Kinki Restaurant + Bar is one of those places that you just don’t forget easily. The hip ambience and gorgeous panoramic view of the Marina Bay waterfront are a huge draw. Besides, who can ignore the cheeky moniker?
Located at the conservation building of Customs House in the Fullerton Heritage precinct, Kinki serves modern Japanese cuisine. During our lunch here, the restaurant is packed with the office crowd from the surrounding corporate jungle. Despite the busy chow hours, Chef Kinki succeeds in sending out some outlandishly strong culinary signals.
Sides & Starters
Presented on a long transparent platter, the Tai Carpaccio is eye-catching and exceedingly delicious. The thinly-sliced snapper is very fresh – there’s no fishy stench at all – with dabs of truffle dressing.
For combating the hot weather, the cold dish of Momotaro tomato is a godsend that cools you down instantly. Spruced up with a sassy ginger dressing, the succulent tomatoes carry quite a kick. I can never get tired of eating this.
The beautifully-textured pomegranate miso black cod is meaty and moist, the sweet pomegranate-honey miso marinade caramelising on the outside of the grilled fillet.
Sushi & Sashimi
From the sushi menu you would discover the inventive pairing of foie gras and scallop. It’s hard to say that this unlikely marriage works when you only get to taste the overpowering flavour of the pan-seared foie gras and not much of the raw Hokkaido scallop. That being said, the foie gras does taste excellent. Be prepared to shell out the dough for this. At $22 a pair, that’s almost $13 a pop after taxes.
On the other hand, a surprisingly low-priced item is the Zuwaigani (snow crab). Served on ice complete with a little potted plant arrangement, get ready to tuck into chunky slices of sweet crab meat conveniently without the hassle of deshelling.
Stuffed with snow crab and asparagus and topped with a tiara of spicy scallop, the spicy scallop maki sounds really good on paper, but turns out surprisingly bland and bereft of pizazz.
For the lunchtime crowd, Kinki has a range of lunch sets available that include a side salad, miso soup and mochi ball.
If you’re in the mood for teriyaki, try the grilled Jidori chicken, enlivened with a teriyaki glaze and sesame.
For those with heartier appetites, the Chirashi Donburi comes with a medley of the chef’s seafood selection for the day.
Apart from the food, the wide repertoire of drinks makes Kinki an ideal venue for an intimate cocktail after dinner.
The Geisha Sake-rita is a refreshing margarita with Yuzu sake and passion fruit syrup. The marijuana leaf lookalike sure adds visual appeal!
If you’re the adventurous type that fancies some spice in your drink, like Bloody Mary, be sure to try the Spicy Hachimitshu, an intriguing concoction of vodka, honey umeshu, lemon, Japanese cucumber and yes, wasabi. While you may not get the nostril-searing effect, there is a distinct lingering spicy after-taste.
If you can, get a spot next to the windows. That way, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the waterfront scenery.
Looking around the restaurant, you may spot some wall paintings of a sumo wrestler lookalike. That’s none other than Chef Kinki, complete with fish-shaped hair chopsticks!
The menus, printed with Japanese comics on the cover, also feature the same character.
While the prices at Kinki Restaurant + Bar may not be the lowest in town, with a view this good and a very attractive menu, neither your palate nor your wallet should feel short-changed.
What are your favourite restaurants at the Marina Bay waterfront? Tell us in the comments!