There is a palatial feel about shiro. When you enter the restaurant you get a sense that an ancient royal emperor and his queens resided within the grand space. Fragments of their existence is evident in the carved walls and gigantic statues that stand tall protecting the space till today. However, this story is simply a figment of one's imagination. Shiro is in fact a restaurant by the Atlantic Ocean in Victoria Island but this does not take away its mystique. It is a meeting place of two worlds, the ancient palace of lovers and a modern sophisticated restaurant.
The three story restaurant is made that much bigger with its high bamboo clad ceiling, sultry red lanterns, and waterfalls, all presided over by the queen with her necklace of amber glass drops.
If you come for drinks or on a small group you can sit at the booths separated by ruby red glass drop curtains made just for Shiro. This type of precision and attention to detail are also reflected in the carefully crafted menu and food. With a focus of Japanese cuisine, shiro also encompasses a pan Asian menu.
There is a range of options when it comes to picking an appetizer, from sushi to dim sum and spring rolls to lamb chops. The Vietnamese Caramelised Basa Fish was cooked to perfection. It literally comes apart in your mouth. The marinade has the right amount of sweet and chilli. A not so common starter is the lamb chops. Normally a main dish, at Shiro this has been designed as a starter. The portion is perfect! The lamb chops are served with raw papaya salad and sweet potato mash and marinated with miso and orange. The lamb chops are char grilled and still tender on the inside.
With Shiro being a japanese word, meaning castle or white, it is no surprise the sushi is a highlight. All makis are served in banana leaves but the content in the different rolls are unique. The Miso Black Cod Maki is a great combination of miso, sake and cod. The torched lobster makiwith truffle oil, cucumber and sesame seeds brings together a sophisticated mix of ingredients that are delicious. The crispy spicy Avocado Maki is crunchy and fresh and a great vegetarian option. Shiro has even brought in some Nigerian flavours with the Beef Suya Maki. it is a spicy twist to a traditional maki complimented by the spicy mayo on the top. The sushi rice gives it a wholesome finish.
The Sashimi Platter is not just pretty but delicious. The colourful display includes tuna, salmon, prawns, spicy tuna, and hamachi served on ice. You may find yourself not doing much but taking pictures of this platter but you have to eat the sashimi because they taste as good as they look.
The main dishes also have that glam factor (#foodporn). The Beef in Basket is a great example. It looks like an overflowing basket of goodness. The flavours were rich and the green and red peppers added some colour to the generally dark dish. The prawn curry has all the flavours of a red thai curry. So if you like thai food this is one for you. The consistency is perfect and the prawns are not too soft. This was paired nicely with the egg fried rice.
Dessert is usually every sweet tooth’s favourite part of a meal. At Shiro dessert is not just for sweets. Their dessert are decadent but health conscious. The Chocolate Cherry Bomb is a dark chocolate and sour cherry mousse sitting on a bed of chocolate cake. The cherries on the side are satori sauce glaze. And sitting inside the mouse are surprises of more glazed cherries. The mouse is rich and dense with a cherry aftertaste. The Mandarin Chocolate Cake is a two layer cake of dark chocolate and a fluffy almond flour sponge cake. When biting into the cake you are unsure of if the mandarin flavour is in the chocolate or in the cake. The combination is divine.
As well as the food at Shiro, the drinks are noteworthy. The cocktails stay on theme as a pan-asian restaurant. The mocktails are refreshing and a great start to an evening. The Watermelon Roll Over contains star anise, cinnamon and watermelon. Simply put it is sweet and pretty. Same can be said about the Mint Zing, which has apple and mint.
For later on in the evening the Green Apple Martini or the Grilled Teriyaki Pineapple Punch can be your night cap. Green Apple Martini is what it says on the box, it is fresh apple and martini served in a short martini glass. The Grilled Teriyaki Pineapple Punch is garnished with a grilled pineapple slice and there is a unique cherry flavour within the white rum.
Manicured green grass, golden, powdery sand bunkers, tropical palm groves and glistening lakes...