You can be assured that you will be in good hands at Maetomo’s namesake restaurant. A decorated chef himself, Akihiro Maetomo paid his dues by working in various restaurants (which earned him Michelin stars) and was then appointed VIP chef at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix in 2012. As a product supplier Japanese quality, it has been recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture. from Japan as a goodwill ambassador for the kitchen.
In 2019, he opened Maetomo Japanese cuisine Kaiseki & Sushi, a vast dual-concept restaurant that showcases two styles of dining. It supports the kaiseki counter in a dark and dramatically lit dining room at the end of the aisle, where customers can opt for a standard, special or premium kaiseki.
A new addition is the second dining room; a curved, wood-covered bedroom with seats arranged almost like an amphitheater along the counter. This is where we get a taste of Chef Shingenori Miyata’s comprehensive Omakase Sushi course (who is also new to the team) – a 22-course journey that will take you at least three hours.
(Related: How Esora Restaurant Chef Shigeru Koizumi Pushes The Limits Of Japanese Cuisine)
Not that there will be anything to complain about. With 37 years of experience and the help of equally experienced Sushi Chef Felix, Miyata brings us picturesque fall arrangements on painted and silver plates. The second dish of a Hyogo female snow crab is a three-layered pile of tender crab meat on a bed of dark orange eggs that erupt into tiny explosions on the tongue with every bite.
Manager and sommelier Florence Rozario serves us Nabeshima Junmai Harvest Moon, a fruity sake that is produced (and named) after the new moon. When finished, there won’t be another like this; an exclusivity that allows it to appear on the growing list of unique and sought-after sakes on the menu here.
The majority of the menu includes edomae sushi, which Miyata is an expert on. It even has two types of Shari, one based on white vinegar and the other based on more full-bodied red vinegar, to accompany impeccably cut slices of fish. It is only in the second wave of sushi served that the red vinegar Shari is used to stuff slices of kinmedai, a silver skin sanma, and the marbled otoro.
(Related: Meet Three Local Chefs Who Are Mastering Sushi)
While he’s clearly in his element when it comes to classic sushi, he also has plenty of surprises to offer. There is Osaka sushi or oshizushi, a square of pressed rice molded in a box covered with marinated mackerel from Aomori (fish traditionally used for this) and sea eel. While the black abalone of Yamaguchi announces its arrival as a subtle smoky scent invades each piece, an unexpected aroma given the mellow flavors of the dish because the shellfish are only very lightly seasoned and cooked in a kombu dashi.
It’s imperative that you leave room for the final wave of sushi, because Miyata is saving the best for last. This marbled property otoro appears at the end as well as the mandatory United and a bowl of salmon egg sushi. And if you’re as drunk as we are, faintly signal either of the chefs and they’ll cook you a little United roll by hand so you don’t miss a thing.
39 Scotts Road, 01-01 Sheraton Towers Hotel Singapore, Singapore 228230. Make reservations for the Kaiseki here and sushi here.