Ayumu which means walking towards a new beginning in Japanese, is a fitting name to the newly rebranded Japanese restaurant, Sushi Ayumu located on the 4th floor of Mandarin Gallery. With the rebrand, the restaurant will be focusing in traditional Tokyo (Edo) style sushi, helmed by Head Chef Ryoichi Nakatani and Senior Sushi Chef Yusuke Kawana. The restaurant offers both Omakase lunch and dinner menu starting from $120 and $280 respectively.
Mochi with Botan Ebi Paste 4/5
Our omakase dinner started with the Domyojiko - Mochi with Botan Ebi Paste. A round shaped glutinous rice ball sat in the middle of the plate complemented by the flavourful prawn paste and snow crab sauce. It is a light appetiser but packed with robust flavours.
Otoro in Bincho & Buri (Big Yellow Tail) 4/5
The Otoro is lightly torched on the surface with the binchotan (Japanese charcoal) to give it a tad of smokiness, while the delicate wild Big Yellow Tail is fatty and buttery.
Abura Bouzu with Miso 3.8/5
From the grill we had the Abura Bouzu served with Hoba miso. The in-house Hoba miso is made by grilling fermented soybean paste on magnolia leaves. It liven the whole appreciation of the fatty fish.
Before moving to the sushi, I was introduced to the rice they used for the sushi. Using the finest Japanese rice, it is seasoned with three types of red vinegar to best enhance the flavours of the different types of fish.
Akami Zuke (Marinated Tuna) Sushi 3.8/5
Moving on is the highlight of the omakase where diner get to savour a series of sushi using the freshest ingredients. We started with the Akami Zuke (Marinated Tuna) Sushi. The lean and red part of the Wild Blue Fin Tuna is marinated with a blend of in-house soya sauce, giving it another layer of flavour on top of the freshness. Personally, I prefer the natural flavour of the wild blue fin.
Kinmedai (Golden-eye Snapper) 4.8/5
My eyes brightened up when I had the Kinmedai (Golden-eye Snapper). The flesh was delicate and tender. With the skin lightly seared, the combination tasted like firework in my mouth.
Aki Sake 4/5
Next is Aki Sake. The seasonal trout is topped with fresh trout roe marinated in soya sauce and saikyo miso from Kyoto. It was really refreshing to see the fresh trout roe which sticks together like a block instead of those pre-processed one from the market.
Kohada (Gizzard Shad) Sushi 3.8/5
It is amazing watching the chef prepared the Kohada (Gizzard Shad) Sushi, braiding the thinly sliced stripes of Kohada together. The kohada has a stronger raw taste compared to others, hence I applauded the addition of yuzu zest for a refreshing touch.
Kamasu in Bincho Sushi 4/5
The binchotan made another entrance with the Kamasu Sushi. The Japanese barracuda is torched with the Japanese charcoal and garnished with homemade sea urchin salt. While I can't really taste the sea urchin flavour but the salt helps to enhance the appreciation of the barracuda.
Yellow Jack Shima Aji 4.5/5
Very clean tasting is the Yellow Jack Shima Aji with a brush of in-house blended soya sauce. It also comes with a delighful tender texture.
Chutoro Sushi 4.2/5
For hon-maguro lover, the Chutoro Sushi will leave you feeling satisfied with its medium-fatty texture. Nothing sophisticated, just pure appreciation of the fatty fish.
Gunkan Maki with Uni 4.5/5
Diners will be delight with the sight of the Hokkaido Bafun Uni for its sweet, briny and creamy flavour. However the real deal for the Gunkan Maki with Uni is the precious seaweed that is hard to come by. The restaurant has to bid for it in order to be able to put it on the menu.
Nodoguro (Black Throat Sea Perch) Sushi 4.2/5
A prized catch on the omakase menu is the Nodoguro (Black Throat Sea Perch) Sushi. Small in size but the whole fish is fatty throughout. It is known as the "king of white fish" for its fatty and tender flesh.
Ayumu Roll 4/5
A luscious combination is the Ayumu Roll. The signature sushi roll comprises of chutoro, bafun uni, buri and shiso leaf all wrapped together for an explosion of colours and taste.
Shijimi Miso Soup 4.5/5
Perfect for washing down all the sushi is the Shijimi Miso Soup. The sweet little Japanese clams in the miso soup added the seafood flavour for depth and robustness.
Last but not least we have the Tamagoyaki. The tamagoyaki is slow-baked for an hour, made with shrimp paste, fish paste, mountain yam and egg, plus a dash of dashi. I have tried other versions which is more eggy but here I could still taste the fish paste, which somehow reminds us that this is still part of the Japanese omakase course.
Sushi Ayumu receives their hon-maguro and uni from the same venerated supplier as Michelin-starred sushi-yas Sushi Saito and Sushi Sawada. These suppliers are highly selective of the restaurants they work with and will personally pay the restaurant a visit to ensure top-notch food quality before agreeing the partnership. The restaurant has also developed close ties with Kyushu fishermen and suppliers, which gives them access to rare catches that may not be available in Toyosu Fish Market.
Note: This is an invited tasting.
333A Orchard Road
Tel: +65 67332114
Nearest MRT: Somerset (NS Line)
Tue-Sun: 12pm - 3pm, 7pm - 10pm
1) Alight at Somerset MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to ground level. Turn left onto Orchard Road. Walk down Orchard Road. Cross the road and walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]