Chura Sushi Bar by EN Group offers up sushi and cocktails that are as pleasing to the eye as they are exciting on the palate.
Sushi restaurant concepts are a dime to the dozen in Singapore, but the latest from EN Group may just differentiate itself from the rest with a focus on beautifully-plated food and visually appealing cocktails. EN Group – which is behind a chain of Japanese restaurants such as EN Dining, Kiwami, Aburi-EN, Monster Curry, and more – has launched its first Chura Sushi Bar outlet at Suntec City.
On the outset, form looks to be as important as function at Chura Sushi Bar. Which may not be surprising considering that ‘chura’ – or 美ら – is a word that means ‘beautiful’ in the Okinawan language. In fact, pretty much every plate that arrived on our table looked like edible art pieces.
The Chura’s Signature, for example, is a beautifully assembled makizushi (rolled sushi) that bundles together fresh tuna, salmon, marinated white tuna, tamago, and seasoned dried gourd. It’s then dressed with luxurious uni, caviar, ikura, and further garnished with umibudo (Okinawan sea grapes) and delicate baby radish slices. Then there’s the Chura Ladies’ Set, which comes with its six dainty nigiri sushi enclosed in a intricate wooden birdcage, alongside a small bowl of udon noodles and three appetisers.
Even the Chura Chirashi, their take on the usually messy “scattered” rice bowl that is the classic chirashizushi, has its toppings – cubed mixed sashimi, tamago, pickled lotus root, micro herbs, and more – so artfully arranged you imagine the chef must have spent hours on it with a culinary tweezer. The least delicate entree on the menu is probably Volcano, but even that tempura-ed makizushi is gorgeously plated like an active volcano threatening to explode its spicy and nacho cheese sauces.
That attention to detail flows over to its cocktails. While there’s really nothing you can do to “prettify” the standard Japanese whisky highball, the Sake Fizz – comprising vodka, sake, peach syrup, lime juice, and butterfly pea flower tea – comes in two hues of white and imperial Japanese purple. Autumn in Yokohama, which tastes like a intense version of a Singapore Sling with its Haku Vodka, Roku Gin, orange juice and grenadine syrup composition, appears in all its scarlet glory.
And while Tokyo Drift may be less visually impressive, this Japanese twist on the Sidecar – Chita whisky, Cointreau, and yuzu juice – is an absolutely delicious concoction. Negroni lovers may however prefer the Haku Yuki, the usual vermouth in the classic aperitif cocktail replaced here by umeshu for a Japanese touch.
If there’s only one slightly disappointing thing at Chura Sushi Bar – considering the origin of its name – it’s that there’s little to no Okinawan influence here in its food or cocktails. Aside from the gratuitous use of umibudo sea grapes, that is. We would have loved to see elevated versions of rafute, chanpuru, or other classic Okinawan dishes represented here.
Not that we’re taking anything away from the visually-stunning, palate-pleasing sushi dishes here at Chura Sushi Bar. Or its similarly alluring and delicious cocktails. Chura Sushi Bar would make the perfect venue for a girl’s night out.
Chura Sushi Bar (Suntec)
Address 3 Temasek Boulevard #B1-122A Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 11am to 10pm daily