Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Omakase Kaiseki @ KUMO Kaiseki

Never underestimate the power of comfort food.

Some people indulge in a chocolate feast, some commit "carb-icide" with tons of pasta or potato anything, while others binge themselves sick with junk food. Different strokes for different folks indeed. I, on the other hand, would like to think that I'm a little bit more sophisticated when it comes to beating the occasional blues  with comfort food cos I go for Chef Nobu's Omakase Kaiseki Menu at Kumo Japanese Kaiseki to make myself happy!

For those not too familiar with Japanese cuisine, Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course dinner that is carefully prepared using the freshest ingredients in season. On top of its exquisite taste, each dish is carefully decorated with much attention to details to ensure its visual appeal. It usually comprises appetizer, a simmered dish, sashimi, a grilled course, a steamed course and whatever that's up to the chef. It's the western equivalent to haute cuisine. Omakase means the chef gets to decide what you get to eat and they basically start with your palate preference to tailor something for you.

My discovery on the mood-lifting power of Chef Nobu's Omakase Kaiseki came when someone  mentioned his comfort food of choice is none other than Omakase Kaiseki at Kumo. When he's depressed, he looks for Chef Nobu to hit him with some skillfully and artistically prepared Japanese cuisine. Omakase Kaiseki is definitely out of the choc-and-chips norm when choices of comfort food is concerned, but one visit to Kumo for Nobu's Omakase Kaiseki and I totally understand why.

Trained in Kyoto directly under Kaiseki Maestro Teiichi Yuki (the man who made Kaiseki dining famous and possibly the best Kaiseki chef in the world), Nobu is one of the few licensed chefs trained to serve fugu or the poisonous puffer fish (he jokingly asked who I'd like to kill when I tried to order some) and his attention to detail means every dish is an edible art piece to really savour. Below are the courses I had in its order.

The appetizer opens with a pretty display of seafood, vegetable and beef, decorated with fresh peach blossom. They tasted as good as they looked, leaving you lusting for more

This signature Bonito soup with crab meat dumpling and a hint of yuzu is definitely something I can never get enough! Oiishi!

Freshest sashimi (Kampachi, Tuna Toro and Kijiki) just got prettier with edible decorations

A simmered dish of fish might look ordinary but it's bursting with flavor. A total surprise

Grilled dish of tuna with side dishes of vegetable. Notice even the bean was so carefully cut to reveal just the right amount of peas in the pod and one of the pea was half-cut. Now that would take some skills

An interesting dish both in taste and texture. It's actually baby eels in special ponzu sauce

Steamed wakame and bamboo shoot came with matching bowl. It's super tasty with a rich flavored broth

Lightly pan seared wagyu beef in light sauce

Sushi platter haute cuisine style. They're all carefully made and decorated and extremely tasty. The fish was so fresh you simply don't need any soy sauce

Rare marbled wagyu beef. Nobu said it's an extremely rare cut near the shoulder blade (if I remember correctly) and they're rationed out to licensed restaurants around the world (Kumo Kaiseki is one of them). They don't come easy! I was really lucky!

The Omakase menu at Kumo normally ends with their special cheese cake but I traded it for my favorite Choya jelly! They use Choya, the famed Japanese Plum Wine, to cook the jelly before putting a bunch of fresh fruits. It's amazingly aromatic and super refreshing!

Kumo Omakase Kaiseki is nothing short of heavenly. In a somewhat corny way, Kumo is quitely aptly named as it means clouds in Japanese and I was definitely on cloud 9 in heaven every time I go there! It's my happy place where every dish makes my heart sing cos it's a visual treat as much as a gastronomical wonder. Kumo is officially my favorite Japanese restaurant in Singapore and really the best I've been to outside of Japan (yes, it totally trumps Oedo in Hong Kong). You seriously NEED to try it out! Satisfaction Guaranteed and I know I'm gonna be a regular now!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow this meal looks extremely pricey. Mind sharing what was the final bill? I see chef Nobu's kaiseki starts at 168+


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