If you’re mad keen on Japanese like we are, then you will most certainly want to check out Sashimi Shingensumi. But be warned, it’s not an easy feat to get a booking. Why? Firstly, the restaurant only seats two tables of 6 people. Secondly, the restaurant only takes reservations 6 times a year. This is part of the charm though, right? The phone line for bookings opens up on a Monday evening, in the third week in February, April, June, August, October, December. You cannot book via text or facebook messages. We had all hands on deck to make those phone calls one evening with about 5 people calling many times over the evening, we managed to secure a booking a month later.
6 of us visited the restaurant for their dining experience. For $80, you receive a multiple course omakase, which is a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it to you”. This involves the Head Chef Shinji Matsui presenting a series of dishes including an appetiser, soup, sashimi nigiri and dessert.
Our appetiser is a small piece of tuna, cooked salmon and a huge oyster. Following this we get piece by piece of amazingly fresh sashimi.
There were so many courses it seemed as though we sampled every fish in the sea. Highlights include the bug, bass grouper, anago eel, samsom, Kampachi sushi with cooked snapper roe .
Uni Sea Urchin Roe (chef’s favourite), always very polarising, the urchin roe is very rich and exhibits a strong taste of the ocean. There were more; scallops, chotoro tuna, akami tuna, john dory with its liver, Shimaji striped mackerel, aburi king fish, salmon belly sushi, shima aji yellowtail mackerel.
Our favourite was the scampi, this is the single best piece of nigiri we have eaten, super fresh with an amazing sweetness to the flesh. The rice is nicely seasoned and we also get soy sauce, and some of the sushi has a touch of wasabi too. I think we must have had at least 13 pieces when the chef says “one more” and we agree, receiving the raw squid sashmi which was expertly prepared with what seemed like a thousand small incisions, the squid was very tender with a creamy texture.
Chef moves between our table and the other as we rest our stomachs for more courses. The last dish was tamagoyaki, a rolled omelette made with dashi. It was incredible to watch chef’s care and technique, preparing all the layers of this omelette infront of engaged diners, this was truly a spectacle.
The restaurant is located in Crows Nest, just off the main strip. It is a small shop with a basic kitchen and two dining tables. They have a small open display fridge that sells sashimi to the daytime shopper too. We sit at the stools across from the chef watching him in action which is art in motion and ends up being displayed on the plate. Watching in awe as the food is expertly prepared, slicing the fish with precision knife work.
A wall poster shows all the fish on offer at Sashimi Shingensumi. All is super fresh and prepared beautifully.
You can take both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks with no corkage fee. There’s also green tea ice cream for dessert.
Highly recommended for that one of a kind dining experience.
Shop 10, Crows Nest Plaza
103 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
Bookings (for minimum of 5 people) by phone on 0434 108 526