“A Hidden Gem”
Lately many Japanese restaurants in Singapore seem to have jumped on the Omakase (お任せ) bandwagon offering their patrons an additional dining option over the regular menu. Having sampled quite a number of them — Teppei included where we surprisingly managed to get seats — I would say it’s a very competitive market with everyone offering an impressive array of dishes which will definitely not disappoint.
Located within Changi Business Park and just a couple of minutes walk from Expo MRT is Mikawa, an unassuming hidden gem that serves up a fine Omakase feast.
At first glance, Mikawa appears to be based on the generic template of a regular Japanese restaurant with a strong focus on set meals and basic sashimi options but you will be wowed by the quality of their seafood. Having said that though, some of their set meals are really good value.
At the helm is Chef Fabio, a 25 year experienced veteran in Japanese cuisine who has come over from the now defunct Chikusen. Unlike other eateries which have fixed prices for their Omakase options, Mikawa offers diners the flexibility to choose based on their budget (prices start from $80++) and the menu harnesses many of the seasonal offerings.
There is also a daily menu of specials with all the seasonal dishes.
Baigai (Ivory Shell). Served with fish stomach (mmm…), it was very fresh and had a similar texture to top shell. Chef tends to jokingly tell Omakase virgins that the dish comprises of snails sourced from the garden patch outside the restaurant.
Sashimi platter. Mikawa brings in fresh whole tuna and filleting is done in-house. The o-toro was unbelievably good, while the huge scallops sprinkled with truffle salt were sweet and firm. The prawn topped with tobiko was also very fresh, and was nicely accompanied by the yellowtail, which was meaty and oily. Grated fresh wasabi was served in place of the usual instant processed variant, which was a bonus.
Canadian Oyster. The oyster looked large too me but Chef says it’s only a Size 2 (Medium). This is served with a house blend ponzu sauce which is slightly more viscous and has a stronger taste — with slight hints of tanginess and spiciness.
Grilled Mangalica Pork ($20-25). The pork was grilled to a nice pink, and flavour wise, was slightly gamey but not too overpowering. The tender meat would have gone well with beer (although we had sake instead).
Sukiyaki-style Mangalica Pork ($20-25). The pork slices were prepared sukiyaki style and dipped in raw egg yolk prior to serving. We preferred the pork done this way as it was more juicy than the grilled alternative which was a tad dry.
Super Negitoro Maki ($18). This isn’t regular Negitoro Maki – it’s super sized. A double dose of chopped tuna belly inside and outside, served with chives, leeks, spring onions, and a very generous smear of fresh wasabi on the rice. For $18 this is really a good deal considering it is premium tuna belly.
Salmon mentai roll. Regulars of Sushi Tei will recognise this similar roll but it’s very different from the Sushi Tei variant. Thick fat cuts of salmon belly is used for this dish with a light coat of mentaiko.
Zeitaku. “贅沢” in Kanji, it means “luxurious” and “extravagence”. Think of it as a mini rice don with chopped salmon belly, chopped tuna belly, ikura, and uni. The best dish was saved for the last. You have to try it to experience it — simply delectable and extravagant as advertised.
Shizuoka Musk Melon. Not the most appealing looking of desserts but the melon chunks have been soaked in Hibiki whisky and have a dash of bamboo salt sprinkled on top. It’s just like having fresh midori!
Mikawa has an impressive selection of seasonal sakes. All bottles from this particular distillery are wrapped in newspapers, and as such, we had a bottle of “newspaper” Shinbun 新聞 sake from Nagano, Japan. A very refreshing light easy drinking sake, with elements of floral and fruitiness going perfectly with the raw sashimi.
Overall an enjoyable experience at Mikawa. Since it’s located within a business park, Mikawa has a strong lunch crowd turnout so be prepared for longer than normal intervals between your Omakase courses especially during lunch. I would suggest dropping by for dinner instead as it’s less hectic.
If you reside in the east of Singapore and aren’t too fond of travelling to town for Japanese Omakase, Mikawa will be a good alternative.
Expected Damage: $80 – $200 per pax