Nestled among the trove of Tiong Bahru cafés lies a Japanese-French restaurant, whose unassuming façade of dark-tinted windows gives nothing away. If you’re gunning for sushi and sashimi, sit yourself on the eight-seater counter.
And you should, because the nigiri sushi set is only $28 while the aburi sushi set clocks in at $35 – both come with five pieces. You can indicate your preference, or leave it up to the chef to decide based on the day’s freshest catch. The sashimi is flown in every Tuesday and Friday straight from Tsukiji, and it shows. The ika, lightly scored and almost translucent, drapes over the sushi rice and gets sweeter on each bite. And the hotate, butterflied and served as two pieces because of its size, is rich, sweet and melts in your mouth. IKYU gets its rice from Niigata and does justice to it: it’s slightly sweet and tart, comprises individually distinguishable grains and holds its shape when compressed. Likewise, the soya sauce, mixed in-house, is an umami bomb and is served in a little saucer.
A pity, though, about IKYU’s wasabi – it’s still the real deal and not horseradish paste in disguise – that came from a tube. Freshly grated wasabi would have completed the dining experience. Also it’d be wise to pass on the uni. At $38 a pop, it’s simply way too expensive even if it’s freshly flown in that day. Consider yourself warned.