Nestled in the heart of Tanjong Pagar, HIRYŪ, is one of the latest additions to the stretch of shophouses along Tras Street. Narrow yet cosy, a lot of thought has been put into HIRYŪ by Chef Raymond Tan, from the details of furnishings right down to the furniture to deliver a grandiose façade of a modern Japanese sushi restaurant.
The main entrance of HIRYŪ.
HIRYŪ has two floors with two private rooms on the second level. While they do accept walk-ins for lunch, it is most advisable to book in advance for its popularity. Dinner however, is strictly per reservation basis only.
The larger private room which seats 10 pax.
A smaller, cosier room with 5 pax occupancy.
Before leaping right into the heart of the HIRYŪ affair, it is essential to know that omakase, a word in Japanese that literally means “I’ll leave it up to you”, is for one with patience and the willingness to experience the great unknown.
Chef Raymond preparing the Chutoro intensely.
A usual omakase experience lasts up to 2 hours long and the menu for the day is entirely up to the chef’s whims. Having the omakase menu is a choice way to enjoy what HIRYŪ has to offer in bite-sized, quintessential premium portions, as well as to experience the chef's creativity in preparing dishes.
We started off with theTruffle Chutoro Sashimi , a simply supple slice of medium fatty tuna without bite. The drizzled soy sauce with intense truffle slices brings out the definition of premium sashimi.
Delight in a bite.
The Uni & Toro Truffle Bruschetta ($64++ for 2 pcs) comprises caviar, toro (tuna), gold flakes and sesame seeds layered on top of a bruschetta (garlic toast), and you can literally taste the different luxurious layers coming through. Although, in my opinion, the premium ingredients did not play well with the slightly overpowering garlic taste from the toast and felt marginally off-balanced.
Watching Chef Raymond prepare the ingredients masterfully in between courses is one of the delightful experiences of sitting at the sushi bar table.
The Hiryu Wagyu Sando ($58++ for 2 pcs) followed after, with its firm A5 grade tender meat buttered with a layer of uni sauce made it flavoursome and creamy, and the adjacency of said ingredients with the hint of char white toast brought a new meaning to the word crisp. The slight gripe I must say, is that it is slightly astringent and having gulps of iced tea helps.
The time spent waiting encourages customers to engage in banters among themselves and with the chef, as we’ve found ourselves doing whilst admiring the skillful Chef Raymond at work, wondering when and what our next course would be.
The Uni Tempura ($42++), which came next, made all the wait worth its while. Its light batter coated seaweed crackled in my mouth, and the fresh creamy uni would burst within from its cradle. It was truly an explosion of flavours.
Chef Raymond decided to spoil us with an out-of-menu treat: The A5 Miyazaki Beef. The succulent special treat has this tenderness that is near indescribable, and the relishing raw egg sauce makes it sweet yet savoury.
The Chopped toro on toro with caviar was a refined sweet composite in the form of seasoned tuna complementing well with the rice. Chef Raymond firmly believes that rice is the heart of sushi and you would feel his convictions through his creations.
With the omakase, you could make a choice of the HIRYŪ Premium Don ($85++ for A3 grade, $115++ for A5 grade) or the Chilled Truffle Angel Hair ($75++).
The Premium Don consists of fragrant foie gras, which was surprisingly not cloy. The aburi wagyu was crisp on the outside, delicate on the inside, and the difference in said texture is noteworthy. The fried garlic slices paired with uni made for creamy juxtaposition, a heavily indulgent don.
The angel hair had great consistency and the intensity of the truffle oil was well balanced. The sakura ebi was also delightfully crisp and definitely delivered a playful umami punch.
We ended the indulgency with satisfactory desserts, which again, is a choice in the omakase. The Warabi Mochi, a traditional choice, is mild for one who prefers a less decadent tone to end the meal. The Shingen Yuzu Mochi on the other hand, which resembles a translucent huge raindrop, a play on the eyes and the citrus within the jelly, was a lovely twist.
The HIRYŪ omakase prices are $188++ (Ryu) and $258++ (Hiryu) respectively, and their set-lunches are $48++ (Momo) and $78++ (Ayame) as well.
A treasure box with Italian treasures.
Overall the heavily indulgent show filled with truffle and uni was unexpectedly a feast for all senses. Be rest assured, the luxurious omakase experience would be a mind-blowing and fulfilling for one who comes in with little expectations and open-mindedness.