When you think of omakase, you usually think of skilled chefs preparing personalised dishes for you at Japanese restaurants. And you’ll definitely think that leaving things to the chef will burn a hole in your pocket.
At Mister Wu, they offer a very different kind of omakase at an affordable price point. This modern Chinese restaurant sits at the end of Nankin Row in Telok Ayer, and you can drop by during dinner for their Hotpot Omakase 火锅10吃 (S$45++).
The first of its kind in Singapore, it’s inspired by the shabu hotpot omakase at Shabu Shabu Macoron in New York. Mister Wu’s omakase comes with 10 dishes, and you can even add on S$15++ for 10 unique tea pairings.
Stepping into Mister Wu made me think of a Chinese teahouse, from the soft and inviting lighting to the warm-toned wooden furniture. The old-school Cantonese and Chinese melodies crooning from hidden speakers add to the atmosphere. If you’ve fallen in love with the music, they even have a playlist on Spotify!
The retro ambience and music really helped to set the stage for the meal. Like all omakase meals, the dishes are dependant on the availability of ingredients and what’s in season now.
At Mister Wu, the hotpot base is a home-brewed herbal soup with kampong chicken and dang gui 当归 (Chinese Angelica root). With its mild sweetness and robust earthy flavours, the soup provides a good backdrop for the hotpot dishes.
The first dish was the Mini Ladyfinger With Marinated Jellyfish Salad. The sour and spicy jellyfish added more flavour to the herbaceous okra. The contrast in crunchy and gelatinous textures also really piqued my interest.
The best way to enjoy this dish is to swish the okra in the hot soup and eat it together with the cold jellyfish. Paired with a light and fragrant Osmanthus Green Tea, its floral notes helped to brighten this simple dish.
Next, we had the Tomato Wedges With Pork Trotter Vinegar Sauce. Another light veggie dish, the juicy poached tomatoes were quite refreshing. Dipping the tomato wedges into the pork trotter vinegar sauce added a sharper note to the dish.
While the piquant and sweet taste of the vinegar helped to ground the light tomato flavours, it could get a little overwhelming. The slightly astringent West Lake Sencha helped to neutralise the vinegar taste, and acts as a palate cleanser.
Dish #3 from Mister Wu was the Jumbo Hokkaido Scallops, a duo of soft and juicy sashimi-grade scallops. Most importantly, it was fresh and sweet without much of a fishy aftertaste.
Paired with the White Jade Monkey Tea, this delicate and refreshing white tea helped to reduce any residual briny taste.
I recommend dipping the scallops in the fried garlic bits for crunch and fragrance. The fried garlic added complexity to the scallops, with nutty flavours and a hint of spice.
If you like strong seafood flavours, you’ll enjoy the next two dishes. The fourth dish, Hiroshima Oysters With Kombu Oil & Caviar is served raw, but you can also cook it in the soup if you’re not a fan of raw food.
Brushed with shio kombu (Japanese seaweed) oil, the oysters had a hint of earthy and slightly umami flavours.
I recommend putting the whole piece of oyster into your mouth, together with a scoop of caviar. The blend of creamy oyster and savoury pops of caviar really made this a seafood dish to remember.
Taking a few sips of the fragrant Miss Jasmine tea helped to undercut the fishy aftertaste, and left behind a beautiful mix of sweet and savoury flavours with a hint of creaminess.
The Tofu With Uni & Uni Sauce was a silky tofu dish with creamy uni. This dish came with Spring Gunpowder, a light and clear green tea with a hint of smokiness. We tried this dish in two ways: poached with uni, and cold with uni sauce.
The poached tofu with uni was a little overwhelming because the tofu was too bland to offset the briny uni. I preferred the tofu with uni sauce, because the cold and refreshing tofu went well with the rich and savoury uni sauce.
The first meat dish we had was the Drunken Chicken Slices With Ginger Soy Sauce. Marinated with rose dew, the chicken slices were tender and juicy. The ginger soy sauce also added zesty and umami flavours, with a hint of spice.
I liked how the Canton Black Lychee Tea complemented the dish with its fragrance. Storing the tea leaves with dried lychee for three years imbues the light tea with a sweet lychee fragrance.
My favourite dish of the night was the Kagoshima Pork Belly Wrapped Asparagus With Sesame Sauce. The dish came with the golden-hued Brown Butter Oolong, a surprisingly light tea with a slightly buttery and lingering aftertaste (hence the name).
Nicely marbled with fats, the pork belly was juicy and succulent. The fresh asparagus added a crisp texture to this dish, keeping it well-balanced.
The last meat dish was the Hokkaido Wagyu Slices With Truffle Vinegar Jelly, with the shimmering Golden Beauty Tea. With a hint of smokiness, this golden tea brought out the savoury taste of the marbled beef.
Thinly sliced, the lean meat just needed a quick dip in the hot soup to cook. The truffle vinegar jelly was lip-puckering on its own, but added a good dose of piquant flavour to the chewy beef.
Finally, the last savoury dish was Mister Wu’s signature Mouthwatering Hotpot Porridge, which came with the fragrant and light Organic Rose Tea. The waiter added rice into the remaining soup, with eggs and spring onions too.
The result was a fragrant pot of porridge, with a consistency like mui fan (烩饭). Because the soup absorbed all the flavours from the previous dishes, the porridge was bursting with meaty and slightly sweet flavours.
Even though each dish wasn’t super filling on their own, after nine dishes I was pretty stuffed. Luckily, the dessert was a scoop of Mister Wu Signature Tea Ice Cream, which was light on my palate and stomach.
You can choose from three different flavours of tea ice cream (Osmanthus Green Tea, Brown Butter Oolong and Canton Black Lychee), with occasional seasonal flavours like the White Jade Monkey Tea.
Each of these flavours tasted exactly like the tea blends, but in ice cream form. The best part is that the ice cream was’t too milky, so despite the heavy meal, it didn’t feel too jelak.
My favourite was the Canton Black Lychee, mostly because I’m always a sucker for fruity ice cream flavours.
For those working around the area, Mister Wu is a great place for a relaxed meal after work. Leave it up to the chef with their one-of-a-kind hotpot omakase.
Make sure you aren’t rushing off though, because it takes some time to serve up all the dishes, and for you to properly savour them.
Expected Damage: S$45 – S$60 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
3 Pickering Street, #01-44/45, Nankin Row, Singapore 048660
3 Pickering Street, #01-44/45, Nankin Row, Singapore 048660