On any given day, if you were to ask my lovely wife S want she’d like to eat, nine out of ten times she’ll answer, “sushi”. Sushi is, without a doubt, her favorite food. Her favorite sushi place of all time is Sushi Sho, in Tokyo. Sadly, there is no place in Singapore that even comes close to serving the kind of super-exquisite and super-umami sushi served by Keiji Nakazawa. That said, there are some rather chic places here that do serve some high quality fish, but most of those, we have realized over the years, are rather overpriced (for what you get). They are also not the kinds of places you frequent on a weekly basis — which is how often S wishes she could indulge in her favorite food. Fortunately, we have discovered, in our neighbourhood, a place that, while very modest and mass-market in appearances, does serve some really high quality sushi, at also very moderate prices.
I have to admit that the first few times we spotted Tomi Sushi in Novena Square, we walked right on by. At first glance, it looks like a quick service family restaurant, which it is and it isn’t. It is a family place, evidenced by all the families dining there on weekends. But the quality of the food is definitely not what you’d expect from most QSRs or chain restaurants. It is much, much better. Given also that at least half the families dining there on the times we’ve gone have always been Japanese, we know that the restaurant serves authentic-enough fare.
Tomi Sushi was founded in Niigata in 1954. They have 14 branches in Japan and two here in Singapore. The menu is predominantly devoted to sushi, but some cooked food is available. They offer a wide range of set lunches and dinners, all of them, once you analyze what’s being offered, great value-for-money. They also offer seasonal and other occasional promotions. During August for example, they had put together a menu of tuna dishes, all of them priced incredibly reasonably considering the different cuts of tuna (including otoro and chutoro) being served.
When we go, we often order one of the sashimi platters for two and then add a few rolls or cooked items. One of my favorites from the cooked food list is the ebi mental mayo, delicious little shrimp fried and coated in a rich mayo-spicy cod roe sauce. We also often order some of the sushi or chirashi sets, all of which are great deals.
Being from Niigata, known as one of Japan’s top rice regions, the rice used, Koshihikari from Niigata, is excellent. As is the sake menu, which I have had the pleasure of working my way through over the past few months. The soy sauce is also of high quality, again of much better quality than what I’d expected. There is one soy recommended for sushi and another for sashimi.
Tomi Sushi is a great everyday (or every week) sushi restaurant. It may be too bright and both a tad clinical and mass-markety in atmosphere, but you know, given the quality and the prices, I don’t really care anymore. I’m just happy to have found such a great place only minutes away from my home.
238 Thomson Road♯02-76/77
Novena Square (Velocity)
Tel: +65 6255-2355
Opening Hours: 11:30-15:00 17:30-22:00
Open 7 days a week except Chinese New Year