November 20, 2016
Omakase (お任せ), translated as “I will leave it to you”, is a Japanese tradition where dishes are selected entirely by the chef.
Here in Singapore, Omakase is considered an exquisite form of dining and certainly doesn’t come cheap. So where can one get their Omakase fix at an affordable price? Well, look no further because Ryo Sushi is exactly the place to be.
Helmed by Chef Roy, the restaurant is a contemporary sushi diner located along the stretch of restaurants at Orchid Hotel. Although they currently open for certain periods of time during lunch and dinner, they are looking at being a round-the-clock diner once they have secured adequate manpower. Surely this is good news for sushi fanatics who want to satiate their cravings way past dinnertime.
With a minimalist interior, the sushi bar offers a relaxed dining experience for consumers looking to have their bellies filled. As you recline in the high back leather chairs, you’ll get to watch the chefs in action as they prepare each dish with meticulous skill.
Do take note that there are only eight counter seats due to the rather small space so be sure to make reservations otherwise, you might have to sit outside.
The Omakase sets at Ryo Sushi are reasonably priced, from $38 for a 15-course meal to higher-end sets that go at $68 and $98 for their 18-course meals.
The real steal is the 10 course omakase $18 deal. This special omakase is however, limited to only 18 portions daily so you have to be quick if you want to snag it during lunch hours.
With the most expensive set on the menu being less than $100, where else can you find such a cheap Omakase joint? We went with the $38 Omakase set, which we felt was a worthwhile deal based on the quality of the dishes.
Edamame & Hijiki Seaweed Salad
For starters, we were presented with fresh salt-sprinkled edamame. Together with the Hijiki Seaweed Salad which consisted of seaweed and carrot slices with sesame seeds on top, it served as a refreshing appetiser.
The seaweed salad, seasoned with soya sauce and sweet-cooking sake, was the right combination of sweet and savoury. A choice of cold or hot green tea ($2) is also available for order.
Truffle Onsen Egg
Next we had the Truffle Onsen Egg which I was very much looking forward to. As soon as we cut into the egg white, the orangey yolk flowed out, demonstrating its smooth consistency.
Paired with the salmon roe that bursts in your mouth, it was flavourful to say the least.
One of the perks of Omakase is the firsthand experience you get. Sitting at the bar counter, you get to observe the chef as he hand-makes individual pieces of sushi before you.
Not only that, the chef also waits patiently for you to finish each piece before proceeding to make another.
9 Pieces of Assorted Sushi
Pictured left to right: Sea bream (Madai), Striped Jack (Shima-aji), Amber Jack (Kanpachi), Squid (Ika), Scallop (Hotate), Tuna (Akami), Aburi Salmon, Prawn and Salmon Roe with rice.
As you can see, the selection of assorted sushi was dynamic. Each piece of sushi brought something to the diligently crafted set. The ingredients were chosen prudently as the sashimi was just as fresh as that of Japan’s Tsukiji Fish Market.
I’ll do a brief introduction on what each of these sushi tasted like:
Sea bream (Madai)
The Madai made for an excellent start to the sushi lineup. Doused in truffle shoyu, it was simply delectable but the truffle was a tad bit mild.
Striped Jack (Shima-aji)
The Shima-aji was flavourful in its own right. One look at the reflective sheen on the surface of the fish and you can tell how fresh it is.
Amber Jack (Kanpachi)
Not to be confused with the Hanpachi, the Kanpachi was soft and delicate tasting. The saltiness of the shoyu really helped to intensify the flavour of the fish.
The translucency of the Ika is testament to its freshness. With a chewy and creamy texture, it was certainly a delight.
Slightly charred on top, the Hotate was plump and succulent. The Kombu crumble which was sweet yet salty at the same time, served to up the umami factor up a notch.
The Akami sushi was one of the highlights of the sushi reel. The yuzu shavings on top created a zesty goodness that complimented the fresh slab of tuna. A combination of refreshing and savoury.
Straying away from the conventional shoyu dip, the Salmon Aburi was served with shoyu foam instead. It made the sushi seem lighter and it simply melted in our mouths. Two thumbs up for the creative twist!
The cooked prawn was springy and came with sea urchin miso underneath. However, the taste of the paste wasn’t as strong as I hoped.
Salmon Roe (Ikura) With Rice
Lastly, we were served the Ikura with rice in a bowl instead of the usual seaweed wrap. The firm Ikura literally bursts into yuzu zests that coats the rice entirely. Truly a great finish to the sushi assortment.
The mix of sushi provided a medley of different flavours but that’s not all it boasts. The various textures and creative effort put into making it contributed to its taste as well.
While some left a more lasting impact on me, they were all equal in freshness and I had no complaints about the quality whatsoever. I was most impressed by how the chef managed to pair different sauces with the respective sushi pieces as no two were alike.
Small Chirashi Bowl
Following the sushi platter, we were given a small portion of a Chirashi bowl. The combination of diced sashimi came together to form an amalgamation of tastiness.
Salmon, White Fish, Ikura, Scallop and Maguro was thrown into the mix with a layer of Wakame underneath. Hints of danmuji and wasabi blended in with the rice helped to enhance the taste by adding that dash of saltiness and spice.
Crab Hand Roll
Finally, we had a simple crab hand roll wrapped in seaweed to finish things off. Nothing special about this but it was tasty nonetheless.
As a palate cleanser, a clear miso soup with spring onion, seaweed and mushroom was the final item on the Omakase set. It really did help to wash everything down, including the fishy taste from all the raw seafood we consumed.
So if you are a sushi lover like me, the Omakase offerings at Ryo Sushi are a definite must-try. The chefs are highly passionate about their craft and are guaranteed to serve you top-notch Omakase, making your patronage worth the while. All in all, a great sushi experience.
Expected damage: Omakase- $18, $38, $68 or $98 per pax