Hide Yamamoto in MBS closed and moved to Sentosa, and we went searching for teppanyaki during our staycation on this resort island.
Housed in a conserved colonial building in Sentosa at the historic British barracks called the Mess Hall that dates back to 1904, Hidemasa Japanese restaurant is made up of two parts – Hide 秀 and Masa 正.
Hide 秀 is also the word for demonstration or show and a great moniker for a teppanyaki restaurant.
There’s only one teppanyaki counter, and in normal time will sit 10 at one go. At this moment, you can only accommodate half that capacity, so we could not get a seat at the counter.
The decor is more of a Japanese family restaurant than a fine dining place, with bright lights and teak tables (not exactly real teak, but laminate).
Teppanyaki “Tsuzumi” set
Surprising the 5 courses did not include a sashimi, given that Masa specialises in sushi and sashimi omakase. But this was the course that features A5 Kagoshima wagyu, so it should be good.
The appetiser come first. Unfortunately we were not seated at the Teppan counter, but we were spared the smoke. Point to note, you cannot notice the fumes or smell from the Teppan counter when seated elsewhere in the restaurant, so the ventilation must be really good.
From R: Pickled lotus roots and okra with shiso paste, sea whelk in sweet and spicy dressing, house cured salmon with sesame dressing
I really liked the shiso paste, it was herby and spicy at the same time.
The dressing used for the salad was amazingly good. It has a good sesame mayo taste but unlike the ones you get from Kewpie, it was not overpoweringly sour. This salad was served for both the Teppan set as well as the Sukiyaki.
Pan-grilled tiger prawns with herb olive oil and a sauce made with the prawn head. It was Ok, but I prefer prawns that were less overcooked – cooked to a C and not O.
One more item before the piece de resistance. One lonely piece of grilled Hokkaido scallop with asparagus.
The scallop was seared on the teppan on both sides but still leaving the middle moist and tender. There’s no need for any condiments, the natural sweetness of the scallop came through and the only complaint was that there was only one piece.
And then condiments for enjoying the A5 wagyu was presented to us. It included size different types of flavourings – only six pieces of bite-size Wagyu?
A5 Wagyu from Kagoshima prefecture is arguably the most exquisite beef in the world. Only the highest quality Wagyu is graded A5. Wagyu (和牛 Wagyū) literally means “Japanese cow“. True authentic Japanese Wagyu comes from any of these Japanese pure breeds: Japanese Black (黒毛和種 Kuroge Washu), Japanese Brown (赤毛和種 Akage Washu or Akaushi), Japanese Polled (無角和種 Mukaku Washu), and Japanese Shorthorn (日本短角和種 Nihon Tankaku Washu). Kagoshima Wagyu comes from the Kuroge Washu breed.
Every bite was heavenly. The beef simply melted in your mouth with all those superb marbling. And the polished cooking by the Teppan chef was evident, as the juices of the beef were all locked in the meat itself.
The garlic fried rice promptly appeared with the tsukemono at this point, as you would not be able to simply eat the über rich wagyu beef on its own. The fried rice was not oily, but also no wokhei (smokiness from the pan). A twist to the plot, there’re sakura shrimps in the fried rice for added crunch and umami!
And to round up the meal, a house made dessert. At first, truffle ice cream sounded like chocolate ice cream. Then when it came, we realised it was made with white truffle oil.
Sukiyaki “Tsubaki” set
The set came with everything on one tray, washoku style. There’s the same miso soup and sea urchin chawanmushi that came with the Teppan set as well. And of course the compulsory tsukemono with the steamed white rice.
I was very surprised by the amount of soup that came with the sukiyaki. I always though sukiyaki to be more concentrated and denser. This was what I was expecting from a previous trip to Japan, but of course not so decadent. And I can excuse them for not supplying a raw egg, and gave me a sous vide one for dipping the beef with.
Actually I was quite disappointed by the fact that you cannot add more beef with the set. There was only two proper slices of beef (A5 Kagoshima no less), and you ended up wanting more. The beef simply melted in your mouth and the sweet sweet beef was just sublime with the sukiyaki broth. (I wouldn’t call it a sauce.)
And the dessert that came with the set was a delicious and creamy milk ice cream from Hokkaido, served on a bed of cornflakes and with two puff pastry sticks that reminded me of Danish pastry. This dessert, essentially, was a breakfast in a bowl. Very clever.
Hidemasa was the signature restaurant of Hidemasa Yamamoto 山本秀正, a Japanese-born chef trained in Italian and French techniques. When Hidemasa opened at MBS, I wanted to go for the Teppan but the travel schedule prohibited that. And a change of restaurants in MBS, I thought they have moved out of the market. Then they opened at this location Oct 2019. Afterwards, Covid struck.
The teppanyaki was very polished. Currently helmed by ex-Shima chef, I believed they wanted to be a fine dining restaurant given the exclusivity of the boutique hotel The Barracks that they are associated to. Unfortunately, special times called for special measures, and it was more like a family restaurant than anything else. Hopefully, we can get out of this pandemic together unscathed and Hide can become one of the better teppanyaki in Singapore.
HIDE By Hide Yamamoto
Mess Hall Sentosa, 12 Artillery Avenue, Blk 16 #01-04 & 05 Singapore 099953
Tel : (65) 6513 6699
Date Visited : Sep 2021