Shima Japanese Restaurant: The One-Stop for Authentic Japan.
Reviewed by : Viviane Then. Other Foodadvisor Writers?
Shima sounds a resonant note amongst tourists, businessmen and local Singaporeans. Reportedly the pioneer of teppanyaki
cooking in Singapore , dozens flock to Shima Restaurant to indulge in true Japanese culinary.
- The Vibe
Shima beckons with quiet dignity; its simple and bold name sign on the exterior indicates its quality of food with utmost confidence, having established 26 years of relationships with its customers. Wooden furnishings in the interior, dusted with Japanese paintings and wall displays reflect a Japanese traditional restaurant, humble yet of renowned reputation. Seasoned hibachi burners with smooth worn wooden tabletops breathe the history of teppanyaki since the restaurant's establishment in 1980.
The restaurant is divided into three dining sections – a teppanyaki dining area, a general dining hall for sushi including counter sitting and four private function rooms. Having a maximum seating capacity of 103, it is still ideal to make reservations for the Shima's teppanyaki dining area.
- The Food
The exquisite taste of Japanese food comes at a price, with a strong emphasis on freshness and Shima uses quality ingredients directly imported from Japan, coupled with the executive chef, Michael Ho's own special sauces.
A visit to Shima has to include experiencing the restaurant's teppanyaki cooking. Choose from a range of teppan sets ranging from $60 to $200+ which includes prime redeye beef tenderloin air-flown from the U.S. , or the Australian Wagyu beef and seafood freshly flown in as well as Japanese-imported vegetables. Each category of food is taken together with Shima's specialty sauces, created by executive chef Michael Ho himself. The U.S prime redeye cleanly sliced into bite-sized cubes, dipped in niniku (garlic) sauce was done just right – tender and chewy with a crisp touch, yet delightful in its juicy contents within. The niniku sauce did not overwhelm but whetted the appetite for a second helping instead.
Another highlight of the teppan set was the salmon belly. Dipped in a special sauce exclusively for salmon, crisp meat flaked off and almost melted at the back of the mouth; the blend of salmon oil and its sauce required one to suppress himself from crying out loud in pure gastronomic delight.
Over at the main dining hall is Shima's sushi buffet ($39.90++) for those preferring their food prepared in a variety of style. Chawanmushi which is Japanese steamed egg with mushrooms, chicken bits and fishcake, went down smooth on the throat like silken tofu and would be a good starter to the buffet.
The grilled fish was a pleasant surprise. Marinated in sweet sauce, its oil was well contained within its soft meat. Smooth on the tongue, the blend of salty and sweet became heavenly as one savoured the rich white meat.
Raw fish lovers will definitely appreciate the generous servings of salmon sashimi. True to its name, Shima serves only the freshest salmon sashimi reflected in its texture and colour.
The SD Food Advisor's take on Shima Japanese Restaurant
The humble furnishings of the restaurant gave no hint to the quality of the restaurant's dishes. Shima lives up to its reputation of dishing up authentic Japanese food in teppanyaki style.
However, the menu's proposed “tofu special” did not live up to expectations. Presented with a small square of silken tofu, its accompanying sauce was a tad too bland for the taste buds. Though some dishes may taste similar to other Japanese restaurants, Shima continues holding its edge over the others through its teppanyaki .