Dinner @ Katayama

April 6, 2016 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

My girlfriend was pleased with her dining experience at Katayama, and insisted I have to check out the place with her. And so I did. =) Katayama’s supply of fishes come in on Tuesday and Friday. Thus, reservation was made for a Tuesday night.

And because my girlfriend has since become a regular with them (Ie, the staff knows who she is), I made a second reservation with another friend months after my first visit for a non-bias dining experience. Well, you see… Even though I am writing out of interest, I still like to get things done properly. =p A review should be of a true (non-bias) dining experience with sufficient number of dishes tried.

That said, I was heading back to try their kinki fish, which the staff said could be done in 2 to 3 ways. And I love my kinki fish!

Reservation is definitely a must as Katayama opens only for dinner. And although the unit is not very big, they are doing pretty well as I noticed the shop is heavily patronised by regulars. On my first visit, we took counter seats while on my second visit, we took the table cause we were dining in a group of 3.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), we ordered:-

1) Edamame, $5 (above) – And this was served once we were seated. I guess one can choose not to have this if one isn’t a big fan of these soy beans.

2) Firefly squid, $5 (above)

3) Fish sperm, $12 (above)

4) Onsen egg, $20 (above) – This was pretty good, though a little pricey.

5) Sashimi platter, $108 (above) – Assortment of sayori (needle fish), otoro (premium tuna), akagai (ark shell), hamachi, kanpachi, tai (snapper), ingawa, and aji (horse mackerel). And to go with our sashimi, we were given 3 sauces; soya, ponzu with spring onion (for the thinly sliced fishes like tai) and ginger (for aji and silver fish).

6) Akagai (ark shell) sushi, $10 (above, foreground)

7) Anago sushi, $10 (above, background) – Despite being told that the sushi was $10 a pop and me finding it expensive, I went ahead to order as I was interested to try the quality of their sushi. And frankly, it was a disappointment. Don’t bother with their sushi, I say. Unless they make adjustment to the pricing.

8) Shiraishi don, $35 (above) – And this was ordered during my first visit with my girlfriend. We requested for a smaller portion as we were almost full but still greedy. And our shiraishi don had burdock, ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying fish roe), uni (sea urchin), negitoro and tamago. A very good variety. I was impressed.

9) Shiraishi don, $80 (above) – And this was ordered by my friend during my second visit. This would be the full portion as he did not order anything else. Sadly to say, when I compare it to the one I had on my previous visit, this was a let down.


10) Kinki fish (2 ways), $68 (above) – And it was for this that I wanted to come back to Katayama for the second time. During my previous visit, I was told they could do kinki fish in 3 ways. However, on the day I revisited, I was told the kinki fish was a little small to be done 3 ways. As such, I went with 2; fried and braised. And the fish was certainly fresh.

11) Braised fish and livers, $18 (above) – This was ordered with my girlfriend during my first visit. We were looking at their display shelf and was recommended to try the shima-aji, braised in the traditional cooking method. And it was a lovely surprised when the chef also included fish liver; That of mirugai (geoduck), shima-aji and kinki liver. The livers were so good! A must try.

12) Dessert, Complimentary (above) – And this was given during my first visit. I believe this is actually a privileged service as my girlfriend is considered a regular thanks to her frequent patronising.

Will I head back to Katayama? Well… No. The price was a little on the high side, and service was well… Subjective. The place is pretty small with just the chef behind the sushi counter, a waiting staff who tends to the tables and a staff who prepares the cooked food in the kitchen. Chef was on the quiet side, but he responds politely when spoken to. It’s the waiting staff, whom one can either like or don’t like. No in-between.

I had no issue with the waiting staff when I visited with my girlfriend on my first visit as the waiting staff was familiar with my girlfriend. The waiting staff is like the nosey auntie who talks loud and speaks her mind. The ‘no bull shit’ type. And it’s also because of that, when I visited again with 2 friends, my friends found her a little annoying. My female friend was given the cold shoulder cause she wasn’t planning to order much anything. And the waiting staff showed clear bias-ness towards my male friend. She kept addressing my male friend as “yan dao eh” and would come over to make small talks although we were clearly engrossed in our conversation.

Besides ordering a-la carte, one may go omakase ($100, $120, $150). The table of regulars were having the $100 omakase, which allowed me to see that the omakase included sushi, sashimi, tempura and grilled fish.

The only reason I could think that would make me head back would be for their braised dishes, which was definitely their strength.

5 Koek Road, Cuppage Plaza, #04-01, Singapore
6738 6048
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 6
* Closed on Sun
Service: 5