[THIS RESTAURANT HAS MOVED]
Rating: 3.4 out of 5
If you had followed K.F.Seetoh’s food adventures, you might have heard of Ah Hong, a ‘very private Japan-trained’ chef. Dubbed by Seetoh as a ‘top chef’, Ah Hong is in fact a local sushi chef and the former chef-proprietor of Marui Sushi, a Japanese omakase haunt at Cuppage Plaza that has since closed. That much is known of this gentle and bespectacled man who has, apparently, once dabbled with Japanese set meals at a Beach Road hawker stall.
Since early 2011, Ah Hong has resurfaced at Tanjong Pagar. His new restaurant, called Meii Sushi, is located on the ground floor unit of Tanjong Pagar Plaza and faces a row of shop houses along Craig Road. With an exposed shop front, Meii Sushi is decidedly less private than Ah Hong’s last outpost in Orchard Road, but that it sits only 16 guests hints at Ah Hong’s boutique intentions. Meii Sushi is, after all, a husband-and-wife run outfit where Ah Hong tends to guests at the 8-seater counter while his wife serves diners in an adjoining 8-seater dining room.
Meii Sushi is small, yes, but it is not always an oasis of calm. Don’t get me wrong, the guitar piece playing in the background was, indeed, ethereally soothing. But on the night of our visit, a group of Hokkien expletive-spitting blue-collar diners hogging the counter seats got a little rowdy after a few rounds of alcohol.
Notwithstanding that, Meii Sushi is a good find.
The restaurant has an extensive hand-written a la carte menu that features sashimi, sushi and the works. Worthy of mention is Ah Hong’s unadon ($22 at dinner), rice crowned with a handsome hunk of grilled eel, a favourite amongst the busy lunch crowd. His chiraishi sushi ($25 at dinner), a bowl of rice topped with chunks of sashimi, however, suffered from lack of flavours from the absence of sakura debu (pink fish flakes) and those pearls of juicy salty fish eggs.
There’s also a crop of wallet-friendly set dinner courses here including sushi course ($50), sashimi set ($30), sushi set ($30), tempura set ($25) and a yakisakana (grilled fish) set ($30). But the most economical means to experience the best that Ah Hong has to offer is with his 8-course omakase. Priced at just $100 per head, Meii Sushi has, arguably, the best-value omakase in Singapore. The course dinner, for which you’ll not have a say, may include a heady marinated sashimi of wasabi-spiked octopus; a duo of de-shelled oysters in a zesty, vinegar-laced soy bath; or a snack of Japanese cucumber alongside a sambal-like dip of fermented bean paste. While you may have read how Seetoh enthused about the ‘good-for-shock’ fish eyeball in his omakase, we had a humble yet gargantuan and luscious piece of grilled yellow tail fish cheek drizzled with lemon jus. There was also a tempura of crisp and moist smelt fish that crumbled upon contact with the palate – that had us rapt.
As with most set meals, you’ll get a serving of sashimi, sushi and the concluding clear consommé; the latter of which arrived with hoards of voluptuous clams. Though, for $100 a pop, you should not expect a dessert. Not even a piece of watermelon.
Mei-i Sushi | 10 Anson Road, #02-54 International Plaza | Tel: 6220 3466 | Opening hours: Mon–Fri: 11.30am–2.30pm, 6pm–10pm; Sat 6pm–10pm
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