I am convinced I found heaven. Bold statement to make, yes, but when you know, you know. See, it's about what you quantify as 'heaven'. A decent measure of any restaurant would be a venn diagram. Quality flanking the left, price on the right, and the sweet spot of overlap: value for money. My chart is a little more complicated. It's a 3D graph with those functions on the respective x and y axis, plus variety, setting, and presentation all somehow plotted in. I have no idea what that would actually look like (clearly, math wasn't my strong suit), so let me use what I'm proficient at—words—to work it out for you.
They've got this one down right off the bat. Uni Gallery is in fact a brick and mortar expansion of online premium seafood grocer OosterBay, which means fresh product air-flown in every 2 days, and not just from Japan alone. Both sea urchins and oysters are also sourced from the cold waters of British Columbia in Canada and Los Angeles’ Santa Barbara. Rather than the ambiguously defined 'umami', I would push the abstract description of the divine experience wrapped up in the Uni Oyster shot like seeing high definition for the first time, but you know, with your taste buds.
One of the notable factors to Uni Gallery's fame is its reasonable price. Reasonable does not translate to cheap, but a value you are happy to part your money for. In the new menu to celebrate its first year anniversary, they've decided to introduce award-winning Polanco caviar into their dishes. The complement of briny uni and luscious caviar plays on well texturally, pair that with risotto and everything in life just seems to fall into place. An attainable nirvana at only SGD27? Worth it.
Whether you're a true Uni aficionado, or just an Uni affectionado (where you just have great feelings for eating uni) like me, the variety here is impressive. Not only do they have a wide array of seafood options on their menu, great for the adventurous (cod fish
sperm milt, anyone?) there are up to four different types of uni to choose from. Even the cooked selection is not to be overlooked. I can safely say the grilled unagi is by far, one of the best I've had anywhere.
Restaurants carrying such gastronomical offerings naturally come with a formal and inevitably stifling interior. And that was exactly what the owners wanted to avoid. The space is intentionally kept casual and unpretentious, displaying dynamic artworks by young local artists across its walls. Hidden in the basement behind PARKROYAL hotel, it makes you think of the underground gems in Tokyo you only discover from hearsay. But should you prefer it, new private rooms are now available for diners who order from the Omakase dinner sets.
Accessible as other factors may be, the standards of an elevated dining experience are still upheld. There is evident attention to detail in even the placement of ikura pearls. Besides visual appeal, you also have the freedom to dictate your dish. The Chirashi is one you can freely customise, building upon a base of uni.
So there you have it. Ticking everything on the checklist, Uni Gallery gracefully fills the gap between the extravagant dues at fine dining and the cheap compromise you make at sushi franchises. Apart from a personal (and rather unfortunate) choice to not eat uni, there should be no reason why you have not already made a reservation.
Uni Gallery is located at The Plaza #B1-1310, 7500A Beach Road, Singapore 199591.