Sui Japanese Dining

We’re big fans of Japanese cuisine, so you can imagine that there was a bit of a scramble to go eat at Sui Japanese Dining when it popped up on our foodie radar. Located at the trendy end of Neil Road, Sui is set inside an old two-story dwelling. It was a little warm (and we were here for some sake) so we walked past the courtyard al fresco area and straight into the air-conditioned dining room, which was chic yet understated, with Japanese-style tables and a high ceiling. Sui might not have a sake menu, but it has something better—sake sommelier, Kenny Chin. Chin joined us for a chat to see what sort of beverage we’d prefer and his recommendation of Takijiman sake from Mie Prefecture ($60 for a 720ml bottle) proved to have just the mix of fragrance and substance we were looking for. While deciding on our order, we were served a complimentary bowl of edamame and a small side of octopus. We started with a plate of salmon sashimi ($20 for five pieces) since that’s always a good barometer of a Japanese establishment. With something as simple as raw fish, freshness and quality product is absolutely everything, and the lush, thick salmon slices set the tone for the rest of the meal. We simply had to order a plate of fugu mirin boshi (grilled puffer fish, $12), which had an interesting chewy texture. Sushi was up next, and the mekajiki (swordfish, $8 for two pieces), kanpachi (amberjack, $8 for two pieces) and otoro (fatty tuna, $22 for two pieces), served traditionally without seaweed, were all excellent. The melt-in-your-mouth fatty tuna was among the best we’ve had outside of Shinjuku and Ginza. Our mains were tempura udon soba ($16), kurobuta pork with enoki mushrooms and onions ($16), and eel donburi ($18). This was where the essence of what makes Sui a great restaurant emerged—the attention to detail. The tempura batter was light and ultra crisp, the addictive quality of the pork and mushrooms left us picking up every remaining sliver and the eel was an almost completely different fish from what we’re used to. Sui even makes its own soya sauce and the difference is noticeable. With its top class, personalized service, chilled-out ambiance and extensive sake selection, this is what modern Japanese dining should be.