Ginza Shinto is a new Japanese omakase restaurant in Mohamed Sultan. Helmed by Chef Ron Newton Leo who has had over 30 years experience in preparing fine Japanese cuisine, this 50-seater luxury dining venue in a charming shophouse in Robertson Quay continues a string of unabated openings this year (despite the current situation).
The space is evidently upscale the moment you enter. Everything is sleek and minimalist with an undeniable Japanese flair. I especially like the shade of beige used here. The bar counter seats take up quite a bit of space, allowing for large groups or multiple small ones to enjoy Chef Ron’s dishes while hearing his stories and humor. There is also a natural skylight on top of the preparation area, allowing one to dine in natural light especially when one comes for lunch.
Ginza Shinto offers lunch sets that start from S$30++, 5-course omakase at S$150++, 8-course omakase at S$220++ and 9-course omakase at S$300++. Ala carte menu items and sashimi platters are also available. I recently dropped by for a media preview before the Japanese restaurant officially opened.
You can also check out the full Ginza Shinto menu here
The sweet cherry tomato with crisp iced plant and sprinkled with truffle oil sets the tone for the dinner. Even with the starters, it was already quite apparent that Chef Ron wanted to play a bit with textures, especially with ingredients that give off a bit of crisp. In this case, it was with the ice plant providing an unexpected contrast to the juicy and plump tomatoes.
The amaebi topped with uni and caviar is another one of Chef Ron’s signature dishes. This exquisitely presented medley is best consumed in one gulp – inclusive of the shiso leaf.
Of the dishes we had for dinner, the flame-seared hotate wrapped in nori and botan ebi was probably the most traditionally prepared of them all. There was no extra ingredient or component to steal limelight away from the meat save for the thin layer of nori – which by itself is still quite traditional – that was wrapped around the scallop.
For the sashimi course, we were served the kanpachi, toro and dashi-rolled hirame with fresh hanaho. I have always relegated hanaho – the blooms from the shiso plant – as a mere decor that I did not know it was actually edible. Chef advised us to add pressure on the blooms to release the fragrance before releasing them unto the soy sauce. While it did add to the flavor, I thought the exceptional melt-in-your-mouth toro was excellent enough on its own. It was so tender that the fish already started melting when the piece rested on my tongue – and this was before I even started chewing! The dashi-rolled flounder was another highlight. Chef advised us not to put any sauce at all. The dash of fragrant truffle in the middle served as the highlight of the item.
For the meat dish, the Miyazaki A5 Wagyu delights with its seared exterior giving the meat a tinge of charred taste juxtaposed against the succulent goodness of the marbled beef within. The homemade beef sauce came with quail egg yolk on the side. The beef is consumed by mixing the egg yolk in the sauce before dipping the meat in.
The sushi course continued the theme of textures with kanpachi aburi topped with bonito flakes for an added crunch, aburi amaebi topped with foie gras and sprinkled with grated yuzu zest for a bit of the salty-sour combination, and “Forget Me Not” nigiri sushi – a combination of toro, uni and rice crispies on a rather thick bed of rice.
While at Ginza Shinto, I also had a sample of some of their ala carte items. The Japanese restaurant has a variety of rice bowls and I got to try a mini version of their Ikura Uni Don. A full serving goes for S$40++. For better bang for your buck, Ginza Shinto has a promotion currently with their Negitoro Ikura Uni Don at S$35++ (usual price is S$55++).
We ended the meal with the botan ebi miso soup with seaweed, tofu & egg – not the run-of-the-mill type of miso soup as I would later discover owing to the prominent seafood flavor in the broth.
Japanese omakase restaurants come aplenty in Singapore and even in the vicinity of Robertson Quay, one can find a number of options. What sets Ginza Shinto apart from other omakase experiences are the added textures that serve to surprise the diner. For instance, the sushi courses are not simply the amalgamation of premium seafood and rice but the chef also has a tendency to put something extra, whether it be rice crispies or bonito flakes for that added crunch. The quality of seafood used here is also markedly high and this was evidenced in every dish I had.
5 Mohamed Sultan
+65 6970 8355 / 8938 8355
Monday to Saturday, 12 to 2:30PM / 6 to 11PM