[dropcap size=small]C[/dropcap]hef Kenjiro Hashida could serve you a plain-looking knob of steamed onion and you would enjoy it. The magic the 37-year-old chef possesses is a masterful ability to draw out exciting flavours from the simplest produce. Steaming the Japanese bulb, for instance, brings out all of its natural sweetness which he then enhances with a light, comforting broth.

Hashida opened the eponymous restaurant here in 2013, an off-shoot of his father’s sushi joint that’s held court in Tokyo since 1967. But he has put his own spin to the Edomae-style his father practises religiously.

Take a Thai snapper fish, for instance. Hashida serves this fresh as sashimi, together with a selection of botan ebi, octopus and a playful “prawn oil snow” on the side. It’s lovely as it is, but Hashida smartly demonstrates there’s more than one way to enjoy the fish – in his hands, that is. It appears twice more – as a jelly that’s an intriguing mix of firm and wobble, and another time baked in a salt crust, served with monkfish liver that’s torched for a light caramelised layer.


A team of highly talented and skilled chefs serve the guests, but consider it a double treat if the man himself serves you for the night, for he is a born entertainer. While serving a three day-aged botan ebi, he jokes about how it is a clever name for leftovers he can’t sell. Pay him no mind, because the jumbo shrimp has a deep, rich sweetness that lends it an added complexity.

But all jokes are set aside when Hashida crafts the piece de resistance of the meal: a hulking slab of tuna belly that makes up the last piece of sushi he will serve for the night. He slowly shaves off a thin slice of ootoro which he drapes over his two fingers; he then carves another bit of belly, dabs fresh wasabi on both pieces, and teases out a third sliver of fish. Finally, the marbled layers are wrapped over a nugget of sushi rice. This is one technique Hashida has kept from his father, and it is art at its finest. Crowds would come back for this dish alone.

Hashida Sushi
#04-16 Mandarin Gallery
T 6733-2114

The full list of Singapore’s Best at
G Restaurant Awards 2016.

All tastings conducted incognito with esteemed members of G’s Food Panel.