Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shin Yuu Japanese Ala Carte Buffet Dinner

It's the hubby's birthday! Since we are 2 foodies who are trying to trim our waistlines, we hardly or rather dare not.. indulge ourselves at buffets. I can think of so many places I would go if only my body type allows, with the foremost definitely being the English High Tea at Goodwood Park. Then Cafe Brio at Grand Copthorne comes to mind, and I've always wanted to try the ala carte chinese buffet at Long Jiang.

Daydreams aside, the hubby's bday is an occasion where we indulge. In a Meaty way. In his Favourite cusine. In never-ending servings. To Sashimi Haven. To Shin Yuu at Greenwood. 

Service was impeccable, with constant re-fills of tea (which cost $1 in addition to the buffet price) and service staff is quick to remove empty plates. Serving of orders was fast and furious, with the complimentary dishes served approx 5 minutes after being seated. Our Sashimi was served almost immediately after our order placement. Guess the chefs start slicing the moment any guests enter the bistro since it's probably ordered most often and by 100% of patrons.

Quality of the food is indeed very good. Sashimi is very fresh and succulent, you can tear away parts of the sashimi slices cleanly just with a quick bite. However, variety is limited, with the menu divided into sections - Appetisers, Sashimi, Grilled/Braised, Tempura, Noodles/Rice. I was hoping for desserts.. but guess the restaurant is right to expect guests to have no room for sweets after all the meats.

The appertizers:
Top row - Oysters and a mini platter, served complimentary (ie: cannot be repeated). Oysters was lightly cooked or maybe baked, pretty light on the palette and well-enjoyed. Sliced Smoked Duck was served with a fatty layer of skin which may be better appreciated by others but left on the plate for me. Slightly tough and chewy, cold fatty duck is just not for me. Seared Tuna belly was fabulous and simply melted in the mouth; never a tuna fan, this just changed my mind about this fish species. Wish I could have repeated this dish. Last item on the platter is the Salmon Aburi (Torched salmon). Also melts in the mouth but somehow it was pretty salty. This can be repeated but we think the salmon sashimi is worth more repeats than this aburi sushi.

Bottom row - Chawanmushi is silky soft and has fat fat roe that pops in the mouth. Must Try but could be potentially filling, especially for ladies. Recommend to share between 2 persons. Sashimi mixed platter - Salmon was to-die-for, check out the beautiful lines on the meat. They are chunky and boasted full flavor; its simply salmon haven for sashimi fiends like me. Tuna and tuna belly were equally delightful, soft yet slightly chewy, worth repeats and additional time on the threadmill!

The carbs:
Clearly one of the signatures and ordered by most, if not all the tables, the unagi avocado sushi roll is indeed a must-try! Luscious ripe slices of avocado added a touch of creaminess to the unagi. The only thing I would ask for would be to have somewhat thicker portions of unagi as it was slightly over-shadowed. 

Garlic rice was the last item we ordered as I comtemplate if I could stuff anything more into my stomach. The greedy me decided I could and we asked for a small serving. It was fragrant and fluffy and I wolfed down quite a few mouthfuls, more than the space I allocated to the buckwheat noodles. The cold soba was quite chewy and the hubby enjoyed it quite thoroughly. Me, I find it quite the usual only.

The meats:
Wagyu beef - Tender and chewy, again one of the signature items. Its cooked medium well, very slightly red in the middle, its indeed another must-try.
Beef Short-ribs - not very memorable, this is one of the dishes we did not finish. Tough meat, cannot really bite it cleanly off the bones.
Chicken mid-joints - wow.. I'm a big fan of chicken wings and have had more than my fair share from wings around SG. This is one of the best, grilled in a very fragrant marinade and the meat pulls away from the bones cleanly, easily,  yummily!

The seafood:
Seared scallops with a sauce made from roe - not bad.. but I remember the slightly salty and creamy sauce more than the scallop itself. One serving is sufficient. 
Soft-shelled crab - Kind of over-fried and more batter than meat, give it a miss.
Grilled tiger prawns - Thumbs-up! Decently-sized, the fresh meat separates from the shell easily. The sweet sauce was good, repeated this dish.
Dish in the middle left is kimchi squid. Memorable in a negative way - could not really find the squid amidst the beansprouts and cabbage. It's more a kimchi dish than a squid dish. One chopstickful was all we tried.
Prawns in an egg scramble - Generous amount of moderately big prawns in a very fluffy egg fry. Hint of mayonnaise added to the sweetness.

We tried to photograph all the dishes we ordered but still forgot a couple of them - Gyoza &Edamame which are not bad, crispy Gyoza and the usual soy beans but served at room temperature. Cold Edamame would have been more appreciated. Tempura was very good, served piping hot and crispy. The ebi, sweet potatoe and pumpkin tempura were the best. Sadly, there were no mushrooms amongst the selection.

Overall, quality was pretty well-matched for the pricing. Worth a visit if you are a big japanese food fan. Dinner pricing was $49.90++. Total nett bill for 2 including tea was $118. However, me and hubby think that we will repeat Himawari more than Shin Yuu as variety at the former place is wider and the overall pricing is approx $10 cheaper per pax, slightly more value for money.

Shin Yuu
16 Greenwood Avenue, Hillcrest Park, S 289209
6763 4939

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