When it comes to the elusive uni (Japanese for sea urchin), you’ll probably find only two types of people: those who love them and those who don’t. If you belong to the latter, we won’t hold it against you since our writers felt the same — up until recently, that is.
Cue Uni Gallery by Oosterbay, a humble little spot tucked away in The Plaza that serves one of the best and most extensive selections of sea urchins you will ever find on the market. We put our (squirmiest) writers to the test and they came back as converts. We kid you not!
If you’re thinking of giving sea urchins a try, here are our top picks from Uni Gallery to get you acquainted.
1. Le Testuya
Start your experience right with Le Tetsuya, where the chef takes shredded fresh Hokkaido crab meat and tosses it in a sweet, tart dressing, serving it with a dollop of sea urchin and Sturgeon caviar. The flavours come together in a wonderful balance, with just the right notes of sweetness and umami.
2. Uni Sake Shot
Need a little something to take the edge off? Here, have a sake shot! For the uninitiated, this Uni Sake Shot isn’t your average palate cleanser – with the addition of ponzu, the sake transforms into a sweet, crisp, and savoury number, with the uni rounding off the flavours beautifully.
3. Uni Oyster
The Uni Oyster is one of the main dishes we anticipated: plump New Zealand oysters come served with gleaming globules of Ikura roe and a creamy serving of uni. Don’t even think about splitting this into two mouthfuls; have it in one shot and you’ll see why it’s called its unofficial name is called the “Umami Bomb”.
The first taste that hits your tongue is the oyster’s brininess, followed by the mini explosions of fatty Ikura roe, and the creaminess of the uni brings the flavours together. Bursting with flavour, these little morsels go ‘ka-boom’ in your mouth, leaving you altogether satisfied and craving more! Fair warning: one serving is never enough.
4. Uni Sampler
As a restaurant specialising in uni, we can think of a better place than Uni Gallery to get uni straight from its shell. If you think all uni taste the same, wash yourself of expectations and give yourself a challenge by tucking into their Uni Sampler.
Comprising 5 types of uni – Shiro, Bafun, Canadian Aka, Santa Barbara Aka, and Kombu-marinated Uni – this is definitely an adventure on a plate for both newbies and epicureans alike. Some uni will taste sweet and mellow while others creamy and bright; you’ll even find robust ones with a hint of brine – whichever one you prefer, this platter will no doubt open your eyes to the wonderful world of this underrated delicacy.
If your friends aren’t fans, rest assured that other Japanese favourites such as a variety of fresh sashimi, succulently grilled wagyu, and more will keep them satisfied.
Whether you’re a novice or a connoisseur, Uni Gallery by Oosterbay is definitely one of the best places in Singapore to appreciate uni. Pop by this little hideout and indulge in a meal to remember!