Author: Sandra Koh
After months of rigorous renovation, Shangri-La Hotel’s iconic Tower Wing now features a brand new lobby, lounge and suites, along with various interesting flavours that satisfy even the most pernickety eater. The NAMI Restaurant and Bar situated at Level 24 is certainly one such place.
Helming the restaurant is Head Chef Akiba Shigeo, who culinary experiences include managing restaurants owned by Iron Chef Koumei Nakamura, along with preparing the wedding banquet the wedding banquet of Japan’s Prince Akishinomiya and Princess Kiko.
Credit: Shangri-La Hotel
We were presented with the Kitano Daichi Omakase- a 7 course meal dinner on our night of visit. First on the omakase set was the dual appetisers-Hairy Crab with Tosa Vinegar, and Yuba Tofu & Sea Urchin. We really enjoyed the latter, for its half-chewy texture and fragrant soy flavour. We could literally felt the layers slowly opening up and faint soy flavour spreading through our mouths with each bite (it’s really therapeutic). The addition of the creamy uni added a hint of sweetness to the otherwise bland tofu.
Next on the table was the Dashi, a traditional dobin-mushi with Matsutake mushroom, along with pike conger, ginko, homewort and sudachi. Don’t you agree that the presentation is too adorable? We were told to first squeeze the lime in the soup, then drink the soup, and eat the ingredients last. Thankfully, the mushroom flavour was not overwhelming, rather it provided a refreshing aftertaste (thanks to the lime). The soup was really easy on the throat, and comforting to drink.
The third course is probably every Singaporean’s favourite- a Sashimi platter which included 5 curated selection of premium sashimi (tuna, amberjack, scallop, botan ebi and flounder) that is air flown into Singapore 4 times a week from Tokyo. Be surprised to find wasabi leaf as one of the accompanying condiment! We tasted the sashimi without any condiments, and were amazed by its freshness. They were unexpectedly crunchy, and exploded in our mouths with natural sweetness. We learnt from the chef that the white meat sashimi are best paired with Himalayan salt to bring out the natural flavours.
Fourth on the set was Tempura consisting of capelin fish, pumpkin, kidney beans and lotus root. I was utterly glad that the dish did not carry any rancid smell or cloying oily. Unlike the usual tempura, NAMI’s rendition provided a much lighter and fluffier batter, which was really crispy to bite on.
The main dish was none other than the Saga Beef Sirloin Steak with Seasoned Grilled Oita Shiitake. The steak was really tender, and literally melted in our mouths. Each mouthful was accompanied by wonderful waves of sweet and buttery flavour that sent a small but puddle of pleasure through our spines. We felt that the sweet-savoury sauce did a great job in balancing out the fatty flavour of the dish.
Next, Matsutake Mushroom Rice along with miso soup and pickles were served. The pairing of the steamed rice and mushroom was indeed brilliant, for the latter imparted its sweet nutty notes and transformed the rice into a delicately flavoursome dish. Instead of the usual beige coloured miso soup, NAMI’s version skewed towards the brownish side. We particularly love the soup for its rich toasty malt and caramel flavours, in fact it reminded us of the Misokatsu from Yabaton at Nagoya Station. The Chinese yam might look harmless, yet it’s really spicy, so do take small bites!
Our dinner was completed with a plate of seasonal fruits made up of melon, crystal pear and grapes. All we could say is, till now we’re still reminiscing the sweet taste of the melon.
The omakase dinner is only available from 16 November 2017 to 31st January 2018 at a price of $180 ++ per person. Be quick to make your reservations. Click here for the full menu: https://d2jzxcrnybzkkt.cloudfront.net/uploads/2017/10/Kitano_Daichi_Omakase_Dinner_M_1509357066.pdf
NAMI Restaurant & Bar
Shangri-la Hotel Singapore
22 Orange Grove Road
Tel: 6213 4398
Opening Hours: Daily, Noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm (restaurant), till midnight (balcony)
Author: Sandra Koh