Teppan Kappou Kenji Tasting Session

June 27, 2019 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Teppan Kappou Kenji Tasting Session
99 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-01

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am - 2pm, 6pm - 10:30pm



https://teppankappoukenji.sg/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from Food In Sing, Shermaine Khoo, and The Ranting Panda.



Hassun



Exquisite & Value-For-Money Omakase

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 9
Budget about SGD $90 / $180 per person.


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Established in November 2018, Teppan Kappou Kenji is an upper mid-range Japanese restaurant, specialising in premium seasonal ingredients, served in a multi-course 'Kappo' style. Helmed by Executive Chef Kenji Okumura, who lends his name to the restaurant, expect an exquisite and memorable dining experience at Teppan Kappou Kenji, as Chef believes in evoking feeling through his food.

Ambience at Teppan Kappou Kenji is cozy and intimate. The small area seats only 45 people, and much of it is dominated by the large teppanyaki grill station, surrounded by 8 counter seats where diners can interact with the chefs. Warm earthy tones, low lighting, grey brick floors, and sturdy dark wooden furnishings complete the look. With 2 relaxing private dining rooms, the restaurant has suitable ambience for business meals, social gatherings, special occasions, and date nights.

Teppan Kappou Kenji Facade
Teppan Kappou Kenji Facade


Teppan Kappou Kenji Signage Pillar
Teppan Kappou Kenji Signage Pillar


Teppan Kappou Kenji Exterior
Teppan Kappou Kenji Exterior


Teppan Kappou Kenji Interior
Teppan Kappou Kenji Interior



Service at Teppan Kappou Kenji is personable and knowledgable. Staff politely greet and seat guests, then offer recommendations. Their vast product knowledge is demonstrated throughout the meal, introducing not only each course, but the ingredients within. They quickly and proactively clear finished plates throughout your meal. In fact, nearly every course we had was plated differently; we were astounded by the range and variety of cutlery here. The personalised service creates memorable experiences.

Executive Chef Kenji Okumura personally cooked the majority of dishes for guests, and while reserved, he's known to open up with regulars. Trained by master Kaiseki chefs, his menu pays homage to the artistic tradition where each dish is crafted to breathtaking perfection. With a philosophy of evoking feelings through food, it's little surprise that Executive Chef Kenji Okumura clientele includes powerful statesmen like the 125th Japanese Emperor Akihito, the 8th General Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, and the 6th Premier of the People's Republic of China Wen Jiabao.

Executive Chef Kenji Okumura


Executive Chef Kenji Okumura
Executive Chef Kenji Okumura


Plating


Plating
Plating



Food at Teppan Kappou Kenji is Modern Japanese cuisine, using the freshest premium ingredients, directly sourced from Japan. Each dish is exquisite and well executed, the flavours of the key ingredients shining through. Delicious and exciting. Portions are sized either for individuals or for sharing, and sufficiently satisfy, with a tiny craving for more. Despite the exceptional quality of ingredients and consistent execution, their food prices are only upper mid-range. Budget about $90 per person for ala-carte, or $180 per person for the omakase kappo set meal.

Chef specialises in the multi-course 'Kappo' style, which means 'to cut and to cook'. The difference between regular omakase and kappo is the proximity of the chef to the diner; with kappo, the chef prepares dishes in front of the guest, and the overall kappo experience is usually personalised and intimate. There is also an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Executive Chef Kenji Okumura does this well; cooking dishes with flair, engaging diners, and invoking a sense of excitement, awe, or curiosity with every plate.

Teppanyaki Grilling


Teppanyaki Grilling
Teppanyaki Grilling


Teppanyaki Grilling


Teppanyaki Grilling



The Iced Ocha / Green Tea (SGD $1.50) is cooling and refreshing, with delicate earthy flavours. This is refillable.

Iced Ocha / Green Tea
Iced Ocha / Green Tea (SGD $1.50)



We sampled the TKK Summer Omakase Dishes (SGD $150++ per pax), and as per kappo style dining, features mostly seasonal ingredients and special dishes that aren't part of the regular menu. For the price, it's also among the more affordable omakase set meals around, with a total of 8 courses served.

TKK Summer Omakase Dishes
TKK Summer Omakase Dishes (SGD $150++ per pax)



The 1st course is always a soup. The Edamame Vichyssoise With Uni, Kani, Junsai has a base of vichyssoise, which is a thick soup made with white onions, potatoes, cream, chicken stock, and in this case, edamame / immature soy beans instead of leeks. Served chilled, it's garnished with deshelled taraba kani / king crab meat, reowned for its subtle taste and succulent texture; junsai / watershield which is a luxury ingredient because of its scarcity; and fresh uni / sea urchin. Completed with shoyu / light soy sauce, parsley sauce, and micro-greens. This has a rich creamy smooth texture to the soup / broth, while the ingredients lend contrasting textures of creamy, grainy, bouncy, chewy, and crisp. Cool on the palate, you first taste the briny salty flavour, then the rich earthy vegetal sweet flavour. Interesting, helps to open the appetite.

Edamame Vichyssoise With Uni, Kani, Junsai


Edamame Vichyssoise With Uni, Kani, Junsai
Edamame Vichyssoise With Uni, Kani, Junsai


Edamame Vichyssoise With Uni, Kani, Junsai


Edamame Vichyssoise With Uni, Kani, Junsai



The 2nd or 3rd course is usually a platter of sashimi fish. The Sashimi Of Tachiuo, Shima Aji, Chutoro & Aburi Of Suzuki, Kinmedai arrives in a well decorated plate, with a trio of sauces to accompany the 5 varieties of fish. All are beautifully fresh and expertly sliced.

The thin cuts of Sashimi Of Tachiuo / Cutlassfish are broiled with rice straws, and garnished with grated black pepper. The tachiuo / cutlassfish has a soft pliant texture, with bold spice sweet savoury flavour to the fish.

The thick cuts of Sashimi Of Shima Aji / Striped Horse Mackerel have a juicy bouncy texture, with delicate sweet savoury flavour. The shima aji / striped horse mackerel fish is paired with edible flowers.

The medium cuts of Sashimi Of Chutoro / Fatty Tuna Belly are garnished with edible flower petals, and have a moist succulent bouncy chew to texture. The chutoro / fatty tuna belly holds deep fatty meaty savoury flavour in each bite of the fish.

The thin fillets of Aburi Of Suzuki / Japanese Sea Bass are garnished with grated daikon radish, which have a juicy grainy texture and bright vegetal sweet flavour. This pairs well with the torched suzuki / Japanese sea bass fish, which has a bold smoky savoury salty flavour and a firm moist chewy texture.

The thick fillets of Aburi Of Kinmedai / Golden-Eye Snapper are garnished with crunchy lotus root stalks, which hold delicate vegetal bitter sweet flavour. The kinmedai / golden-eye snapper fish has a pliant chewy texture with delicate smoky sweet savoury flavour.

Sashimi Of Tachiuo, Shima Aji, Chutoro & Aburi Of Suzuki, Kinmedai


Sashimi Of Tachiuo, Shima Aji, Chutoro & Aburi Of Suzuki, Kinmedai
Sashimi Of Tachiuo, Shima Aji, Chutoro & Aburi Of Suzuki, Kinmedai


Sashimi Of Tachiuo / Cutlassfish
Sashimi Of Tachiuo / Cutlassfish


Sashimi Of Shima Aji / Striped Horse Mackerel
Sashimi Of Shima Aji / Striped Horse Mackerel


Sashimi Of Chutoro / Fatty Tuna Belly
Sashimi Of Chutoro / Fatty Tuna Belly


Aburi Of Suzuki / Japanese Sea Bass
Aburi Of Suzuki / Japanese Sea Bass


Aburi Of Kinmedai / Golden-Eye Snapper
Aburi Of Kinmedai / Golden-Eye Snapper


Sashimi Of Tachiuo, Shima Aji, Chutoro & Aburi Of Suzuki, Kinmedai



Named for the platter's 8-inch length, Hassun is the traditional 2nd or 3rd course of a Kaiseki meal, featuring complementary seasonal ingredients from either the seas and the mountains, or the fields and the streams. Here, it's the 3rd course, and the current season for June till August is Summer; so the hassun incorporates 8 intricate small plates featuring traditional summer ingredients from the fields and streams. I understand it's meant to be eaten in order, left to right, front to back; as the lighter flavours are in front, and the heavier flavours are at the back. Like a structured tasting journey for your palate.

Hassun


Hassun
Hassun


Hassun



The Yuzu Marinated Satsuma-Imo, Soramame features a medium thick slice of tender satsuma-imo / Japanese sweet potato, marinated in yuzu. Bite in, and you get the bright zesty tangy notes first, with surprisingly little sour flavour, followed by the mellow earthy sweet flavour. Served with firm, crunchy soramame / immature broad beans, which have a deep vegetal earthy flavour with a slight hint of bitter notes. This is the most lightly flavoured, gently cooked plate in the hassun platter.

Yuzu Marinated Satsuma-Imo, Soramame


Yuzu Marinated Satsuma-Imo, Soramame
Yuzu Marinated Satsuma-Imo, Soramame



The Nori Marinated Tai Rice Ball, Ikura features a thin slice of tai / sea bream fish sashimi, marinated in nori / seaweed juice, served wrapped around a vinegared sushi rice ball. Has a tender chewy texture, with delicate earthy sweet sour flavour. Paired with juicy globules of ikura / salmon roe, which burst with briny salty fishy flavour. Studded with micro greens, caviar, and what seems to be a green grape skin.

Nori Marinated Tai Rice Ball, Ikura


Nori Marinated Tai Rice Ball, Ikura
Nori Marinated Tai Rice Ball, Ikura



The Yamamomo In Wine Jelly features a yamamomo / Japanese bayberry / Chinese bayberry / red bayberry, set within a cube of wobbly gelatinous red wine jelly. Staff will inform you to eat this carefully, as the tender juicy fruit still has a seed within. Bite in, and you get a light boozy sweet sour flavour. Quite refreshing.

Yamamomo In Wine Jelly


Yamamomo In Wine Jelly
Yamamomo In Wine Jelly



The Miso Ichijiku features a grilled slice of juicy ichijiku / fig, garnished with a rich thick dollop of miso paste, and crunchy muki goma / white sesame seeds. This has strong fruity sweet savoury salty flavour. Its robustness leads well into the next row of the hassun platter.

Miso Ichijiku


Miso Ichijiku
Miso Ichijiku



The Mizunasu With Ume Sauce features ume / plum sauce marinated mizunasu / Japanese water eggplant, which has a firm, juicy crunch to texture, with bold fruity sour sweet flavour. Has a touch of wasabi in the sauce, which lends a sharp fiery spice note, hitting the palate but fading quickly.

Mizunasu With Ume Sauce


Mizunasu With Ume Sauce
Mizunasu With Ume Sauce



The Goma Dofu, Ebi, Caviar features wobbly dense kuro goma dofu / black sesame seeds tofu beancurd, which has a bold earthy nutty flavour. Garnished with fresh deshelled ebi / prawn / shrimp, with bright sweet savoury flavour, completed with 2 types of caviar. The first is the luxurious black sturgeon fish caviar, with juicy globules of briny salty flavour. The second is the rare green seagrapes seaweed caviar, with crunchy globules of briny earthy flavour.

Goma Dofu, Ebi, Caviar


Goma Dofu, Ebi, Caviar
Goma Dofu, Ebi, Caviar



The Braised Unagi Stuffed Daikon Radish, Takenoko features several components. There's tender silky soft unagi / eel, stuffed with a soy braised, hollowed daikon radish, which has a soft crunch to texture. The takenoko / bamboo shoots are similarly soy braised, with a juicy crunchy texture. Bold salty savoury earthy flavours here. This is the most heavily flavoured, gently cooked plate in the hassun platter. It leads into the final row of the hassun platter, where the ingredients are fully cooked.

Braised Unagi Stuffed Daikon Radish, Takenoko


Braised Unagi Stuffed Daikon Radish, Takenoko
Braised Unagi Stuffed Daikon Radish, Takenoko



The Corn Tempura is a simple deep-fry, featuring sliced corn kernels coated in a light crisp tempura batter. Bite in, and you get the warm juicy vegetal sweet flavour. Yum. Really addictive too, we wanted more. This is the most lightly flavoured, fully cooked plate in the hassun platter.

Corn Tempura


Corn Tempura
Corn Tempura


Corn Tempura



The Teppanyaki Sawara features grilled, medium thick slices of sawara / Spanish mackerel fish, with a soft chew to texture, and bold smoky savoury sweet salty flavour. As the final plate, this is the most heavily flavoured, fully cooked plate in the hassun platter.

Teppanyaki Sawara


Teppanyaki Sawara
Teppanyaki Sawara



The 4th course is the steamed dish. The Stewed Winter Melon In Special Sesame Sauce, Crispy Sakura Ebi, Snow Peas, Shark’s Fin, Kinome features a base of soft steamed winter melon, in a rich gloopy gravy of house sesame paste and dashi seaweed stock broth. This has warm, soulful, vegetal earthy sweet bitter savoury flavour. Garnished with chewy shark's fin fillet and bright crunchy snow peas, both of which take on the taste of the gravy. Sprinklings of crisp crunchy sakura ebi / cherry blossom river shrimp complete, having bold salty savoury flavour. The edible kinome / Japanese pepper / zanthoxylum piperitum leaf holds bright spice herbal flavour, a unique garnish that pairs well here.

Stewed Winter Melon In Special Sesame Sauce, Crispy Sakura Ebi, Snow Peas, Shark’s Fin, Kinome


Stewed Winter Melon In Special Sesame Sauce, Crispy Sakura Ebi, Snow Peas, Shark’s Fin, Kinome
Stewed Winter Melon In Special Sesame Sauce, Crispy Sakura Ebi, Snow Peas, Shark’s Fin, Kinome


Stewed Winter Melon In Special Sesame Sauce, Crispy Sakura Ebi, Snow Peas, Shark’s Fin, Kinome


Stewed Winter Melon In Special Sesame Sauce, Crispy Sakura Ebi, Snow Peas, Shark’s Fin, Kinome



The 5th course is the grilled dish. The Teppanyaki Ayu With Hoba features a whole teppanyaki grilled ayu / sweetfish, which has a moist tender flaky texture, with bold smoky savoury salty sweet flavour. The fish is grilled over aromatic hoba / magnolia leaf, which locks in moisture and imparts an earthy note. Accompanied by crunchy modern futomaki sushi rolls, of rice vermicelli noodles, carrots, avocado, and lettuce, which have good vegetal earthy sweet flavour. The filleted ayu / sweetfish spine doesn't go to waste either, fried till edible and super crunchy, then dressed with shio / salt. Completed with a shoyu / light soy sauce and wasabi dressing, which lends good salty spice flavour.

Teppanyaki Ayu With Hoba


Teppanyaki Ayu With Hoba
Teppanyaki Ayu With Hoba


Teppanyaki Ayu With Hoba


Teppanyaki Ayu With Hoba



The interim course of the meal. Served as a palate cleanser, I loved the plating of the Pickled Daikon Radish, Cucumbers. The pickled daikon radish has a firm moist crunchy texture with a deep earthy sour flavour. Preferred the cucumbers, which have a juicy crunch and lovely vegetal sweet flavour.

Pickled Daikon Radish, Cucumbers


Pickled Daikon Radish, Cucumbers
Pickled Daikon Radish, Cucumbers



The 6th course is the simmered dish. The Yanagawa Nasu Nibitashi, Satoimo, Ikihamo, Gobou, Onsen Tamago is a Yanagawa style nasu nibitashi / braised eggplant stew. It features chunks of nasu / eggplant / aubergine / brinjal, which are tender soft and vegetal earthy sweet in flavour; braised in a thin clear broth of shoyu / light soy sauce and onsen tamago / soft boiled egg, which has a lovely eggy sweet salty flavour. Completed with chunks of tender mushy satoimo / yam / taro which are nicely earthy sweet in flavour, small cuts of ikihamo / pike conger eel fillets which are bouncy chewy with delicate savoury sweet flavour, fresh crisp bok choy / Chinese cabbage with vegetal sweet flavour, and strips of chewy gobou / burdock root with pronounced vegetal earthy flavour. A warm and soulful dish to settle the palate.

Yanagawa Nasu Nibitashi, Satoimo, Ikihamo, Gobou, Onsen Tamago


Yanagawa Nasu Nibitashi, Satoimo, Ikihamo, Gobou, Onsen Tamago
Yanagawa Nasu Nibitashi, Satoimo, Ikihamo, Gobou, Onsen Tamago


Yanagawa Nasu Nibitashi, Satoimo, Ikihamo, Gobou, Onsen Tamago


Yanagawa Nasu Nibitashi, Satoimo, Ikihamo, Gobou, Onsen Tamago



We sampled the Stewed Wagyu Hamburg (SGD $60 / $118) from the ala-carte menu, as it was a 'must try' recommendation. This features a tender, juicy, minced A5 miyazki wagyu beef tenderloin patty, served in a warm bubbling broth of home made tomato paste, baby corn, white onions, cherry tomatoes, parsnip, and green bell pepper / capsicum. The vegetables have a tender, slightly firm crunch when bit, lending good contrast of texture to the soft, loosely packed beef patty, which falls apart when poked. Completed with a poached egg, whose runny yolk lends a silky texture. Has deep vegetal savoury sweet eggy salty flavours.

Stewed Wagyu Hamburg (SGD $60 / $118)


Stewed Wagyu Hamburg
Stewed Wagyu Hamburg


Stewed Wagyu Hamburg


Stewed Wagyu Hamburg


Stewed Wagyu Hamburg



The 7th course is the rice dish. The Wagyu Beef Kamameshi arrives in a large, communal iron kettle, featuring a variety of white rice from Japan as the base, carefully cooked till sticky soft starchy in texture using a broth of katsuobushi / bonito fish flakes, dashi seaweed stock, along with green peas, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and white onions. This gives the base a bold, earthy vegetal grainy sweet flavour, which is rather an acquired taste, and didn't quite appeal to me. The base is layered with tender succulent strips of A5 ohmi wagyu beef tenderloin with bold fatty meaty savoury flavour, a perfect poached egg which lends silky texture and eggy sweet flavour, as well as luxurious fresh uni / sea urchin with a creamy texture and robust briny salty flavour. A bowl of miso soup with nori / seaweed accompanies, having a warm earthy savoury flavour.

Wagyu Beef Kamameshi


Wagyu Beef Kamameshi
Wagyu Beef Kamameshi


Wagyu Beef Kamameshi


Wagyu Beef Kamameshi


Wagyu Beef Kamameshi & Miso Soup Portion


Miso Soup Portion
Miso Soup Portion


Wagyu Beef Kamameshi Portion
Wagyu Beef Kamameshi Portion


Wagyu Beef Kamameshi & Miso Soup Portion
Wagyu Beef Kamameshi & Miso Soup Portion



We sampled the decadent Live Lobster With Uni (SGD $Seasonal Price) from the ala-carte menu. This features a whole live lobster, deshelled and lightly grilled, plated over lime, garnished with fresh uni / sea urchin and micro greens. Bite in, and you get the creamy texture of the uni / sea urchin and its bold briny salty flavour, followed by the succulent bouncy chewy texture of the lobster with its yummy smoky meaty sweet flavour, then a hint of the bright sour lime taste. Feels so sophisticated and luxurious.

Live Lobster With Uni (SGD $Seasonal Price)


Live Lobster With Uni
Live Lobster With Uni



The 8th and last course is a seasonal fruit dish. Rounded off the omakase kappo set meal with this Fruit Platter. Served in a bowl resembling a dinosaur egg, you lift the lid to reveal the fresh, colourful vibrant fruits within, all having juicy tender textures. There's bright honeyed sweet musk melon, fruity sweet figs, sweet sour sato nishiki cherry (also called the 'king of cherries'), and earthy mellow persimmon. Plated over ice, this is a beautiful finish.

Fruit Platter


Fruit Platter


Fruit Platter
Fruit Platter


Fruit Platter


Fruit Platter



Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the dining experience at Teppan Kappou Kenji. From the intimate ambience to the personable service to the delicious food, Teppan Kappou Kenji impresses. Their upper mid-range prices make them suitable for business meals, social gatherings, special occasions, and date nights. Really good, I will return to Teppan Kappou Kenji for more.


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