NAMI

Special thanks to Shangri-La Hotel Singapore for extending this food review invitation.

NAMI Restaurant & Bar (波心) is a Japanese fine dining restaurant in Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. The restaurant serves exquisite Japanese fare using the freshest seafood from Japan. NAMI specializes in omakase (おまかせ), which means "I'll leave it up to you". This gives the restaurant greater latitude in expressing its gastronomical philosophy.
NAMI is designed by the same team that conceptualized the new Tower Wing lobby. Located on Level 24 of the hotel's Tower Wing, the restaurant offers scenic views of Singapore's city skyline. Customers can opt for al fresco dining at the outdoor terrace. Meanwhile, the sushi bar allows customers to watch the chef at work. There are also two rooms to accommodate private dining for small groups.
Head Chef Shigeo Akiba (秋葉重雄) takes the helm in the kitchen. Hailing from Yokohama (横浜), Chef Akiba is a highly accomplished personality in the Japanese culinary profession. Throughout his career which spans over 3 decades, he has the distinction of having served high-profile banquets, including meals for the Imperial House of Japan and many foreign dignitaries. Favoring a minimalist approach, Chef Akiba emphasizes on accentuating natural flavors of seafood as opposed to using heavy seasoning.
NAMI is offering the Hokkaido Omakase (北海道フェアーおまかせ), which is available through the winter season (till the end of January 2018). This 7-course menu features seasonal delicacies from Kitano Daichi (北の大地). Meaning "up north", this term often refers to Hokkaido (北海道), Japan's northernmost major island and renowned for fresh seafood harvested from its pristine waters.

The appetizer (先附) is presented as two pieces of amuse-bouche: Hairy Crab With Tosa Vinegar (毛蟹土佐酢掛け) and Yuba Tofu & Sea Urchin (とろ湯葉、雲丹、鼈甲餡). Hairy crab (毛蟹), also known as horsehair crab, is found only in the cold waters of the North Pacific Ocean. The crab is flavored by unami-rich Tosa vinegar (土佐酢), which is prepared from bonito flakes, rice vinegar, mirin, dashi and soy sauce.
Yuba tofu (とろ湯葉) is essentially bean curd skin. Topping the mild-flavored silky tofu is the savory roe of sea urchin (雲丹). This prized delicacy from the marine kingdom is in turn flavored by thick dashi stock called tortoiseshell sauce (鼈甲餡).

The next course is a soup (御椀): Dobin Mushi With Matsutake Mushrooms (松茸土瓶蒸し). Dobin mushi (土瓶蒸し) is a unique style of preparing dashi in a ceramic teapot. The rich broth is prepared from top grade kombu kelp (昆布) from Hokkaido and handpicked katsuobushi (鰹節) from Kyushu (九州).
The first way to enjoy the seafood-infused soup is by pouring some onto a small saucer, add a squeeze of sudachi lime (酢橘), and then sip gently while the broth is still warm. Afterwards, open the teapot's lid and consume the seafood ingredients that are left behind. Premium ingredients are Daggertooth pike conger (ハモ), matsutake mushrooms (松茸) and Japanese honewort (三つ葉).

The sashimi (御造り) course comprises of 5 assorted pieces of sashimi on a stone board. Fresh botan shrimp (ボタン海老) and scallop (帆立) embody the pristine waters of Hokkaido.
Olive flounder (平目) is prized for its white, delicate flesh. The reddish flesh of tuna (鮪) carries a hint of saltiness. On the other hand, amberjack (カンパチ) presents a rather fatty mouthfeel. Wasabi (山葵) and soy sauce (醤油) are provided as condiments.

The omakase meal proceeds to fish (魚料理). The centerpiece of this dish is Capelin Fish Tempura (シシャモ天麩羅). The fish is highly sought for the delectable roe in its belly. Also included are pieces of pumpkin (南瓜), kidney beans (隠元豆) and lotus root (蓮根), each coated with crispy batter. Tempura is customarily dipped in tentsuyu sauce (天つゆ).
The next course is meat (肉料理): Saga Beef Steak (佐賀牛ステーキ). Widely regarded as the highest quality Wagyu beef, the sirloin is best enjoyed at medium rare doneness. Chef Akiba's signature steak sauce also helps to elevate the juicy beef to new heights. On the side are grilled shiitake mushroom (ステーキ椎茸), sliced daikon (大根) and katsuobushi.
As for customers who do not take beef, NAMI is happy to replace this dish with Pan-Fried Tuna Head (鮪ノーテン焼). Tuna head is one of the most refined sections of the fish. Each fish has barely enough flesh for three servings. The fillet is flavored with sweet soy sauce and dashi, while a squeeze of lemon brings out the fish's succulent freshness.
Moving on to rice (食事), the penultimate dish is Rice With Matsutake Mushroom (松茸ご飯). Chopped mushrooms impart savory flavors to the Japanese short-grain rice. Served on the side are red miso soup (赤出汁) and pickles (香の物) like takuan (沢庵) and shibazuke (柴漬け).
The omakase meal concludes with a dessert (デザート), an assortment of fresh fruits. The Yubari melon (夕張メロン) is one of the most expensive cantaloupe cultivars in Japan. Other fruits presented are apples (りんご) and strawberry (苺). Japanese maple leaf (紅葉) provides aesthetic appeal.
The Hokkaido Omakase is priced at SGD180.00++ per person. After the satisfying meal, a fine cup of Japanese sake (お酒) is well deserved. NAMI has a decent collection of wines to choose from.
By the way, the restaurant's Japanese name consists of two kanji (漢字) characters. The word "nami" (波, meaning "waves") underscores the vital role of seafood in Japanese cuisine, while "kokoro" (心, meaning "heart") reflects the passionate service that restaurant strives to provide its customers.

Name: NAMI Restaurant & Bar (波心)
Address: 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Contact: +65-6213-4398
Business hours: 12:00pm-2:30pm, 6:00pm-12:00am
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/dining/restaurants/nami
Coordinates: 1.31090 N, 103.82674 E
Directions: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is located along Orange Grove Road. NAMI Restaurant & Bar is located at Level 24 of the Tower Wing. Shangri-La Hotel provides complimentary parking for its guests.

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