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3 new high-end Japanese restaurants in Singapore to check out

These new high-end Japanese counter dining experiences offer diners in Singapore fine robatayaki meals, expertly made kushikatsu, and luxurious Japanese wagyu creations.

Kyuu

  • Kyuu's bar counter seats

The buzzing Keong Saik Road welcomes a new sashimi and robatayaki restaurant – Kyuu by Shunsui – a sister restaurant of  Kappo Shunsui at Cuppage Plaza. Overseeing the restaurant is head chef Issey Araki, formerly from one-Michelin-starred Akasaka Tantei in Tokyo. Trained in the art of kappo and kaiseki cuisine, the skillful 27-year-old chef also has a puffer fish-processing license. He was first recruited by chef Tomo Watanabe for the opening of Kappo Shunsui earlier this year.

Kyuu by Shunsui’s 10-course omakase menu ($129) features the freshest ingredients sourced from Japan. The meal kicks off with appetisers such as fresh fig with sumiso (a mixture of miso, rice vinegar and sesame paste), homemade sesame tofu, and soft simmered duck topped with homemade miso, followed by an assortment of glistening seasonal sashimi.

The maintstay here is the robatayaki counter. Here, ingredients are grilled over hot charcoal a la minute, and each item is served with a special homemade sauce. The procession of dishes that you might get include grilled eggplant with sweet red miso sauce, tuna belly with truffle ponzu sauce, prawn spiked with wasabi sauce, king crab with vinegar and sudachi lime, fruit tomato with setouchi salt, and a serving of Kagoshima A4 wagyu beef aitchbone with red miso fond de veau. The last savoury course is Hokkaido rice nanatsuboshi topped with ikura, pre-soaked in dashi, and generously showered over the rice bowl (the chef will keep pouring until you tell him to stop).

Aside from the omakase menu, guests can order a la carte menu dishes. The restaurant is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 6pm to 1am. The 10-course menu is available until 9pm, but late night diners can order from an a la carte menu till 12am.

29 Keong Saik Road, Singapore. Tel: 6221 7098

 

Rokukakutei

  • Rokukakutei's range of deep-fried bites and accompanying sauces

Osaka’s one-Michelin-starred Rokukakutei launched its first overseas outpost in Singapore at Odeon Towers about three months ago. Established in 1980, the Osaka restaurant has received its star every year since 2009. It also has another outlet in Ginza, Tokyo.

This upscale spot specialises in kushikatsu — one of Osaka’s soul foods. Score a counter-seat and tuck into a procession of deep-fried sticks of meat, seafood and vegetables. Chef Hideyuki Tanaka has perfected the art of deep-frying skewer after skewer in front of you – without even looking hot and harried while tending to the spluttering pot of oil. The staff lets you know which skewer is best paired with the range of accompanying sauces and condiments.

Some will wonder if the food ever gets overly oily and stodgy. Thanks to the chef’s skill, the skewered items are deep-fried to perfection without any greasiness. The batter and panko coating is light and crisp, encasing the fresh ingredients. The texture of the sweet prawns and scallops is perfectly succulent, as is the juicy wagyu beef. Memorable items include the salmon brightened with pickled chrysanthemum, ginkgo and snap peas, lotus root with minced beef with curry , as well as fried conger eel with plum sauce.

The omakase menus features premium seasonal ingredients from Japan. You will also get freshly baked bread and crisp, fresh vegetables. To elevate your meal, pair the skewers with wines and champagne. The omakase set offers 20 skewers at $134, 15 skewers at $106.50, and 10 skewers at $79. Guests who have smaller appetites can request to stop at any time and the bill will be based on the number of skewers consumed. You can also choose to have the kushiage and wine matching menu which includes a glass of champagne with the veggie bowl, followed by 15 skewers paired with two glasses each of white and red wines. Homemade pickles, fruit agar gelatin, bread, dessert and espresso are also included.

331 North Bridge Road #01-04, Odeon Towers. Tel: 6266 1077

 

Niku Katsumata

  • Katsumata Course

The 28-seater Niku Katsumata is a grilled meat restaurant located at Duxton. Its original branch (an exclusive member-only restaurant ) in Ebisu, Tokyo is helmed by owner and meat sommelier, Tsuyoshi Katsumata. In Singapore, the one-year-old eatery recently rolled out a new menu of marbled beef. These meats are cooked on a crystal plate which distributes the low heat evenly to ensures they remain tender and moist.

The eight-course Katsumata menu ($128) includes items such as assorted homemade kimchi and seasoned sprouts, wagyu sashimi, and caesar salad with marbled Chinese cabbage. This is followed by yakiniku dishes such as grilled black pork loin and wagyu beef fillet. Choose either curry or chicken soba to round off the meal.

Other set meals to choose from include the Niku Course (S$98) and Ebisu Course (S$168). Niku Katsumata’s new a la carte items include carefully selected assorted lean A4 wagyu beef and assorted marbled A4 wagyu beef. Available too are different cuts of kurobuta black pork – belly, loin or fillet. The new set menus range from as low as $48 to $168.

47 Duxton Rd. Tel: 9162 7502 Niku Katsumata