Dinner @ Ki-sho

August 20, 2015 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

It being my birthday, my friend arranged a birthday meal (for me) at Ki-sho. I guess it’s a known fact (by now) that I love Japanese cuisine. Sushi and sashimi to be exact. Haha. And thus, reservation was made for a weekday evening. Not by me, naturally. Hee.

Ki-sho is located within one of the black-and-white colonial houses along Scotts Road. I always find something charming about such houses. And one wouldn’t need to worry about parking as there’s sufficient parking lots within the ‘bungalow’.

And upon arrival at the main entrance, we were led up a short flight of stairs before we entered the main room where the sushi counter for 13 people was. We were lucky in the sense that there were only 2 groups that night. So we had chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto (almost) all to ourselves. Haha.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Omakase, $450 comprised of:-

(A) Pickled dishes, Complimentary (above) – Radish, ginger, yam and konbu. I especially liked the (homemade) radish and ginger! And it was nice that when we finished any of the 4 pickled dishes, chef Hamamoto would ask if we would like a re-fill.

  

(B1) Dish #1 (above, left) – Wagyu beef topped with pepper flower.

(B2) Dish #1 (above, right) – And because I don’t take beef, I was given otoro topped with radish & scallion. And I enjoyed the (crispy) garlic chips as much as the main. Keke.

(C) Dish #2 (above) – A seasonal appetizer of pumpkin, seaweed, ladyfinger and prawn. And this was a refreshing dish, especially after our earlier dish of beef and tuna.

(D) Dish #3 (above) – And served on an enormous leaf was horse hairy crab with egg plant, salmon roe, crab jelly, cucumber and sea urchin (hidden at the bottom). I especially like that vegetables were included to introduce an additional crunch to the overall dish while the salmon roe went “pop pop” in the mouth.

(E) Dish #4 (above) – Pike cougar eel with mushroom and water shield. While conversing with chef Hamamoto, he got to learn that my friend likes water shield. And what we did not realise was that there was going to be water shield in one of the upcoming dishes. And it was nice that chef Hamamoto included more water shield in my friend’s soup. Yes, chef Hamamoto told us so. Haha.

(F) Dish #5 (above) – Seasonal sashimi of premium fatty tuna (otoro), silver belt fish, kinki fish, leather jacket fish and swordfish. And what we noticed about chef Hamamoto is that he (loves to) introduce multi slits to his fishes with the intention to bring out the flavour. When we were having our first dish, he had already started ‘tapping lightly’ at the fishes (which were meant for our sashimi and sushi) with his sharp knife.


(G) Dish #6 (above) – Chef’s signature. Sea urchin with caviar, vinegar jelly, corn and edamame beans. We were given shell spoons to better appreciate our caviar. My friend did not like the corn, but I thought it was the corn that introduced a good crunch to the entire ensemble. Else the entire dish would have been too ‘soft’ in terms of texture. This was so good.

(H) Dish #7 (above) – Egg custard with grilled (fresh water) eel and winter melon sauce. And I really liked this! The winter melon sauce was more of winter melon puree.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

(I) Dish #8 (above) – Nigiri sushi. And we were given kish fish, spotted prawn (botan ebi), horse mackerel, lightly cooked abalone with its marinated and cooked liver, marinated tuna (aged for 2 weeks), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), lightly grilled golden eye snapper (kinmedai), cheek of tuna (kama-toro) that’s slightly grilled on white charcoal, grilled tuna belly, white squid sprinkled with sea salt, giant clam (ishigaki), 4 baby gizzard shad (shinko), Hokkaido king crab and 2 sea urchin (bafun and murasaki). That’s a total of 15 sushi. We were initially served 12 sushi. It was while we were having our sea urchin porridge (dish #9) that chef Hamamoto asked if we still had stomach space for more. To which, we nodded our heads. And thus, chef Hamamoto continued to serve us with 3 more sushi; Squid, giant clam and baby gizzard shads. We were discussing the taste of the baby gizzard shads when chef Hamamoto said he had (adult) gizzard shad and asked if we wanted to try. However, we had to turn him down because we were too full!

(J) Dish #9 (above) – Rice with sea urchin (uni), baby white shrimps (shiro ebi) and chopped tuna. Chef Hamamoto was so generous with the sea urchin that we seemed to be having uni porridge instead. Haha. And of course, this was so good! Mine came without salmon roe (ikura) as chef Hamamoto learnt that I am not exactly a huge fan of salmon roe. Such thoughtfulness! My friend had the same, but with salmon roe.

(K) Dish #10 (above) – Seasonal soup with homeamde tofu. I liked that the soup was served really hot. Like seriously hot. Somehow, it’s a nice feeling to cup the bowl with both hands and to drink the soup slowly.

(L) Dish #11 (above) – Desserts. I especially enjoyed the warabimochi; Jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and covered in sweet toasted soybean flour.

So did we enjoy our dinner? Definitely. We were so happy and full. And it definitely helped that there were not many people that night. Sometimes one can’t quite soak up the ambience properly when there’s too many people. Cause somehow the place feels cluttered. Yes? No? And with the cosy and intimate setting of the restaurant, we soon got to interact with the other group. So in a way, it was a pretty enjoyable dinner as it felt like friends who had gathered over good food, and had reserved the entire restaurant to ourselves. Haha!

Service was great too. Never once did my cup of green tea went below half-cup level. And apparently my friend had silly-ly requested the restaurant to purchase a cake for me while making reservation. Which they actually obliged and went the the extra mile to!

Chef Hamamoto having worked at Waku Ghin, I guess he’s somewhat influenced by his work experience at Waku Ghin. Like the usage of caviar, and presenting it in a sea urchin shell.

And taken from their website, chef Hamamoto was formally educated in Kyoto’s top culinary arts institute. He found his way through some of Kyoto and Singapore’s best restaurants before gracing Ki-sho with his unique interpretation of Japanese cuisine while staying true to the origins of Kyoto cuisine.

However, priced at $450, I would say it’s a very expensive meal. Was the dinner worth the price tag? Well, certainly if one can keep eating since chef Hamamoto is game to offer as much as one’s stomach can take. But for a more affordable option, one could consider getting the $300 omakase set instead.

KI-SHO 葵匠
29 Scotts Road, Singapore
6733 5251, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun