|The very funny Hiromi-san (left) with her very shy husband, Koichi-san (right), the chef-patron of Ooi Dining
|The interior of Ooi Dining|
|One of three private rooms at Ooi Dining|
Thanks to his sushi chef father, Koichi-san is the only Japanese chef in Singapore – and one of only a handful in Japan–who is adept at serving the shako(mantis shrimp) sashimi style (this shellfish is usually boiled and served as sushi). Ooi is also the only venue in Singapore that serves the rarely seen yonakigai sashimi, a clam from Hiroshima prized for its red-pinkish crunchy flesh that is all but 10% of the entire shellfish (the remaining 90% is usually discarded).
|Zensai (appetizer) course|
|The sashimi course starring shako sashimi, seki aji and seki saba|
|Yamaimo somen is one of the highlights at Ooi|
Yamaimosomen, a highlight at Ooi, ensues. Mountain yam is cut finely until it resembles oodles of somen and served in a soya-laced dashi broth with wasabi and seaweed. It’s addictive and we shamelessly asked for seconds (available at S$8 per bowl on the a la carte).
|Tempura of hamo, sweet corn and togarashi pepper|
|Grilled ohmi wagyu with lettuce doused in house made black sesame dressing|
|Grilled Pacific Saury fish, in season during autumn|
|Fruits including musk melon, mikan and pear|
|Salt ice cream|
Though Ooi may not brandish the youthful aura of Singapore’s latest string of new Japanese entrants, the immaculately-crafted zen plates are irresistibly handsome. With a starting price tag of S$250, Ooi may not offer the cheapest omakase but it’s going down in my books as one of the best in town. Now, Ki-sho has good company.
11 Cavenagh Road #01-13/14, Holiday Inn Singapore; +65-6737 4929