Tea Set at Marina Bay Link Mall

Raffles Place has a lot of quirks when it comes to having a restaurant there.  From 12 PM – 1:30 PM it’s a sea of people… literally foaming at the mouth, flowing through the hallway and flooding the restaurants in the area.  After 1:30 PM the people quickly recede back to their offices and it’s a slow drip until 6:00 PM when people start dropping in for dinner.

Since it’s the business district, people need tea breaks and places to hold chats; I figured we should offer a tea time special for the Raffles Place crowd that is looking for something different from the coffee and cakes.

Onigiri

3 Course Japanese Tea Set at Standing Sushi Bar Marina Bay Link Mall

Course 1 - Choice of: Salmon Skin Salad or Kani Avocado Salad
Course 2 - Choice of: Salmon Onigiri or Ebi Fry Handroll
Course 3 – Choice of: Furikake Onigiri or Salmon Skin Handroll

Price: 6 SGD
Available from 3 PM – 6 PM on weekdays

Valentine’s Day Set Dinner

February 14 is just around the corner and that means love is in the air.  Cue romantic music and visions of roses, rings, and magical red hearts.  Not surprising that all of our reservations on Valentine’s night are for groups of 2.  With that in mind, we are offering a special Valentine’s Day meal at Standing Sushi Bar 8 Queen Street and another set menu at Standing Sushi Bar Marina Bay Link Mall.

Book a table by calling +65 6333 1335 (8 Queen Street), +65 6634 7068 (Marina Bay) or mail eat@standingsushibar.com

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8 Queen Street - VALENTINE’S DAY “COUPLE’S SET” - $88 per couple

Appetizer

Three types of Japanese appetizers for each of you

Sashimi

Marbled, colorful raw fish… assorted slices of yellowtail, tuna and salmon sashimi along with creamy uni

Main Course

Gindara Ohba Yaki – two servings of grilled cod seasoned with Japanese ohba leaf, adding a lively mint flavor

Robatayaki

Two sticks of skewered beef with enoki mushrooms
Two sticks of grilled chicken wings

Soup

Dobin Mushi – Japanese teapot seafood soup for two

Sushi

Six pieces of sushi including shiro maguro, ikura gunkan, and akagai

Dessert

Three kinds of ice cream served with waffle

Marina Bay Link Mall – Valentine’s Menu (98 SGD per couple)

Mix Salad

Appetizers
2 kinds of Japanese appetizers to get the appetite working!

Sashimi
Assorted sashimi (4 kinds, 8 pieces)

Maki
Special Valentine’s Day sushi roll

Main Course
Wagyu Beef Steak
Salmon Butteryaki

Chawan Mushi
2 chawan mushi

Kake Udon
2 udon noodle soup to cleanse the palate

Dessert
2 kinds of ice cream

Lamination

Ah, restaurant ownership… the picture in people’s heads is of a proprietor, mingling with guests, flitting from table to table and asking them how the food was while dazzling them with a charming anecdote or two about funny customers.

The reality is crouching on the floor at 1:30 in the morning stuffing A4-size paper into sticky plastic pouches to shove through the laminating machine.  Is it just me or is inserting paper into these pouches one of the most frustrating things to do? You stick it in and the corner of the paper juts out which means you have to peel the pouch cover back and try placing the paper again.

Well, at least I have 30 copies of the set menu for Standing Sushi Bar Marina Bay Link Mall laminated now.

Dinner sets now available at 8QSAM

It has been a looooong time coming (I’ll explain the reasons in another post) but finally we have dinner sets!  No longer will people have to page through our a la carte menu and wonder how they can construct a meal.  After a hard day’s work everyone just wants to relax.

So at Standing Sushi Bar 8QSAM we have created a new set menu that applies to lunch and dinner.  Best thing is that we changed the price points and now the set meals are from 13 SGD onwards!

Check out our set menu

In a couple weeks we’ll have a new version of the set menu (with pictures) as well as a new a la carte menu for 8 Queen Street and Marina Bay Link Mall. 

Gindara Nabe Set
Excuse the photo quality – it’s taken by my phone camera. It’s the Gindara Nabe set.  Healthy!

Call 6333 1335 for reservations at 8 Queen Street!

Lunch and Dinner Gozen set (multi-course meal)

One trait of Japanese restaurants seems to be the huge number of items on their menu. This is a trait that Standing Sushi Bar also has. Diners come, take a look at the menu, and many end up feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices. I can understand. People like a variety of food during a meal, but the effort it takes to wade through a large menu makes them want to stick with the basics they can order off the top of their head.

To help alleviate this, we have created some multi-course gozen sets for lunch and dinner. Perfect for the lazy diner who wants to eat the highlights from the restaurant (i.e. a diner like me).

These are available daily at our 8QSAM location.

Lunch Gozen42 SGD (includes everything below)

  • Seasonal appetizer
  • Salad
  • Assorted sashimi (5 kinds)
  • Ikura Chawan Mushi (steamed egg with salmon roe)
  • Gindara with Teriyaki Sauce (grilled codfish with teriyaki sauce)
  • Rice and miso soup
  • Ice cream

Dinner Gozen – 60 SGD (includes everything below)

  • Seasonal Appetizer
  • Salad
  • Assorted Sashimi (5 kinds)
  • Gindara Mentaiyaki (grilled codfish topped with cod roe)
  • Tempura Mori (2 shrimp tempura, 1 fish tempura, 3 vegetable tempura)
  • Assorted sushi (3 nigiri, 2 maki)
  • Miso soup
  • Ice cream

Call 6333 1335 or e-mail eat@standingsushibar.com to make reservations!

Menu

For someone who considers themselves tech-savvy, I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to put our menu on the web. I guess I gravitate towards wanting to do more interactive updates – so writing blog entries, twitter messages, or even Facebook posts provide an opportunity to hear from people. Updating the website is one-way communication.

But it’s definitely useful information to share!

Our menu for the 3 locations

(Note – I didn’t say the posting of the menu would be pretty!)

Hoppy outside Japan!

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According to CNNGo, Hoppy is hard-pressed to be found anywhere outside of Japan.  Merrily for us in Singapore, Standing Sushi Bar carries it!

What is Hoppy? It’s a beer… kind of.  Made from salt water, barley, hops and yeast it has a light flavor similar to beer with almost none of the carbs or calories.

What’s that??  A miracle drink??  A beer with low carbs and calories!  Amazing!  Though there’s a catch – hoppy by itself is very low alcohol (.8%).  Leave it up to the Japanese to innovate though… the way to give Hoppy its punch is by adding a large shot of shochu (50 – 70 proof) into the Hoppy giving it a 5% alcohol mix.

Voila – a beer that contains low calories, low carbs and is less-filling.

It used to be drunk by old men (as exclaimed by some Japanese customers when they saw it in the shop) but these days the young in Japan are drinking it for its retro cool factor. I suppose hipsters exist everywhere.

Liquid happiness in a bottle.  Come try it out!  12 SGD while stocks last!

If you can read Japanese, head on over to www.hoppy-happy.com to learn all about hoppy goodness.

The one and only California donburi

California donburi

The California Roll… one of the most popular and delicious types of maki sushi. It’s not a traditional sushi roll as it was invented in the US, but its appeal is worldwide. My friend (and regular SSB diner) Brandon contacted me today and gave some menu recommendations based on his recent trip to Japan.

One of the dishes he enjoyed was the California donburi.  It seems like such a simple idea that I’m surprised every restaurant isn’t offering this!  It’s the California roll but expanded into donburi… crabstick, cucumber, avocado, tamago (egg), and ebiko (shrimp egg) draped on a bed of sushi rice with light yuzu sauce drizzled on top.

So I went to Roy with this California donburi suggestion. He thought for awhile and was skeptical, “Why would someone want a California donburi?”  I didn’t have much in response other than, “Who wouldn’t want one? People like the california roll after all!”  After some back and forth we decided he might as well just make one so we could test it.

Verdict: Awesome.

I believe we’re the first restaurant in Singapore to offer California Donburi. We’ll test it out to see how people like it, so it’s only available for a limited time. California donburi and miso soup combo for 12.80. Get your avocado fix today!

Sushi platters

Just a quick entry to let folks know that Standing Sushi Bar now offers party platters.

Sashimi platter from Standing Sushi Bar

Perfect for the holiday season. Don’t stress out over what to prepare for guests! Instead transfer the worry over to Standing Sushi Bar and we’ll create a beautiful sushi platter for you.  Leaving you with peace of mind so you can knock back egg nog to your heart’s content.

Christmas Eve Dinner Omakase

Did you know Santa Claus is a huge fan of Japanese food?  Particularly sushi! After a night of whizzing around in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, there’s nothing he likes more than knocking back a glass of sake and slipping sashimi into his mouth. All the protein is what keeps him going!*

While the sleigh bells are ringing, the kids are a-sleeping, and Raffles Place will be as quiet as a mouse, Standing Sushi Bar is going to be open for a special Christmas Eve Dinner Omakase.

We're going all out to attract Santa to the sushi bar.  Forget milk and cookies, it's time for a multi-course omakase to celebrate Christmas.

Bonsai Christmas Tree 
Our little bonsai tree is all decked out for Christmas

$100 - 6 Course Meal

1) Starter - Otoro, Hotate Tataki with house dressing

2) Appetizer - Turkey Breast Salad

3) Mix Sashimi - Assortment of 6 types

4) Steam Soup - Yumei Mushi

5) Grilled Fish - Yaki Sakana (Air-flown Japanese Sea Bream)

6) Steak with Garlic rice and Miso soup

Dessert

$150 - 8 Course Meal

1) Starter - Otoro, Hotate Tataki with house dressing

2) Appetizer - Turkey Breast Salad

3) Mix Sashimi - Assortment of 6 types

4) Steam Soup - Yumei Mushi

5) Grilled Fish - Yaki Sakana (Air-flown Japanese Sea Bream)

6) Foie Gras with Uni

7) King Prawn Ebi Mentai Yaki

8) Steak with Garlic rice and Miso soup

Dessert

Call Standing Sushi Bar at 6533 7078 or e-mail eat@standingsushibar.com for reservations. Seats are limited.

*I actually have no idea whether Santa Claus likes Japanese food.

Happy hour

There are few common pleasures in life as enjoyable as happy hour.  Getting together with colleagues and friends over a few drinks at the end of a long work day is something I always look forward to. What better way to get to know one another?

Of course it’s even sweeter if you’re playing hooky from the office and imbibing the magical elixir during work hours!

Sake Drinking buddies

So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Standing Sushi Bar now has happy hour!

4 pm – 7 pm, Monday – Saturday

3 bottles of Asahi @ 21 SGD

2 bottles of Suntory Premium Malt @ 20 SGD

10% off all sake, shochu, and umeshu (including bottles)

Menu of 2 SGD Japanese drinking snacks

Sushi Combo: 2 nigiri and a handroll for 5 SGD

Crowd 

Some interesting reading – the Japanese practice of nomikai (drinking party).

Because it’s fun and nice to drink

Over 200 years ago, the Japanese poet Yosa Buson wrote the following words:

I cannot see her tonight
I have to give her up
So I will eat Fugu.

Today I’m placing an order for sake glasses that we can use for Fugu Hire-zake.  Fugu Hire-zake is the fins of the puffer fish (fugu) that are grilled and served in hot sake.

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(From Jim Gray’s travel photos)

Two things I love.  Sake and a death wish.  Can’t wait!

Actually I’m surprised I haven’t been able to find this drink or any variation of grilled fish mixed with hot sake. One of the pleasant memories I have from Japan is when I was in Shirakawa (a small mountain village – so everything shuts at night) and we bought some cheap sake, a hollowed out bamboo vase, and grilled fish to soak in the hot alcohol. It tasted great!

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So what’s there to eat? (Lunch Menu)

Kawa-san is finalizing the menu. It has had many variations. Fearful of being too “traditional Japanese” there was a period where I was focusing on what creative / modern rolls we could provide.

The more I thought about it, I felt it was diverging from one of the core goals of providing healthy, fresh food. Many of the modern sushi concoctions can rival a Big Mac for calories. (For example – deep fried tempura with sweet sugary teriyaki sauce glaze, thick mayo, wrapped in seaweed and rice).

We will have weekly / seasonal specials also. The menu below is what we will offer on a daily basis. While planning we kept in mind that during the lunch hours it’s a fast-paced operation.

What do you think? Too many choices? Too little? Anything we have to put on the menu? Is it “too Japanese” (i.e. no Western choice aside from California roll). Sorry for flipping between the Japanese names for the fish and the Western; I’ll get that sorted out.

Nigiri Rolls Gunkan Donburi Sashimi
Tuna Tuna Tobiko Chirashi Tuna
Salmon Salmon Masago Maguro don Salmon
Hiramasa Salmon skin Salada Salmon don Tuna & Salmon
Ebi Cucumber Inari Hiramasa don  
Tamago Assorted Uni Uni don  
Scallop California Ikura Ikura don  
Unagi Kani stick Chopped Scallop Hokkai Kaisen
Chirashi don
 
Ika Avocado Crab    
Tako Vegetable      
Kani stick Negitoro      
Toro Chopped Scallop      
Amaebi        
Shiromi        
Aomono        
Bincho        
Saba        

 

Set A Set B Set C
California Roll
Tuna, Salmon
Ebi, Tamago
Tuna Roll
Salmon, ebi
Masago, tamago
California Roll
Salmon roll
Cucumber Roll

 

There will be a separate dinner menu which is basically the lunch menu + more cooked items and the option for omakase.

Just for you

Excerpt from The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson:

“You also need to be able to adjust your nigiri, depending on the customer and the situation,” Tetsu went on. The sushi chef’s job wasn’t simply to make sushi. A good chef had to make snap judgments about every customer who sat at his sushi bar.'

“Maybe they want a quick lunch,” Tetsu said. “If so, you make them nice, fat nigiri with more rice. If they’re here for a leisure dinner, you only want to put a slim little pack of rice under each piece of fish – and even less if they’re drinking sake. You learn to tell by watching their faces if they’ve come to drink or to eat.”

“And, of course, for a man, you usually make the nigiri a little bigger, and for a woman, a little smaller. But it’s different in every case. Look, if a big, fat guy sits down at the sushi bar, you figure he likes carbohydrates, right? So you make his nigiri with more rice. But you also have to figure out what kind of mood they’re in, and what’s their purpose in coming to the sushi bar that day.”

(End excerpt)

Personalization in the form of sushi

That’s the beauty of a sushi bar.  You’re sitting right there in front of the chef.  He can read your mood, gauge your interests, and adjust the sushi accordingly.  Of course you can talk to the chef, tell him what you’d like, ask for a little of this or that…

It’s all made just for you.