Monday Light Bites: Yusheng @ Shin Minori - Japanese Ala-carte buffet at River Valley Road

In the blink of an eye, Chinese New Year is upon us. And as most of you would come to know, majority of the larger Chinese restaurants would have long closed reservations by now. So if you're seeking a fuss-free alternative, look no further than Shin Minori (located on the 3rd floor of UE Square) where you can get their signature yusheng in conjunction with the hearty ala-carte buffet you're about to tuck into.

The Harvest Yusheng ($69.90 ++) can feed 8 -12 comfortably - apple ponzu plum sauce is drizzled over a myriad of fresh and pickled vegetables along with slices of fresh sashimi. Running till the 11th Feb, you can call a day in advance and reserve your party pack for a special promotion price of 1-for-1 when you takeaway.

Festivities aside, Shin Minori is also best known for its best Japanese ala-carte buffet spread. It's 170 seater restaurant tucked away in an inconspicuous corner of the Clarke Quay vicinity making it a precious find best suited for large group gatherings.

With an extensive sumptous selection of more than 160 buffet menu items, you would expect the kitchen to be tearing their hair out over the matter, however food gets brought to the table at lighting speed. Suggesting that the restaurant has already got it all figured out, rolling out the temaki, makimono, teppanyanki, yakimono, ippinmono, itamemono in the purpose of spoiling their guests finicky taste for a large variety of Japanese fare.

If you're nursing a good appetite, the yakimono section might seem like a safe choice, but it was my favourite - the Saba Shioyaki is grilled to perfection, marred by a singular problem that isn't the freshest of produce. The Tsukune Teriyaki is a winner too - preceded by a sweet sticky glaze, it's addictive and I wished I had ordered more of them. I was smitten by the Grilled Asparagus Bacon too, my bacon admiration kicked into high gear upon tasting my first stick.

Order the ubiquitous sashimi plate - made with thick cuts of various sushi-grade dish; this is one that you'll make many returns too. Disclaimer: It might not be the freshest nor the sweetest, but it hits the spot when all you're yearning for is quantity over quality. Shin Minori's Buta Kimchi Itame stuck with me long after I tried it there - spicy and blending in with sufficient braised cabbage, stewed pork belly and fiery kitchen, it's a dish worth splurging your calories over.

Lunch daily (even on Public Holidays) comes in at $37.90++ per person whilst dinner is just slightly more pricey at $39.90++ per person. We're almost sure CNY is going to a flurry of activity for the restaurant so do make your reservations online at chope to book your hot seats!

Shin Minori
81 Clemenceau Avenue, #03-15/16
UE Square

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