Review: Hidden Japanese Gem — Shun Ka Shuu Tou at Amara Hotel Singapore


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The Kaiseki is a Japanese traditional multi-course meal that dates back to the 16th century. While a culinary art form, it is a celebration of the fresh ingredients and their flavours during each of the four seasons.

Shun Ka Shuu Tou (literally translated to Spring Summer Autumn Winter) proudly presents the traditional Kaiseki experience, meticulously crafted by Head Chef Jack Tan. This unassuming and understated restaurant in Amara Hotel happens to be extremely popular with Singapore’s Japanese community! I was excited to find out why in a lunchtime tasting I did with them in late July.

Overall: ★★★☆☆ 
Price: $$-$$$

As many of their dishes are based on seasonal fresh ingredients, you might not find the same dishes when you visit. But here’s a sneak peek into what you can expect at Shun Ka Shuu Tou’s lunchtime Mini Kaiseki Course ($60). 

We start off with the Appetiser Trio of a fresh Japanese TomatoChilled Tofu with Sea Kelp and lightly-seared Mekajiki (swordfish) in Bonito sauce.

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The tomato was absolutely amazing. Very sweet and juicy and look at that colour! I’m not generally a fan of slimy, viscous sauces so the tofu and kelp didn’t do very much for me. But the swordfish was fantastic. Seared perfectly to give that slightly-charred aburi taste, the texture was firm and buttery, melting in my mouth instantly.

The next dish was an assorted plate of Sashimi Moriawase. There was salmon, hamachi, red snapper and some scallop. Fresh but nothing exceptional.

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Next was the Salt-Grilled Ayu Fish with Lemongrass. I thought the lemongrass was a strange thing to accompany this freshwater fish but as it turns out, coupled with the lime, really accentuated its salty flavour and milky texture. Interesting.

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The next dish I loved. It was the steamed Kabocha with Shimeji Mushrooms and Fish Fillet. 

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This was such soul food. Simple, wholesome and all of the ingredients were really fresh. I really enjoyed this and it warmed me up from the inside.

And finally, it was time to end the meal off with some sushi. There was uni, seabream, hamachi and some housemade tamago. This filled me up nicely and we washed the rice down with some warm miso soup.

IMG_4157There were fresh seasonal fruits to end the meal off. Overall, the food was of good quality, ingredients were fresh, and despite running a full house at lunch was still able to serve the entire meal in slightly over an hour which is pretty impressive considering how small the team is. So for those who worry about not making it back to the office on time, you won’t really have a problem there. It might be a bit of an indulgence for a regular lunch day but I think it’s worth bringing clients or business associates here for a casual lunch and book the tatami room if you can. It’s an exclusive, quiet space for a great reprieve from the lunchtime bustle.

Shun Ka Shuu Tou

2F, Amara Hotel,

165 Tanjong Pagar Road, 088539

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