Sushi Kuu | 3.5/5

Assorted sashimi on sushi rice is more affordable at lunch.
Assorted sashimi on sushi rice is more affordable at lunch.
The Kuu House Roll with toro, uni, caviar and shrimp.
Sea Urchin with Black Truffle Egg Custard.
New HK import serves up Japanese fare in generous portions
Published: 4:03 AM, November 9, 2013
Updated: 5:50 PM, November 10, 2013
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SINGAPORE — The first overseas outpost of Hong Kong restaurant Sushi Kuu recently opened at Palais Renaissance. And to suit its upscale surroundings, the restaurant is aptly chic, in shades of slate and wood.

Like any good modern Japanese restaurant worth its truffle chawanmushi, this sprawling 70-seater boasts a long sushi bar in front of which guests can sit and chat with the restaurant’s chefs. And for those who want more privacy, there are comfy booth seats lined in black leather, too.

Truth be told, the food here isn’t very different from other good Japanese restaurants. The sashimi is swimmingly fresh and flown in from Japan thrice weekly, and there is a long list of appetisers, warm dishes, sushi, sashimi and meats to choose from. Perhaps what sets it apart then are its large sharing portions.

A Japanese black pork “shabu shabu” salad (S$25) arrives at our table on a long plate, chock-full of fresh salad leaves and topped with tender slivers of boiled pork and lots of crunchy fried garlic. Doused in a creamy sesame dressing, the dish feeds three adequately.

Similarly, the assorted sashimi on sushi rice (S$65) arrives in a bowl that’s at least 30cm across. It is crowned with thick slices of yellowtail, salmon, tuna, scallop, sea urchin, botan shrimp, crab claw and lots of salmon roe and seaweed. We liked that the rice was slightly sticky and firm, the grains nicely separated and ever so gently seasoned. At lunchtime, this same portion can be had as part of the set lunch for S$49, along with miso soup, udon and ice cream.

The grilled wagyu ox tongue (S$45) was also pretty fabulous, with a melt-in-the-mouth lusciousness that can only come from a good measure of fattiness. The drizzle of sweet mustard sauce helped to tame its beefy flavour.

As for the chawanmushi — that ubiquitous Japanese egg custard (S$25) — the restaurant has stuck to tradition and imbued the silky mix with good dashi stock. It is, though, gussied up with morsels of sea urchin, shrimp and scallops that helped to justify the price of a bowl, even if it all got overcooked in the heat of the custard.

Dessert proved particularly enjoyable in the form of a rich and wobbly green tea mousse with yuzu sauce (S$10). The smooth milk pudding was infused with just enough matcha so that it had a hint of that lovely bitterness.

The food here is pretty good, though it can get expensive. So it might be best to come with a group and share the spoils … and, well, the bill. ANNETTE TAN

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