Shin Yuu Japanese Restaurant

21 03 2010

Shin Yuu literally means Family & Friends. I’m not sure why the owner named it so, but I assume it is because the staff are friendly and are able to foster a bond that makes the dining experience here akin to dining among family & friends. Being a relatively small and humble Japanese Buffet joint, there is nothing too fancy about the decor here. Lunch Buffet is priced at an affordable $35++ while dinners are priced $48++(though they do throw in some complementary premium items such as puffer fish, tuna belly and tenderloin steak from time to time).

Sashimi is a great starter to any meal. The Sashimi Moriwase here consists of Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Octopus and Kingfish(quite uncommon in Jap buffets). I especially liked the Salmon which I found to be fresh and with a nice fatty flavour, boasting a quality hardly found in buffets.

The Shin Yuu Special Chawanmushi was topped with Ikura(Salmon Roe) and proved to be very light and refreshing, with the savoury roe complementing the smooth texture of the steamed egg well. Although I did spot some air bubbles within the chawanmushi,  my party of 6 still loved this simple dish and had seconds. 

I was pleased with the staff’s gesture of a nice complementary serving of Tuna Belly Sushi. The brownish sauce tasted like a thicker version of Kabayaki Sauce and was indeed tasty. Shin Yuu’s Special Aburi Sushi was good to the last bite with little wonder as to why it is one of their specialities. The seared salmon had a smokey charred flavour and the mentaiko(cod roe) added a special touch to an already well executed dish.

Despite being a signature dish, I found the Shin Yuu Special Sakana Chiizu or Dory topped with Cheese forgettable. The Shake Teriyaki or Grilled Teriyaki Salmon fared better. Tender pinkish flesh with crisp salmon skin in sweet soy, eating it was a delight. 

Although the Ebi Tempura was well fried and lacking the oleaginous aftertaste, I couldn’t find it’s oomph factor. Likewise, the Hotate Mentaiko proved little more than eye candy, interesting to look at but failed to tingle my taste buds.

It was my first time hearing of Japanese O-lua(Oyster Egg). It certainly looked like and tasted like one too but it was actually the Shin Yuu Special Ebi Miso Mayo Yaki(a mouthful I know). Pretty interesting but I would still go for the traditional hypertension inducing hokkien oyster omelette anyday.  

I enjoyed the Wafu Steak tremendously. Cooked medium, I was delighted at how tender it was. The wafu sauce wasn’t overwhelming and I was able to savour the natural sweet and beefy flavours. We had seconds and then thirds!

Being a buffet, there are actually many items that I haven’t mentioned such as the Miso Pork Cutlet, Chicken Karage, Soft Shelled Crab, Grill Squid, Soba, Garlic Rice etc. There were also many items such as the Grouper in Sweet Soy(a whole baby grouper which bordered more on chinese than jap cuisine) that is atypical from the generic Japanese Buffet. I would say these items are pretty good for buffet standards but not something I would return specifically for.

On the other hand, what I would come back for is the well executed sushi, fresh sashimi, smooth chawanmushi, tender steak, awesome service and great value. 

Bon Appetit!


Shin Yuu Japanese Restaurant

16 Greenwood Avenue, Hillcrest Park

Tel: +65 6763 4939


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