It was a pity i didn't get to meet Executive Chef Lawrence, but we were attended to by Chef Daniel, who was kind enough to not over-promise us before the meal about expectations. In the end, both my partner and me still enjoyed the meal thoroughly.
Moving on to the hot dishes from the kitchen, the Swordfish Steak with Special Sauce was beyond impressive. I made myself sound stupid by asking if the sauce was terriyaki, only to be told it was apple and other ingredients used to create it. The swordfish was topped with fish roe and flower petals (that are totally edible), and served along with dried baby sardine, which gave the dish a good texture.
One of the dishes that didn't really leave an impression was the Asari (Short Neck Clam) with Asparagus, Seaweed and Onion. My partner however, liked it very much, so much to the extent i offered my portion because i wasn't really enjoying it, except that the broth served with it was flavorful and sweet. Gladly, the asparagus was not overcooked, which i felt was very crucial since there was little on the plate (clams and asparagus), but i feel this dish could do with a miss if you have limited space in your stomach.
The Lamb Rack however, was a complete opposite of the previous dish. I liked this dish a lot, while my partner didn't. The lamb was cooked almost perfectly, with no seasoning at all, except the natural flavors from the lamb itself. Served with a drizzle of mustard sauce, i found myself enjoying the tenderness of the lamb with its natural juices, and as soon as it finished mine, i jumped for the other. Point to note at Hinoki, if you do not eat a certain kind of meat, you can inform the chef so he can make amendments to suit your palate.
I am taken aback at how they managed to do Kajiki (Swordfish) in so many different ways at Hinoki. First it was sashimi, then the steak, and then in beancurd sauce. The Kajiki (Swordfish) in Beancurd Sauce was particularly different from the rest. The sauce was sourish like vinegar and it had a chewy texture to it, instead of the sashimi that melts in your mouth, and swordfish steak with sauce that came off savory.
Good restaurants generally serve you dessert before you leave and the Yuzu Sorbet (from Japan) accompanied by fresh fruits was a refreshing end to the meal.
Although prices may be a bit steep at Hinoki, i feel the quality of the food justifies the price point. There are other restaurants i have dined in with standards below par but yet they charge more. If you happen to not want to opt for Omakase, they also serve ala carte dishes on their menu, as well as bento sets. There was nothing to fault with the whole meal we had- the sashimi was fresh, food was presented and service was excellent. Now excuse me as i end this abruptly and make plans for my next visit.
Hinoki - Sushi . Omakase . Sake
22 Cross Street
#01-50/53, China Square Central
+65 6536 7746
This was an invited media tasting.