Japanese Food and Sake Review: Kabuke at 200A Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068638

Foodie alert! If you have been to Kabuke before, you'll be happy to hear that they have done a menu refresh for a larger menu that includes more seafood and cocktails (latest menu from December 2020 below). And if you have not been to Kabuke, this might be just the chance to visit! The cosy 45-seater sake bar and restaurant is hidden on the 2nd floor of the shophouse along Telok Ayer, but they are worth the climb. I had the pleasure to taste some of the new items on the menu the other day and thought I'll share it with you guys.

Here's the latest Kabuke menu for your perusal updated as of Dec 2020. Click on them to open full size in new window. Perennial favourites like the Baby Corn and Renkon Chips remain, along with a much more expansive Uni (sea urchin) selection. On the seafood section there's also snow crab leg tempura, and a cholesterol-inducing miso crab dish. 

I'm also glad they kept the Goma Goma chicken wings (one of my favs!). And of course their famous wagyu bowls have been left generally untouched. For noodles they've added a couple more new ones such as the Kimochi Somen and Wagyu Suji Udon. What I like is prices range across <$20 to $50, depending on how "luxurious" you are feeling that night. 

They also have a lunch menu, and Happy Hour from 6-7pm. With every drink you get you also get to enjoy selected bar bites at a discount!

On to the food shots and evaluation! First there's the Wild-caught Hokkaido Hotate Carpaccio (S$28) that consisted of Hokkaido scallops, sea grapes, truffle shoyu and marinated ikura. This was refreshing appetiser despite the strong flavours. I think it is mostly because of the sweetness of the fresh scallops which carried through. 4/5

Along with that, there's the light Momotaro tomato (S$14) with its combination of sweet, sour and salty. Not a bad appetiser as well if you don't like raw scallops or are trying to keep the budget down. 3.5/5

Because if you really feel like splurging, there's the salivating Wagyu Sando (S$58). It has a thicc juicy slab of wagyu cutlet sandwiched in between Hokkaido milk toast. You have to eat this fast for you to taste the fats inside the beef melting in your mouth, but when you do, it is heavenly. 4/5

There's also the Kani Miso Kourayaki (S$22) which is cholesterol-inducing as mentioned previously. The crab meat was dug out and mixed into a dip for the cucumber sticks you see there, while the tobiko roe gave it a popping texture. Very good for everyone to share, bad if you consume it all by yourself! 3.5/5 (for health reasons :P)

For those craving a bit more greens in your diet, there's the Miso Eggplant Itamae (S$12). A pretty humble and decent dish which is not as exciting but acts as a good foil for the other dishes. 4/5

If you can, order the Snow Crab Leg Tempura (S$18) too. One of our favourites - it was just very satisfying to bite into it and pull (so you get the meat off the soft 'tendon bone' thingy inside). The seasoning complemented the meat perfectly! 4.5/5

There's also a Wagyu-fat Satsuma Imo (S$16) on the menu, which was grilled sweet potato with wagyu fats and yuzu soy. However this might have sat there for too long - we couldn't taste any wagyu fat or richness from it so it was very underwhelming. Perhaps give this a miss if you are not a fan of sweet potato anyway! 2/5

What's more satisfying was the underrated and not-so-good looking Hokkaido Pork Shioyaki (S$22). Despite its mediocre appearance, I was pleasantly surprised at how crunchily fat and fresh (no piggy smell) it was. It is quite difficult to describe but it's really a jolly good dish. Must order! 5/5

Moving on to the heavier stuff, we also see the introduction of the Foie gras scallops don (S$28). Foie was not as common an ingredient before at Kabuke. In this we have foie gras cubes (basically animal butter), seared scallops and ikura on top of delectable sushi rice. And you can also pair this with some Jozen Mizunogotoshi Junmai Ginjo for S$9 during lunch (what a steal).

There's also the Kimochi Somen (S$36). Kimochi means comfortable in Japanese. And we were indeed in states of kimochiii when we had this cold somen dish with juicy fresh crab legs, popping ikura, uni and caviar. If you are feeling fancy and want to treat yo'self (and wagyu is not your jam), this is your dish. 

The Wagyu Suji Udon (S$18) in comparison seem tame. The flavours of this is very clean and plain - not to say in a bad way. Some people might prefer this over the more indulgent options! Not me though. The wagyu in this form was not entirely living up to its potential and I felt overall this was not exciting. I've been pretty spoilt, huh. 3/5

For example, when there's something like this Uni Sashimi (S$48) with roasted seaweed and fresh wasabi on hand. For uni fans, this might just be a dream come true to savour the 'butter of the sea'.  Again I don't really partake in too much uni so no ratings given but it looked really good!

Or the Unagi Tempura (S$18) marinated in sweet soy. I don't really eat eel because of their soft bones so I couldn't comment on this, but if you are an unagi fan, just know that you have this option!

Along with the new menu items there are also new cocktails on the menu if you want to go beyond just sake, such as the super delicious Negroni made with Japanese liquors. I'll update the drinks menu when I get it!

Anyway I had a great time eating and drinking as usual at Kabuke. I don't think I can recommend this enough or any more than I already have so do make a reservation on Chope or Quandoo and go check them out when you can!

200A Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068638
Mondays to Fridays 11.30am to 2pm (lunch)
Mondays to Thurs/Sat 6pm-11pm, Fridays 6pm-12am
Closed on Sundays

Thanks Kabuke for the invite!

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