Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kazu Sumi-Yaki Restaurant, Cuppage Plaza

Kazu Sumiyaki, Cuppage
The menu for Kazu was astoundingly large for variety. It took a while before we could even register what we had browsed while running through the list of items that were available. Spoilt for choice would be an understatement here while we were momentarily frozen by indecision. That also meant that there was likely still a whole bunch of things which I've have just given cursory glances and did not remember seeing. I suppose that boded well, especially when we liked the food here.

Kazu Sumiyaki, CuppageiKazu is located at the fourth story of Cuppage Plaza - which is right behind Orchard Point or just across the Starhub building near Centrepoint. They're one of a few Japanese restaurants in the building that looked to be really crowded during dinner. The atmosphere does get a little noisy from the din of the crowd and wait staff along with the constant background sizzle of the grills in the kitchen which seems to be continuously ongoing without end from the time we stepped into the restaurant. Tables were packed Kazu Sumiyakiquite closely. Seating arrangements per individual included space that was just slightly bigger than elbow room at the tables. If you're looking for peace and quiet at dinner, this place is not it. Otherwise, you've just landed yourself  good Japanese kushiyaki joint. My observation of vibrant hustle came from a weekend crowd so I've no idea if they're equally crowded during the weekdays.

I'm not sure if this place serves "regular" Japanese food but we were here today for their charcoal grills on skewers which I have been curious about after reading it from D's entry.

Kazu Sumiyaki, herring roeHerring roe

This was served in five pieces. Texture was akin to rehydrated fish maw, just more compact. The roe was buoyantly firm and crumbled as you sunk your teeth into them. Each crumbled piece was still firm. I could feel the eggs burst like hundreds of tiny water balloons in between my teeth as I chewed them, releasing their saltiness. On the top are bonito.

Kazu Sumiyaki, ankimoAngler fish liver

The smooth creamy angler fish liver was like a chilled foie gras, albeit with a stronger liver taste. I liked this. The orange grated topping was spicy radish. Chilled ponzu sauce had an invigorating citrus flavour that paired well with the spiciness and the spring onions on top. According to the waitress, this liver is seasonal and is only available during the winter season in Japan. Another item she mentioned to be seasonal for winter in the menu was cod sperm.

Kazu Sumiyaki, horse sashimiHorse sashimi

Now that I've tried horse sashimi, I didn't think that it was much out of the ordinary as a meat. The sliced meat wasn't fulling thawed and didn't have much of flavour. Was not sure what to expect of horse meat. Felt like cold and unsalted salami which I thought was rather boring. There was a sesame oil dip on the side which helped but otherwise, I wasn't impressed to any degree.

Kazu Sumiyaki, oysters baconOyster in pork belly wrap

Oysters blanketed in pork belly - which were akin to having them wrapped in bacon. These skewers were served piping hot and one should be wary about popping the whole roll into the mouth. Lest the hot juices from the oyster exact their revenge on you.

Kazu Sumiyaki, kushiyakiGolden mushroom(top 2) and asparagus(bottom 2) pork belly wraps

The pork belly wraps for the mushroom and asparagus were sliced very thinly that one can almost not taste them. However I  dug the golden mushrooms and asparagus so this was a must try for us as it was our first time here. They were not bad at all.

Kazu Sumiyaki, foie grasFoie gras

Foie gras was another no brainer. At $5.50 a stick, it was affordable. Not as good as the pan fried ones but it came quite close. A slightly crispy grilled surface that enveloped a soft creamy inside which disintegrated as you wedge it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Kazu Sumiyaki, squidGrilled squid in sweet sauce

I mentioned liking squid before. Kazu's grilled squids were pretty good. The meat was firm with enough bite, yet not rubbery. I did think it would have done better if it were a little more charred. The legs were removed and skewered.

Kazu Sumiyaki, tororo ringoGrilled pork with apple

I was instantly curious about these after reading about them on D's blog. Not surprising, these were pretty damn good and was claimed to be something of a specialty at Kazu by the server. Chunky pieces of tender fatty pork infused with the flavour of the grilled apples wedged between them.

Kazu Sumiyaki, kushiyakiMinced chicken with cheese in zucchini (left 2), grilled cod belly (second from right) and grilled chicken hearts (right)

The minced chicken and cheese in the zucchini wasn't fantastic. I could hardly taste any cheese. Will not order them again the next time. The cod belly was decent but I prefer my cod to be in larger pieces. Grilled chicken hearts were chewy. I'm not sure if I've ever had chicken hearts before today but I found them delicious. The heart is the strongest muscle in our body and I would presume it to be so for chickens as well. I suppose hence, the texture of the hearts were more meaty. But not tough. 

Kazu Sumiyaki, tunagrilled tuna

I'm not usually big on cooked tuna but these were quite good. The insides were slightly rare instead of fully cooked which worked out for me. Didn't touch the leeks though.

Kazu Sumiyaki, kushiyakiox tongue(left) & Japanese wagyu beef(right 2)

Ox tongue tasted like a chewier beef. The wagyu here was quite well cooked. Despite that, it wasn't tough and the buttery flavour came through courtesy from the heart clogging amount of fat marbled into the meat. We were not sure of what the difference was between the Japanese, Australian or the US version, so we picked Japanese at random. If I remember correctly, it was $10 a stick.

Kazu Sumiyaki, snowdrop"Snowdrop"

That's a dessert call Snowdrop. The lump in the centre was ice cream (which you can choose between green tea or black sesame) that is wrapped in mochi skin. In the ice cream were some almond pastry and a chunk of milk chocolate in the centre. The golden weave (or hair) on the top was made of sugar. Though nnot a bad dessert, I didn't think too much of it.

Would definitely like to return again someday since I never got to try the crab and pumpkin croquette and pumpkin ice cream - they ran out of pumpkin. I also think that there are items from their menu that could appeal to me. What we've had so far left a pretty good impression.


D said...

Hey man,

Glad you enjoyed this joint as much as I did. Yeah, actually a few of my mates were telling me not to blog about Kazu since it's getting hard to even get a table on a weekday night, but that defeats the purpose of my blog doesn't it? And a belated happy New Year to you. Keep up the entries aye?


LiquidShaDow said...

Happy belated new year to you too D. I see you're still doing the entries of Vietnam.

I had no idea Kazu is so hot. I'll be back one day. There's just so many things in the menu. :P

LiquidShaDow said...

Thanks for dropping by and the note E-a-l B. Will bear the location in mind the next time I am in the vicinity.

Anonymous said...


wonder what's the damage here? Have seen some of the individual pricing but not for the whole meal, correct?Thanks!

LiquidShaDow said...

Hi indigo,
If I do not recall wrongly, the total's about $165 for 3 persons.