Opened in December, Sushi Kimura is the latest fine dining sushi-ya in Singapore, with a similar minimalist setting (and price point) to more well established places like Shinji by Kanesaka and Hashida Sushi.
As you enter the serene space at Palais Renaissance, you will see a 150-year old Hinoki wood sushi counter framing the small and intimate restaurant. Standing behind this counter, crafting traditional Edomae-sushi for his guests, is chef-owner Tomoo Kimura. The affable and genuinely obliging sushi expert has worked at Hashida as well as Sushi Ichi in Singapore prior to opening his own outfit here. Decor-wise, Kimura added personal touches to the interior, including a Noren doorway curtain cut from his great-grandmother’s kimono, and a ceremonial tea set hand-painted by his master.
Leading to the opening of his restaurant, the chef travelled to various prefectures in Japan building a network of relationships with organic producers. Apart from fresh, wild caught seafood, he has brought in special A-grade Tsuya-hime organic rice from a family farm in Yamagata, and organic premium vinegar from a small-production brewery in Kyoto (we hear that this vinegar is used by the famous Chef Jiro Ono of Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo). Kimura also uses the highest grade nori from the soft leaves of the first harvest cultivated in the Ariake sea, alongside soft Hokkaido spring water for his sushi rice.
The chef along with his assistant serve a succession of omakase dishes, which largely stand out thanks to the purity of flavours. The meal begins with a delicate fresh yuba or beancurd skin, topped with wobbly dashi jelly, ikura, and sweet uni, followed by snow crab chawan mushi made with the aforementioned Hokkaido water. A touch of sour plum cocooned within the silky steamed egg lends a welcome acidity. You also get to savour succulent abalone pieces simmered in sake for eight hours, and brightened with a sprinkling of citrus zest.
Depending on which menu you choose, you will get to feast on a range of expertly crafted sushi including amber jack, botan ebi, and chutoro draped over mounds of perfectly cooked rice. To round off the savoury courses, the chef serves a signature rice bowl filled with uni, ikura, and onsen egg. The soft and slightly chewy rice grains mingle with the lightly whisked egg (from herb-fed chickens). The meal ends with delicate water jelly livened up with a preserved flower, and sweet Japanese oranges.
The omakase menus are available for lunch (starting from $120) and dinner (starting from $280). Sake pairings are also available. Although the pricing may be considered steep, Sushi Kimura doesn’t compromise on the quality of its food. The dining experience is also made more special thanks to the highly personable and gracious service.
#01-07 Palais Renaissance. Tel: 6734 3520. www.sushikimura.com.sg