Kyoaji Dining Tasting Session

February 20, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Kyoaji Dining Tasting Session
176A Orchard Road
#04-17 The Centrepoint


Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 3pm (Lunch), 5:30pm - 10:30pm (Dinner),
Sat - Sun: 11:30am - 10:30pm



https://www.facebook.com/KyoajiSG/


This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Chubby Botak Koala, Epicurious Caniggia, and The Arctic Star.



Sashimi Moriawase Jyo
Sashimi Moriawase Jyo (SGD $88)



Old Favourites Return Under A New Brand

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 9
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $93 per person.


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The owners of the acclaimed Fukuichi Japanese Dining may have called it quits, but the entire operating team, headed by Executive Chef John Phua and his wife, have yet to throw in the towel. Establishing Kyoaji Dining in September 2016 within The Centrepoint mall, fans of the now defunct Fukuichi Japanese Dining will be pleased to know they can still get many of their signature dishes here. In fact, the dining experience at Kyoaji Dining is almost completely reflective, featuring the same top quality Japanese food, made by the same chefs, served by the same hospitable service team, within a minimalist environment just like before. Even the prices remain the same!

Kyoaji Dining Signage
Kyoaji Dining Signage



Ambience at Kyoaji Dining is minimalist and clean, channeling a feeling of zen. The warm, spot-lit place is spacious, with tones of wood and earth. The black cushioned booths and wooden furnishings are comfortable, well suited to long, lingering meals. Minimal decor, but what little there is call to mind izakaya bars, with sake casks and bottles lining the wall. The biggest draw is the sushi counter, where fresh fish is displayed. Overall, Kyoaji Dining exudes a sophisticated yet intimate vibe.

Kyoaji Dining Exterior


Kyoaji Dining Interior



Service at Kyoaji Dining is befitting a fine dining establishment. Staff are welcoming and friendly, politely greeting guests upon entry, and bidding them goodbye when they leave. Diners are quickly ushered to seats. The senior staff display good product knowledge, able to describe the components of each dish, and offer recommendations. I note that staff come by regularly to clear away empty / dirty plates, often doing so before serving the next course. Top-notch service.

Sushi Counter


Sake Casks



Food at Kyoaji Dining is focused on Japanese cuisine, in particular, sashimi, sushi, and modern small plates. The seafood here is very fresh, as the new owners operate their own fishing vessels, ensuring only the best quality makes it to the restaurant. Ingredients are treated with respect, resulting in dishes that are beautifully presented, clean-tasting and fresh, bursting with natural flavours. Portions are sized for individuals, while sharing plates are good for 2 - 4 people. The high quality means prices are at a premium here, so be prepared to splurge. Budget about SGD $93 per person for a meal here.

Table Setting



The premium Sake Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo (SGD $48 / $98 / $238), also known as Hakkai Mountain Sake, is made from a blend of Yamadanishiki, Miyamanishiki, and Gohyakumangoku white rice. It's brewed by Hakkaisan Sake Brewery in Niigata prefecture, Chubu region, Japan. It has a strong alcohol aroma, with a smooth, crisp, clean body, and a gentle taste of rice. Slightly dry on the finish, but very refreshing, like a cold winter's day.

Sake Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo
Sake Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo (SGD $48 / $98 / $238)


Sake Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo


Sake Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo



The Kani Tofu (SGD $6) features a beautifully soft, wobbly, silky, handmade chilled tofu beancurd, stuffed with snow crab meat. The delicate sweet savoury flavour is strongly contrasted by a layer of creamed century egg, with its sharp, pungent eggy flavour. Garnished with century egg white jelly, and spring onions. I liked this, though it's rather intense in taste.

Kani Tofu (SGD $6)


Kani Tofu
Kani Tofu



The Sashimi Moriawase Jyo (SGD $88) is a premium platter of the freshest sashimi, sufficient for 3 people. Clean-tasting, fresh, sweet savoury, each bite is a delight. The fish; including the Shake Hara / Salmon Belly, Maguro Otoro / Tuna Belly, Mekajiki / Swordfish, and Aji / Horse Mackerel, are thickly sliced, with a nice chew. The Hotate / Scallop and Amaebi / Spot Prawn / Sweet Shrimp both have bright flavours. Price is steep though, considering they have their own fishing vessels.

Sashimi Moriawase Jyo (SGD $88)


Amaebi / Spot Prawn / Sweet Shrimp


Shake Hara / Salmon Belly


Maguro Otoro / Tuna Belly


Hotate / Scallop


Mekajiki / Swordfish


Aji / Horse Mackerel



The Fagura Chawanmushi (SGD $25) features a large, wobbly soft eggy custard, topped with a salty savoury foie gras infused gravy, chunks of tender fatty foie gras, juicy globs of briny salmon roe, crunchy spring onions, and kamaboko fish cake. While I like the contrast of flavours, the intense salty taste of the foie gras gravy overwhelms the delicate flavours of the egg. Still, a pretty decent appetizer.

Fagura Chawanmushi (SGD $25)


Fagura Chawanmushi
Fagura Chawanmushi



Love how life-like the Caterpillar Maki (SGD $20) looks, resembling an actual caterpillar. These avocado and seaweed wrapped sushi rice balls are filled with tempura prawn, cucumber, teriyaki unagi / eel, and flying fish roe, resulting in a vegetal sweet savoury salty flavour. Garnished with a slice of tako / octopus sashimi, and pickled ginger strips in the shape of a flower. The bright, fresh flavours are very satisfiying.

Caterpillar Maki
Caterpillar Maki (SGD $20)


Caterpillar Maki



The Shiro Maguro Aburi Maki (SGD $22) is presented attractively, the different plates piques the interest. The seared tuna fish is the star here, lending a smoky savoury depth of flavour to the fresh roll of sushi within. Good!

Shiro Maguro Aburi Maki (SGD $22)


Shiro Maguro Aburi Maki
Shiro Maguro Aburi Maki



Absolutely loved the Gyuniku Fagura (SGD $35), with its tender cubes of beef that almost melt away in the mouth, coating the palate in juicy, fatty, savoury salty flavour. Coated in that robust foie gras gravy, which complements the beef so well. A small dollop of daikon radish lends a refreshing, bright, cleansing feeling. Highly recommended!

Gyuniku Fagura
Gyuniku Fagura (SGD $35)


Gyuniku Fagura



The beautiful Ebi Teppanyaki (SGD $22) is visually attractive, and delights in taste. The diced chunks of fresh prawn carry a smoky aroma, yet you can still taste the natural sweet savoury taste of the meat. Coated in a light sauce, which does not distract from the flavours at play here. Highly recommended!

Ebi Teppanyaki (SGD $22)


Ebi Teppanyaki
Ebi Teppanyaki



The Imo Manju (SGD $16) is Chef's new creation, featuring mashed Chinese yam mixed with snow crab meat, braised shiitake mushrooms, and teriyaki unagi / eel. More savoury than sweet, its execution requires skill in getting each component right, hence the premium pricing. Typically, the name of this dish 'Imo Manju' tends to refer to a Japanese sweet, a type of dough bun filled with mashed sweet potatoes. Personally, I find this modern dish to be alright.

Imo Manju
Imo Manju (SGD $16)


Imo Manju



The Hiyashi Gyomen (SGD $13) features pretty pink, chilled noodles made from fish meat. Having a bouncy, chewy texture, these are served with a light dipping sauce, eaten with spring onions and daikon radish. Bright and refreshing, the light sweet savoury taste is delicate, and in fact, helps to cleanse the palate. Highly recommended!

Hiyashi Gyomen (SGD $13)


Hiyashi Gyomen
Hiyashi Gyomen



The Unagi Tofu (SGD $16) features a light dipping sauce, with a home made tofu beancurd that is slightly crisp on the outside, and soft grainy on the inside. A thick slice of teriyaki unagi / eel sits on top, and tender shimeiji mushroom caps complete the dish. Bold savoury salty sweet flavours at work here, nice.

Unagi Tofu (SGD $16)


Unagi Tofu
Unagi Tofu


Unagi Tofu



Loved the Sashimi Tempura Gozen (SGD $30), which is available as a set dinner. Tasty and filling with a good variety of small dishes. I like that every component was well-executed with care. Includes Sashimi - Shake / Salmon, Maguro / Tuna, Amaebi / Spot Prawn / Sweet Shrimp; Salad; Tempura - Ebi / Prawn / Shrimp, Satsuma Imo / Sweet Potato, Yama Imo / Yam, Nasu / Brinjal / Eggplant / Aubergine; Appetizer - Salmon Skin, Carrots, Onions In Chilled Ponzu; Uruchi Mai Niigata / Niigata White Rice; Miso Soup; Pickles; Tentsuyu / Tempura Dipping Sauce; and Mochi Strawberry. Highly recommended!

Sashimi Tempura Gozen
Sashimi Tempura Gozen (SGD $30)


Sashimi - Shake / Salmon, Maguro / Tuna, Amaebi / Spot Prawn / Sweet Shrimp


Salad


Tempura - Ebi / Prawn / Shrimp, Satsuma Imo / Sweet Potato, Yama Imo / Yam, Nasu / Brinjal / Eggplant / Aubergine


Appetizer - Salmon Skin, Carrots, Onions In Chilled Ponzu


Uruchi Mai Niigata / Niigata White Rice


Miso Soup


Pickles


Tentsuyu / Tempura Dipping Sauce


Mochi Strawberry



Kyoaji Dining also has value for money set lunches which are tasty, filling, and quick to serve. The Sushi Gozen Set (SGD $22) features 9 pieces of fresh sushi, along with a salad, chawanmushi, miso soup, and udon bowl. For large eaters, get the Bento Lunch Set (SGD $35), which has 5 slices of sashimi, assorted tempura, and teriyaki unagi / eel, served with white rice, miso soup, salad, chawanmushi, and pickles.

Sushi Gozen Set (SGD $22), Source Credits


Bento Lunch Set (SGD $35), Source Credits



Overall, I enjoyed the dining experience at Kyoaji Dining, with its comfortable, tranquil ambience, professional, engaging service, and fresh, well-executed Japanese food. While the prices are naturally at a premium, Kyoaji Dining remains a good choice for special occasions, business dining, or simply if you wish to impress someone. Little wonder they've got many regulars who keep coming back!


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Reserve a table now @ Kyoaji Dining









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