White Sands Mall: Sakae Sushi Review

Hands up who doesn’t know Sakae Sushi. Raise the other hand if you don’t know know Imma Japanese food snob.

And if you’ve raised your hand(s) you need to get out from under that rock you call home and read my blog more. I do not eat sub par Japanese cuisine and my blog only started getting hits because of my SEO friendly pieces on a well-known Jap chef in Singapore.

Anyway, Sakae Sushi is a trendy, quick-service kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi concept that has become synonymous with a fun-filled, value-for-money and healthy dining experience. They used to be “special dates” places with the BF when we were still young and poor. Our favourite outlet was the one at Heeren and that was where I learned to enjoy sashimi. Ahh.. the memories. To be very honest, I haven’t had Sakae for about 2 years I think. The last time I actually went to one was with Herine at Century Square. Although I do succumb to Sakae’s Teppenyaki once in awhile. Cheap and good!

Sakae Sushi was one* of the meal sponsors at the White Sands Resident Bloggers inaugural meet-up and frankly, I was surprised at the revamped menu offerings. Was I good surprised or bad surprised? Let’s find out.

*One: I had two meals that night. Crazy or what!?

**PS: Me and another guy blogger damn suay kena bad seats with a light overhead plus there wasn’t much opportunity for composition so pictures are not up to my usual standard. Don’t believe check all the White Sands blogger posts. I confirm chop you we’re the only two with horrible photos. Unless there’s someone with absolutely no skill.

What’s Jap fare without sashimi?

This is Trio Carpaccio, a medley of Hokkaido scallop (hotate), tuna (maguro) and salmon (sake) served atop a bed of cabbage and onions, and topped off with diced veggies and tangy sauce.

The scallops held a hint of sweetness while the salmon had just the right amount of give as you bite into it. I didn’t get to try the tuna – it had disappeared when it reached me.

Gobo no Kari Age is a deep fried burdock root dish.

Burdock is well known for fair amount of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, amino acids, and its low in calories which makes it a perfect guilt free snack.

I couldn’t distinguish the batter from their insides (its a good thing) but the root vegetable has a slight crunch with a sweetly mild flavour and none of the muddy harshness found in stewed burdock dishes.

A strong contender for one of my top spots for the night – Hanasaki Ika Tempura.

The outside is delicately and satisfyingly crispy. Ebiko was probably mixed throughout the batter but taste wise there is absolutely no presence. Does make for a pretty dish though.

I like that the squid isn’t slimy as it is in other restaurants, or tough to chew like rubber band which happens damn often. I think I ate almost half of this by myself. My chopsticks kept picking up one of them flavourful morsels and popping it into my mouth.

[Note: My press kit says this should be Yamaimo no Isobeage (Deep-fried Japanese yam with seaweed) but I’m rather sure I ate ika.]

Koped picture from Sakae themselves cos this was so good my horrible photo doesn’t do it justice. But I got put in effort to edit this image okay. Not entirely free one.

Believe it or not, Sakae Sushi serves oyster shooters. Or to give it their atas name – Hiroshima Oyster Shooters, Yes, adding in the city name just makes this so much more appealing.

And appealing this is. I was VERY happy to find out that a couple of the bloggers didn’t eat oysters so yay more for me! I threw back three I think? For an establishment that doesn’t deal primarily in shellfish, this was pretty fresh. No overpowering scent, no gooey bits, no puke inducing sliminess that comes with a lot of other “fresh” oysters.

Quick fact: : Their Hiroshima oysters undergo stringent inspection, ultra-violet disinfection process and tests for shell fish toxin and bacteria. Totally safe to eat. And eat I will. I’ll be back for this.

A Japanese twist on a local favourite – Long Bean Otah.

Its kinda like what I like to eat with nasi lemak without the rice and sambal, and encased in tempura batter. Sakae’s otah is made from mackerel and there are generous chunks of fish interspersed throughout the spicy delicacy.

Another dish which I didn’t get to try because I gave up my share for a fellow blogger who doesn’t do raw food.

This, I did have half of.

Otah Katsu is the Singaporean version of popular katsus such as the tonkatsu. The outside is crisply breaded and fried to non-oily perfection.

I only had half cos I was dealing with a sore throat and didn’t want to aggravate it more (but this went to moot, see my next post). I liked how the otah didn’t overwhelm with fishiness even though there’s pieces of fish in every bite. It was just-nice spicy for me so anybody who can’t take spice should be able to eat this because I am a pussy when it comes to anything spicy.

Last on our starters menu – Salmon Zukushi. And also another picture I stole from Sakae’s Facebook page.

This is their signature salmon creation platter and consists of 6 different types of salmon goodies: sashimi and 5 mouthwatering luxurious salmon dishes that includes Salmon Mentai Sushi, Hana Maki and Salmon Roe, which are specially handcrafted by Sakae’s master chefs.

I would love to tell you how awesome this was but yep you’ve guessed it – empty platter with lonely sashimi slice on it by the time it reached my end of the table. Of course I ate the last slice. It looked lonely.

Mini don photos koped from Micchysaurus because I pretty much gave up on photography at this point. Either that or muscle everyone out of the way and hog the dishes while everybody death stares me into delaying their eating.

Sakae Sushi also has mini versions of their ever popular dons for the small eaters. (Or the greedy eaters who can choose to eat all the different types if they want to.)

Top features Mini Chirashi Don – an assortment of sashimi on rice and the second pic’s Mini Negitoro Don – minced tuna belly and spring onion. Didn’t get to try either one of this but I’ve had their chirashi dons before and I thought it had a lovely mix of sashimi. You have the everybody-favourite salmon and tuna, sweet tasting ebi and even some tobiko to lend some saltiness.

Facebook stolen photo – told you I gave up on my camera – of Sakae Don.

Fortunately also something that I’ve eaten before since only ebiko was left on it when it got to my turn. From what I remember I really liked the marinated (minced?) salmon which went gorgeously with rice, which was even better if the rice was warm.

I also learned that Sakae Sushi’s rich is enriched with Vitamin E. Where else could you have a calorie friendly meal at pocket friendly prices and have vitamins at the same time?

Hahaha this was too hot for everybody to handle and my side of the table “graciously let me do the mixing because I’m the oldest and I should take care of my juniors” so I finally got to take the kind of picture I like to take.

Even though I was very happy at being able to execute my wannabe photographer skills, Unagi Bibinba (not a typo, “bibinba” is Japanese for bibimbap) made me happier.

Slices of beautifully grilled eel and shredded egg sit on top of the aforementioned Vitamin E enhanced rice just waiting for one to drizzle the accompanying sauce over this concoction and get your cutlery right deep into the dish to mix it all up. This just doesn’t only look good too – the scents wafting up from this I can almost call food perfume. It’ll make you just want to do naughty, dirty things to it.

Tasting it isn’t disappointing too. A mouthful of subtly charred rice, grilled unagi and some egg is a powerful feeling. First you’ll get hit by unagi’s aroma which encapsulates your olfactory senses in a good way, and then you’ll start to notice how easily malleable the fish is in your mouth and how willingly it blends into the rice. ANd then you’ll swallow it and go back for more.

I.want.more.now.

Things ended on a sweet note at Sakae Sushi.

The Sakae Fondue had everyone scrambling for their cameras for Instagram worthy photos (not me, I got my money shot at the bibinba) but I was itching to start dippin’ and eatin’.

I skipped the fresh fruits, cookies and marshmallows and headed straight for the ice cream. And they’re no ordinary flavours too. Expect specially handcrafted for Sakae Sushi’s lavender, black sesame, green tea, chocolate, raspberry cheesecake and salted caramel all ready to dip into quality chocolate.

Since everybody was full and I wasn’t, I sampled each flavour. Surprisingly my favourite turned out to be good old chocolate. The ice cream was creamy and heavy enough and once coated with the sauce, turned out to be an almost orgasmic experience for this chocolate lover. I wasn’t crazy about the raspberry cheesecake (blame my snobbiness) and lavender which was interesting and fragrant like soap but ice creamy sweet. Both the green tea and black sesame were 2% short of how they potentially could have carried their respective ingredients but then again, I do have tastebuds that demand for stronger flavours. And nobody dislikes salted caramel. Anybody who doesn’t like salted caramel must be a grinch.

I spent the rest of the time munching on all the other goodies that came with the fondue until I found out that we’ll be headed to another restaurant next *insert horrified face emoji* But being the glutton I am, I quickly ate two more balls of ice cream before we left.

And with that, look out for my next post~

Extra, extra! Read all about it!

From 8 June to 3 July, indulge in weekday 1-for-1 treats only at White Sands!

I’ve previously brought my younger brother to Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe for their Pork Chop ‘N’ Egg with Rice cos I was too lazy to cook lunch. $9.90 for two sets is a damn good deal okay.

And the next day, my dad decided he was too lazy to cook me lunch (must be karma) so we drove for the Sa-nook set at ThaiExpress. There’s free parking with a minimum spend of $30 so we bought some Subway (also 1-for-1!) to make up for the difference. #auntysavings achievement unlocked.

Find out who’s offering what for 1-for-1 at White Sands here.

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