Shiro Japanese Haute Cuisine
Shiro is a reservations-only place at 24 Greenwood Avenue (6462-2774), where ringing the doorbell is required for them to open the door from the inside for you (after which, they check your name at the door a bit akin to an A-list bouncer). I had never been here before, so I wasn't too sure if the food was going to be any good, but the mystique alone certainly piqued the curiosity enough to want to try it. Fortunately, the food pulled through in almost every way.
They had prix fixe kaiseki deals here, but we went a la carte tonight, as there were quite a few things on the menu that looked really good. One was the kamo rosu-ni sliced duck, which is apparently a house special, and was done in thin tender slices with a nice mustard sauce to complement. The gyu tataki was done with wagyu beef, which of course made these thin slices of seared delight very tender (the wasabi and light dipping sauce went well with it too). The scoops of nasu dengaku eggplant with its delicately sweet miso was better done than at Nanjya Monjya. I was also impressed with the furufuki daikon, which was simply a stewed turnip vertically topped with a citrus sauce (and some sort of a greyish seaweed that looked almost like mold but was nearly tasteless). Then again, I'm a sucker for daikon of any kind; raw, stewed, what have you.
The highlight of the meal for me though was the gyutan, which was full of the richness that grilled tongue usually provides, despite not exhibiting any grill marks like shioyaki should. But they go the extra mile here with mushrooms to be wrapped in the thin slices of gyutan and a pinch of ginger for a little extra kick. My eyes also lit up at the tastiness and freshness of the scallops in the sashimi moriwase.
Was there anything not to like? The shrimp used in the ebi tempura weren't as fresh as they could have been. The batter was very delicate though (as any top-notch place should make it), thus making this leagues beyond most places' tempura. But it still falls a bit short of Tenshin Tempura at the Regent. In addition, the broth in the nyu-men was a bit boring to me, but at least the thin flat noodles were tasty.
In a room so small with only a limited number of reservations-only tables, the service was impeccable, with plates being replaced constantly and instant attention at your beck-and-call. Of course, it's at kaiseki-like prices, so it's something one can only do a limited number of times in a lifetime, but it is worth it. This was indeed a really good meal.