Nogawa’s claim to fame is the fact that it is the first Sushi restaurant in Singapore. Not that they introduced sushi to Singapore, but they brought the Ginza Sushi restaurant concept to Singapore back in 1978.
That was the golden era – economy of Singapore was growing due to foreign investments, and particularly from Japan. To the Japanese expats, they craved for authentic sushi that they were used to in Japan – fish from Tsukiji, expertly made by the sushi counter, sharing a friendly banter with the sushi chef, the whole works.
Chef Yoshio Nogawa oversaw the training of a whole generation of local sushi chef that included Chef Gary Ng of Hakumai, Ronnie Chia of Tatsuya and Chef Lawrence Chia of Shinzo. Without a doubt, he could be regarded as the father of Singapore sushi. He has since returned to Japan in 2014. Chef Daniel who runs the shop these days was also discipled by Chef Nogawa. With that kind of reputation, you can deduced that the menu would not be budget. Omakase dinner starts at $200++ per person, so I recommend a lunch if you want to have a great sushi meal.
This was a rare treat, as you don’t get this very often, and definitely not at the budget sushi restaurants. The sardine was very high quality, firm and sweet as it was in season.
They took the bones of the sardine and deep-fried them to a crisp that you could just eat them whole. Came with a mayonnaise dip but all you need was a squeeze of lemon and munched away.
Nogawa is well-known to those in the know of their homemade marinated squid. Because they were homemade, the ika still had the crunch, unlike the supermarket variety that would have soften with time. Still very salty, so I recommend this with beer or sushi rice.
I ordered a set lunch that came with Uni, Ikura, Chutoro, Unagi, Amaebi, Hotate, Yellowtail and Sea Bream. And a very delicious Chawanmushi and a soothing bowl of miso soup. All for $70++. And it came with a dessert of two slices of watermelon and a scoop of mocha ice cream – what a way to end a great lunch with cheap dessert.
I had a previous experience of dining at Nogawa for dinner and was sitting next to the sushi bar and Chef Daniel was in full form. A very happy dinner, burnt a big hole on the wallet.
So for a full experience, go for the dinner. If not, lunch would still be enjoyable.
#03-25 Concorde Hotel Singapore, 100 Orchard Rd., 238640
Date visited: Aug 2017