Last Updated: October 11, 2018
With so many rave reviews online as the best teppanyaki and the pioneers of Japanese cuisine, Shima at Goodwood Park Hotel lives up to it.
Besides its signature teppanyaki menu, Shima serves kaiseki by the season. For the uninitiated, Kaiseki is a multi-course set menu in small portions that showcases the chef’s skills. Think degustation, without wine pairing.
Leading the kitchen is Chef Hoshiba Fumihiko, who is Hokkaido’s most awarded kaiseki chef. For S$88++, you get to enjoy eight dishes that are specially curated for a respite from the sweltering heat.
Hurry down as it’s only available till the end of October 2018.
We began with the Appetiser, consisting of delicate burdock, snail and river prawn perched in the centrepiece of this dish. The prawn was eaten whole (head included) and I was surprised at how sweet it was.
The snail was chewy in texture and slightly salty, in fact, it reminded me a little bit of the local gong gong dish.
The conger eel restained its firm texture while embedded in an umami jelly. You could tell that it has been carefully prepared to accentuate the natural flavours of each ingredient.
The appetiser has set the standard high and I couldn’t wait for more surprises. The second course was a sight to behold, Seasonal Sashimi slices were served on a sheet of bamboo and placed over shaved ice, resembling a wasen (Japanese traditional wooden boat) rolling down the river.
I loved the light sweetness of the Shiromi and it is best eaten without dipping any soy sauce so that you can fully enjoy the flavour of the fish.
The Uni melted in my mouth and is briny, you know you’re getting the good stuff when it’s fresh.
This was clearly a standout from the usual Chawanmushi; slices of fish meat are added to it and once you dig through the silky and tender custard, you will find a layer of goma.
The goma’s rich and nutty flavour brought this dish to another level and balances out the savouriness of the chawanmushi.
Packaged like a letter from an anonymous lover, I carefully and excitedly peeled apart the paper which encased a grilled ayu river trout.
At Shima, fishes are flown in two to three times a week from Japan so you can taste the freshness in every bite. I was told to ditch the chopsticks and use my hands to savour every morsel of the fish.
The fish was deftly grilled, leaving a slight char to the crispy skin. The ayu is sweet and the fish roe adds a little creaminess to it.
Next in the menu was the Stewed Dish and the highlight was the Japanese green eggplant, which soaked up the rice stew that has been simmered with crab meat. If only it came with a side of bread for me to mop up all the delicious stew.
The Fried Dish in the menu is a delightful trio of lobster, scallop and sea bream lightly fried in rice paper for a wonderfully crisp finish.
This dish is an amalgamation of flavours and textures, from the chewy texture of the sweet scallop, rich and succulent lobster, flaky seabream and crunchy rice paper; the trio paired well with the soy-based sauce and I couldn’t get enough of this.
Infused with Japanese matcha, the Green Tea Noodles is a Japanese staple on hot summer days and I absolutely understand why — it has a slightly sweeter taste than regular soba and a refreshing, light tea taste.
For dessert, we were served sweet Japanese seasonal fruits. We started with the Yubari melon slices, harvested during Hokkaido’s short summer. The melon was amazingly sweet and succulent and I can only wish it came in a bigger serving.
The translucent skin with green fillings in the middle is mochi with edamame paste. I was expecting the edamame to be slightly savoury but it was surprisingly nutty and mildly sweet.
The last fruit is apple marinated in red wine. It was a nice contrast to the other two as it was acidic and sharp, giving a good balance to the otherwise sweet dessert.
The dishes are all prepared beautifully in an artful orchestration of colours to represent the vibrancy of summer. For S$88, I thought it was worth it given the high-quality food.
Seize the chance to pamper yourself as the menu if for a limited time only. The kaiseki set menus are ever changing and you might regret if you give this a miss.
Expected Damage: S$68 – S$188 per pax