Biggest sales pitch: direct from Niigata and in business since 1954. Niigata is a "food brand" in itself, the region rich with abundant produce including seafood, rice, soba, persimmons, pears, and even edamame. So with this great promise in mind, we head to Tomi Sushi, among the 6 or 7 Japanese eateries which have just started business this week at the new wing of Millenia Walk, above Parco the department store.
Decor is very family restaurant style with the light pine-coloured wood theme, and is very bright. A little disappointing since it looked too clinical but the positioning is good value so ok, overlook that. The menu is not large, apparently slated to grow when operations become more settled. We stick to what's been touted.
Edamame has become rather "mass market" and bland in a lot of places that I don't order it anymore. But here, they bring in the Niigata variety and is served with the branch still intact. Very flavourful and just darn good quality.
Niigata is famous for its ichiyaboshi or overnight dried fish. So we ordered the one made with Akauo - a type of red fish. Remember to order lots of sake since this is in essence salted fish. You can't eat it neat as we found out. Well grilled but we were quite numb from the salt. Thank goodness for the grated radish and pickled ginger to give it a bit of relief.
The Tokujyo Nigiri which is the premium platter was decent value boasting 2 pieces of Otoro! Other goodies were the botan shrimp, uni and sea eel which I liked a lot. The others were ordinary but good enough quality. The rice was the other big sales pitch for Tomi, using only Koshihikari rice, also from guess where: Niigata! It is definitely better than your ordinary sushi joint, since this is well defined grains, but still fluffy and sticky enough to hold. Tomi is generous with the rice, slightly too much, making the sushi larger than most places. If you are looking for value, you do get it here, but I found it just a tad big.
If you like Anago, or sea eel, Tomi does a nice one with a sweet glaze over. It's pretty addictive. They have the whole eel option also but 2 of those and you might be done for the evening.
PS. another service snag - took 3 asks for water to arrive and as we approach closing, the head waitress gets boistrous and loud. Almost like an obasan sheperding her little helpers to clean up, but we found it just a tad annoying. Might have been forgiven in a noisy Chinese restaurant, but in a quieter Japanese establishment.. go figure.
Parco Marina Bay
9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk