The certification program of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas

Interview of Suppoter Stores SUSHI MIEDA

Importing top-grade ingredients from Japan by air four times a week

Singapore

“There are increasing number of guests who know true sushi taste.”

Sushi Mieda is conveniently located just a five-minute walk from Merlion Park, a famous tourist destination in Singapore, and Shenton Way renowned as a financial business district in Southeast Asia. The sushi restaurant, which uses only strictly selected Japanese ingredients, opened in May 2013. Since then, it has been popular even among people other than the Japanese as a place where you can enjoy a taste of Japan.
“When our restaurant first opened, we also offered dishes that matched the tastes and preferences of Singaporeans,” says the head chef, Mr. Keisuke Ohno, looking back on that time. “Due to the effect of a boom in travel to Japan and the fact that the number of people who frequently visit Japan on business is on the rise, there is a growing demand that they want to enjoy the same taste of sushi in Singapore that they eat in Japan,” he added, realizing that the guests’ perception of Japanese food has changed. They currently import ingredients from Japan by air four times a week and offer dishes seasoned in the same way as in Japan.

Singapore is easy to import ingredients from Japan

Mr. Ohno, who makes classic Edomae sushi, is especially particular about kohada (gizzard shad), seasoned omelet, and kanpyo (seasoned gourd). Denbu (mashed and seasoned fish), which is put on kohada, is handmade in the store and it takes over 2 hours to make it. They use carefully selected kanpyo from Tochigi Prefecture and use organic eggs from Oita Prefecture to make seasoned omelet. They also blend the top-quality brands of rice produced in Japan in a unique proportion and adjust it to achieve the optimum balance for vinegared rice. After confirming the stickiness and tenderness of the rice, they will make the vinegared rice to their satisfaction. They thoroughly pursue the best tastes of soy sauce and vinegar. “In Singapore, it is easy to import all the Japanese ingredients. I am grateful to be able to offer the same taste as in Japan," he says with a smile. When he returns to Japan, he never fails to visit the Tsukiji Market and walks around for excellent ingredients.

The key is communication with guests.

"Ninety-five percent of our guests are non-Japanese," said Mr. Tjioe. Not only Singaporeans, but Westerners, Indonesians, and Chinese who work in the nearby financial business district, and tourists from all over the world visit Sushi Mieda. The restaurant with only eight seats at the sushi counter is a tiny but cozy setting. In the "Omakase Course," the chefs engage in friendly communication with guests with different food cultures and serve dishes while watching their reactions. They always offer a seasonal dish while explaining seasons as there are no four seasons in Singapore, a country of perpetual summer.

Popular sushi toppings in Singapore

One of the popular sushi toppings in Sushi Mieda is toro (fatty tuna). Uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe), which most of guests did not like very much before, have now become popular. In particular, the small chirashi sushi topped with plenty of ikura and “Bafun Uni (Japanese green sea urchin)” that is difficult to obtain even in Japan has a good reputation. On the other hand, kohada, which provides a chance to show the skills of sushi chefs, is not so popular. The spirit of sushi is to use the top-grade ingredients, pay absolute attention to details, and then eliminate extra elements to concentrate on how to enhance the taste in a simple way. However, fatty tuna and lean tuna are still more popular than kohada due to its plain appearance and difference in preferences. It is also difficult to get guests to understand how particular the chefs are about kanpyo. Mr. Ohno emphasizes that Japanese cuisine is subtractive cooking. He asserts confidently that their future challenge is to "help foreign people understand the taste and values of traditional Japanese cuisine and to convey them."

SUSHI MIEDA
TONG LE PRIVATE DINING
OUE TOWER, LEVEL 10
60 COLLYER QUAY
SINGAPORE 049322
+65 8425 7835
lunch:12:00-15:00 (last order14:00)
dineer:18:00-22:30(last order21:30)
Closed on sundays
http://www.sushimieda.sg/External site: a new window will open.