The Place It is difficult to find a traditional Japanese Kaiseki restaurant in Singapore like Kaiseki Yoshiyuki. By the same group behind Horse’s Mouth, this restaurant at Forum Mall is helmed by Chef Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara, who previously spent seven years as the personal chef to Japanese ambassadors based in San Francisco and Singapore, and was honoured as an Excellent Chef of Diplomat Missions by the Japanese Foreign Service. Our expectations were high.
The space of Kaiseki Yoshiyuki is a cosy counter-seating setting which seats no more than ten-odd diners at each session, giving all the diners a chance to watch the chefs prepare our meal in full action. Of course, the bonus is that you get the chance to interact and ask any burning questions about the ingredients or dish to the Chef more easily.
The Food We went for the dinner Kaiseki set, specifically the 10-course Hinamatsuri (S$328++/person), which changes theme every month according to the seasonality of the ingredients. Most of the ingredients here are directly imported from Japan few times a week, such as Tsukiji Market for the sashimi or Kagoshima for its Wagyu beef. Throughout the course of the meal, the pace of each dish was good and there was proper explanation of every dish by the staff and Chef. Here are some of the notable highlights of this Kaiseki meal.
One of the highlights for me was the sashimi course where I tried the Tai and Maguro, of which my favourite was the Maguro sashimi (Chutoro and Otoro). I really enjoyed the fine touches of the whole presentation even though it is just one part of the multi-course Kaiseki meal. The fatty Maguro slices were served on wasabi leaf, topped with a deceptive Uni-lookalike soya sauce foam. Every bite was bliss.
On to Yakimono or grilled dish, the grilled Spanish Mackerel was topped with a foamy emulsion of predominantly egg yolk element. Even though this was a grilled dish, it didn’t taste any bit oily and I love the fineness of the flavours so far.
The Shiizakana of the Kaiseki meal often features a more substantial dish, and I couldn’t be more excited when I learnt that it was going to be a hotpot. The Kagoshima Wagyu Nabe was easily one of my favourite dishes that night especially since I’ve always have a penchant for Japanese Wagyu beef. The slices of well-marbled Wagyu beef were simply simmered in a hot bowl, and within seconds the beef was ready to be consumed. The whole texture literally melted in the mouth, and that clear soup was the perfect happy ending.
For Shokuji, which was one of the last course of the meal, we had the fragrant Sakura Ebi Rice with pickles. It was nothing fanciful, but it was satisfying.
For most traditional Kaiseki meal, it usually ends with Matcha and Japanese Sweets. We had the melon and strawberries from Shizuoka Prefecture, along with Matcha whisked by the chef.
If you are thinking about lunch, the group has recently introduced a Donburi lunch set (from S$25++) where you get to enjoy it at the adjoining space at Horse’s Mouth. S0me of the Donburi lunch set options include the Sakura Ebi Don, Tendon (Tempura Rice), Gyudon (Beef Rice) and Maguro Zuke Don (Marinated Raw Tuna), and comes with Japanese appetizer, Miso soup and dessert.
Rants Well, it’s most definitely not for the budget conscious.
Will I Return Again? For the special occasion, this will be a highly recommended place to indulge and impress. In addition to the monthly theme menu, Kaiseki Yoshiyuki also has its omakase menu, giving both its regulars and new diners options. Overall, you are sure to be satisfied here, that’s a guarantee. And if budget is an issue, head here for the set lunches.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
583 Orchard Road
Forum The Shopping Mall
B1-39, Singapore 238884
Tel: +65 8188 0900
Monday to Saturday: 12 to 1.30pm; 7 to 9.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter