KUMO Japanese Kaiseki Restaurant

As I take my first step through the entrance, I was immediately enthralled into a trance of palatial serenity. Contributing to that, are the gentle babble of water that runs from mini simulated cascades, natural elements that correspond to the wild forests of Japan, and the dimly lit milieu posing cosiness amongst sophistication.

KUMO Japanese Kaiseki Restaurant at Icon Village offers an exquisite dining experience. Soaring to great heights like clouds in the sky, its menu is constantly changing and shifting with new textures, tastes and shapes, bringing out the best of each season’s ingredients. “Cloud” translates as “kumo” in Japanese.

Running the show is Executive Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki, who brings his wealth of experience beyond the Japanese shores to share his culinary joys with Singapore.

Let this Kaiseki restaurant take you on a gastronomic journey through progressive courses. If you’re hankering for a surprise, something unpredictable and spontaneous, Omakase dining is a recommended choice for the culinary adventurous, where diners entrust the chef to freely craft a menu based on his reading and judgement on his guests’ tastes and preferences, reflective of the freshest produce available during the season.

Here is a peak of what to expect this spring.

Omakase Kaiseki ($168++ or $198++ with 5 pieces of nigiri sushi)

Assorted seasonal appetiser

The assorted seasonal appetiser commences our meal on a high note. It is a testament to Chef Nobu’s ability to fashion art on a plate that balances the taste, texture, appearance and colours of food with a sense of harmony.

Homemade prawn dumpling with wakame seaweed served in bonito soup

Throughout Chef Nobu’s 30-year culinary career, he has a deep fondness for rare and exquisite bonito. He injects his tasteful creativity into traditional bonito soup, where a fluffy and eggy homemade prawn dumpling creates a beautiful scenario in this course.

Sashimi of Chef’s recommendation

The sashimi of chef’s recommendation is another showstopper. The arc shell is spiked with vinegar miso and accompanied with spring vegetables. Also delightful to consume are the toro (tuna belly) and flounder sashimi. Apart from freshly grated wasabi to accompany the sashimi, chrysanthemum is marinated in vinegar to provide a hint of acidity to brighten up the palate. Chef Nobu also pays attention to small details such as making refined adjustments to the dipping shoyu sauce for a slightly sweeter finish without having it kill the freshness of seafood.

Grilled Saga Wagyu and Spanish Mackerel “Sawara” teriyaki

Each course is consistently seasoned with fervency and finesse.

The Sawara (Spanish Mackerel) is less oily during this season than when it is hauled during winter. That being said, my preference slants towards oilier fish for that extra juiciness and succulence. What made up for the lack of succulence was the teriyaki flavour accentuated with a sprinkling of citrus pepper.

Accompanying the main are shallot vinaigrette, taro that’s firstly braised and then briefly deep-fried, and carrot from Kyoto that’s braised in plum sauce.

The Grilled Saga Wagyu is unpretentiously seasoned with a sprinkle of sea salt, allowing the unadulterated flavour of beef to shine.

Baby Conger eel with vinegar dressing

What seemed like a fear factor challenge to me was consuming the baby Conger eel. It is dressed in vinegar to act as a palate cleanser after several courses amidst the meal. I thought it resembled jellyfish until someone at the table pointed out the eels’ eyes. Following that I found it hard to stomach –it’s a psychological thing. It didn’t taste bad though –just bizarre.

Deep-fried Sakura shrimp with Japanese bamboo shoot served with tempura dashi

Another personal favourite would be the deep-fried Sakura shrimp served with tempura dashi. Despite the several preceding courses, this course was gentle on the nearly full stomach, brimful of umami flavour that arouses the appetite.

Chef’s selection of sushi (3 pcs)

Without having to muster up space in our stomachs, we happily began to relish the immaculate selection of sushi in a heartbeat. Chef presented us with Sayori (halfbeak), sea bream and Anago sea eel.

Hokkaido vanilla ice cream and Japanese strawberry from Fugowa

This dessert looks normal and harmless, but I was instantly blown away by how something so plain looking can be so deceiving on the palate. The quality of the Hokkaido ice cream and Fugowa strawberries speak for themselves.

KUMO Japanese Kaiseki Restaurant
Icon Village, #01-58
12 Gopeng Street
Singapore 078877
Website: http://www.kumokaiseki.com.sg/
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Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm