Last week I was invited along to a Japanese restaurant called Kinki at Collyer Quay to try some of their dishes. My first thoughts were, I've not eaten much Japanese food and I don't really know much about what goes with what and secondly they eat a lot of seafood and I'm not a huge seafood fan. The offer though was too tempting not to go along. I reminded myself how much seafood I've tried since I've been in Singapore and how I've actually enjoyed it and that perhaps I've really been missing out.
I need not have worried about going to Kinki though, the food may be Japanese in influence but it has a range of creative dishes and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by all the ones I had. The restaurant itself is very modern in its look and feel with a funky hip-urban decor to it. One of the first things that hits you when you arrive is a mural on the floor designed by Chris Garver who appeared in Miami Ink (photo below). The restaurant is also set in a fabulous location with spectacular views across to the Marina Bay Sands, waterfront and surrounding area.
I was lucky enough to try a variety of the dishes available on the menu which match the decor in being fun, creative and accessible. The menu uses ingredients and cooking techniques which compliment Japanese cuisine but with a modern twist to them. The restaurant also imports rare and seasonal ingredients from Japan to ensure top quality food is served. I was able to try the following dishes;
This was a delicious starter which is described as featuring a Japanese tomato known for its sweetness and is served with a ginger dressing. Personally I think this dish is absolutely perfect for the hot humid climate of Singapore as the contrast of the two ingredients makes this very refreshing.
Foie Gras and Scallop Sushi
This dish was one I was a little hesitant about before I tried it but my concerns were groundless. It was delicious, beautifully prepared and I'd definitely eat it again without hesitation.
This is pork belly served sushi style which was absolutely delicious. It was so tender that as soon as I picked it up with my chopsticks it fell apart but again was beautifully prepared. Marvellous!
Pomegranate Miso Black Cod
This is considered one of Kinki's signature dishes and in keeping with the restaurant's theme has been given a twist on the traditional household dish. The cod is served in a special pomegranate and honey miso to give an extra tanginess to the dish in contrast to the cod. Again this was one I was a little hesitant about, although cod is a fish I'll happily eat, but as with the other dishes it was perfect and melted in my mouth. Definitely one to try.
Jidori Chicken Teriyaki (from the set lunch menu)
This was a delicious dish of chicken with rice and included with it a side salad, miso soup and a mochi ball. This dish alone would be more than enough to satisfy you if you were looking for somewhere to lunch. I'd never tried mochi ball's before which is a sweet with a marshmallow like texture, covered in sesame seeds and with a peanut flavour sauce inside it. It was very tasty though and was a pleasant end to the meal.
I also sampled the following cocktails;
This was a twist on the traditional Margarita cocktail incorporating yuzu sake into the mix alongside tequila, orange liqueur, passion fruit syrup and orange juice. Demonstrating again the modern twist the restaurant is aiming for with the inclusion of Japanese sake as well.
The mojito contained rum, umeshu, sugarcane juice, lime, mint and raw sugar and was excellent. The restaurant has a fully stocked bar as well as an extensive cocktail list. If you like your cocktails I'd definitely recommend you give the restaurant's a try. Kinki also has a range of sakes for food pairing or to sample alone.
Japan Quake Relief
Moving away from the food, last week Kinki also launched a range of limited edition merchandise in support of the relief effort at a special event held last Friday (29 April 2011) evening. You can though still purchase from the restaurant specially designed items such as badges (small: S$3 large: S$5), bag hangers S$10 and t-shirts S$25. The merchandise bears pictures of the restaurant's mascot, sumo turned chef Kinki and other limited edition designs (as below). All items are printed with the 'Support Japan' logo and are available at the restaurant whilst stocks last with proceeds going to the Singapore Red Cross Society.
So go there try the food and support the quake relief at the same time!
I cannot fault the dishes I was served and the decor and ambiance of the restaurant really made this a great place to dine. I personally think this is definitely a restaurant to come to whether you are an aficionado of Japanese cuisine or, like me, not sure but looking to try something new. Come take a look and try for yourselves!
70 Collyer Quay #02-02, Customs House, 049323, SINGAPORE
Opening Hours: Lunch weekday 12pm to 2.30pm, Dinner weekday and Sat 6pm to 10.30pm
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Other details: Valet parking available, attached bar, major credit cards accepted.
Images courtesy of www.foodnews.com.sg