Subtle elegance: Shinji by Kanesaka in Macau
Here is proof that bigger is not always better in Macau - the quiet elegance of this restaurant's entrance and décor is a breath of fresh air in the buzzing city. Shinji by Kanesaka is clearly testament to Michelin-starred chef Shinji Kanesaka's subtle, perfectionist approach to cooking.
The décor is tranquil, Zen-like, and offers the ideal setting for an indulgent omakase meal. Diners can choose between sushi course sets or the omakase specials, which include sashimi and cooked items as well.
The sashimi and sushi were as delicious and beautifully prepared as one would expect from the protégé of chef Shinji, and the fresh wasabi (grated in front of you) elevates each bite to a new level. Nevertheless, the other dishes more than stood up to the raw fish. The yomogi (Japanese herb) tofu we had as an amuse bouche was simple but delightfully authentic and an ideal subtle start to the meal. The monkfish liver appetiser was saved from its pallid appearance by its fresh, full flavour, emphasised by the most delicate touch of yuzu zest on top. One of the hot dishes was a scallop tempura with potato noodles. The tempura was sandwiched between the noodles and a pool of gravy, which unfortunately rendered the batter soggy. The shredded shiso leaf, however, sprinkled on top of the crunchy noodles, lent the dish a sweet vibrancy that left us wanting more.
The restaurant has a decent selection of sake on offer, but the pièce de résistance is undoubtedly "N" by Hidetoshi Nakata. The ex-professional footballer launched his sake brand in January 2013, and Shinji by Kanesaka stocks six of the 800 limited-edition bottles created. Sake connoisseurs can try a bottle of this special brew for 19,000 patacas.
Shinji by Kanesaka
Level I, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, (853) 8868 7300