shinji truly an unforgettable experience, a hint of yuzu here, a marinade of soya sauce there, it made my palate sing with joy. I was honestly sitting at the sushi counter humming in joy with every piece of sushi.
While you’re aware that this is an upscale establishment, the atmosphere is never stifling. Chef Oshino was chatting away with his regular customers and the chefs even put on funny wigs and hats to present a birthday cake to another customer. It is tranquil but not staid.
It is certainly not cheap, but I feel that it is worth the money spent. If you’re on a stricter budget, I read that the 9-piece set is of very good value, if you’re not, consider splurging on the omakase special on a very very very special occasion. For me, I’m dreaming of my next visit.