Today marks Kakushin’s one-month opening at Scotts Square, making this one of the newest restaurants to open in town. The Japanese restaurant is tucked away at the corner of level two; a corridor which unfortunately doesn’t see much foot traffic, but then this isn’t the sort of restaurant you’d generally waltz into for a quick meal. It’s an Omakase-style place that’s helmed by Chef Chan, and features a sophisticated, but not intimidating space that’s inspired by culinary institutions in the heart of Ginza.
Above: the front and interior of Kakushin.
And with our absolute love for Japanese fare, we just had to try their 8-course Dinner Omakase ($328).
Above: Chef torching fish. we’ll eat anything torched.
The Dinner Omakase menu starts with a trio of appetisers using ingredients that are particularly fresh and in season.
This is the Silver Cod Fish sperm with ponzu sauce.
Above: Silver Cod Fish sperm with ponzu sauce.
If you’re turned off by the idea of eating sperm, don’t be. This is actually really yummy. It wasn’t slimy like some whale sperm that I’ve previously tried, and this paired well with the ponzu sauce and was a refreshing and light starter.
The second appetiser is Sakoshi Bay Oyster with Sujiko and passion fruit.
Above: Sakoshi Bay Oyster with Sujiko and passion fruit.
The oyster is very large and the Sujiko very fresh. Sujiko is similar to the Ikura we get at most Japanese chains (like Sushi Tei), but instead of coming from salmon captured in the river, it comes from salmon captured in the sea. It’s not as common as Ikura and so considered more valuable. As for the passion fruit, I’m not generally a big fan of this, so would have preferred this dish without it — but that’s of course just personal preference.
The third appetiser is Abalone with liver sauce.
Above: Abalone with liver sauce.
If you love abalone, you’ll love this dish. The abalone is very meaty (albeit a bit tough). The liver sauce was a pleasant surprise; it doesn’t taste typically liver-y. It’s very pang and tasty.
Above: Chef-Curated premium seasonal selection of sashimi.
Next is a premium seasonal selection of sashimi curated by the Chef. From left to right, there’s tuna belly (this is nice and fatty); blue fish rolled with uni (the uni is fresh and it left me wanting more); live scallop (sweet with good texture — not too hard or mushy. Just right); and Botan ebi (one of our favourites of the night. Flavourful, succulent and very fresh. Not fishy, but still with a good seafood taste).
My plus one casually mentioned that he could eat one more plate of this. He clearly liked it.
The seasonal seafood served during our visit is Amadai fish; it’s part of the Sea Bream family with a watery flesh, and is found in shallow salt water.
Above: amadai fish, the seasonal seafood dish.
It’s an interesting fish and only available this season. The skin and scales are all deep fried and can be eaten, which makes the texture really crispy on the outside, but still meaty on the inside.
Above: chef james showing us the amadai fish in his book of seafood (which all japanese chefs seem to have on hand).
This is Snow Crab with Uni Chawanmushi.
Above: Snow Crab with Uni Chawanmushi.
I love chawanmushi and every Japanese restaurant should be able to get this simple dish right. Kakushin’s version has a gorgeous Snow Crab claw and a generous heaping of Uni inside. Everything is delicious and well-balanced, while the steamed egg itself has a nice brothy flavour and silky smooth texture. Well done here.
Above: Chef James showing me the type of Uni used in this dish (the one on the left page).
There are two main courses to choose from — beef or pork.
The first option is Chargrilled A5 Kagoshima Wagyu with Truffle Balsamic sauce. The beef is excellent; it’s tender, nicely charred and not overdone at all. A5 Wagyu is the highest grade of Wagyu available, and it lives up to its hype. Definitely choose this over the pork or live to regret it. I’d say this dish is one of the highlights of the entire meal for me.
Above: Chargrilled A5 Kagoshima Wagyu.
If you’re averse to beef, there’s the Chargrilled Kagoshima Pork Belly with Buta Kakuni sauce. The slices are meaty but tender, and the mustard cuts the jelak-ness of the meat.
Above: Chargrilled Kagoshima Pork Belly.
After the main dish, the sushi comes in fast and furious. The presentation of each sushi is beautiful, but apart from the last piece (the “Big Mac”), I’ve had better selections elsewhere. Here’s the rundown:
Above: Flounder with caviar with a side of ginger slices and shallots marinated in red wine.
This was a chewy fish but very clean tasting.
Above: Yellow red snapper and sea grapes.
The sea grapes are cute and actually add some texture to the sushi. The snapper, like the flounder, is also chewy and slightly sinewy. I took a while to eat this one. But my plus one did say “oishi” after he inhaled his down.
Above: White clam.
I’ve never seen this particular type of clam before so Chef James took out his book.
Above: the type of clam used in this sushi.
It tastes like the ocean. It has a typical clam texture but with more bite. My plus one wasn’t a fan of this dish and gave his feedback to the chef.
Above: Anago sea eel.
As I was photographing this sushi, my plus one said, “I think you will like this. It’s very nice.” Unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. It’s softer than unagi so don’t expect the same bite you’ll get with unagi. There are hints of yuzu too — which I’m not a fan of — but if you like yuzu you’ll dig this.
Above: “Big Mac” — Otoro, foie Gras and uni on a bed of rice.
I’m told to eat this in one mouth. I couldn’t because it’s really quite a large serving, but I can appreciate what the Chef is trying to create here. It starts with a strong truffle flavour and then the other ingredients come in layers, just like the way i believe the Chef intended it to be. It’s the restaurant’s signature dish and I don’t see why most people wouldn’t enjoy this.
Above: Tamago made from Egg, squid and mountain yam blended together.
This is probably the best tamago I’ve tried. While there’s squid blended in, I can’t taste it, but my gosh, this whole thing is tasty. It’s not too sweet and it’s an excellent closer to the sushi platter. I was going to burst but this somehow made me feel less full. Magical.
As the final dish before dessert, there’s the Kakushin Omakase Soup.
Above: Kakushin Omakase Soup.
Honestly, this doesn’t look like much, but it’s really, really good soup. It’s a fish bone broth that’s boiled for 5 hours so the collagen becomes rich; but the soup is not so rich that it becomes filling. It warms the body and soul, just like good comfort food does, and I finished it even though I was full. Again, must be the magical egg cake that gave me some appetite back.
For dessert, you get to enjoy Japanese Seasonal Fruits and premium Japanese ice cream.
Above: Persimmon, kyoho grape and melon.
Above: Premium Japanese Ice Cream in Yuzu and Hokkaido Strawberry flavours.
Not much to say about the desserts. This isn’t a dessert place, but these are standard-good. You can’t go wrong with Japanese fruits and ice cream.
Kakushin is definitely worth visiting for some of its winning dishes: all the appetisers, chawanmushi, chargrilled wagyu, and “Big Mac” sushi. If you balk at the price, consider that Omakase prices have risen drastically in recent years, and this menu might even be reasonable compared to its Omakase neighbours in town.
We were seated at the counter next to a lovely lady and her daughter; they were celebrating the girl’s 15th birthday (happy birthday!), and her verdict was that the food was good. She looked and sounded happy with her meal and she said that she enjoyed the experience. That’s a pretty solid recommendation to me, and if anything, we’ll be back for the team working there who were extremely pleasant and friendly — and just the right amount of friendly. They knew to give us space to eat in peace, and were patient to explain the names of the Japanese dishes over and over again when I asked.
Above: the interior of Kakushin.
Kakushin is located at #02-03, Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209. Opening hours: 1130am — 3pm and 6pm — 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays).
All prices are subjected to GST and service charge.
For reservations, visit: www.chope.co/singapore-restaurants/restaurant/kakushin