Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant Tasting Session

Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant Tasting Session
56 Cairnhill Road

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 2:30pm (Lunch), 6pm - 10:30pm (Dinner)

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Fundamentally Flawed, and The Arctic Star.

Kaisen Don (SGD $28.80)

Tasty & Affordable Japanese Hidden Find

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $32 per person.


Founded in January 2016, Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant is a casual Japanese restaurant, offering fresh, well executed small plates at wallet-friendly, affordable prices. Located at one end of Cairnhill Road, just 10 minutes walk away from The Paragon Shopping Centre, Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant is a hidden find, an out-of-the-way dining destination worth a visit.

Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant Signage
Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant Signage

Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant Exterior

Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant Interior

Ambience at Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant channels minimalist zen. The bare white walls are contrasted by light wooden furnishings and bright lighting, with some nature themed artwork adorning certain spots. Small floor space, seating up to 45 diners at once. An open show kitchen allows diners to watch Chef Raymond Yeo at work, while the entrance features a showcase of premium Niigata rice. But the large LCD television showing Just For Laughs - Gags is quite distracting to conversation.




Service at Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant is friendly, casual, and attentive. Because the place is small, staff are able to provide diners an individual, personalised feel. Greetings are prompt, and they're able to advice on the menu offerings, displaying good product knoweldge. You could even interact with Chef for further questions on the dishes. I like that they come around regularly to top up drinks, and efficiently clear away empty / dirty plates or tables. Staff can also assist in portioning if necessary. However, it lacks that edge to become memorable.


Show Kitchen

Table Setting

Food at Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant revolves around classic Japanese dishes, made with fresh ingredients. Chef Raymond Yeo keeps his inventory small, which means fresher, better quality dishes, though he runs the risk of running out of stock. His nearly 2 decades of experience shows in the quality of dishes, simple yet packing big flavour. Very tasty and well executed in texture. Portions are communal sized and meant for sharing between at least 2 - 3 people. Prices are reasonable, and relatively affordable compared to other Japanese restaurants, budget about SGD $32 per person for a full meal here.

Niigata Rice Showcase (SGD $11.80 for 1KG, $48.80 for 5KG)

A simple, soothing cup of refillable Green Tea (SGD $1), the standard of every meal. The version here is a little light.

Green Tea (SGD $1)

The Horenso Salad (SGD $10.80) features spinach leaves with a nice herb sweetness, juicy cherry tomatoes, earthy wild button mushrooms, crunchy salty bacon bits, and a fragrant, delicious sesame seed goma dressing. Best shared, this rather healthy salad helps open the appetite. Worth ordering!

Horenso Salad (SGD $10.80)

Horenso Salad

Their version of the Japanese Potato Salad (SGD $9.80) side dish / appetizer features semi-mashed potato, still having some tender chunks, mixed with carrots, cucumber, sliced ham, and Japanese mayonnaise, plated on a slice of fresh juicy tomato. Waxy, creamy, and starchy in texture, it has a light earthy sweetness that is pleasing. Decent enough.

Japanese Potato Salad (SGD $9.80)

Japanese Potato Salad

The unique Iberico Pork Tonkatsu (SGD $27.80) stood out with its tender, savoury salty Iberico pork loin, coated in a crisp, grainy batter of fresh bread crumbs and herbs, which lends both crunch and a wonderful fragrance. Bordering between dry and moist, the sharp sour plum dipping sauce helped make this more addictive. Not too bad at all.

Iberico Pork Tonkatsu (SGD $27.80)

Iberico Pork Tonkatsu

The Gyu Tataki Carpaccio (SGD $25.80) exudes a premium, sophisticated feeling. Lightly seared, thin strips of savoury fatty Wagyu beef, wrapped around onions, spring onions, and garlic, served in a fragrant garlic sesame seed sauce. Each mouthful has a bold savoury salty taste, with notes of herbs and spice, the beef just seemingly melting with fat, tempting you to go back for more. Highly recommended!

Gyu Tataki Carpaccio (SGD $25.80)

Gyu Tataki Carpaccio

Rarely see this in a Japanese restaurant. The Kawa Ebi Karaage (SGD $11.80) is excellent though, with tiny deep-fried river shrimp, super crunchy and sweet. You're able to eat the whole thing, shell and all! Served with a red sea salt on the side, which I feel enhances the overall savoury salty sweet flavour of the dish. Also a great bar snack. Highly recommended!

Kawa Ebi Karaage (SGD $11.80)

Kawa Ebi Karaage

While higher in price than the other pork items, the Iberico Pork Rack (SGD $40.80) is well worth the money when properly executed. The pork rack meat is tender, juicy, and comes off the bone easily. With a bold, smoky aroma, and flavours of savoury salty, complemented by sweet from the teriyaki glaze, this was completely delicious. Loved the smoky grilled okra / lady's finger as well. Good!

Iberico Pork Rack (SGD $40.80)

Iberico Pork Rack

Unique, good quality Miso Soup (SGD $2.80) here, using stock made with white miso paste and 3 kinds of fish (snapper, salmon, skipjack tuna). Garnished with seaweed and tofu cubes, the soup / broth is warming and comforting, with a delicate savoury sweetness, and a pleasant salty taste that does not overwhelm. No additives, no preservatives, no monosodium glutamate (MSG) at all. Fresh, quality ingredients, just like the rest of their dishes. Good!

Miso Soup (SGD $2.80)

Miso Soup

The Kaisen Don (SGD $28.80) here is a satisfiying, tasty, affordable 1-bowl meal I would return for. With fluffy, vinegared Niigata rice as its base, the bowl is lovingly topped with cucumbers, lemon slice, wasabi, pickled ginger, crabstick, and the stars, 5 types of fresh sashimi with 3 types of fish roe. For sashimi, these include sake / salmon, maguro / tuna, tako / octopus, hamachi / yellowtail fish, and amaebi / sweet prawn. For fish roe, these include ikura / salmon roe, mentaiko / cod roe, and tobiko / flying fish roe. Delicious, I kept wanting more. Highly recommended!

Kaisen Don (SGD $28.80)

Kaisen Don

The Okinawa Brown Sugar Crepe With Whipped Cream (SGD $6.80) is a unique, playful dessert. The Japanese brown sugar is mixed with all-purpose flour to create a batter, which is then cooked, and rolled into a crepe. It has a floral sweet taste, with a slightly spongy, slightly sticky texture, and is tasty enough on its own. Served with a side of whipped cream, which lends a creamy texture to this special dessert. Good!

Okinawa Brown Sugar Crepe With Whipped Cream (SGD $6.80)

Okinawa Brown Sugar Crepe With Whipped Cream

Overall, I was impressed with the variety and quality of offerings at Kenhiru Japanese Restaurant. Perhaps the only thing that works against them is their inconvenient location, away from parking and public transportation. Otherwise, I was pleased with the decent ambience and service, and the good quality of food. Will return for more!


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