Bintan Island: Rin Japanese Restaurant

A weekend getaway to Bintan saw the whole group of us spending most of our time in villa. I blame the haze – it really is a mood killer. At first, we were planning to order room service for dinner and just stay in. Eventually, N succeeded in persuading us to get out and walk to Rin after reading us some reviews from Trip Advisor. 

When we first heard them, I thought they sounding really outrageous and over the top. Many of the guests proclaimed it to be as good as the Japanese restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong and one particular review even opined this place had the “best sushi this side of Tokyo”. I’ve always seen Bintan as an island where Singaporeans come to chill and play golf for the weekend. Food has never been its selling point and therefore I read the reviews with some skepticism.

I wasn’t planning to blog about this place at all, but the whole reason we came to eat at this restaurant was so unexpected that my friends convinced me that I just had to write about this place

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When we got there, there were only two tables occupied by two other couples. It was to be expected, since we didn’t expect the resort to be full and there were many other options available for dinner. We had the following dishes to share:

Sashimi platter – the chef was very generous. Initially, the platter only called for 5 slices of each kind, but since there were 6 of us, we were given 6 slices of most of the sashimi types so we all got to try most of everything. This was really good, the ingredients were all really fresh.
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Followed by some vegetable dishes – vegetables were fresh, with a very generous serving of thousand island sauce on every dish.
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Chawanmushi – Japanese steamed egg. Wasn’t my favourite dish. I felt that steamed egg was a little too watery for my liking. It also could have done with a bit more seasoning.
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Sushi – this was an interesting futomaki roll. It was pretty tasty, though I didn’t find it particularly memorable (sorry Trip Advisor reviewer)
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Tempura
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Wagyu beef – cooked medium. It’s hard to find fault with meat that was cooked well. This went away pretty fast.
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Garlic rice – cooked teppanyaki style while we were eating.
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Gonggong (local shellfish) – W suggested ordering this since she was quite curious to try a local delicacy. I did not have any since I was already very full, but turns out that they were really delicious. Using a toothpick, you literally pull the shellfish out of the shell. It’s not the most pretty sight, it’s one of those foods where you just eat it and don’t think too much about it. I took some pretty interesting closeups of N doing the deed, but decided not to post them just in case the ‘gross’ factor kills any of bit of curiosity that has been stirred
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Overall, this was an unexpectedly decent Japanese dinner. The quality of the food and ingredients were really good. The staff were all very polite and helpful. Definitely worth trying if you happen to be at Nirwana Resorts for dinner.

Add: Nirwana Gardens, Jalan Panglima Pantar | East Wing of Nirwana Resort Hotel, Lagoi, Riau Islands Province29155, Indonesia

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