There are quite a few underrated and unassuming restaurants in Orchard, and YUTA is one of them. Behind its striking blue doors is a cosy omakase restaurant helmed by Chef Jet with an unpretentious but curated omakase menu.
Intimate But Stylish Omakase
The restaurant is a vibrant blue box located right in front of the escalator when you come up from Orchard Plaza, standing out from the other storefronts.
The layout is reminiscent of a classic Omakase, with a bar area where you can see the Chef team work their magic. It’s quite small and can sit at about 20 at most, making it inviting and intimate.
Our only complaint is that the chairs were quite tall and a bit hard to manoeuvre so it was awkward getting out of the seating area.
YUTA Omakase Menu
The only food menu available is the YUTA Omakase ($115) which comes with 11 courses. Aside from three mainstay dishes, the rest of the courses are refreshed every two weeks by Chef Jet and his team based on the ingredients available.
There’s also an extensive alcohol menu, including sake, red wine, umeshu and shochu. There is Green Tea ($4) and Apple Juice ($6) if you’re not drinking.
At the recommendation of the staff, we tried the Flavoured Sake and Umeshu Flight ($34). It comes with four types of sake and umeshu, designed to pair with different courses as the omakase progresses.
We got the Umenoyado Yuzu sake, yuzu umeshu, shiso umeshu and Momo (peach) umeshu. This selection was fruity and sweet, making it very easy to drink! The tangy notes cut through the heaviness and richness of the different dishes, complementing the eating experience.
The first dish and one of the YUTA mainstays is the Hokkaido oyster with ikura and soy sauce. It was quite big (almost the size of our hands) and fresh, with the pop from the ikura.
There was no fishiness and the umami from the soy sauce added an extra depth to the already fresh oyster. It was a great starter!
Following that was a cold dish of tofu and spinach with sesame sauce and yuzu sauce. The simple presentation does not do justice to the dish – the tofu was delicious!
It had a soft, almost pudding-like texture with a slight fragrance from the soybeans. This paired great with the crunch from the spinach and creamy sesame sauce.
The next dish was a platter of fresh sashimi and seasonal Japanese vegetables, including Hokkaido scallop, Shima-aji (Striped Jack) and snapper.
All the fish was sweet and had a pleasant mouthfeel, with our favourite being the snapper. The vegetables added a textural contrast, like the crunch from the baby corn and tomato (from Okinawa).
The star and second mainstay dish is the charcoal-grilled A5 Wagyu Sirloin, served with wasabi and a cute bunny-shaped quail egg.
Each slice of meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a pleasant smokiness from the grill and fattiness from the cut. It was easily one of our favourite bites of the night!
This course was the most unique in the omakase. It featured a charcoal-grilled tofu pouch stuffed with chicken tsukune, served in a dashi broth with a special Tororo kombu. The exterior of the tofu was crisp and airy, complementing the tender chicken filling which was well-seasoned.
The strong flavours were contrasted by the light broth, plus the unique kombu. This type of kombu turns slimy when in contact with water, which added an interesting layer to the dish! It might be an acquired texture but it had the familiar briney umami.
The fried dish was an upgrade from the usual shrimp tempura, featuring white fish wrapped around an Aka Ebi and a miso sauce.
The white fish added an extra sweetness to the already fresh prawn, which was equally bouncy and snappy. When paired with the saltiness from the miso sauce, it was a satisfying bite! Those who like eating shrimp heads will enjoy this as well.
Following the fried dish was a trio of Nirigi: Hiranai (Golden Ice Snapper), Kampachi (Amberjack) and Hirame (Flounder).
Our favourite was the Kampachi, which was the perfect balance of fatty and meaty. Those who enjoy white fish will also like the Hiranai, with a firm texture and natural sweetness!
Chef Jet’s signature is uni rice topped with ikura, which is as luxurious as it sounds. There are two types of uni used, one mixed in the rice with egg yolk and the other as a topping.
Each bite was creamy but not fishy, and had a umami from the uni – it was a treat for the eyes and the stomach!
The temaki (hand roll) fillings are seasonal, and we were treated to marinated Wagyu strips. True to the name, Chef Jet hands it to you directly so you need to eat with your hands!
It’s served very simply with only rice, seaweed and Wagyu, but had a burst of flavour. The meat was tender and caramelised, coating the rice and seaweed with the oil from the beef!
This course served as a brief palette cleanser before dessert, which was a housemade chicken soup. Despite how clear the broth was, it had a robust chicken flavour with a slightly herbal taste. It was warming and a nice wind down from the richness of the other dishes.
The dessert also changes with each iteration and we were served a rather cute one. This dessert featured yuzu sorbet, red bean and cotton candy – designed to be reminiscent of childhood.
The tang from the yuzu sorbet was refreshing and a great end to the meal. It had been a while since we had eaten cotton candy, so it was fun eating it again!
Omakase In Orchard Plaza
The YUTA omakase experience was unpretentious and well-paced; we were impressed by the variety and quality of the dishes for their price tag! The menu changes every two weeks, so you are guaranteed a unique experience each time. For more unique omakase experiences, check our articles out!
#02-12 Orchard Plaza, 150 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238841