Media Tasting at Kinki Restaurant + Bar
“Japanese with an Urban Attitude” – rightly sums Kinki up. A modern Japanese restaurant / bar overlooking the Marina Bay, Kinki @ Customs House serves classic Japanese with a creative twist, or what people usually term “fusion”. What keeps people coming back for more at Kinki, apart from the awesome view and chill vibes would definitely be the quality of the ingredients used and the innovative dishes.
Having arrived at Kinki for early dinner / happy hour, we were in time to enjoy the Marina Bay skyline whilst the skies were still bright. We were introduced to 4 cocktails – Earlgroni, She’s So Unusual, Gold Quencher and Mr Blue Sky. Don’t be deceived by how pretty they look, these kinki rockstars definitely pack an (alcoholic) punch.
My pick would be the Gold Quencher (S$48 for a bottle, S$19 for a glass) – Roku Gin, Yuzu Umeshu and East Imperial Soda Water. This was very refreshing and oh-so-pretty with golden elixir swirls. Another interesting drink that I liked was the She’s So Unusual (S$19 for a glass) – Roku Gin, Fresh Yuzu Juice, Sugar Syrup and Shiso Bitters (yes you read that right!). This bright green drink had hints of shiso notes, a spice I love in my Japanese food.
These kinki rockstars are also available as takeaway. They are rather concentrated so feel free to create your own mixes and have them in the comfort of your home.
You can’t make a trip to Kinki without having this Golden Age Maki Roll (S$30). This is your classic aburi salmon with mentaiko sauce with cucumber, avocado, chives, salmon roe and a drizzle of mango puree.
We were then introduced to the first dish from their new menu, the Spicy Buffalo Katsu (S$28). Nagano pork is marinated with Buffalo wings- inspired Worcestershire sauce, Japanese chilli oil and shichimi togarashi then lightly coated in panko before frying. This is a good sharing dish and we love how tender the meat was wother a unique combination of spices that made any boar taint undetectable.
This Unagi Claypot (S$32) is definitely one of the stars of the night. In fact, it was a head-turner that when this claypot was served, several other neighbouring tables having caught a whiff of the aroma wafting through also ordered this dish.
We were told that this was previously a chef’s special only served for those who are well-acquainted with the chef. Lucky us now that it has found a permanent spot on the menu. The rice is fried with chopped unagi before finishing in the claypot and those who love claypot rice would be happy to know that the “charred bits” are aplenty, contributing to the texture and slight bitter notes, a contrast to the sweet sauce slathered atop the crisp grilled unagi. I love the sweet-savoury combination and can see myself ordering this when I next visit Kinki for lunch. Psst, the set lunch comes with garden salad, miso soup and mocha dessert, at the same price (S$32)!
Another claypot dish, for those who love their pork, would be the Buta Kakuni Claypot (S$32). The chef drew inspiration from the Chinese Dong Po pork, but used Hokkaido kurobuta pork belly which is slightly more fatty thus having a richer flavour profile after being braised for 12 hours.
The onsen egg and shio kombu also elevates the taste and is reminiscent of lu rou fan. This is definitely comfort food, albeit indulgent.
The Crusty Lamb Rack ($45, only available during dinner) received a nod from the lamb lovers. What non-lamb-lovers (like myself) found it interesting was the way in which this dish was prepared. Australian lamb chops are first wet-aged in a koji yeast brine for a day, which helps to tenderise the meat and alleviates the gamey lamb taste. The lamb is then seared to render excess fat off before coated with panko and mentaiko before baking. The Kinki touch comes in the candied dehydrated ginger slices, a sassy combination with the savoury, juicy lamb by giving it a touch of natural spiciness and slight sweetness.
Another signature of Kinki is this Ohmi Wagyu Houba-Yaki ($90). Although a slight pinch to the wallet, this Ohmi A4 wagyu striploin is chargrilled on a leaf with mixed mushrooms. The marbling on the Wagyu is wonderful with a good layer of fat.
Served on the rare to medium-rare side, you are welcome to eat it as is or continue to let the charcoal flames heat the meat to medium or medium well.
We tried a variety of desserts – Homemade Cheese Tart (S$12), Monaka Matcha Atsuki (S$14) and Hokkaido Milk Crepe (S$10) and Yuzu Ice-cream (S$8). Although none of the desserts stood out particularly, the yuzu ice-cream was a good palette cleanser after some of the heavier meats and no one says no to ice-cream, yes?
Kinki also has a rooftop bar that boasts of an excellent alfresco dining area and serve bottomless brunch on weekends. Try Kinki the next time you are around Marina Bay, perhaps visiting the new Apple Store, or just taking in the beautiful sights Singapore has to offer.
*Service charge(10%) and GST(7%) applicable.
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How to go Kinki Restaurant + Bar
Monday – Fridays:
Lunch from 12PM (last order at 2.15PM)
Dinner from 6PM (last order at 10.15PM)
Saturdays and Public Holidays
Bottomless Brunch from 12PM (last order at 2.30PM)
Dinner from 6PM (last order at 10.15PM)
Bottomless Brunch from 12PM (last order at 2:30PM)
Monday to Saturday 5PM to 10.30PM
70 Collyer Quay #02-02, Customs House, Singapore 049323
Contact +65 6533 3471
Reservation is allowed.
Parking available at OUE Bayfront Car Park.
Travel via public transport.
Walk 260 m (about 6 minutes) to Customs House.