Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Kaseiki Experience (KUMO Restaurant)

I know this is another food post, but being the foodie that I am, it's almost inevitable. But I don't share about every restaurant we ate in, only those I deem are worthy of mention. And this one is definitely one of those I feel should be shared.

Last month, we celebrated my hubby's birthday. Being the busy mom, I didn't have time to plan any surprises for him, and was thankful that he was understanding enough. I asked him where he would like to go for dinner. Being the great Japanese food lover that he is,  he said he's always wanted to try a kaseiki meal and suggested a restaurant he read about on a food site - KUMO.

So there we were, on a Saturday night, to try our (actually, it's 'his') first kaseiki meal. It was just the two of us, as the little one was 'grounded' due to his cough.

If you have not heard of kaseiki, it's a traditional Japanese multi-course meal that uses the freshest of seasonal ingredients. But to call it a 'meal' does not do it justice. Rather, it's a Japanese culinary art form that is meticulously prepared to ensure a perfect balance of "taste, texture, appearance and colours of food". Depending on the restaurant, a kaseiki meal can consist between six to 15 items, which will include appetiser, sashimi, a simmered dish (usually vegetables), a grilled dish, a steamed dish, a soup, rice/noodle, and dessert.

KUMO restaurant offers three sets of kaseiki meal (dinner) to choose from - Experiment (S$78), Experience (S$98) and Excitement (S$120) (prices before GST).

Hubby opted for the Experience set, and here are the dishes:

  • Ebi no Sunomono (crystal bay prawn, lady finger, seaweed “mozuku” with rice vinegar)
  • Mu-ru Gai Shinjyo (bonito soup with mussel dumpling, roasted japanese eggplant and summer yuzu)
  • Sashimi Moriawase (two types of sashimi)
  • Yakimono - Barramundi (pan-seared barramundi with water pepper vinegar “ tadezu” sauce)

  • Takiawase - Kamo Jibuni (stewed duck breast served with winter melon and japanese yam)
  • Hiyashi Somen (chilled thin wheat noodle “somen” served with mushroom, wild parsley & poached egg yolk)
  • Ice cream

The hubby was absolutely pleased with the food - the presentation is exquisite and the taste is refined; each ingredient doesn't overpower the taste of another. It's been a long while since he was so delighted with a meal, so it must be really good. I hope to be back to try the kaseiki meal myself.

As for me, having just recovered from a bad cough, I decided to go for something simple. I opted for a plate of sushi, and they served me an appetiser too:

On its menu, the 12-piece sushi platter (Sushi Moriawase S$35) was meant for two but it was just enough for me since I didn't order anything else.

By the way, I called earlier in the evening to make a reservation, and it turned out to be quite unnecessary. The restaurant was rather quiet for a Saturday night, with just about half of the tables occupied. But it suited the occasion fine, and we did enjoy the quietness rather than to be somewhere crowded and noisy.

Besides the quiet ambience, here's another reason why you might want to dine at KUMO. According to the information provided on the website, Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki received his training in the art of kaseiki with the famous Kitcho group of restaurants in Japan. Kitcho's late founder Teiichi Yuki is considered among the forefront of Kaiseki practitioners and is considered the master who made the cuisine as famous as it is today. Chef Nobu is also licensed to serve fugu, or puffer fish (which can be poisonous if not prepared properly). Apparently only the most skilled in Japan receive this certification.

Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street, #01-58, S078877
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm & 6.30pm – 10.30pm, Monday – Saturday
Tel: 6225 8433


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