I am on the rave for Japanese buffets. The internet in this case proves a worthy option to see the best “word of mouth” restaurants to visit. And it is with no coincidence that I discovered Shin Yuu.
Exclusivity is the key feature for this and the group of restaurants that reside in a quiet residential estate just behind Raffles Girls Primary School. It took me a train ride to Newton station and then a taxi ride to locate the restaurant.
Shin Yuu occupies one of the quaint stretch of former shophouses which has now converted into restaurants on the ground level. A number of Italian and European establishments are also tenants there and it is simply simple features like a bright burning woodfire oven to bake that lovely pizza that makes the whole place all the more authentic.
The restaurant opens at 6pm for dinner and it is in this slowly dimming sky that my buffet begins. While dinner is naturally more pricey than lunch, “complimentary” items are also given (depending on availability) per person.
First up on the menu, Grilled Tuna Nigiri Sushi. Served up warm, the grilled tuna was surprisingly tender with that gave an almost melt in the mouth feeling. The chewy grainy sushi rice provided good contrast in texture.
Slices of smoked duck was presented. A light sprinkling of saltiness adorn the surface with a delicate aftertaste of smoky flavours. Decent thin strip of fat pair the edges to give a good measure to taste and texture.
The Shin Yuu Special Aburi Sushi (Salmon) was perhaps one of the better flame grilled sushi I have tasted so far. The fish was almost flawless and a light smattering of the sauce was not too heavy.
Sashimi Moriwase was slices of Maguro, Hiramasa, Sake, Mekajiki and Tako. Adequately fresh with each piece being a generous portion. There was a complimentary portion of White Tuna Sashimi. It was less metallic in taste than the standard tuna which I felt was decent as to expect fatty tuna belly at a buffet would be almost an extravagance.
Oysters with Shoyu was the next complimentary dish on the menu. Very nicely done with focus on natural ingredients being very apparent here. The Grilled Dried Puffer Fish was a little surprising for me. It tasted very similarly to grilled dried cuttlefish albeit the strong odour which the squid carries. Chewy, thats when the tastes develops.
Complimentary serving of Roast Beef was presented. Ok, not something I would wow about.
The Shin Yuu Special Chawanmushi looked very appealing in the picture with the whole surface of the steamed egg custard filled to the edges with salmon roe. The portions given however were not the menu representations but still good enough to please the palate.
Wafu Steak never looked so good. The meat was glazed and shiny with that sense of well grilled beef tenderloin. Meaty, a tad chewy, but juicy with the simplest of marinade used to bring out the flavours of the beef.
A complimentary bowl of Tomato Seafood Soup was given, and it was actually very good. After the rush to get to dinner, settling down with a hot bowl of flavourful soup stocked well with clams and shellfish together with the umaminess of tomato, delightful!
The Hotate Mentayaki was ok though I felt that more could have been done in terms of presentation and flavour. The scallops itself was nicely done with it being quickly baked to cook it but retain its juciness while slightly grilling the cod roe sauce. Still, the fact that the scallops were not an entire entity with the shell made the dish loose a bit of the natural goodness you get when scraping the bits of scallop off.
Ok the food is getting too plenty for me to comment. I shall just leave the names down here and leave you to imagine the tastes that ensue from my photos!
Clockwise starting from the top left : Tamogo Sushi with Tobiko Nigiri Sushi,Tebasaki (Grilled Chicken mid wing that was crispy on the outside and a burst of juciness on the inside with a good flavouring all over), Yasai Tempura, Shin Yuu Special Gyu Karubi (Beef Short Ribs with Sweet Soy Sauce – Very nice!)
Clockwise starting from the top left : Saba Shioyaki, Ebi Tempura, Kani Karage (Soft Shell Crab), Shin Yuu Special Sakana Chiizu (Dory fish topped with cheese. More cream than cheese, it was good fish on the cheese though it could be a bit too much.)
Clockwise starting from the top left : Shin Yuu Special Ebi Miso Mayo Yaki (Prawn with Miso and Maynonnaise sauce. Very savoury with a delightful aftertaste. Though it can get a little oily), Shishamo, Chiizu Hampen ( Cheese Fish Cake ), Buta Bara Kosho Yaki (Pork Belly with black pepper. Sauce was a tad salty but the pork belly with ooo crispy..)
For Makimonos, I called for the Shin Yuu Special Makimono (Unagi with Avocado toppings). The sushi packed here while tight in nature presents itself soft and fresh upon the first bite. The Shin Yuu Special Makimono was a good blend with avocado and grilled eel that can hardly go wrong and it is a dish which aims to please.
Sashimi Roll Makimono was my final order for the day. I have to admit that the makimonos are particularly addicitive. And while it might not be entirely traditional, the glaze of slightly sweet sauce on the top of the sashimi in this dish made it even nicer. Fusion? Yes no? But guuhd.
All in all, Shin Yuu provides above average Japanese buffet fare. The fare of dishes are limited to over 70 varieties with a spread of traditional Japanese together with a selection of unique creations that are decent enough to please and tickle the palate. With its exclusive setting within the suburbs of private residential estates, the entire experience ups a notch. The price for adults during the a la carte buffet dinner is $48++ which places the restaurants in the slightly upper tier range. A value which covers the choice selection of dishes together with the adventure of dining within the serene areas of Bukit Timah.
16 Greenwood Avenue
Reservations : 6763 4939
Mon – Sun:
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Lunch)
6:00 pm – 10:30 pm (Dinner)Lunch – $35++ (Adult) $20++(Child). Dinner – $48++ (Adult) $28++ (Child)