Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Shin Kushiya at Suntec City
I've not been to Shin Kushiya until today because for kushiyaki, there are guys like Kazu, Kushigin and Wahiro who are better at the game. But the Suntec City branch looked inviting, and the extensive, gorgeous menu piqued our interest.
Shin Kushiya prides itself on using bincho charcoal, a premium white charcoal that purportedly gives grilled items a nice smoked quality and sears them on the outside while retaining juices within. The gyu karubi (premium beef, S$3.80) and enoki maki (enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon, S$2.60) were not bad. Not supermemorable, but decent.
I appreciated that they provided two different kinds of dipping salt - one is curry-flavoured and I think the other might be plum. The kushiyaki items are not too strongly seasoned, so the salt enhances the flavours.
Shin Kushiya is quite noted for being a tad pricey. But the lunch sets are pretty good value for money. The Mixed Kushiyaki set (S$17.80) gives you five skewers - asparagus wrapped in thinly sliced pork, pork neck with mustard sauce, prawn, yakitori and shiitake mushrooms stuffed with minced chicken. Rice, pickles, cold tofu appetiser, salad, miso soup (with nameko mushrooms!) and fruit complete the set. Nice to see that the fruit is beyond the usual wedge of watermelon.
The Wafu Hamburg set (also $17.80) was a tasty whopper - we'd expected a much smaller patty for the price. It was tender although thoroughly cooked, and the teriyaki sauce complemented the meat very well.
We reckoned that raw fish may not be their strong point, and were proven right. The sashimi moriawase (small, for two persons, S$22.80) looked better than it tasted. The salmon and mekajiki were OK but the hamachi was a bit fishy and the amaebi not terribly fresh. Maguro was non-descript. We should have stuck to the skewered items or maybe tried other things.
In general, not much wow factor but still a satisfying meal. Hubby liked the place enough to go back again someday. There's something about the way they present themselves that makes you want to eat there - the place exudes casual chic and the menus are very attractive (nice of them to show pictures of the kushiyaki items for the uninitiated). The wide variety of food (beyond kushiyaki) they offer also means there's something for everyone. Unfortunately, they may not excel at everything, so this may account for the numerous mixed reviews they've had.
#01-031 New Suntec Galleria
Suntec City Mall
Open 11.30am - 3pm for lunch; 6-11pm for dinner (weekdays)
11.30am - 11pm (weekends)
(two other outlets at Vivocity and Far East Square, check website for details)