23 year-old Aeron Choo is a one-woman show at Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar in Fortune Centre. Although young, she started working in kitchens at the age of 14 and has worked in Japan for about 2 years. Since she is the only one cooking, expect to spend at least 2.5 hours here. It sounds like a long time, but the courses arrive at a decent pace.
They now only serve $128++ omakase. If you want extra uni and caviar, there is a supplement of +$60, or additional caviar and ikura at +$40.
The first course: tiny cubes of surf clam, squid, sakura ebi, tobiko tossed with mayo (?). It tastes almost like dry cuttlefish with the fragrance of sesame. Very delicious. We sat up, full of anticipation for a good meal.
The second course: 3 kinds of tuna with shiso leaf, wrapped with seaweed. WOW. It is orgasmic. The crunchiness of the seaweed with the fattiness of tuna enhanced by aburi-ing. Blissful.
Third course: inspired by noodle cake, the compressed noodles are topped with winter truffle, yuzu from Mizuyimiya (sp?), ikura, and aburi Hokkaido scallop. This is the kind of newfangled dish that I would despise because it uses all things “hip” to attract young tastebuds; I want things that needed hard work to give a good payoff, not shortcuts. But then again, the chef is young, and, truth be told, it is enjoyable.
A generous amount of five kinds of sashimi: Amberjack, Spanish mackerel, king snapper, chicken grunt fish, and I forget the last one.
I’ve eaten fish with scales before at Corner House before, so the amadai (tile fish) didn’t impress me as much as the ladies sitting beside me along the long bar. But it is delicious. Very crispy with nice flakey meat in a yuzu ume (plum) sauce.
Saba on top of Hokkaido croquette. Chiobu liked it quite a bit. It is very good, the slight fishiness of the saba is undercut by the croquette.
A4 Hokkaido wagyu, simply marinated on miso, then aburi. Nice, but too salty.
Tuna sushi wrapped with seaweed.
Chutoro sushi. Choo said she experimented 141 times to get the golden ratio of shari rice and fish to derive the most delicious sushi. For the shari, she uses two types of vinegar. The sushi is up to par, not the best I’ve eaten but certainly not the worst.
At this point in time, Choo will ask you to rate how full you are. We said we were about 5/10 full and she gave us this bowl of rice that is cooked with stock from long leg crab, and truffle. Topped with corn and sakura ebi.
The restaurant’s name is “Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar,” already announcing itself that it won’t be a traditional Japanese restaurant, that it serves modern Japanese food. As a modern Japanese restaurant, it is excellent. There are no bad or even average dishes; all the dishes range from good to orgasmic.
My two constructive criticism is: (1) there are too many aburi items, making the omakase meal sound less creative that it is; and (2) the desserts need improving.
A food blogger I like very much for her candour said she strongly recommends people NOT to go. But I recommend the opposite: the food is super delicious, so good that Kappou may make it to the Best 10 Restaurants of 2017. Including green tea ($6/pax)—it’s seldom heard of that patrons pay for green tea at this price range—we paid $294 for two persons.
Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar
190 Middle Road, Fortune Centre #02-10A Singapore 188979
tel: +65 9819 2058
Service: 6/10 (the chef can be a little stubborn and proud.)
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Written by A. Nathanael Ho.