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Bar of the Week: At Kabuke, delicious and innovative bar snacks share limelight with sake

Contemporary Japanese dishes help the sake at this gastrobar truly shine.

WHAT: Kabuke

WHERE: 200A Telok Ayer Street

OPENING HOURS:  Lunch 11:30am – 2:00pm (Mon – Fri)
Dinner 5:00pm – 11:00pm (Mon – Fri), 5:00pm – 12:00am (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun

TEL: 8822-5525

As a complement to food, sake is much more versatile than its culturally rich heritage would have you believe. While it’s easy to assume it pairs best with Japanese cuisine – as it often effortlessly does – the folks at Kabuke aren’t afraid to add their own twist.

The 50-seater sake gastrobar was conceived by a group of friends who shared a passion for kabuki and sake, hence the portmanteau and the enormous hand-painted fan (see header image) that divides the space. Sake sommelier Keiji Heng has been roped in to curate a diverse selection of Japan’s famous rice wine sourced from over 20 different prefectures, and you can build your own flight of three or let Heng guide your palate. The offerings will change every few months to keep things exciting.

The charming exterior and interiors of the gastrobar.

But Kabuke’s food demands equal attention, and deserves it. While the dishes are certainly inspired by traditional Japanese dishes, Chef Rio Neo (formerly from Fat Cow and Kinki) has gleefully deviated from the formula with creations like Baby Corn, which has the blanched vegetables doused in a blend of sriracha mayonaise, furikake and pork floss, as well as the loaded Takoyaki Fries. We see the Kabuke Wagyu Beef Bowl becoming a lunch crowd favourite as the seared beef slices gets an aromatic lift with truffle soy sauce. Those who want a lighter, more unusual pairing can opt for the Cheese Platter. Yes, it works.

Feast your eyes – click / scroll left and right to view Kabuke’s food offerings.

Sake, like rice, goes well with anything that bursts with umami, which is why you’ll find that every item on the food menu comes with a recommended sake pairing. Some things may be enjoyed on their own but here, glass and plate were meant to journey through your taste buds together. Bring company.

Check out our previous Bars of the Week: The WallThe Library | Bago at Limehouse | The Other RoomShin Gi Tai | Employees Only | Cin Cin | Joo Bar | Bob’s Bar

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