Official Website: http://maguroya.co; Facebook (see the menu here)
Address: Lau Pa Sat Stall 79, facing Robinson Road (18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582)
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 11am-10pm
Budget: about $8-20
Recommendations: Salmon Don
Nowadays, it seems to be the “hip” thing to call yourself ‘sgboy’ or ‘veggiegirl” etc (no pun intended). And so, good news arrived for sashimi lovers when Fishboy decided to divert some attention away from his seafood direct supply business and head directly into the F&B industry, providing reasonably-priced fresh Tsukiji quality sushi directly to consumers. That was the key idea behind his baby, Maguro-ya, or otherwise known as House of Tuna (‘Maguro’ means tuna).
Mr Alistair Douglas, or otherwise known as Fishboy, is an Australian who spent years in the renowned Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo and Australian fisheries. Describing himself as a ‘tuna nerd’ on his Facebook page, he provides useful and educative information on the various types of tuna (e.g. yellowfin and blue fin etc) and the importance of sustainable fishing on his website. His philosophy is simple – consumers deserve affordable yet high quality seafood, and should not have to fork out hefty sums that eventually end up in the pockets of rich landlords. This is also the philosophy which we at fatsgboy hold dear too.
Dazzled by the plethora of options, I settled on the Salmon Don eventually, which a few other tables opted for as well. The portion was generous – for $8.80, you get 8 slices of fresh salmon with clearly defined white fat lines between the muscle fibre. I was not sure if this was wild or farmed salmon (farmed salmon contains thicker white fat lines), but would probably ask Fishboy the next time I drop by. To be honest, the salmon slices were not as refreshing as I had expected them to be, but from the price I was paying, I am definitely not complaining. I would also have liked a more generous serving (just a little more actually) of calrose rice, which would have made the meal an impeccable one. The miso soup, however, is of average quality, probably seasoned with trace amounts of MSG.
If you come in big groups, do try the signature Kabuto Yaki (or Tuna Fish Head), which is supposedly priced at hundred odd dollars in local Japanese restaurants, but served at only $15 (1 pax) – $25 (for 2 pax) here! Since I got my fix in an izakaya in Tokyo for about Y800 recently, I would probably not be trying this dish anytime soon.
If you’re looking for air-conditioned restaurants with cheap sushi, this might not be your best bet. But if you’re looking for affordable sashimi served by a passionate fishmonger (and in the midst of the CBD), Lau Pa Sat might actually become your usual hangout for your protein fix.
Rating: 3.39/5 Maguro
- Nana’s Green Tea Cafe (fatsgboy.wordpress.com)