The Place This is a new hidden Kaiseki Bar and restaurant. Goho by Proper Concepts (the team behind Rappu, Mezcla) definitely redefines kaiseki dining. As the new extension of Singapore’s Handroll bar, Rappu, you need to enter through Rappu to get to Goho which is located on level two of the shophouse. The setting of the 55-seater restaurant splits itself between the 2nd floor and an intimate mezzanine which serves as a lounge for cocktails or digestifs after your meal.
The 11-metre long marble counter is where diners get to witness and experience the chefs preparing each dish.
The dimly lit restaurant exudes an energetic dining ambience from the music, neon lights and a bar seating layout as opposed to a traditional kaiseki.
The Food The term ‘Goho’ refers to the five cooking methods that are integral to Japanese Kaiseki cuisine. These methods which include Nama (Cutting), Niru (Simmering), Yaku (Grilling), Musu (Steaming), and Ageru (Deep-Frying), and it is the ethos of the menu here.
Goho only opens for dinner service currently, and there are only 3 options to choose named after 5-petal Japanese flowers – Sakura, Sumire and Ume – and are priced at S$98, S$138 and S$188 respectively. For beverages, you can opt for Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic pairings.
I had the Ume (S$188) menu, and the meal is organised into a series of themes as follows:
The Seasonal Monaka is Monkfish Liver, Sweet Pickled Japanese Strawberries and Myoga (Japanese Ginger) sandwiched in the crisp wafers. Quite an interesting presentation and it is my first time having monkfish liver this way.
Next part of the Sakizuke is the Yuzu Yogurt Explosion, a refreshing burst of flavours to cleanse the palate.
There are three mini parts to the Hassun – Uni Ikura Chawanmushi, Seasonal Aged Sashimi where I had the Spanish Mackerel, and the Satsumaimo Ebi Puff which is Japanese Purple Sweet Potato filled with Diced Amaebi with its own roe.
This dish is called Nori Buri Mosaic, which has an interesting mosaic pattern for the Kombu-cured Kanpachi (Amberjack) – more style factor here over taste element.
The soup I had was the Abalone & Scallop Consommé with Crab Dumping, a comforting bowl of soup as a respite after the series of appetisers.
For the grilled dish, the Wagyu Shortrib is delicious. You get Black Garlic and Balsamic-glazed Wagyu Short Ribs, topped with freshly shaved Karasumi (Mullet Roe), and accompanied by an oozing Japanese Soy-cured Egg Yolk. It also takes reference to sukiyaki, where you can have the sliced beef with the egg yolk. I like the sauce here which has a strong black garlic profile, very flavourful.
The second part of the Yakimono is the Duck Tsukune with Caviar. Traditional Tsukune is usually made with Chicken and this version resembles Japanese Scotch Egg with a poached Quail Egg with a yolk encased in Duck meat glazed and grilled over bincho. It is a burst of flavours with the duck and egg taking centrestage for me, though I definitely favour the Wagyu Shortrib more.
This is another of my favourite course here. The Miso Butter Engawa is lovely as I like the rich and buttery flavour of the fish, where the texture is just right for me as well. It is served in Yuzu Beurre Blanc, so you get that extra bit of buttery and zesty taste from the sauce.
The second part of the Shiizakana act is the Awabi with Uni, where the poached awabi (abalone) is served along with sushi rice mixed with abalone liver sauce, and topped with Bafun Uni and Japanese Sea Grapes. I enjoyed the rice more than the abalone, which has a sweetness from the abalone liver sauce.
The course which is probably the weakest for me. Scallop Tempura and corn is served with garlic matcha salt, though the texture of the tempura is rather soggy and not as crisp as I would imagine.
I like the crispy texture of the rice for the Seasonal Donabe with Lobster Miso Soup and Assorted Pickles. The lobster miso soup is served in a small bowl by the side and is luscious on its own, though the best way to enjoy the dish is to pour some of the soup over the rice.
The last savoury course is theatrical to say the least. The Mt. GOHO features a gorgeous glass dome filled with Uni, Wagyu Beef, Toro, Snow Crab Legs, Ikura, and Caviar, before the chef smoke the glass with Bonito Flakes and a cheeky spray of Gold Dust.
Fancy presentation, delicious flavours, and a great way to end the meal with a bang.
For dessert, I had the Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream with Seasonal Fruit and Japanese Meringue.
Rants This is definitely not a zen dining ambience if that is what you are looking for. As it is bar setting, it might not be so ideal for groups of more than three if you are looking to have quality conversations over the meal.
Will I Return Again? Goho is worth checking out if you are looking to try a modern kaiseki experience. The menu is priced relatively affordable, which should be a draw for the younger crowd as well.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
53A Duxton Road
Singapore 089517 (Entrance via RAPPU)
Wednesdays to Sundays: 6pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays
Ranted by The Ranter