Food Review: Kabuke at Telok Ayer | Japanese Wagyu Bowl and Bar Bites with a Sake Flight
The Place Located at the second level of a shophouse along Telok Ayer, Kabuke seeks to deliver to diners a Japanese dining experience with a keen focus on sake. The restaurant name is therefore a play of the Japanese words Kabuki and Sake. The walls are painted with dark tones, while the space mainly comprise of high and long tables, with the exception of two low tables at the far end of the restaurant behind the two paintings of Kabuki performances. This feels like an ideal space to head over for a group gathering after work for a night of sake and bar snacks.
The Food Essentially Japanese food with a modern twist; the offerings are mainly pseudo bar food, Kabuke seeks to complement their food offerings with their sake selections. With the notion of making sake more accessible, Kabuke offers various sake options starting from just S$8 for a 90ml glass. Included on the menu are descriptions of the sake, and a sake chart giving diners more insights on their choice of “poison” for the night. You can even go for a Sake Flight at S$24, where you will get to enjoy 3 glasses of 50ml sake “shots”.
Some of the better options to go along with sake include the Shiso Tempura with Hotate Tartare (S$15) and the Salmon Bruschetta (S$6). Both the seafood options have the crisp texture, along with distinctly fresh seafood flavours.
The next snack made us wonder what took so long to piece these ingredients together. The Takoyaki Fries (S$12) gets you the usual ingredients of the Takoyaki balls (Octopus, Ebiko, Ikura, Bonito Flakes and Takoyaki sauce) and combines it with fries! This is a good portion for sharing, and perhaps one order of this dish may not suffice.
Another salivating option, the Crispy Goma Wings (S$12) is basically deep fried sesame chicken wings, with yuzu mayo wasabi sauce as the dip. Each order comes with 4 wings, and while it is frankly a very good rendition of a fried wing (crisp, juicy meats, hot while served, etc), I expect nothing less for its price tag.
I am not one who order corns usually, but this Baby Corn (S$10) gets my vote with its siracha mayo. Although again, I didn’t quite understand the pricing here, since baby corns are generally inexpensive. If you are seeking for greens, I strongly recommend the Nasu Dengkaku (S$9). The oven baked eggplants with either the sake-infused Miso or Yuzu is the most satisfying dish at Kabuke.
For a more filling option, go for the Kabuke Wagyu Bowl (S$28). This is a decent rendition of wagyu bowl, although I wouldn’t mind if the meats were served warm rather than cold. If you are not up for the standard offerings, go for the Mini Umami Bowls (Starting from S$3, with toppings from S$2) here, where you can customise what goes into your bowl. It’s like the Kabuke’s take on mixed vegetable rice, just more expensive.
For some after meal desserts, Kabuke serves up their Kabuke Cheese Platter (S$25), curated by The Cheese Artisans at Greenwood Avenue.
Rants The sakes are affordable, the food ain’t.
Will I Return Again? For a nights out session of Japanese food and sake, Kabuke seems a decent option – with other similar alternatives including Boruto Singapore along South Bridge Road, Shukuu Izakaya at the nearby Stanley Street, and Sumiya at Suntec City for its sake dispenser.
Make your reservation instantly at Kabuke here.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
200A Telok Ayer Street, Level 2
Tel: +65 8822 5525
Monday to Friday: 11.30am to 2pm (Lunch)
Monday to Thursday: 5pm to 11pm (Dinner), till 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday
Closed on Sunday
Ranted by The Rantee