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Hakumai Sushi: Sushi Omakase with Foie Gras!

1st Row: Mentaiko hotate, madai, katsuo. 2nd Row: kinmedai, tamago, aburi otoro. 3rd Row: shima aji, wagyu, buri

I Actually Prefer My Fish Cooked!

My sushi craze started in 2009 when I learned how to eat sushi properly from the grandmaster of Sushi himself, Chef Nogawa, (God bless his soul). Truth be told, I am still very much a Teochew Ah Hia (Typical Teochew guy) at heart. So, given the option between a plate of raw fish and a nicely grilled hamachi collar, I’d choose the cooked fish any day. The only exception is sushi. I do enjoy the experience of sitting at a sushi bar, chatting with the Taisho (sushi chef), and embellishing a sushi course, one piece at a time. And that is really the only time I enjoy raw fish. (Nope not even Yu Sheng) That is why I would never order a Chirashi Don or a plate of sashimi on my own. I am sure I am not the only one, right?

My Sushi phase was between 2011 to 2016 when I set out to write all about the different types of seafood used for sushi. There is still much more to do, but at least in Singapore, I think I covered 90% of what is usually served at the sushi counter. This information can be found in my Sushi Files which will be helpful if you are embarking on your own sushi journey. Since then, I have moved on to explore other areas of the culinary world while the sushi culture in Singapore continues to mature.

Starters: Chawanmushi and grilled Puffer Fish

Sushi in Singapore

Sushi culture here probably reached its pinnacle around 2016 and in the last few years, it has just been about consolidation. There are places where you can eat Michelin Star sushi which would set you back $400 per pax as well as sushi you can pick up at the supermarket. A $400 sushi course is not something most people can afford to eat on a whim, but thankfully, there are many sushi counters now which serve good sushi at a fraction of the price. Even then, a proper sushi lunch course would still set you back at least $100. You can of course enjoy sushi for less at many restaurants, but you can’t expect the same level of quality and service.

The New Hakumai Sushi

When I last wrote about Hakumai Sushi, they were still spotting the old-style sushi counter with the above-table glass display. They have since gotten a complete makeover and now spot the newer sushi display and faux hinoki wood counter. In the past, there used to be separate tables, but now everyone sits at the sushi bar. They now offer lunch sushi omakase courses which range from 8, 10 and 12 pieces priced at $98, $118 and $138 respectively. Dinner sushi omakase starts from $138. (10 piece)

Chef Gary Ng

Hakumai Sushi’s Omakase Menu

We had an excellent sushi course at Hakumai. Fresh fish is a given nowadays in Singapore, so there really isn’t any point stating their fish are airflow from Japan four times a week. What sets one sushi bar from the next is the few signature items that you look forward to eating that the chef is known for. In Chef Gary’s case that would be the foie gras with giant sweet shrimp and the angel hair pasta with uni. These two items, together with the otoro sushi are standard items in his sushi course whether you go for 8 piece or 12 piece omakase.

Chef Gary has been a sushi chef for 30 years with the last ten at Hakumai which he owns together with a partner. He caters to many local sushi lovers who, like me, enjoy aburi items. So, I do appreciate his mentaiko hotate and wagyu sushi. Serious sushi connoisseurs might balk at such items, but I like them. They also don’t serve much hikari-mono like kohada (gizzard shad) and aji (horse mackerel) because they can be a tad fishy unless they are super fresh. It suits me well, as I have never really enjoyed hikari-mono anyway.

Highlights of the Sushi Course

Hiroshima Oyster

The standard way of serving fresh oysters is with ponzu sauce, chopped scallions, and momiji oroshi. It is served this way every time I have oysters at the sushi bar. What Chef Gary did differently is to include a nugget sushi rice under the oyster! The texture of the rice certainly complemented the creamy oyster really well! 4/5

Mentaiko Hotate

Chef’s housemade mentaiko sauce is excellent and when you put the whole piece of hotate (scallop) in your mouth, the creaminess of the mentaiko melds with the texture of the rice and sweetness of the hotate! It’s one of those moments where you just want to close your eyes and not want to be disturbed. 4.5/5

Uni Angel Hair Pasta

This is another dish that I would go back to just to have. The combination of uni, ikura, truffle, shio konbu and sakura ebi is heavenly. Chef Gary told me that he started making this dish a long time ago when it wasn’t as fashionable and he hasn’t been able to take it off the menu since. 4.5/5

Foie Gras with Giant Sweet Shrimp

The foie gras is Chef’s piece de resistance. The pairing of foie gras with prawn seemed a little odd at first but once you put the whole thing in your mouth, you would instantly understand why this is his signature dish. It is actually quite simple to put together, you just subject a piece of foie gras and sweet prawn to the blowtorch and then serve it together with a knob of rice. The two disparate items came together amazingly well. It’s nothing short of an epiphany for me! 4.6/5

Conclusion

Hakumai is a gem of a sushi bar in the heart of the CBD. Here is where you get to sit at the counter, banter with the sushi chef, and enjoy good sushi at a comparatively reasonable price. A few signature items like the foie gras and uni pasta are good reasons to go back again, and again.

Special for ieatishootipost readers

Mention this post and Chef Gary will add 2 extra items to your sushi course!

Hakumai Sushi and Omakase
Address

10 Anson Rd, #01-50A International Plaza,
Singapore 079903
View Map

Opening hours:

Lunch: 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Dinner: 6:15 pm to 9:00 pm

 
Closed:

Sunday

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