Sushiro has gone a long way ever since it’s beginnings from a 12-seater space at Thomson Plaza; the concept had since been rebranded as Omoté, with the shop moving from its expanded shop space at Level 1 to a bigger space at Level 3 within the same mall.
Having started off from a kiosk-sized stall when we made our first visit, Omoté is the fourth iteration of the brand ever since the Sushiro day’s — the first expansion saw Sushiro occupying the stall situated beside them, whilst the subsequent expansion saw the concept move into an actual shop space at the ground level (the original space also being re-branded as Ryori by Sushiro, serving up Gyudon). The current expansion, which includes the rebranding of Sushiro as Omoté sees the introduction of a few new items, including a section dedicated to Contemporary Modern Fusion cuisine, as well as an entirely new bar concept that serves cocktails, Sake and bar bites, amongst other concoctions of drinks as well. Omoté’s interior is also well-planned, dedicating an indoor area for queueing in order to cause fewer disturbances to the neighbouring tenants as well as to provide a comfortable area for patrons to wait before being seated. While the dining hall provides a comfortable and spacious environment decked in a modern and chic interior decked in pastel pink and blue colours, diners can also opt for the private dining rooms situated at the back of the space in for a more intimate dining experience. The space also provides bar counter seats for both the sushi bar, as well as the drinks bar area, occupying the front and the left side of the shop respectively. Offering a wide variety of items on the menu, the menu at Omoté features favourites from the Sushiro menu, such as the crowd favourite Sushi Donburi, as well as Yakimono, Sushi, Tempura, Agemono etc., as well as newly-introduced items such as the Cold/Warm Starters as well as the Contemporary Modern Fusion section of the menu. Patrons could opt for regular drinks such as soft drinks or hot tea, though the bar counter does offer a variety of cocktails, Sake, Japanese beer/Highball, and non-alcholic mocktails and fruit fizzies.
(Asari Garlic Flambé)
Starting off the meal with one of the menu items listed in the Contemporary Modern Fusion section of the menu, we went for the Asari Garlic Flambé; a dish that featured Saltwater Venus Clam, South-eastern Spices and Scallion. A very flavourful seafood dish, the Asari Garlic Flambé felt like a dish that came off from the kitchen of a tzechar stall; and in a good way. It carried a distinct hint of alcohol, while the broth that it was flambéd with came all savoury and garlicky, providing the clams with flavour. The added chili padi helped to add a spicy kick to the dish, cutting through all the savoury notes of the dish to tingle the taste buds. No doubt something close to home in its taste, but comforting given how familiar it feels.
(Fillet of Atlantic Salmon Teriyaki)
We also went for the Fillet of Atlantic Salmon Teriyaki off the Yakimono menu; essentially the same slab of salmon which comes with the Salmon Teriyaki Don from their Donburi section of the menu. Doused in the all-familiar sweet-savoury Japanese, the slab of salmon was undeniably soft; slippery smooth without having much of a need to chew.
(Kyoto Glazed Duck)
Another Makimono item that we have gone for was the Kyoto Glazed Duck; smoked duck breast that is flamed-seared. Also doused in a sweet-savoury sauce, the duck meat was succulent, though requires a little bit of chew, whilst carrying a light hint of smokiness that provides a great contrast against the savoury meat. This is also the very same duck breast that is being served with the Kyoto Glazed Duck Don off the Donburi section of the menu, which also comes with poached egg and a bed of rice.
(Grilled Unagi Omoté Chirashi Don)
Still craving for their Modern Sushi Donburi offerings, we ended up going for the Grilled Unagi Omoté Chirashi Don; essentially an item featuring the best of both worlds with their famed Bara Chirashi Don that is served with grilled Unagi. The Chirashi Don is the item that had drawn crowds to Sushiro, and a signature dish that made Omoté what it is today; the assortment of marinated diced seafood is utterly amazing ever since their early days, and had also been pretty consistent from back then — marinated in a sauce similar to Teppei’s marinade for their Bara Chirashi Don but sweeter, the mix of seafood served is pretty fresh featuring prawns, octopus, salmon and tuna amongst others. The marinade also helps to give the room temperature sushi rice beneath a bit of flavour; the rice being served at a suitable temperature that does not affect the flavours and textures of the fish. The grilled Unagi, though a little scaly, is smothered in a good amount of Unagi sauce; sticky and sweet — all that with a slightly crusty exterior from the grilling that gives it a little more texture. Ikura on the top provides the umami popping sensation that gives a burst of flavour, whereas the knob of Wasabi sends a numbing sensation that is in no way shy, and tingles the tastebuds. Given how their Chirashi Don items are the main highlight here ever since their early days, their Chirashi Don is the reason for the snaking queues — an item that is certainly worth queueing for, with the Grilled Unagi Omoté Chirashi Don being an item meant for those who can’t give up or decide to go for either one of the two items.
(Hokkaido Aburi Chirashi Don)
We also tried the Hokkaido Aburi Chirashi Don, which came with flame-seared sashimi, uni and marinated salmon caviar on sushi rice. Again, yet another item that they had nailed so well; the seafood served were all pretty fresh, whilst being flame-seared to add a slight hint of smokiness that elevates the flavours of the fish; all served atop a bed of sushi rice that is similar to the Grilled Unagi Omoté Chirashi Don. The fish is also served as-is here without marination, unlike their usual Omoté Chirashi Don. The Uni also deserves a mention for its freshness; buttery, smooth and creamy, the sea urchin here does not carry any undesirable stench or odour. While it commands a higher price tag of $48.80++, the bowl does feel undoubtedly premium with its freshness and prime cuts of sashimi being served; pretty worth the price that it is asking for.
(Lush Cucumber Spice)
Also opting for something off their new cocktail menu, we went for the Lush Cucumber Spice; a concoction featuring elements such as Cucumber, Wasabi, and Martini. The drink is rather light on alcohol; pretty easy to drink, while being refreshing from the Cucumber added. That being said, there was not much Wasabi to be detected; perhaps done so in order to make the Lush Cucumber Spice an easy drink to have, though we would definitely prefer a bolder, punchier concoction overall.
It was certainly exciting to see how far Sushiro had come over the years, from their very initial set-up situated at Level 1 to their subsequent expansions; their re-branding as Omoté is possibly their boldest move yet; a refreshing look with a sense of familiarity when it comes to menu items offered, plating and the execution of the food. One could feel the amount of through the being placed in the opening of the new space; the dedicated indoor queue area, the spacious concept and retail section situated at the queue area are all minor details that those who have visited the old Sushiro(s) would be able to appreciate. While the food seems pretty consistent with what they had been dishing out previously at the old space, Omoté does need to sort out its operations; perhaps a little understaffed for now considering how it does take a little longer for food to be served to the table and how many staff they have going around and in the kitchen, especially against the big turnout for dinner service on the opening day. That being said, this is probably something Omoté would be able to fix after they settle into the operations of their new space, considering how they have grown in the last couple of years. We wish the folks of Omoté all the best in what has to come, and we would certainly be back for more again some time soon (especially the Sanshoku Omoté Chirashi Don; that’s the bomb!).
301 Upper Thomson Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Omot%C3%A9-970518079675008/