Indeed, with the hotel's own cafe offering buffet options, it might seem odd that Hokkaido Sushi would want to cater to the same crowd.
Instead, the buffet from here is anything but your usual spread. For one, the fine dining interiors and service afforded will still make you feel you are dining in a posh setting.
If you are able to procure their VIP room, you will get to see the view of the adjacent Shenton Way buildings. A range of sake beverages adorn their glass cabinet here too, so for those that need a bit of alcoholic boost, you are well covered.
But the buffet is the focus of our dinner and considering it is priced at $43++, I had to blink a couple of times to assure myself that it was not a misprint. For that "princely" sum, you get a range of appetisers, tempura, sushi, sashimi and cooked dishes.
You can order the items individually off the buffet menu and have it served to you, akin to those high class dim sum buffets in five star hotels. The century egg tofu, or Pitan Tofu, will certainly get you off on the right foot.
Colourful ebiko and scallion makes the appropriate garnishes for the smooth as a baby bottom's beancurd and the century egg dressing puts you in a creamy indulgence mode. Yes, this is addictive enough to go for seconds. And thirds.
Their fish is air flown twice a week from Japan to ensure the freshest catch and it was abundantly apparent in our platter. Consisting of five familiar breeds, each of the protein is as good as most fine dining Japanese establishments here, even those among the upper echelons of Japanese culinary. The maguro and salmon (sake) are my own personal favs.
But what stole my gastronomic heart most on the night was their sushi. It is hard to get decent sushi these days, and unless you make a wallet damaging trip to one of the top Japanese places, you are likely to get dodgy rice with even more dodgy sushi making skills to go along.
The five we had was anything like that. In fact, the sushi craftsmanship here is of a rather high order. And that starts with the exemplary rice they import directly from Japan. Add to that a touch of creative twist to some of the usual suspects, you know you are in for a treat. Finally, there is the intricate handling of the sushi construction itself that makes every sushi so polished and picture worthy.
The aburi salmon mentaiko and the maki were my favourites, and even the somewhat eclectic spicy tuna did not disappoint either. With a classy plating to boot, this is one sushi platter that is worth paying non-buffet rates for.
|Special of the Day|
Somewhat reminiscent of Kuishi Bo, there is also a special of the day where you can only get the special item once every meal. The particular dish we had on the night was a spectacular Japanese king prawn that was full of muscular sweetness that hardly needed any soy nor wasabi to bring out the tasty briny notes of the crustacean.
The cooked dishes are somewhat of a mixed bag. The waygu mushroom is serviceable and is just a bit sweet for my palate. The white fish is also a bit underwhelming that is begging for a bit more seasoning and a minute less cooking to give it more flavour and a more moist texture.
The pork fried with onion is, however, very appealing all on its own. In fact, put it in a rice bowl with some of their excellent rice and an oozy yolk and you will have a rice bowl that will be a bestseller for sure during lunch. Very hearty and its combination of sweet and savoury pairs well with the gently rendered pork slices.
The tempura dish also missed the mark and not up to what we were hoping for and I will put it down to just an off day. The batter was a tad less crisp and the prawns slightly overdone but given the pedigree here, I have every expectation that during my next visit here, this anomaly will be sufficiently rectified.
Beyond the dishes mentioned here, there are also more items on the buffet menu that I do not have time to squeeze into this post. Favourites like croquettes, kaarage and a really zesty yuzu chawanmushi all warrant your attention.
Ultimately, the wallet friendly pricing here is the main draw in coming here. The unexpected quality of the sashimi and fish gives you more than adequate reason to make this an ideal family outing.
And then, there is the sublime sushi platter. Suffice to say, I will gladly pay full a la carte bucks just to have that again and again.
M Hotel, Level 9
81 Anson Road