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One of the reasons why I hardly blog about Japanese food is because I always have difficulty in remembering all the mind-boggling names. I heard of Standing Sushi Bar a while back when it just opened, and the first question on my mind: “are there seats inside?”
The catchy name certainly helps to pique the curiosity of most people, and I found out that the theory of stand, order sushi and eat only applies to lunch where there are no seats. For dinner you can sit down comfortably (although it’s kind of cramp) and enjoy your sushi.
There was six pieces of the California roll ($6) each; since the others were saving up their stomach for the other courses to come, I had the lion’s share of it. There’s just something about California roll that attracts me; this is the kind of thing I could keep eating and still never get enough. Okay fine, that’s just an excuse – I’m a glutton.
SSB’s owner Howard made the selections, and he chose a platter of five nigiri sushi for us; Maguro ($2), Sake Toro ($2), Hamachi ($4), Aburi Hotate ($4), Shime Saba ($3). I particularly enjoyed the scallop which had a tangy sauce to further enhance the sweetness of it.
And how can we do without Sashimi? The Chef’s special ($25) will definitely delight all the sashimi fans out there; I bet you are already salivating at the prospect of putting the thickly sliced, fresh sashimi with a pinch of wasabi into your mouth.
I was particularly intrigued by the Anago nigiri ($6) when it arrived on our table. The long and slimy salt-water sea eel looks so tantalizing with a coat of sauce, and there was the challenge of gobbling it up with one bite.
I have mentioned it before, but girls seem to love their Salmon a lot. And the Salmon Yuzu Yama-mayo yaki ($15) will be the perfect choice; the fish crumbled at the lightest touch and it was tasty with the appetizing sauce, but I would prefer it to be slightly more charred on the surface.
Besides all the raw nigiri sushi and sashimi, there was also some cooked food available and we had the Mix Kinoko Foil Yaki ($10) which by all accounts, wasn’t cheap for just mushrooms, but I have to say it was delicious. There was the special-sauce-which-the-chef-absolutely-refused-to-divulge that is supposedly the success behind the three mushrooms.
And we also had the Tori Karaage ($6) which was quintessentially fried chicken wrapped with seaweed. After having so much raw food, it was nice to have some sinful, deep-fried food for a change.
Standing Sushi Bar has a pretty value for money set lunch, so if you are working in the area, check them out, but you have been warned – there’s no seats during lunch.
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This is the first part of a series that I will be doing with Standard Chartered, I will like to thank Claudia from 24seven Communications, and Standard Chartered Bank for the invitation.
Just a quick note about their new credit card campaign, I’m sure most of you will have seen their latest Barry and Fin advertisement; first you get 15% off total food bill (click here for the list of restaurant), and at the end of the month if you have charged more than the minimum amount of $500 (which can be anything, not just dining), you are entitled to an additional 15% cashback which applies to all restaurant in Singapore.
Long story short, if you like my review please do come by ladyironchef . . . for the delicious in you
Stand, order, and eat – sushi that is, where the seafood are flown in from Japan everyday. This Japanese dining concept by Standing Sushi Bar is geared towards the fast-paced environment of Shenton Way, where professional desire quality food at a snap of their fingers.
However, come dinner time, out comes the high chairs and the shop is turned over for “by reservation only” Omakase dinner ($50 per pax) – where dinners leave the selection of the evening’s menu to the chef and expect him to be innovative and surprising in them – which usually also includes the day’s best offerings.
First up, Japanese Sea Snails that was served chill. HFB absolutely digs shell food and this dish was excellent in many ways. The cold temperature succeeded in drawing out the natural sweetness and the firm chewy texture of the flesh. He could probably finished dozens easily.
The Hokkaido King Crab Leg with Home-made Miso was yet another simple but outstanding dish. The crab eluded a natural “sea flavour” that was appetising and the miso sauce was robust with flavour. The only drawback was that the sauce tended to overwhelm the natural taste of the crab.
Sashimi Moriwase consisted of Maguro (Tuna), Sake (Salmon), Mekajiki (Swordfish), Hamachi (Yellow Tail) and Hotate (Scallop). Fresh and came with good thickness – there was really nothing bad to pinpoint on. Worthy mention goes to the Hamachi Belly that was all natural Omega 3 goodness!
By now, HFB wasn’t surprised that the Karubi Beef Tataki with Bonito Flakes and Spring Onions was well executed. The marbling was great and the meat was succulent. The bonito flakes also provided a nice salty touch to the dish.
Served chilled as a palate cleanser, the Egg Plant with Light Soya Sauce came with a hint of Grated Ginger. Unless one is a fan of egg plant, it probably would be too squashy for you. Otherwise, HFB thought it did a good job in clearing the palates.
HFB loved soup and the Steamed Hotate Soup with Tofu didn’t disappoint. However, if one expected the scallop to taste as good, you will be disappointed since its essences were all captured nicely in the clear soup.
A sushi bar ain’t worthy to be addressed as one if there weren’t sushi offerings during the Omakase. Trio of Maguro, Hirame (Flat Fish) and Anago (Boiled Salt-water Eel) were presented and they were nothing short of excellence in terms of freshness. The boiled eel was remarkably exquisite and was only prevailed by that of HFB Tsukiji’s Sushi Dai experience.
Matcha Ice-cream with Green Tea Cake Roll and Red Bean Paste was the last order of the evening. The red bean paste was enjoyable, although one can probably grab the cake and ice-cream off the shelves of some reputable Japanese supermarket.
They say good things come in small packages and the evening's pleasant surprise was the offering of 3 complimentary thick cubes of Otoro, or Tuna Belly that was what's left for the day. WOOT!
Overall, it was an unexpectedly enjoyable dinner. HFB was really filled by the end of the meal, and the personalise touch of Chef Roy explaining each and every dish sums up the lovely evening. Next up, braving the Shenton Way lunch crowd for the REAL standing sushi experience!
You can view all the photos here.
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