One of my favorite cuisine of all time has to be Japanese. It is probably been the cuisine that's consistently been consumed all across Singapore (and in Japan, of course) ever since I started eating out proper. I remember how I used to go to Sakae Sushi (and loved it), before moving on to higher quality conveyor belt sushi chains like Sushi Tei.. and then there's the ramen shops, the yakitori joints and the izakaya places. It's actually amazing how many choices we have. And speaking of that, there's the Japanese buffet places where you pay around 40++ to eat however you want from the menu. And that's exactly what Kushi Japanese Dining Bar is. Located on the 3rd floor of the rather vintage Hotel Royal, it's the kind of restaurant that you have to know where it is, or you wouldn't have guessed. And that's why I am here to let you know about it!
The interior is simple, classic, comfortable. Ventilation's good too.
Here's the menu. It's actually quite hilarious. if you read the text on the white part.
For classic it will cost $58.70 after GST/service charge for adults on weekday dinner and another 3 bucks more for the weekend. Slightly steeper than the regular Japanese buffet, but it is worth it because of the things you're getting from it. You'll know why in a bit!
First, we had some thick cut sashimi. Fresh, succulent, no complaints!
Then some Hokkaido oysters. I typically shy away from oysters because they can get a bit too "oystery" for me, but this was fine. See? For the price there's oysters!
One of my favorites from the dinner's the Pi Dan Tofu though. It might look like a humble and 'low cost' item dish, but it's done so well! I love the cold, creamy texture of the tofu that's mixed with the rich century egg sauce.
We also had some salmon and shiro maguro sushi, aburi style. This was actually a rare dish you won't get easily anywhere else. The fish itself, we learnt, was tasteless originally, and had to be marinated in a special sauce for the flavor before it was blowtorched. Me and my dining companion really enjoyed this one, for how simple it is, yet so full of complexity in taste.
We also tried some interesting tempura. Why have prawn or vegetables when you can batter up some cheese sticks, and anago eel (the one covered with special sauce)? While the cheese tempura was quite a novelty, it was the anago eel that stood out. It was done to perfection - the soft, almost buttery unagi stood on a tightrope with the crispy light batter to deliver a balanced performance.
We also had some beef, grilled to medium rare perfection. Simple, no frills, so you can taste for yourself how pure and good the beef is. For the price again, this is really value for money.
Then an assortment of yakitori. This is alright, compared to so many other stellar performances from other dishes.
The star of the show (together with the co-star, the Pidan Tofu), has to be the Lobster Porridge. It was umami heaven. Look at all the generous chunks of lobster! This is just perfect for a rainy day. The soup was so delicious we couldn't help but keep scooping and slurping it up despite being so full!
We topped off it all with perfect matcha ice cream coated with some azuki (match!) and fruits. By then we were truly stuffed, but happy to have enjoyed so much quality Japanese food in one sitting.
Kushi Japanese Dining Bar at Hotel Royal is not your typical Japanese buffet joint offering the usual suspects. With surprises that comes seemingly from nowhere, this is the perfect place for jaded Japanese restaurant goers to try something new and exotic while having the assurance that the Japanese level of quality is delivered. I'll recommend this place for a small celebration, or occasion, or if you are really hungry and craving for Japanese food served with some creativity.
Kushi Japanese Dining Bar
Hotel Royal, 36 Newton Road, #03-01, Singapore 307964
Lunch daily at 11am to 2.30pm (last order); dinner 5.30pm – 9.30pm (last order)