Affordable yet delicious Japanese food can be hard to find, so it was pleasure to discover newly opened En Sushi right in the heart of town. Best known for their relatively cheap and fresh chirashi bowls(at only $10.80!), they also offer a wide selection of sashimi, sushi, maki, handrolls, donburi and even several grilled and hot dishes, all at very pocket-friendly prices. With more than 20 years of experience, Chef Kenneth’s finesse and dedication to his craft is evident on each plate presented to us.
Our first appetiser was probably one of my favourites of the evening. The Hotate Mentai Aburi ($14.90) features paper-thin sheets of scallop carpaccio blanketed in zig-zaggy lashings of aburi-ed mentaiko mayo. The fresh sweetness of the scallops went really well with the rich sauce.
Chef Kenneth surprised us with an off-menu appetizer of assorted goodies. We loved the Gobo Fry ($5.9 for regular portion) – crisp batons of nutty, deep-fried burdock root, Age Kaisen Tofu ($5.9 for regular portion) – bouncy seafood tofu cakes, and paper-thin deep-fried lotus chips. If you’re wondering, the exotic looking shellfish is Bai Gai (Japanese Sea Snail), most popular eaten cold after being boiled in water and soya sauce. Its texture and taste is akin to abalone, being sweet and chewy, although I must warn you might get an unpleasant surprise whilst extracting the flesh from its shell 😯
At $10.80, En Sushi’s Bara Chirashi Don is probably one of the cheapest bara chirashi dons in town. Lest you worry they skimp on quality or quantity, the bowl comes with a fairly decent portion of lightly marinated salmon, tuna, swordfish and ikura, interspersed with the crunchiness of cucumber and the sweetness of tamago to keep things interesting, laid over what seems to be unseasoned rice, but hey, I don’t really mind.
I fancied the Mekajiki Goma Zuke Don ($10.80) more than the bara chirashi don due to the larger slices of buttery and firm swordfish sashimi marinated in a creamy sesame dressing.
A most sinful combination of unagi and cheese wrapped in aburi salmon and mentaiko mayo topped rice, the Unagi Cheese Salmon Aburi Maki ($18.90) is quite tasty, but loses out slightly to the Spicy Ebi Fry Salmon Aburi Maki ($15.90), which has extra crispy prawn fritters in place of the unagi. The crunchy contrast against the fatty salmon worked in its favour.
Ubiquitous at most Japanese restaurants, the Ika Yaki ($14.90) comes with a choice of either salt or teriyaki sauce. Personally i found it slightly rubbery, even after taking into account that it might have cooled slightly whilst we were taking photos.
The grilled Enoki Bacon ($7.90) was pleasant enough but otherwise forgettable.
Instead, go for more interesting small bites such as the Pitan Tofu ($4.90) – a creamy tofu custard topped with finely diced century egg. This classic combination is always a crowd pleaser.
En Sushi uses Meltique beef for their Sliced Beef Steak ($14.90/100g, $28.90/200g), a brand of beef artificially injected with fat for consistent and quality marbling. Grilled to medium-rare perfection, the meat was tender and had a rich, unctuous mouthfeel. I felt that the accompanying spicy mayonnaise not only went quite well with the beef, but with many other items at the table as well.
Strategically located right next to Dhoby Ghaut and Bencoolen MRT stations, getting to the restaurant is a breeze. And with 3 schools in close proximity, I reckon En Sushi’s value for money donburi bowls will be a huge hit with students from nearby.
30 Prinsep Street, #01-02 Income@Prinsep
11.30am – 3.00pm(Lunch) / 6.00pm–10.00pm(Dinner)
*** This was a hosted tasting. ***