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Sunday, 22 November 2015

[Media Invite] Dinner at MaguroDonya Miuramisakikou Sushi & Dining @ Suntec City

3 Temasek Boulevard @#03-314 Suntec City Mall North Wing (Sky Garden), Singapore 038983
Tel: 6684 5054

Sequested on level 3 (Sky Garden area) of the North Wing of the newly-revamped Suntec City Mall is Eat at 7 - a brand new concept backed by global retail partners and renowned chefs, bringing together a cluster of 7 Japanese restaurants together under one roof. Whether you are looking for high-end Japanese fine dining or cosy, easy-on-the-wallet Japanese meals, this is the place to me.

I was honoured to be invited for a media tasting session at MaguroDonya Miuramisakikou Sushi & Dining Restaurant attended by representatives of Hungrygowhere and other other usual suspects aka familiar faces.

This is the first time that MaguroDonya Miuramisakikou Sushi & Dining Restaurant is doing an overseas venture, flying in fresh bluefin tuna exclusively with its flight partner All Nippon Airways (ANA), and aren't we Singaporeans fortunate that they have chosen to open here!

Restaurant Manager David Lim was hosting the event himself, and he has rich experience managing Japanese restaurants in Japan and locally. Not only is he a manager, he is also a lecturer for some hospitality faculty, so that explained why we had the privilege of a detailed and enriching lesson on maguro (blue fin tuna) and toro (tuna), as well as the preparation processes used by the restaurant to ensure freshness and quality.

David also conducted his demonstration by using a model fish that opened up to reveal various bodily parts so we knew which part of the fish we were eating - it felt like a biological lesson, interestingly. Here they use only Maguro - the highest quality tuna  from the Miura Misaki Harbour.

To ensure and maintain quality and freshness of the Maguro, a tradition known as shinkei-jime is being practiced by inserting a spike into the hind brain of the tuna to destroy the spinal cord and halt production of lactic acid. It is then kept frozen at -60°C. The restaurant also has its own fleet of fishing trawlers which enable them to curate the freshest fish around the world to be flown directly via ANA to Singapore within 24 hours.

Otoro in a glass



We began with the Three Cuts of Hon Maguro Sashimi (SGD$38.00), consisting of the Akami (top loin), Chutoro (bottom loin) and Otoro (belly). The raw Maguro slabs were well-marbled, well-oiled, smooth and extremely tasty, fleetingly sweet with freshness of the expensive bluefin tuna, and tender.   If this is not enough for you, go for the Five Cuts of Hon Maguro Sashimi (SGD$58.00), with the addition of Kamatoro (cheeks, flamed-torched) and Mekajiki (swordfish belly).

The surprise item came next - a hidden gem that is not available on the menu but please request for it from David or the friendly chefs. This is the Hon Maguro Tomi Sashimi (SGD$58.00) - the head portion of the Maguro. These slices came erect in their frozen states, and the correct to indulge in them is to dip them into the Sashimi sauce and place it daintily on the tongue to let it melt gradually, like a dream. And melt it did - gently, spreading lusciously across the tongue deliciously before the teeth snapped the soft pieces up.

Following that, we had the "wow", as labelled by David. The Yamamori Hakkiki Gunkan (SGD$12.00) which is also "warship" / "battleship" in Japanese, is a mound of scraps of scraped tuna piled high onto Japanese rice rolled with sushi. The sight of this was appetite-whetting.

How we were taught to eat it was to bury a lot of wasabi within the mound of shredded Maguro, and then eat it in one bite. The mountain of scrapped tuna was springy in texture, succulent, and utterly tasty. With the piquant sting of wasabi breaking through the layers of sweetness, it was almost a divine combination. The Japanese rice was soft and firm in texture as well, because of a unique diagonal method of cutting it, executed by the Japanese chefs. Best of all, even the rice itself was freshly-dehusked shortly before being flown to Singapore. I could eat a lot of these "battleships" in one single seating, I believe.

Next, the items David described as "mmm". We had the Bara Chirashi Don (SGD$16.00) - consisted of Maguro bluefin tuna sashimi, omelet, salmon sashimi, salmon roe and freshly-grated wasabi - the perfect bowl of happiness that it was named after. The sashimi were diced evenly, and David stresses on the freshness of the ingredients- unlike other chirashi don usually known to be made of the cast-offs during sashimi preparation, this was not the case here. Everything was prepared for its purpose, so that the quality remained top-notch and fish buoyant with freshness. As for the rice, it is as described above and its quality complements the raw fish very well.

Last but not least, the Kaisen Don (SGD$19.00) - 7 cuts of sashimi in a rice bowl. The colorful combination consisted of Hokkaido shrimp, salmon sashimi, squid, Maguro bluefin tuna, saltwater eel, yellowtail fish and scallop. This was another blissful and wallet-friendly dish here that would enable patrons to have the best of all worlds - trying different types of fresh raw seafood all in one bowl, amidst the fragrant and fresh rice.

Finally, a lunchtime special - the Hon Maguro Hikkaki Aburi Don (SGD$36)  - where the torching was performed at our table by Daivd himself. We first examined the raw form of the dish in a pretty pink hue.

David prepared the flame and then started to torch the Maguro slices gently. We could smell the distinctive burning smell as eyes watched the rose pink slices of fish turning into pale, earthly strips. The sizzling of the flame was quite theatrical, and we were informed that the oils from the Maguro would be brought out and seeping into the rice below. The delicacy was placed on the table for our tasting.

One mouthful was all it took to experience the richness of the flavour of this specialty - devoid of the sweet rawness of the Maguro now, and was replaced instead by a smokey aroma tinging the fish. The texture was succulent and yielded to the palate pleasantly. The rice was slightly moistened from the oil of the Maguro during the torching process, even infused with a tinge of flavour - awesome! I wish this item were available for dinner as well.

In conclusion, we got to say hi and shake hands with the amazing crew behind all these sumptuous food - General Manager / Chef Souki Watanabe, Chef Shuji Sawada and the youthful-looking Chef Takuya Matsumoto.

Pop by now for some marvelous Maguro lunch or dinner. Book through Hungrygowhere and enjoy even more promotion. They cater to a wide range of patrons here - whether you spend SGD$15.00 or SGD$500, whether you are here for a quick meal or a long, catching-up dinner over drinks, Magurodonya Miuramisakikou values you and accords the best, professional service regardless.

This was truly a Magu-memorable experience for me, and I really appreciate David for the fabulous hosting and education throughout the session, as well as thankful to Hungrygowhere for the invite!

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