On occasion, food is all about gimmicks. It’s how you market, how you publicise, and what you have (or in this case, do not have) that draws the crowds in. At the Standing Sushi Bar in Raffles Place, the main concept is that there aren’t any chairs for you to to sit on while you eat. Yes, that’s right. You stand and eat. This saves space, increases headcount, and makes people move off once they’re done with their meals. Come dinner time though, the staff wheel out high chairs (to match the high tabletops for the standing crowd) and one is able to enjoy a nice sit down (albeit on ikea-styled chairs) and devour a decent japanese meal.
I headed there one night to try out their omakase menu. Omakase is the equivalent of a degustation menu, i.e. chef’s choice. This supposedly ensures that you get what the chef believes is the best catch of the day. At the Standing Sushi Bar, orders for omakase are generally preferred so that the chef can prepare the dishes since the restaurant set up is small. For those of you who (like me) don’t quite enjoy the adrenaline rush when you get the bill, you can manage your budget by pre-setting the cost of your meal (though i think the minimum is S$50 per person). On our experimental visit to the Standing Sushi Bar, we opted for the S$60 omakase.
Starter: Cold Snailsfollowed by
Sashimi Course: Tuna, Salmon, Swordfish and Yellowtail.
Fish course: Pan-fried cod, Sesame-wasabi dressingSecond Fish course: Grilled Hamachi Cheek
Vegetable Course: Fried Nasu with Cod Roe mayo
Meat course: Beef in teriyaki
Final course: SushiWithout going into all the details about how each dish tasted, I think an easy way to sum up would be that the sashimi served at the Standing Sushi Bar was very very fresh. As the Japanese man seated next to us kept repeating to the chef, the fish was “uma-i”. The snails (in the first picture) were something i hadn’t seen often and had an interesting texture to the meat. The one dish that fell flat for me was the deep fried eggplant in cod roe mayo. Somehow, the cod roe mayo seemed a little overbearing on the eggplant and the creaminess of the sauce just didn’t sit well with the greasy eggplant. The hamachi cheek was tender as expected and grilled to perfection. Beef teriyaki was pedestrian, and not something i’d find myself craving for. Possibly the beef slices were too thin? Not quite sure on that front. As for the final dish, the futomaki (in the background of the sushi picture) had been pre-made and tasted like it had been sitting in the cooler for a while. The seaweed was soft to touch and required a certain amount of gnawing to tear it apart. Not quite as expected. The nigiri sushi was egged on plenty by the freshness of the fish, although i think the Standing Sushi Bar (and likewise with so many other sushi joints in Singapore) could do well to learn from the japanese style sushi – that is – more fish, less rice. Still, this was a decent effort.
Overall, the Standing Sushi Bar offers some great value items and an interesting concept to boot. The combination of fresh sashimi and a decent sushi rice is usually hard to beat, and the Standing Sushi Bar is more than half way there. The hot food items were just slightly above average (better than what you get at sakae across the road for sure), but for a quick lunch on the go, i’ll be back at the Standing Sushi Bar to grab a healthier sushi sashimi lunch.
Standing Sushi Bar
1 Raffles Place #B1-02
Tel: 6533 7078
Open: Mon to Sat, 11am to 10pm