This halal restaurant at Jurong serves really fresh sashimi!
Let the sashimi lift your burdens...
Isuramuya Japanese Restaurant and Marketplace is unassumingly simple as it blends into the interior style of the JCube mall. While most Japanese restaurants go for the night-in-the-city style with their dim lighting, Isuramuya was committed to a fresh open-concept with no walls between the seated customer and those who were window-shopping, further creating an illusion of space with their light-coloured bamboo theme and soft lighting.
- The Japanese Restaurant
- The Ambience
- The Appetiser
- The Side Dishes
- The Main Course
- The Desserts
As you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted by two exciting aisles on both sides, stocked with an array of packaged, halal-Japanese food and drinks. Each foreign-looking item has been delicately labelled in English for non-Japanese speaking patrons. As you come to the end of the aisle in awe, a smiling hostess guides you to your seats. For those who have fidgety friends, have a seat next to the parapets so they can look below to the hypnotic game of ice hockey on the ground floor rink in the evenings to distract them between courses.
Almost all the items on the modest menu are accompanied by visuals to help you figure out what you are eating without having to google Japanese dishes every so often. I had the fried gyoza (dumpling) for starters which comprised of 3 different flavours: original, yuzu (Japanese pomelo) and black sesame. I will save my comments since I am not a gyoza-person.
Then, it was time for the novelty item, nato (fermented beans and pasteurised quail egg). Tip: Don’t let nato sit out for more than 15 minutes or else, it will leave a strong pungent scent across your whole table.
The Side Dishes
After the nato, we were served with beautifully-cut and vibrant-coloured sashimi. There are 2 variations of Bluefin tuna at different price points. The otoro (Bluefin tuna belly) is pricier than the maguro (Bluefin tuna) because it has more fat content. The fat allows it to melt in your mouth like silky gelato even though it has a contradicting hardness when you first bite into it. Nonetheless, the maguro is still worthy of your mouth. After a few swings at the otoro, the maguro is a good finisher to help you return to planet Earth and back to normal food consistency after the flying in the heavens with the melt-fest that is the otoro.
Bluefin Tuna Sashimi
Sweet Botan-Ebi (Prawn)
The best part was the large ebi (prawn) sashimi. The owner mentioned that the Japanese prawns are particularly sweet because of the way they are bred and the water they live in. You can read more on how to eat it properly here. My first thought while eating it was mild fruit jelly, rather than seafood. I would honestly return and let my friends have a go at it because it brings happy childhood memories with its nuanced sweetness – definitely gives the table something to talk about.
The Main Course
We moved on to the 3 variations of their ramen: shio (sea salt), shoyu (soya sauce), miso (Japanese fermented beans).
The sea salt gives the soup a sort of tactile smoothness in your throat, unlike regular salted soup. The shoyu ramen was particularly enjoyable because it was most familiar. Singaporeans who are new to Japanese ramen can try the shoyu and slowly build up to other variations (or have one friend order this to share as a fail-safe dinner option).
Then, it was time for yaki soba. I tried the hot and spicy version first and guys, let me tell you, I could not even get through a forkful (like 3 strands). Ssam yang noodle lovers should definitely try it because it is a whole other challenge. While I was nursing my mouth with more green tea, the normal yaki soba ran out. So, that should be a good indicator that it was a crowd favourite.
Ice Creams, Sorbet and Cakes
The most memorable for me would be the Yuzu sorbet. After a heavy meal, all I needed was something to wash it down and clean my palette. The light citrus and minty flavour combined with its fine, almost-velvety ice texture did that surprisingly well. Forget ice-creams, guys, sorbet is the way to go. Of course, there are matcha-flavoured and sea-salt-flavoured ice cream if you’re feeling indulgent.
Unfortunately, the smileless waiting staff seemed unfamiliar with their duties and nervous during the dinner service. It was difficult to get a hold of them since they seemed to be avoiding eye contact. However, the warmness and genuinity of the hostess and owner made up for it when we were there as they shared historical and scientific facts about the food we were eating. Don’t be afraid to ask them to tell you more about your food’s history! They really add on to your experience in the restaurant.
Overall, I would say that the pricier food items are the ones worth trying. I would recommend Isuramuya to small groups of friends or family because the food, side activities and ambience sparks group discussions that large groups may not be able to hold. A little ambience music would have been great, but oh well. Hopefully, the waiting staff improves so that everyone can have a pleasant experience. Lastly, it would also do you good if you checked out some Youtube videos on Japanese food etiquette beforehand to get the full tasting experience.
Date of Visit: 1 Feb 2018
Time of Service: 7.45pm to 10pm
Venue: JCube Jurong, 2 Jurong East Central 1 #04-19, Singapore 609731