Sunday, February 01, 2015

Koh Grill & Sushi Bar, Wisma Atria

I have never actually eaten this restaurant before simply because I couldn't make myself join the queue, hence a first visit to Koh (#04-21 Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 435 Orchard Road, tel : +65 9180 3805). But years ago, this establishment was known as Hamoru Japanese Restaurant and they were located at the Food Republic at Suntec City. I've had that and so yes, I've had that shiok maki before.

Koh is home grown Japanese, somewhat like Akashi with differences. It possesses a much more casual vibe. It's not a place for Japanese food snobs because you're not getting that kind of quality nor skill here. This is a place that one goes to eat stuff that you cannot get a proper Japanese joints because those are far too straight serious skilled and not localized enough. Likewise, serious Japanophilic food adventurers do not look at the sashimi or sushi options here. That's where this place kinda differs from Akashi.

They are known for their maki rolls though.

That's the pitan maki. A roll topped with diced century egg, a rich chilled century egg sauce and tobiko. It's really for people who like century eggs and I rather enjoyed this.

Koh's shiok maki is rather iconic. Also a very contemporary Japanese roll stuffed with unagi and draped with salmon that's generously with mayo enhanced by an aburi.  I seem to remember it feeling more shiok in the past when I popped them in my mouth. But maybe my taste has evolved since.

As the name of the restaurant implies, one can get grills. That's the foie gras on a stick. Pretty good, but it costed a bit more than Kazu. That means it's expensive here for the quality and quantity that's served.

We tried the lamb yaki out of curiosity. That little rib of meat costed as much as a larger rib of lamb at Kazu and doesn't taste half as good. Admittedly, it was a fairly tasty marinated protein that was nicely grilled and chopped to bits, but I couldn't really tell what meat it was. This where I re-emphasise on the restaurant being localized because that's what many local practice; a process for treating lamb carried down from the previous generation(s). They marinate lamb to death because they think everyone dislikes the natural flavours.

This defeats the purpose of ordering lamb, no?

That's cod with a tobiko mayo crust. If that could be described as a crust since it wasn't very crusty. It actually tasted pretty good, but the meat was a pretty thin and ragged cut for a fish like cod.

Here's their gyu yaki. To be fair, this wasn't doused with additional seasoning to mask the flavour of the meat. Just some salt and pepper which they got right. On the other hand, this was also one of the least beefy tasting bits of beef I've had. And a little sinewy. So while it wasn't a third as good as the wafu steak from Tampopo, it costed almost as much.

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