[pomegranate and honey-miso black cod fish with gobo (burdock roots), ginger, scallion and sesame, $24]
so i met up with my good ol’ friend, alex today for some good ol’ contemporary japanese food (ha, oxymoron much). its something i have been missing since trying hapa izakaya at vancouver. anyways, i had suggested this place called kinki, located at the shimmering location of customs house sited right by the bay facing MBS. mind you, the fullerton bay area has seriously glammed up since the last year i visited the area (which was errm never, because this place was never much of a talking point until recent times i suppose). looking exactly like the expats and banker’s cozy after-work chillout spot, the place is filled with sleekly designed boutique restaurants and the beautiful open-concept fullerton bay hotel. kinki fits right with this theme, giving off a nonchalant, casual vibe mixed with obviously expensive aftertones. you have the incongruous graffiti juxtaposed with sleek looking furnishings that opens out to a magnificent view of the bay courtesy of the full length bay windows.
anyways, lets talk about the name of this place. i suppose it serves a double entendre purpose of implying cheeky fun as well, but my friend searched ‘kinki japanese’ and the first hit was japanese girls. *shakes head*. ok to the food..
this small creation set us back by $22, which is kinda shocking, but honestly, its worth the try and leaves you seriously craving for more. the foie gras melts in your mouth whilst the japanese scallop gives a great texture (what chinese call ‘kou gan’) creating a true gastronomic delight. THIS is what i love and miss so much about contemporary japanese food. the carefully nuanced use of japanese and western ingredients and cooking styles to create an exciting, elaborate culinary adventure. every bite brought about new sensations. lol.. and i’m not kidding – the combination of the buttery flavor of the foie gras paired with the sweet sauce and freshness of the scallop was truly great stuff. pity about the price.
note that after this dish we actually ordered a buta sushi ($18), some slow roast pork belly sushi that was gobbled up so quickly that i remembered about my camera only after the last grains of rice had melted in my mouth. -_-
this was a little bit of a miss for me – i appreciated the western take on okonomiyaki by use pastry bread as the base for this dish and piling on traditional okonomiyaki ingredients and sauces, but to me, it was a little too way off to be called okonomiyaki. in other words, dun mess with my okonomiyaki biatches! the dish on its own was decent, the pastry bread was well baked and soft but i felt like there was a certain disconnect between the ingredients on the top (the prawn, sauce, bacon etc) and the pastry bread, as though the proportion of bread had overshadowed the fillings on top. this being said, the dish started to grow on me and by the last piece, i was starting to want more and was burping nice after-flavors.. lol.
another highlight was the pomegranate and honey-miso black cod fish paired with ginger, scallion, sesame and gobo (burdock root). initially i ate the fish without the acoutrements and felt like it was just a uniquely flavored and well prepared fish dish, but the pairing of the other components truly elevated the dish to a much higher level. the scallion, sesame and ginger lent the fish much of a japanese flavor to the pomegranate-tasting fish which really enhanced the flavor profile. the semi medicinal and off-bitter taste of the gobo further accentuated the sweetness and complexity of the entire dish. amazing stuff.
all in all, a really delicious gastronomic adventure. bill came down to round $56 per person but you did feel full. had it been cheaper, this would be moved to the top of my list, but now it stands as more of a once-off, novelty food excursion. yummz. 8.0/10
Kinki Restaurant + Bar | 70 Collyer Quay #02-02, Customs House, Singapore 049323 | fusion, japanese, chill-out