EDIT: We visited Kumo a month ago, and recently heard that its last operational day was Saturday, 3 days ago. A blog is supposed to document our personal experience with food, and we should be able to do what we like on our blog, so we decided to publish this review.
Kumo 雲, which means cloud, is helmed by stylo Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki, an Osaka native with 30 years of culinary experience. The menu changes with seasons, and we went for the summer lunch menu. According to the website, lunch options include $38+, $78+, and $138+. Before we went, we planned to order a $78+ and a $138+ set to have a wide sampling, but for some strange reason, when we were there, the $138+ set wasn’t on the menu. Perhaps it is only available for pre-order.
We ended up with lunch Kaiseki ($78+), and Wagyu Amiyaki lunch ($78+); and we both agreed that the former had better value. Lunch Kaiseki had 7 courses, while Wagyu Amiyaki only 4.
Amiyaki set – appetizer
Kaiseki set – appetizer
They both came with appetizers featuring summer produce (yam) and seafood (prawn), but the Kaiseki set had a zesty chilled scallop, and the sweetest pumpkin imaginable. Everything from the Amiyaki was soaked in a yuzu sauce, invigorating but not the same value and elevation as Kaiseki.
Amiyaki set – sashimi
Kaiseki set – sashimi
The two sets also came with sashimi, which was firm, and flavorful, but again, the Kaiseki Set had better value – or was it because it came on a fabulous silver plate embossed with images of clouds?
Kaiseki then had three more dishes, a unagi atop a ball of fried minced meat (not unlike ngoh hiang) in a sticky sauce; okra-and-fish salad with peanut powder; and tempura which had meat and vegetable mixed together as a piece. All three were well-balanced and tasty, leaving us wanting for more. What needed to be crispy stayed crispy.
For the mains, the Wagyu Amiyaki set was visually more impressive, and might have an advantage in its ingredients. The aroma of the charcoal imbued the Kyoto wagyu striploin. Just a little salt to bring out the flavors of beef, which unfortunately came in 5 thumb-sized pieces. The cod fish Gindara of the Kaiseki set was overpowered by a too-salty teriyaki sauce but we still enjoyed it.
Desserts – Choya jelly with sour antioxidants, very refreshing.
We paid $175 for two (with GST, no service charge). Considering how delicate, and exquisite the food was; how first-rate, polite, knowledgeable, and observant the service was (a Singaporean male waiter bothered to inform us our next course might take some time, kudos to him!); and how comfortable and classy the decor was, this meal was pretty good value. But they should stop playing bebop jazz (disruptive), and concentrate on vocal or smooth jazz. There were only 2 other seated tables at the quiet restaurant, and they were both Japanese, attesting perhaps that the food appeals to Japanese sensibility. I recommend this restaurant wholly.
12 Gopeng Street, Icon Village #01-58 Singapore 078877
T: 6225 8433
12-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm, closed Sun
Rating: 3.813/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.