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Singapore - $68 Dinner Omakase at Shinzo Japanese Cuisine Review aka Express Omakase

Dinner Omakase at Shinzo Japanese Restaurant Review

Dinner Omakase at Shinzo Japanese Restaurant ReviewDinner Omakase at Shinzo Japanese Restaurant Review

Since our trip to Japan in September is postponed to next year, the urge for Japanese food grew over the last weekend. My quest to search for a good and value for money Japanese restaurant in Singapore. I came across Shinzo Japanese restaurant $68++ early bird Omakase. It caught my attention and the price seems pretty decent for an 8-course meal.  

Omakase is a type of meal that allows the chef to decide what to serve their diner. Usually, the chef will prepare the meal by using the best ingredient available that day. Hence, it is more expensive than the usual Japanese set meal.

The perks of having Omakase is the surprise element that comes with it. On the other hand, this also meant that the chef may serve something you don’t like. The last Omakase we visited was at Teppei a few years back. It was a fun experience but we had mixed feelings about it. So, this time we took the opportunity of the promotion and went ahead to try!

On the day itself, we reached 10 minutes before the opening hours and was glad that the restaurant is opened for seating. Took our temperature and did the usual safe-entry at the restaurant. Soon, we were served the first dish of the 8-course of Omakase.

First & Second dish - Appetizer

Dinner Omakase at Shinzo Japanese Restaurant Review

The first dish was a seasonal condiment that tastes like pickles or mei chai to me. It’s sweet and delicious. Afterwards, a small bowl of salad was served. A light sauce was drizzled on top of the salad giving it a refreshing taste. 

Third – Sashimi / 5 Slices of assorted sashimi  

Then, a 5-slices of assorted sashimi is served. Each piece is of top grade and nicely cut. I didn’t bring my ruler out with me but it seems that each slice fits the standard 10mm. I watched the chef slice it meticulously and wonder how long did he take to train. 

The temperature of the sashimi is perfect to melt in the mouth. Favourite among all is the half piece of the huge size scallop given to us. Shiok-ness is when the sweet and richness of the scallop explode in the mouth.  

Fourth – Cooked dish / Fish Cheek Bone & Radish

Next, cooked dish was served. When the staff came by with the dish, I thought I heard wrongly. Cheek? Woah. Every Asian grandpa will tell you that the best part of the fish is at the cheek of the fish. The meat on the cheek is tender and has a great taste. A piece of Radish was served at the side with a delicious broth. Definitely, one of the star dishes served.  

Fifth – Tempura

Tempura is my least favourite/ ordered item among all Japanese cuisine because I thought that my mom can do a better job at frying vegetables. True enough, the tempura served here is a huge disappointment.

The batter was plain and the vegetables were tasteless. H & I couldn’t tell if the orange tempura is a carrot or sweet potato. The $16.90 Vegetable Tendon at Suntec Tendon Kohaku is definitely better than the tempura served here. The only item on that I thought is better than average was the prawn used for Ebi tempura.

Sixth - Sushi

Finally, my favourite part of omakase came. A 5 piece sushi was served. The sea urchin had the umami taste and fresh salty taste. Saltwater eel sushi was perfectly grilled. The best among all was the Otoro sushi served! The fatty part literally melt in the mouth! Hands-down to the sushi! 

Seventh – Miso Soup

Unlike the usual miso, it was thick and flavorful. I’m not sure if I can call this the Umami because it was a little too salty to my taste bud. I prefer miso that is with a lighter taste. The instant miso from Daiso is good enough! 

Eighth – A scoop of Ice Cream

Matcha ice-cream is usually served in Japanese restaurants and I was expecting that too. Despite containing ice crystal in the ice-cream, I finish the ice-cream happily since I’m a fan of matcha. Sadly, for H who dislike Matcha, did not have other options to choose. We end up walking over to Dopa Dopa for the best Pistacho ice cream in Singapore! 

In conclusion

I would say do not expect a full or authentic Omakase experience at Shinzo if you are going for the price $68++/$80per pax omakase. It is great for someone who wants to try the quality before revisiting for a full experience or someone like me who isn't sure if I should pay more than $100/pax for a meal. To be honest, comparing the price of $68 to its full menu going at $118 or even lunch omakase at $80, the early bird is considered to be a better deal.

No doubt the quality of food at Shinzo Japanese restaurant is good. My favourite dish among all is the sashimi and sushi. They were fresh and the rice was flavourful. Sadly, 4 out of the 8 dishes served as part of the omakase meal was mediocre. (No prizes to guess which is my top 3). To add on, There were zero creativity and zero interaction (not sure if it was because of COVID). To top it off, there was almost no introduction on explaining each dish. It feels like me ordering Caipeng/ Economic rice and point to the aunty “ I want that vegetable”.  

Although we were given 1.5 hours to finish our food, we left the restaurant at 18:50. It was indeed an express omakase meal. I still remembered the one at Teppei left me sleepy half-way through. Will I revisit for its full omakase? – Not really. I would top up a little more and have it at Teppei since the quality of sashimi is assured too. We left the restaurant before the sun went down and was given the opportunity to witness the sunset. Such a beauty isn't it?  

Have you visited Shinzo Japanese Restaurant before?  What do you think about Omakase meal? Share your experience with us!

Shino Japanese Cuisine, 17 Carpenter St, Singapore 059906 Daily 12–3pm, 6:30–10pm except for Sunday


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