Thanks to the tips from some of our readers, we found out that sushi nazi Chef Peter had resurfaced at his new restaurant in Central - Mitsuba by Yurine Japanese Restaurant.
When we were there for lunch on a Sunday, the place was worringly deserted, with only a couple of small tables occupied. Having said that, that seemed to be the case for the whole of the mall as well, so I guess it's not really a weekend day-time destination.
Needless to say, we made a beeline for the chirashi sushi, which interestingly came deconstructed - the fish served in one container, and the rice separately in a cute tiered container. Also, there are now 3 versions of the chirashi available, ranging between $28, $48 and $68 depending on the type/quality of the fish.
We decided to try one each of the Haru ($28) and the Nasu ($48), though the only difference seemed to be the inclusion of a few slices of chutoro in the Nasu.
Comparing this to the chirashi we recently had at Chikuwa-Tei after Chef Peter left, the fish here is generally better. I'm not sure if it's the supplier or the way he cuts the fish, or perhaps both, but the fish seems tastier and more flavourful here. At the other side, the fish seemed rather tasteless.
Chikuwa-Tei scores more points for the rice though. We always felt that Chef Peter's rice didn't live up to his fish, and that the rice at the new Chikuwa-Tei was actually better. This was confirmed when we once again had the slightly lacklustre rice at Mitsuba.
The chawanmushi is also better here. Again, the egg had lots more flavour, probably from dashi stock, and it was much more generous with the ingredients inside.
Well, they both have their pros and cons then. If only they'd join forces and combine their fish and rice skills. Now that would be a force to be reckoned with.
The selection of seafood in the chirashi is better here, but the rice isn't as nice and vinegary. So it all depends on how important the taste of the rice is to you. This place does seem less crowded though, I guess it's a definite option when you can't get a table at Chikuwa-Tei.
Mitsuba by Yurine Japanese Restaurant
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#03-88 The Central