A friend bought lunch today. We had great time chatting about the charity he was actively leading last 25years, travel & food.
As it was DiningCity Restaurant Week (18-24mar2013), I suggested the $35nett lunch set at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant. There was just a little confusion as many restaurants were awarded DiningCity Star (and Kumo Kaiseki was 1 of them), and this meant they charged additional S$15 & S$20 respectively on top of the standardised S$25++ lunches & S$35++ dinners. Most if not all ‘Star’ restaurants would simply indicate lunches as S$40++ & dinners as S$55++ to avoid confusion but Kumo did not. So we called up to make sure that we would be paying S$35nett and NOT S$50++ & that was indeed the case (good to be certain than have wrong expectations and be disappointed..haha..). 🙂
I have stopped going for Restaurant Week these days as there is nothing much on offer. S$40 lunches & S$55 dinners at the ‘Star’ restaurants like Oso, Gaia, Absinthe etc are not cheap and also usually restrictive on the menu items especially mains c/w their daily lunches. Last year for example, UOB had very good 1 for 1 Young Chef Creation Menu in many restaurants and you get a 4-course S$68 1 for 1 menu at Gaia vs a S$40 3-course Restaurant Week menu at the same restaurant! Even at La Cicala Gastrobar (which has no Star), the usual S$25 set lunch menu is to me better than the same-priced Restaurant Week menu.
This Kumo S$35nett menu looks good though.
I had a kaiseki dinner only once at Kumo using a $50 Kitchen Language (which owns Kumo, Salta, Ochre, Saltwater cafe) voucher. Kumo’s food is good but not great for the price c/w say Hachi, and if you are not overly enameled with kaiseki presentation, I think Kuriya Dining’s monthly sets offer better value. For me, none of them can compare with Mikuni using the Feed@Raffles card with 50% discount for 2pax, so I usually frequent Mikuni, but it is good to have a change once a while.
The first course, tai (sea bream) sashimi topped with ikura (salmon roe), was truly delightful in all departments – taste, colour, presentation! the jelly (can’t remember what it is) went really well with the tai sashimi. every item (broadbean, petals & all) was edible. This dish was very impressive even for a full course kaiseki! 🙂
The lotus & prawn dumpling were ok & tasty, nothing to wow about. the bonito soup was also ok with a nice after taste.
The main course comprised a braised saga wagyu shank & some vegetable items in batter & the usual gohan set of rice, pickles & miso soup. This really was quite so-so, very average taste wise. As a braised item, one could not tell much between wagyu (& Japanese wagyu at that!) & normal beef.
also done this way it is more commonly served as an appertiser item (eg Dozo serves a japanese braised beef as an appertiser item in their 6-course lunches which maybe tastes same or better), and is no comparison with the modern european braised lamb shanks served in many restaurants here.
The yasai (野菜) furai (not a tempura batter) was a good complement to the braised beef.
Well at S$35nett (S$30++ just for comparison though Kumo actually does not charge 10% service) for such a lunch, I guess there was little to complain about except for the parking costing S$10 at neighbouring Amara Hotel. 🙂
The dessert was a nice red bean mochi which I liked & 1/2 a strawberry.
Overall, it was a very pleasant meal and also nice way of keeping up with a friend.