Omakase in Singapore: The top Japanese restaurants to have a traditional meal decided entirely by the chef
Trust is key
Menus? So overrated. Especially when you have already placed your ultimate trust in the chef in charge. Omakase, a brilliant term crafted by the Japanese, means "I'll entrust [the job] to you", and usually presents itself in a six to 10-course meal (depending on how deep your pockets are). Granted, it's a brave dining decision to be left in the hands of a complete stranger. But in return, you get the element of surprise while on a mind-blowing gastronomical journey. What's crucial about omakase is picking the right establishment — and we're here to help with our picks for the best joints in Singapore. And since it is all about protecting the spirit of omakase, we've made sure to leave out most of the dishes in this special round-up.
If you thought the bowls in Fat Cow were lip-smackingly delicious, you're in for a treat. An eight-seater omakase counter has found its way into the award-winning modern Japanese restaurant, helmed by Tokyo-born Chef Kasajima. Set to spring a new, yet nuanced Fat Cow experience, savour creations like Momotoro Tomato — which happens to be one of Japan's prized ingredients — dressed in dashi and rice vinegar jelly. Both the lunch and dinner omakase sets here both encompass sashimi and nigiri sushi options — which includes juicy clear water prawns as well as striped horse mackerel. One thing's for sure, the entire menu is a perfect marriage of traditional Japanese ingredients and Chef Kasajima's cultural influences from his travels around the globe.
#01-01/02, Camden Medical Centre, Tel: 6735 0308
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Start off your evening at Kappo Shunsui by ringing the doorbell from a nondescript door — a few seconds later, the door opens and you're shown to your seat. Chef Tomo Wantanabe (of former Bib Gourmand restaurant Shunsui in Tokyo) is the man behind it all here. What's even more impressive? Shunsui refers to the seasonal produce he brings in, and Chef Wantanabe makes frequent visits to Tsujiki market in Tokyo to source for ingredients for the establishment. The menu changes sporadically (as it depends on what he finds), but his fresh Hokkaido hairy crab topped with an amalgamation of seasonal vegetables was a previous standout dish. Our fingers (and toes) are crossed.
#04-02, Cuppage Plaza, 5 Koek Road. Tel: 6732 0192
Opening hours: 6pm-2am
If you're familiar with Bam!, you'd remember that it was a trendy sake bar that served up delicious Spanish-influenced tapas. Now all that has recently changed, with the hip restaurant only serving up an omakase menu. Expect delectable plates that feature contrasting flavours and textures such as cold capellini dressed with sakura ebi, uni and a refreshing citron confit. Staying true to its penchant for Japanese rice wine (housed in their very own cellar), add a sake pairing to your omakase set to complete the experience. Have a stubbornly sweet tooth? You can even swing by just for their Dessert Omakase special, which features a satisfying selection of three courses by their in-house patissiers.
36 Tras Street, Tel: 6226 0500
Opening hours: 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10.30pm