Shin Yuu Japanese Restaurant

Armed with a posh district code, this dimly-lit, modest Japanese outfit is patronized mainly by families and expatriates, thus living up to its moniker, which translated, means “family and friends.” The ala carte buffet selection is modest but idiot-proof for the uninitiated—with signature dishes clearly highlighted in each category, so you know what to order if you can’t make up your mind. We can’t complain about the service as the servers were all quick, personable and attentive. Given that elbow space is a luxury at the bar, it was good that they were quick at clearing our empty dishes and filling up our cups. Now, the food is an entirely different story though. Our moriawase mix platter of sashimi (salmon, kingfish, tuna, swordfish and octopus) was decent but nothing earth-shattering—we’ve had better before. The Shin Yuu special chawanmushi with salmon roe was a tad too bland, though the salmon roe had that burst-in-your-mouth freshness. House signatures such as the special gyu karubi (grilled beef short ribs with sweet soy sauce); special ebi miso mayo yaki (pan-fried prawns with mayonnaise sauce); and the agemono sakana chiizu (deep-fried dory fish with cheese) were also nothing to write home about. Our beef was slightly tough and overwhelmed by heavy flavors while the prawns were drowning in a cesspool of cream; which did no justice to the light sweetness of the seafood. The dory fish, though fresh and soft in texture, was sadly under siege by the savory voluptuousness of cheese. Overall, this is serviceable Japanese fare—nothing awe-inspiring.

If you’re in the area, why not try one of these great restaurants in Bukit Timah?