The Bettership at The Cathay specialises in sashimi don
The first time I fell in love with chirashi don was when I had it at Sushiro last year. Yes, I know I was late to the party. Ever since, it has been a mission to hunt down and try all the good chirashi don places in Singapore. So when I saw my colleague’s Instagram story about The Bettership, a sashimi restaurant that just opened at The Cathay this week, I went to check it out the very next day.
Food at The Bettership
The menu at The Bettership is simple and straightforward. With 11 different sashimi options to choose from, you can have your fish slices served as a Basic Don (+$3.90), Premium Don (+$5.90), or in a Sashimi Setting (+$2). Four special rice bowls – Chirashi Don ($17.90), Kaisen Don ($17.90), Truffle Beef Don ($21), and Aburi Wagyu Don ($40) are also available.
The first dish that I tried was their chirashi don. Served in a tiny wooden ship-like bowl, the chirashi don comprised diced salmon, tuna, and octopus that covered a bed of Japanese rice. The dish also came with servings of tamago, radish, jellyfish, inari skin, and ginger slices.
At first look, I was disappointed that the portion was relatively small for its price and that the sashimi did not have the layer of glaze that I had expected. In terms of taste, the chirashi don was not impressive too. Even with the layer of furikake covering the rice, I found it bland and dry, with just a slight sour taste that came from the vinegar. The sashimi cubes hardly added to the texture or flavour of the dish.
Although the jellyfish, inari, and tamago managed to salvage the dish by giving it a much needed punch, they also overwhelmed the sashimi. I would have liked the dish a lot more if the sashimi was cut into bigger cubes so that they will have a more distinct flavour.
After the chirashi don, we wanted to try their truffle beef don. Stated that the bowl is served in limited portions daily, we were eager to know what was so special about the dish. However, we were told that the beef don was sold out the day before and so we went ahead with their recommended kaisen don.
In terms of ingredients, the kaisen don was very much like the chirashi don. But instead of small cubes, the sashimi came in slices. Even though the two dishes were of the same price, the kaisen don was more value-for-money in terms of the variety and portion of sashimi. The don came with salmon, tuna, yellowtail slices as well as a scallop and some ebi.
Although the fish slices were a little too thin for my liking, they were decently fresh. While the sashimi did not have any stomach-turning fishy taste, they also lacked the sweetness of seafood. The only aspect that stood out to me was the creamy ebi that came closest to giving me the melt-in-your-mouth experience. With just four tiny pieces, however, I had to slowly savour them throughout the meal.
The last dish that we tried was the Salmon Ikura Basic Don ($15.90).
For the salmon, we requested for it to be prepared in aburi style and the chef torched the fish slices right in front of us.
Compared to the chirashi don and kaisen don, I liked the salmon ikura don most. With a generous amount of salmon roe covering the rice, the dish was much tastier than the other two. The exploding ikura also added to the texture of the dish and complemented the rice well.
As for the salmon aburi, the slices were torched lightly on the surface, with most of the fish slices remaining raw. The torched parts also had a charcoal-like taste which I thought was pretty interesting. For this dish, every spoonful of rice was tasty and the variety of textures gave an exciting twist to your usual sashimi don.
Ambience at The Bettership
Found on the first level of The Cathay, The Bettership is very accessible but unless you are specifically looking out for the shop, you may miss the simple-looking and small space that they occupy. In the tiny eatery, the entire space is made of two long bar tables with the chefs preparing the sashimi on the opposite side of the tables.
Although this would not be the place for a chill and relaxing meal, it was interesting to watch the chefs prepare the miso soups and slice the sashimi pieces right in front of me. When we were there during lunchtime, the restaurant was relatively empty besides a few lone office workers. However, the owner did mention that their special rice bowls, especially the truffle beef don, get sold out pretty quickly so I would recommend giving them call before making your way down!
Although I liked how interesting and aesthetically pleasing the plating of the food at The Bettership was, nothing else stood out to me. For its relatively steep price, the quality of the sashimi was mediocre and the portion was pretty disappointing as well. Unless a friend really wants to try this place out, I will probably choose to head to other restaurants when the craving for chirashi don hits. For more affordable Japanese food, check out these unagi don or beef don below $20++!
Address: 2 Handy Road, #01-03, The Cathay, Singapore 229233
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 10pm
The Bettership is not a halal-certified restaurant.
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg.