Fine Dining

Syun @ RWS

Another restaurant we visited during our staycation. Opened in 2015, this fine dining Japanese restaurant in RWS was the brainchild of Chef Hal Yamashita. While this was positioned as a sushi restaurant, the strength was really Nouvelle Japanese dining.

Chef Hal Yamashita

Hal-Yamashita
Chef Hal Yamashita (photo ©RWS)

Chef Yamashita came to Singapore in 2010 for the World Gourmet Summit as part of the Japanese Master Chef delegation and won the best chef for that year. Since then, he had made several trips to Singapore and eventually opened Syun in RWS in 2015.

Chef Yamashita specialises in Nouvelle Japanese cuisine – innovative use of seasonal ingredients, Japanese techniques but modern presentation and combinations. Maybe it’s his background of growing up in Kobe and receiving his culinary training in Kansai area, the cuisine he makes is bold and extravagant in use of ingredient. For example, wagyu beef with uni sushi topped with caviar.

The Meal

Starters

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Salad

グリーンサラダ 柚子ジンジャードレッシング付き Green Salad Yuzu Ginger Dressing – Typically the Japanese salad is drowned with sesame sauce. Here, the salad was lightly dressed that you can hardly see it’s there. Also, that didn’t mean that the dressing was not really pronounced, you can taste the yuzu and ginger distinctly despite the small amount. Really taught me about dressing my own salads – the flavours really come from the ingredients and not the liquid, so less is more.

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Sashimi

刺身盛り合わせ Chef’s Selection of Sashimi 5 Kinds – 真鯛 Seabream ほたて Scallop はまち Yellowtail, ひらめ Flounder, かじき Swordfish. The sashimi was really fresh, and quite generous for lunch (3 pcs each).

The Mains

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Tuna belly rice

関西風柚子胡麻漬けまぐろ丼 Tuna Don “Kansai-Style” with Yuzu and Sesame Sauce – A Nouvelle Japanese creation where yuzu and sesame as used as dressing for chopped tuna belly. Usually served with just soy sauce and wasabi, this was similar to poke, but a lot less loud. While the salad was dressed lightly, this time, the chef went all out with a heavy sauce which totally overpowered the tuna belly.

However, the combination of yuzu with sesame was not for me, neither for princess, and we had to revert to the old-fashion soy sauce.

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Sushi

握りすし 8 種 8 kind of Sushi (Chef’s Creation) – This wasn’t the premium selection, so do not expect chu toro, uni and other special fish. What to be expected is the quality of the fish. I go to Tokyo quite often for work, and so if the fish is not Tsukiji-grade, that’s a no-no for a restaurant of this calibre. The sashimi was good, so I expected the same for the sushi.

The 8 pieces included 寿司玉子 Sushi Egg, まぐろ Tuna, いくら Salmon Roe, 貝柱 Scallop (cut into small pieces and served as gunkan), はまち Yellowtail, 真鯛 Seabream, ひらめ Flounder (served a small piece of aburi skin), and かじきSwordfish. The sushi were fresh and delicious. The tamago tasted like pound cake! The skin was left intact for the sea bream and lightly aburi to enhance the oily flavour. However there was not surprise, not was there a lot of though into the combination of fish. It was high quality, but unlike true sushi restaurants, the flavour profile as you progressed through the different sushi seems repetitive.

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Chawanmushi

茶碗蒸し 銀あんかけ Chawanmushi with Gindakake “Silver Sauce”  – what I really like about Japanese chawanmushi that I didn’t know how to do was the sauce. Everyone has a special glaze on their chawanmushi. I tried to do it once and it because a mushy starch on it. Must ask my chef friends some time. Chef added mushrooms and a special “silver sauce” that was essentially a concentrated dashi that was thickened with starch.

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Red miso soup

味噌汁 Miso Soup – What was different was the introduction of tomato into miso soup. Liked this, will try at home.

Afterthoughts

The mains were OK, not fantastic. I would have expected something more from a masterchef. However the service staff was great and attended to our every need.

I would not purposely make my way into Sentosa just to eat here. There used to be one better Japanese restaurant in Sentosa Country Club, but I heard the old chef has gone back to Tokyo, so the standard has dropped. Therefore if you are in the vicinity and want some good Japanese food, this could be just it. Else you have to drive to Keppel Island for Takumi.

Syun by Hal Yamashita
Resorts World Sentosa (Crockfords Tower)
8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island,Singapore 098269
Tel : +65 6577 6867

https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/restaurants/syun/menus

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