Kinsa Sushi Tasting Session

Kinsa Sushi Tasting Session
61 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8
#02-03 Jubilee Square

4 Hillview Rise
#02-02 HillV2

Opening Hours:
Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 3pm, 5:30pm - 10pm
Fri - Sun: 11:30am - 10pm

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 Chubby Botak Koala, Purple Taste, Hazel Diary, Little Tiny Sun, I Eat And Eat, and Johor Kaki.

Premium Japanese Cuisine With Heartland Prices, Salmon & Oyster Promotion For Mother's Day & Father's Day

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 6
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $28 ++ per person.



Founded in May 2012, the owners behinds Kinsa Sushi shared a passion for the cuisine of Japan, and wanted to offer a premium Japanese dining experience, without the exorbitant price tag. Formerly located in Jubliee Square in Ang Mo Kio, Kinsa Sushi has since shifted its operation in May 2015 to a new outlet in the quaint HillV2 shopping mall, located in the Bukit Gombak area near MINDEF. However, Kinsa Sushi co-owner Shannon Wong is still dedicated to serving excellent, tasty food at affordable, wallet-friendly prices.

Kinsa Sushi Signage

Ambience at Kinsa Sushi is classical Japanese guest house, with wooden-esque decor and furniture. There is a minimalist approach here, the walls are mostly bare, with small focal points adorned with Japanese items such as fans. The main showpiece is the Magnetized Conveyor Belt for sushi plates, a new technology that is more visually appealing than the older metal conveyor belts due to coloured lighting, as well as being easier to clean. Spotlights over the tables draw attention to dishes, but ambient lighting is otherwise rather dim at night, though the full-length windows offer a nice view during the day.

Kinsa Sushi Seating

Service at Kinsa Sushi is down-to-earth casual, but efficient. Staff are friendly, seating guests quickly, and also quick to clear away empty / dirty plates and tables. They're able to offer basic recommendations from the menu, but may not always be able to describe the creation of dishes. We had little further interaction with staff, as co-owner Shannon Wong was hosting us. Not much opportunity to observe staff's proactiveness or customer engagement. Update: On a return visit, I noted that staff are rather helpful, and quite observant even though the place is busy. They'll at least acknowledge that they've seen you call, even if they're attending to others. I've also realised that there are several off-menu items that can be requested for.

Magnetized Conveyor Belt

Food at Kinsa Sushi is traditional, classic Japanese, prepared with fresh, good quality ingredients. Fresh seafood is imported from Japan, and delivered to Kinsa Sushi 3 - 4 times weekly. Individual portions are nicely sized and sufficient, although many dishes on the menu are designed for sharing / communal dining. Recommended to visit Kinsa Sushi in groups! Prices here are described as 'heartland', and are affordable, comparable to a typical cafe, although the standards here are definitely restaurant worthy. Budget about SGD $28 per person for a meal.

Kinsa Sushi has launched an Oyster and Salmon promotional menu from 10 May - 30 June 2015, in commeration of Mother's Day and Father's Day. This specially designed menu will feature 10 new dishes, either highlighting the salmon, or oysters, with 1 of each creation being an appetizer, sushi piece, hotpot, grilled dish, or deep fried dish.


Hot Green Tea

Despite the modern cocktail glass presentation of the Shake Ikura Yamakake / Salmon And Roe With Japanese Yam (SGD $6.90), this cold appetizer retains the traditional Japanese spirit with the use of Yamakase. An uncommon dish not many Singaporeans may be familiar with, Yamakase is made with a Japanese mountain yam, served cold, has a starchy, thick, gravy-like texture, and a rather sweet, refreshing taste. The slippery texture of the yam gravy pairs well with the smoothness of the fresh salmon slices, while the taste complements the salty, briny, burst of flavour from the fresh salmon roe. A unique dish, with an acquired taste, worth trying!

Shake Ikura Yamakake / Salmon And Roe With Japanese Yam (SGD $6.90)

Freshness is the key component of the Kaki Ponzu / Oyster With Ponzu Sauce (SGD $7.90). This cold appetizer has a lovely, tangy yuzu vinegar / ponzu sauce, freshened with spring onions, and a fresh, plump, meaty oyster. Utterly refreshing and clean, very satisfiying, I downed it in 1 mouthful!

Kaki Ponzu / Oyster With Ponzu Sauce (SGD $7.90)

The Kaki Nabe / Oyster And Vegetable Hotpot (SGD $24.90) has a medley of fresh vegetables, including chinese cabbage / bok choy, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and golden enoki mushrooms. But the real star are the plump osyters within, and the deep, robust flavoured soup / broth, which has absorbed the flavour of the oysters. While definitely flavourful, I must admit that I personally didn't quite like the taste of this soup / broth, as I found it intense, almost herbal in taste. That's just my own personal preference though, as I don't fancy herbal tasting soups!

The Ishikari Nabe / Salmon And Vegetable Hotpot (SGD $16.90) uses similar vegetables in the hotpot, but the difference lies in the large, bone-in chunks of salmon fillets, as well as the light, savoury, fish stock for the soup / broth. The salmon is meaty, though slightly more troublesome to consume as it requires diners to pick out the bones from the salmon fillets. And I prefered this fragrant salmon broth over the oyster hotpot!

Kaki Nabe / Oyster And Vegetable Hotpot (SGD $24.90)

Ishikari Nabe / Salmon And Vegetable Hotpot (SGD $16.90)

Of the 2 sushi pieces, the Shake Oyako Sushi / Salmon With Roe Sushi (SGD $13.90) is slightly more messy to consume, due to the modern presentation style of using sliced salmon as a wrapper instead of seaweed. The salmon roe on top is also prone to falling off. If you get past the messy presentation though, the taste is excellent, absolutely bursting with freshness. The salmon sashimi is meaty and clean, the sushi rice is properly sticky with a slight hint of sour, while the globs of briny roe burst with flavour.

The Kaki Sushi / Oyster Sushi (SGD $15.90) retains the traditional presentation of seaweed wrapped sushi rice, but with a plump, juicy oyster on top, garnished with spring onions and ponzu dressing. Difficult to eat in small bites, you simply have to pop the whole piece in your mouth! The neat presentation also makes dipping this in wasabi and soy sauce a little easier, whereas the salmon sushi would just fall apart.

Shake Oyako Sushi / Salmon With Roe Sushi (SGD $13.90)

Kaki Sushi / Oyster Sushi (SGD $15.90)

The Shake Batayaki / Salmon With Butter (SGD $11.90) struck me as being rather average as a dish. I like that the salmon fillet is well grilled, savoury in taste without being dry. However, it was thin in portion, not substantial or satisfiying. The accompanying grilled vegetables add life and colour to the plate, and are executed well, retaining their juicy freshness, and firm in texture instead of dry or limp. Overall, an average dish, decent but not outstanding.

Shake Batayaki / Salmon With Butter (SGD $11.90)

The Kaki Chizu Yaki / Grilled Oyster And Cheese (SGD $12.90) features big bold flavours through the use of grilled cheese... a little too bold perhaps, as the natural taste of the oysters are overwhelmed by the much stronger cheese. Average at best.

Kaki Chizu Yaki / Grilled Oyster And Cheese (SGD $12.90)

The Shake Tatsutaage / Deep Fried Salmon (SGD $9.90) is almost tempura-like in texture and taste, with a light batter and mild flavour from the fish. Decent enough, neither terrible nor outstanding. What I liked though, was the pairing of the fish with chili, which lent some heat and flavour to this dish.

Shake Tatsutaage / Deep Fried Salmon (SGD $9.90)

As the 10th (and final) dish from the Mother's Day / Father's Day promotional menu, the Kaki Kaori Age / Deep Fried Oyster With Shiso Leaf (SGD $13.90) was also the most outstanding for me. A novel idea, plump, juicy oysters, wrapped in Japanese shiso leaf, coated in tempura batter and deep fried. The result is complex tastes and textures; first the light shattering crunch of the tempura batter; followed by the slightly sour, slightly minty, refreshing taste of the shiso leaf; and then a thick, creamy texture from the briny oysters, with tastes of the ocean. Highly recommended!

Kaki Kaori Age / Deep Fried Oyster With Shiso Leaf (SGD $13.90)

The signature Kinsa Roll (SGD $14.80), from the regular menu, is a basic cucumber and avocado maki roll, enhanced with grilled salmon, flying fish roe, and blow-torched mentaiko sauce. You get the crunch of the fresh cucumber, the creaminess of the avocado and mentaiko sauce, the chewy, savoury salmon which is just slightly done, and the saltiness of the roe. The combination works so well together, a medley of flavours and textures that delight with each bite!

Kinsa Roll (SGD $14.80)

The Onsen Tamago Ikura Kake / Hot Spring Egg With Salmon Roe (SGD $3.80), from the regular menu, is a delightful appetizer to begin with. A soft, wobbly, half boiled egg with runny yolk sits in a savoury, light broth, topped with seaweed strands, globs of salmon roe, and spring onions. The roe bursts in the mouth, releasing a bright, salty, briny flavour, which complements the sweetness of the broth and egg, while the seaweed lends a chewy texture. Highly recommended!

Onsen Tamago Ikura Kake / Hot Spring Egg With Salmon Roe (SGD $3.80)

Onsen Tamago Ikura Kake / Hot Spring Egg With Salmon Roe

The signature Foie Gras Mizore Mushi / Foie Gras Snow Soup (SGD $6.80), from the regular menu, is a house special. The 'snow' in the name refers to the straw mushrooms floating within the deceptively light but potent and earthy soup / broth. Touch of savoury in the taste, the soup is rich and robust, full of flavour. The foie gras is properly smooth and fatty, lending a nice fullness to the soup. A unique, creative dish, highly recommended!

Foie Gras Mizore Mushi / Foie Gras Snow Soup (SGD $6.80)

Foie Gras Mizore Mushi / Foie Gras Snow Soup

The signature Wagyu Don / Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl (SGD $24.80), from the regular menu, is a house special, and is not to be missed! Unbelievably tasty, they've used a high quality, grade A4 Wagyu beef from Kagoshima, serving 60g of these divine, pan-fried medium-thick slices in a rice bowl, alongside a perfectly wobbly tamago egg, garnished with umami sauce and spring onions. Break the runny egg yolk, mix all of the rice, beef slices, and egg together, then enjoy! Extremely flavourful, wonderfully tasty, and well worth top dollar, yet it's going for under SGD $30! Highly recommended!

Wagyu Don / Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl (SGD $24.80)

Wagyu Don / Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl

The Tonkatsu / Deep Fried Pork Cutlet (SGD $9.80), from the regular menu, has fresh, tender pork meat, not too oily, with a thin layer of fat, and is still moist. The breading / batter is light and crisp. Good enough to eat on its own, or as a side dish, it's served with a sour plum thick dipping sauce, which lends a nice sour sweet taste, making it even more addictive than before!

Tonkatsu / Deep Fried Pork Cutlet (SGD $9.80)

The Surume Ika Sugata Yaki / Grilled Whole Squid (SGD $11.80), from the regular menu, is probably the weakest dish I've had here. While the squid is large, fresh, and meaty, the grilling technique is lacking, and the result is squid which is semi-tough, and rather dry in texture. Desperately needs some sort of sauce to enhance it.

Surume Ika Sugata Yaki / Grilled Whole Squid (SGD $11.80)

The Black Sesame Mochi (SGD $4) dessert, from the regular menu, is pretty good. Good chewy texture, not too sweet, with a nice amount of black sesame filling within, quite enjoyable, though I would have prefered it to be room temperature rather than slightly chilled. Worth ordering!

Black Sesame Mochi (SGD $4)

Black Sesame Mochi

Overall, Kinsa Sushi has developed a tasty promotional menu for Mother's Day and Father's Day 2015. But their regular items are not to be missed as well, well worth ordering the next time you visit! With good quality, tasty, traditional Japanese cuisine, at relatively inexpensive prices, Kinsa Sushi is worth travelling to, despite their out of the way location at Bukit Gombak.