Oumi is a new restaurant on the 51st floor of CapitaSpring in Raffles Place. It is a contemporary Japanese Kappo dining outlet, sharing the same space as Kaarla, another new concept serving Australian food.
A “nose-to-tail” approach to cooking guides the culinary concept at Oumi. This means diners can expect a myriad of preparations and cooking styles at the dining table. Oumi may be self-styled as a Japanese Kappo restaurant, but it does so with a distinctly Western approach. This is not your traditional Japanese omakase restaurant and a quick glance at the menu reveals just that.
Oumi showcases a couple of seasonal items. At the time of my visit, they were offering Awabi (S$50) – fresh live abalone served in its shell and sitting on top of a bed of salt. Of note here are the innards of the abalone which were carefully removed and finely chopped and seasoned with house-fermented yellow miso. The abalone is best eaten topped with the seasoned innards – resulting in a taste (and appearance) that is not too far from Italian pesto.
One of my favorites at Oumi is the Tempura Crepe (S$25 for 2 pieces) – a highly instagrammable dish with a cracker topped with Australian scampi and Japanese flying fish roe, avocado, yogurt, sakura ebi, teriyaki sauce and herbs from the 1-Arden Food Forest just outside the restaurant grounds. I loved how all the savory ingredients came together, providing for a nice crunch with each bite. I was actually quite nervous handling the piece because there were just so many ingredients and the crepe was unbelievably thin. This particular tempura is not deep-fried but rather, slow-cooked over the teppan to achieve the same crisp and light texture as the usual tempura.
On the other hand, I found the Kabocha Uni Tofu (S$30) quite average, with the fresh sea urchin topping providing the predominant flavor against a mild pumpkin flavored tofu.
Beef tongue might not immediately pique the interest of most but the Gyutan Yaki (S$35) was perfectly grilled over binchotan with a noticeably bouncy texture in the mouth. Each piece relies heavily on natural juices, being just lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. The tongue also comes topped with chopped bua long long leaves. Overall, this was my second favorite dish of the evening.
Other notable meats at Oumi include the Kohitsuji Yaki (S$70). Slabs of Australian lamb chop are marinated with a red garlic sauce. Surprisingly, I did not perceive any hint of gamey-ness here. The well-grilled lamb chops came tender and brimming with fat.
The Buta Kakuni (S$60) or pork belly came with a distinctive Chinese flair. This is Oumi’s rendition of “Rafute”, a braised pork belly dish originating from Okinawa which describes its closeness to Chinese cuisine. While it is exquisitely presented and tasty, I would personally recommend passing over this dish in favor of the preceding ones simply because the taste is too close to the usual Chinese pork belly which can be easily had elsewhere at a fraction of the price.
Those looking for something more substantial can check out the Wagyu (S$30) which comes with rice. Here, Kagoshima A5 Wagyu sirloin is braised and served with onsen egg yolk. This is Oumi’s rendition of the Wagyu don which has become quite popular across Japanese restaurants in Singapore.
We ended the meal with the Kyoho Sorbet (S$20). It’s a contemporary sweet ending comprising various facets of Japanese sweets, from the soft warabi mochi and black sesame as well as the highlight – a most refreshing Kyoho sake sorbet to tease the palate one last time after a satisfying meal.
88 Market Street
Monday to Friday, 12pm to 2:30pm
Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 10:30pm
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