This was the third place I tried omakase at. I came here because of Dr Leslie Tay’s blog post. This was the most value-for-money place I have tried to date, for omakase. I have only tried three places so far.
Two dishes were a little different from the standard Japanese fare. They were the peitan tofu and the chawan mushi in truffle oil. Both were their own creations. If one does not like peitan or century egg, then this would not be a good replacement for the normal agedashi tofu. I didn’t mind it as the taste was discernable but subtle. My friend said it reminded her of century egg porridge which was not one of her favourite dishes. The chawan mushi in truffle oil turned out to be a little too oily for me. I am not sure they could have made it any less oily though. If one likes truffle oil, then this would have been fine. I must say I prefer truffle oil on fries still. The yellowtail cheek was a little dry. The yellowtail is an oily fish and I was surprised that it was dry. The rest of the menu was fine.
Comparing with what Dr Leslie Tay was served and what we had, the difference seemed to be in the soup at the end and the grilled fish. Of course, there are reasons why no two omakase are the same, which I will not venture into, but I am more inclined to go for really excellent omakase for twice the price and thoroughly enjoy it at far more infrequent intervals than to settle for something that is more affordable but less satisfying. Service and language do matter especially when my Mandarin and Hokkien are virtually non-existent.
Like another omakase place I went to earlier, this place had a time limit by which we had to finish our meal. After my last experience where I had to rush my food, I concluded that omakase lunch can turn out to be too much and the enjoyment diminishes as one gets more full. This was clearly the case for me today. Plus, the novelty was starting to wear off as well. The restaurant had other bento sets which looked really good and for the time we were alloted, perhaps a bento set would have been a more enjoyable experience.
Hakumai Sushi & Omakase, #01-50A International Plaza, 10 Anson Road, Singapore 079903, tel: +65 6224 4790