How a visit to the Gallery by Oosterbay changed my mind about Uni
I once had an Early Girl tomato at my friend Jay’s house, and I thought that was the best thing I’d ever had. But then I visited friends in Senegal, and I ate sea urchins pulled fresh out of the sea. It tasted like the ocean.Alice Waters
No, uni doesn’t taste ‘fishy’. Rather, it is delicately salty on one’s tongue. Some might call the taste ‘briny’, but I call it wild, tangy, and fresh. Like Alice Waters, I felt it tasted like and had the aroma of, the ocean. That’s a good thing. A very good thing.
What makes it so good is the freshness. Flown to Singapore to ensure that the taste is as wild and free as if the urchins had just been plucked from the sea. Sea urchins are not farmed, each is harvested in the wild. Often confused with roe, the part of the urchin that we eat is actually the sex organ of the spiny creature. Oh, my Goodness! Really? Yes, really. Don’t be alarmed. That’s the tastiest part. It’s meant to be eaten. At least we humans have determined that it’s meant to be eaten; the urchins weren’t consulted. They have no brains. They feel no pain or sorrow allowing you to eat and enjoy guilt-free.
Designed to be a casual restaurant even though the cuisine is exotic, the Gallery appeals to those of us who seek a unique dining experience without high prices. OK – it is not cheap, but neither is the fare astronomical – accessible for the adventurous diner. Comfortable and casually appointed, the restaurant is meant to be a venue where diners can experience unique cuisine in an unpretentious setting. I loved the ambience.
Lest you think that Uni is the only option on the Gallery menu, think again. Constantly honing their skills at presenting the latest in sushi/sashimi, the Gallery chefs make the menu a gallery (pardon the pun) of intriguing delights. A good place to start, especially if you are with a few friends, is the Unie Sampler Set. With ‘freshness’ as a byword, the Gallery offers a variety of typical sushi and sashimi dishes as well as cooked Japanese entrees. Servers, chefs, and support staff all work to make Uni Gallery a success. You can sense the team effort behind the food, ambience, and decor of this one-of-a-kind Singaporean restaurant.
I was careful to leave room for the speciality of the house – uni, of course. I accompanied my dinner with a Sakura Sparkling Sake which I had never encountered before – refreshing and delicious, it made the perfect accompaniment to my oh-so-special dinner.
We will return.
UNI? Try it, you’ll like it. I promise.
Research and writing help from JKJ