Uni Gallery – Fresh and Delicious Uni for Connoisseurs & First-Timers
Uni may not look the friendliest with their sharp spikes, but these porcupines of the sea, as I like to call them, are so tasty when eaten fresh.
Sea urchin is a common ingredient found in many Japanese restaurants, and has recently become very popular. I still remember my first time having uni. I had it at one of those dollar-sushi restaurants, and it tasted horrible. It was bitter and had a really strange texture. Also, there was absolutely no sweetness to it. I couldn’t understand why anyone would pay good money for something that tasted so bad.
Little did I know that not all uni tasted that way. I was one of the unlucky few to have a bad first-time-uni-experience.
For anyone who’ve yet to tried uni and want to, Uni Gallery by Oosterbay is a great place to pop your uni-cherry. The restaurant is a new arm of Oosterbay, a local seafood and sashimi importer located along Beach Road.
Prior to our meal, we were served a starter on the house – morsels of Maguro and Mekajiki (tuna and swordfish) that were braised in a savoury sauce.
For our mains, we had the Uni Chirashi ($49), and the Jyo Chirashi ($28) which came with bluefin tuna, yellowtail and swordfish(2 slices each). The sushi rice served in both chirashis were way too vinegary for our liking, and overpowered the natural sweetness and savouriness of the sashimi.
The uni chirashi is any uni lover’s dream because of the generous amount of Canadian Aka uni. These golden yellow gonads are creamy and a little sweet, with delicate flavours of the ocean. Do you know that it’s actually the sexual reproductive organs that we’re eating, not the roe nor flesh? The uni melted in my mouth, but I preferred having them alone without the overpowering sushi rice.
We also tried their Uni Tempura ($36) which was quite intriguing. I’ve never really seen people cook uni, much less deep fry them. The uni was first wrapped in seaweed, then coated in tempura batter, and finally, deep fried. I felt that the uni lost all of its sweetness after being fried. It also wasn’t as creamy as compared to the fresh ones in the chirashi. I think I prefer having my uni fresh.
Uni Gallery also has a seasonal menu that changes with every new batch of shipment that comes in. I was lucky enough to get Angkimo ($15) on the menu – monkfish liver that has been seasoned and lightly steamed. Could this be the foie gras of the sea? The monkfish liver was creamy, rich and silky in texture, but wasn’t as flavourful as what you would expect from foie gras, but it’s pretty close.
Another dish that caught my attention on the seasonal menu was the Sawa Kani ($10/7 pieces) which are deep fried Japanese freshwater crabs. These crabs are imported live and kept in a bowl skittering about for everyone to look at. They’re actually quite cute!
Uni connoisseurs would be glad to know that the restaurant carries over 10 different varieties of uni, such as the Japanese Bafun Uni ($30), and Santa Barbara Aka Uni ($30) which are all served sashimi style. Although the name of the restaurant gives the impression that it only peddles uni, they also have a good selection of fresh sashimi that’s also worth trying out.
Address: #B1-310 The Plaza, 7500A Beach Road, Singapore 199591
Phone: 9838 8209
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.