Compliments to the chef! From sushi omakase to vegetarian omakase, and even omakase worthy of a Michelin star, these Japanese omakase restaurants will keep you on the edge of your seat
If you’re a fan of Japanese food, you probably have cravings for ramen, sushi, yakitori, curry rice, or shabu shabu. But what about when you can’t decide, or prefer to indulge in a set dinner that’s left to the imagination? This is the unpredictable, adventurous Japanese art of omakase – chefs often prepare a seasonal, multi-course set menu where dishes change depending on ingredients available. Often, omakase dishes follow a theme, while keeping diners in suspense with inventive preparation and presentation. So respect the chef, and enjoy the ride; here are some popular restaurants in Singapore for omakase.
As if we needed another reason to love this Japanese-inspired steakhouse, Fat Cow has unveiled a new eight-seater omakase counter helmed by Tokyo-born Chef Shigeru Kasajima. Drawing from his global career, he has crafted five-course lunch and ten-course dinner omakase menus that pay homage to traditional Japanese techniques, but with modern influences. Case in point? The nigiri sushi are served on a bamboo leaf and pickled chrysanthemum, instead of the traditional ginger. Observe carefully and you’ll also notice subtle modern touches in the sushi such as the madai (seabream) accompanied with yuzu foam and oba (green shiso) pesto, and akami zuke (marinated bluefin tuna), that’s lightly cured in a secret nikiri (sweet soy sauce).
PERK ALERT: Enjoy 10% off Fat Cow’s omakase menu from now until 30 November. Simply quote “Honeycombers” while making a reservation or before ordering.
Fat Cow, Camden Medical Centre #01-01/02, 1 Orchard Boulevard, Singapore 248649, p. 6735 0308.
To say this restaurant is a rising star is an understatement. Opened in March 2016, this sushi restaurant beat other sushi stalwart establishments to land two Michelin stars in Singapore’s inaugural Michelin Guide. What makes this eight-seater fine dining restaurant – run by the Emmanuel Stroobant Group – stand out is its omakase menu featuring ingredients fresh from Tsukiji Fish Market. Their dinner sets – Miyabi and Hana – go for $320++ and $480++ respectively.
Shoukouwa, #02-02A One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213, p. 6423 9939
Opened at the end of 2015, terra on Tras Street is a restaurant that piqued our curiosity very early. Hidden behind its earth-toned walls, Chef-owner Seita Nakahara modestly worked on his love song to Tokyo-Italian cuisine (Chef Nakahara is very specific about his cuisine not being labelled ‘Japanese-Italian’), offering creations such as his signature spaghetti with uni and bottarga, as well as char-grilled Tajima beef served with chervil root. A year later, terra went on to bag a Michelin Star. Check out our experience of terra’s omakase menu in our Hot 50 Tables feature.
terra, 54 Tras Street, Singapore 078993. p. 6221 5159. Open weekdays 12pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Sat 6.30pm-11pm. Closed on Sun.
Helmed by the head honchos behind Ki-sho – it’s nestled just one floor above – Kakure’s traditional Meiji- and Taisho-era décor will leave you feeling like you are hanging out in Tokyo. What’s real, however, is Kakure’s attention to quality ingredients in its omakase menu (begins from $88). For the full-on treat, you should pair Kakure’s artisanal dishes with its extensive array of sakes to unlock a new palette of flavours.
Kakure, 29 Scotts Road, Lvl 2 Chateau TCC, Singapore 228224, p. 6733 5251. Open Mon-Sat 6.30pm-1am.
Four years since it’s opening BAM!, Singapore’s first modern shudo (the way of sake appreciation) restaurant, has revamped itself to become a fully-fledged, omakase-only concept. Executive Chef Pepe Moncayo serves up an affordable seasonal omakase menu that’s ideal for sake pairings. The four-course omakase menu will start from $98++ (six- and eight-course menus also available), while the vegetarian four-course omakase menu will start from $78++. Sweet tooths aren’t left out either – BAM! offers a unique dessert omakase menu that includes three dessert courses and petit fours at $48++.
BAM!, 38 Tras Street, Singapore 078977. p. 6226 0500.
From the premium Koshihikari variety rice to the specially concocted garnishing sauce, every piece of sushi at Hakumai Sushi is made with the finest ingredients. Leave it to Chef Gary Ng – who has two decades of experience under his belt – and get the Hakumai Sushi Omakase ($68.80) that comes with an assortment of premium sushi, kawahagi (filefish), soup, and ice cream. Alternatively, the Hakumai Omakase Course offers more substantial surprises with seasonal signature dishes.
Hakumai Sushi, #01-50A, International Plaza, 10 Anson Road, Singapore 079903, p. 6224 4790.
When it comes to secret restaurants, Bincho made a name for itself when it was revealed to be holed up in the vicinity of a mee pok stall in Tiong Bahru. By night, the hawker façade dissipates and out come the Japanese skewers. Glazed chicken yakitori are Bincho’s specialty; but order their omakase menus ($80 and $120), and you’ll never know what kind of kushiyaki (meat and vegetable skewers) rolls out of the kitchen. Hope you’re an adventurous eater.
Bincho, 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-19, Singapore 162078, p. 6438 4567. Open Tue-Fri 6pm-12am, Sat-Sun 12-3pm and 6pm-12am.
Exquisite ingredients, fine sakes, and a breathtaking view come together at Shangri-La Hotel’s Japanese fine dining establishment, NAMI. The restaurant’s extensive a la carte menu and omakase menus feature seasonal Japanese ingredients that are ideally paired with the restaurant’s vast catalogue of sake. Dishes you might find here include pan-fried maguro, and the saga wagyu beef sirloin with sea urchin, rice and seasonal truffle.
NAMI, 22 Orange Grove Road, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Singapore 258350. p. 6213 4398. Open daily 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-12am.
NOX – Dine in the Dark
While not a Japanese restaurant, NOX embraces the omakase tradition of leaving diners in the dark… and we mean that in every sense of the phrase. One of the most unique restaurants in Singapore, NOX is known for shrouding its diners in complete darkness, while serving them seasonal set dinners that are only revealed post-meal. We shed light some on this concept in our review of NOX, which will give you some idea of what to expect.
NOX – Dine in the Dark, 269 Beach Road, Singapore 199546, p. 6298 0708.
The waiting list for Teppei can be a tad insane (sometimes, it goes up to six months), but that’s because this restaurant’s omakase is famously affordable (from $50 per pax) and delicious. There are two seatings every evening, and only 20 diners get a spot at each of them.
Teppei, #01-18, 1 Tras Link, Singapore 078867, p. 6222 7363.
There’s a reason why this restaurant requires bookings weeks in advance – it’s one of the cheapest omakase restaurants you’ll find in town. Specialising in sushi omakase, these seasonal menus can go from as low as $18 for a 10-course set, to as high as $98 for a generous 18-course sea urchin set. Best part? There’s no GST or service charge.
Ryo Sushi, #01-06 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, Singapore 078867, p. 6443 3463.