Shin Minori Hot
Offer Japanese food set lunches and eat-all-you-can ala-carte Japanese buffet. Also provided an extensive selection of sake and shochu.
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 5 user(s)
Value for Money
I had a 1-for-1 deal for Shin Minori, hence it was pretty worth it. Even without the deal, I'd say the buffet is pretty decent! There is a wide variety of sashimi and various grilled meat, all cooked on the spot. The sashimi is really fresh - they only serve them in small portions to preserve freshness.
The quality of food is really good, hence my high rating for value for money. Nevertheless, I must say that I wasn't terribly impressed by their standard of service - pretty mediocre. I find the location a bit inaccessible by public transport. Even if you are going by car, I think it would take some time to navigate around the place.
I will DEFINITELY visit Shin Minori again.
Value for money!
This is arguably one of the better buffets I've had. We made a reservation and 6 and stayed there till the place closed for the day. We're really dedicated to getting the bang for our buck.
I like how it was ala carte, instead of the usual grab-all-you-can buffets which often leaves a very unpleasant "grabbing" experience later. Quality wise, there's nothing to complain about. The sashimi slices were all very fresh, something you don't see very often in buffets. I love chawanmushis, and this one was silky smooth. The Kabocha Chawanmushi (Pumpkin Egg Custard) was noteworthy as well, and I did liked it enough to have 4 of those. The grilled dishes are a must-try too.
Most of the dishes were very well-executed. A weekday dinner set us back by about $40 (after GST and service charge), which is actually relatively inexpensive. I remember paying the same amount for Sakura buffet on a weekend and I regret my foolishness.
The Best Japanese Buffet in Singapore!
For the longest time I was on the hunt for a good Japanese buffet. I really disliked Kushinbo. I thought the food was mediocre and overpriced but it just remained a silent thought of mine. Because most of my friends liked it and I could just be weird one! And out of the mid-range Japanese food I've tried I had yet to come across something 'good' to benchmark it against. Until now of course. Enter Shin Minori! Thank God I am a normal after all!!
As Jeremy said, this place has an abysmal walk-in crowd. It is so well hidden on the top commercial floor (level 3) of UE square. It is the ONLY eatery on that level, next to tuition centres like Kumon and 'Massage parlors' of questionable service scopes. If it was located at say a heartland mall instead, you would see snaking queues for it that go out the building.
We went for lunch, priced at $32++. I noted dinner was only priced at $36++ making this a really worthwhile dinner option. Instead of the traditional buffet, you had to order your dishes from the menu with a form. And they had over 146 different dishes, those that you would typically see in a Japanese non-buffet restaurant! Its like eating at a restaurant only that food is unlimited and the price is capped.
Instead of one unified form to order, they had 6-7 different forms broken down into categories which I found annoying. But what a difference this system made. Because dishes aren't prepared en masse, the food was better prepared and of much higher quality. We placed our orders and barely after i got up to take a few pictures of the restaurant's ambiance, the food came. The restaurant though small, was already half packed. Talk about super fast service. We basically proceeded to order every dish which had "Chef Recommendation" next to it. I'm not a big raw food eater so my review would be about the cooked dishes.
Here are the MUST TRYS:
Gyuniku Shogayaki (Beef with Special Sauce) - Amazing. Start with this and the garlic rice. They come fast.
Ninniku Yaki Meshi (Garlic Fried Rice) - Best Garlic rice I've had
Kabocha Chawanmushi (Pumpkin Egg Custard) - So unique and good
California Maki (Crab Meat Stick/Avocado/Cucumber) Standard roll done very well.
Shake Wafu Teppan (Salmon with Special Sauce) - Interesting dish of the night because of its sauce. Some might find it too salty but I LOVED it.
Hotate Be-kon Piza (Scallop Bacon Pizza) - tasty
Buta To Garlic (Grilled Pork with Garlic Seasoning) - Super sinful!
Saba Shioyaki (Grilled Mackerel with Salt) - Standard saba done well.
Kani Miso Shiru (Cream of Crab Bean Paste Soup) - It had real crab. Did not go that well with the cream though.
Ton Shiru (Bean Paste Soup with Pork Belly) - Very interesting, a bit too oily but that's expected!
Tori Wasabi Mayo (Chicken Pieces with Wasabi Mayonnaise) - Fried a bit too hard
Nasu Dengaku (Eggplant with Yuzu Miso) - The Yuzi Miso sauce was really sweet.
Agedashi Toufu (Deep Fried Bean Curd in Chicken Broth) - I thought it was bad.
We must have had over 20 dishes in total, and only one was on the 'skip' list. My partner loved it too and finally forgave me for the Chiso Zanmai debacle. I guess when trying out new places there are always hits and misses. And when you take the risk and find a gem it makes it so worthwhile. Far cheaper than most Japanese buffets with quality of a food far greater. I can see us coming back to this place again and again.
Update: I've been here four times now. Brought several groups of friends and they don't hold as high an opinion as me so I've lowered my score to 4.5.
This place is the best kept secret of UE Square. Tucked away in an upstairs corner amidst tuition centres, Shin Minori serves up delectable, authentic Japanese cuisine to an appreciative clientele. I was there on a weekday evening and the place was pretty much packed.
I must admit I am terribly fond of buffets because of the all-you-can-eat factor. Shin Minori offers fantastic value for money in this respect. I loved the sashimi for its variety and freshness. Also memorable were the cooked dishes such as the duck breast.
Me and my friends ate so much we had to waddle out of the restaurant. Hardly a dignified exit, but well worth it!
Japanese chefs Filipino waitresses
I had realised that more and more restaurants were manned by Filipinos waiters or waitresses. This was one such restaurant. The last time I visited this restaurant, I was served only by Filipinos but the thankful thing was that this restaurant had an open bar where you can see a few Japanese chefs preparing certain food items.
Also, if you were not driving, then you should also try the sake there. They had a good selections of sake.
The restaurant must also be serving good Japanese food because the few times I had been there, there were always a few tables of Japanese eating there. I had not observed the same when eating at other Japanese chain restaurants.