Ki-Sho, Exquisite Japanese Omakase by Chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto

ki-sho2014-2

Ki-Sho at 29 Scotts Road is one destination for Omakase fans. The restaurant, aptly named ‘aristocratic craftsmanship’ symbolizes the bridge in which Chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto creates between the domains of culinary art and gastronomic flavours. With a selection of two six- and nine-course Omakase set menus, priced respectively at $300++ and $450++ per person, one is almost promised a fine dining experience that will tickle the tastebuds in bursts of freshness and tasteful delights. It will be one night where you’d wish the adventure doesn’t end.

IMG_6874



Chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto is Ki-Sho’s Chef de Cuisine. Hailing from Wakayama prefecture, Chef Hamamoto started his culinary journey from Kyoto and trained as a Kaiseki artisan. Eventually, he travelled to Singapore and thereafter joining Waku Ghin at the Marina Bay Sands before joining Ki-Sho. Chef Hamamoto’s humble beginning in Kyoto shows in the omakase he creates, as he tries to stay true to the essence of Kyoto cuisine whilst paired with an exquisite selection of sake which he personally sourced from Japan.

IMG_6885

Sake for the night. Experience the subtle yet distinct differences in aroma and intensity as you try the sake from either the sake cup or wine glass.

IMG_6880

First up for the night, Chef served up an Usuimame Tofu with Ikura and Wasabi. Classical choices of ingredients from the green pea tofu to the use of salmon roe simply changes the overall flavour as the marriage of salty sweet roe melds with the textured and slightly earthy tofu base. The touch of wasabi at the top freshens things up, preparing one for the next bite. Beautiful, especially during these hot days.



IMG_6889

As Japan is entering its summer months, the types of ingredients available inspired Chef to create the Summer Vegetable Salad with Sayori, Akagai, Tsubugai, Mirugai and Mentaiko. This combination of snapper roe, japanese cucumber, lady fingers, scallops, geoduck and arkshell in a base of egg yolk and vinegar sauce is refreshing to say the least, and tantalizing to a memorable impression. I would hardly call this a vegetable salad as the use of fresh seafood was simply stunning and distinct. The egg yolk and vinegar base was the perfect accompaniment to the various ingredients as it dressed up the flavours in notes of creaminess and satisfying goodness.

IMG_6900Next up, the Smoked Bonito. While bonito may be a common fish in Japan, the one that Chef sources from Wakayama prefecture is according to him, at least 4 times the average quality. The fish carries a distinct aroma of tender smokiness, with a mild yet sharp metallic flavour that is well complemented with the ponzu sauce. The slightly charred fragrance from the skin blends in very nicely, making this a clear favourite for the night.

IMG_6907

This dish of Uni and Caviar can be considered the restaurant’s specialty. Created with Hokkaido sea urchin, Italian caviar, beans, shiso flower, white vinegar jelly, gold rush corn and placed atop a wasabi leaf, this is one dish that is both visually stunning and mesmerising. The freshness of uni is well paired with the salty and crisp caviar, complemented by the side of jelly for that bit of texture. The corn’s sweetness adds to the overall flavour. To me, the best possible way to enjoy this dish is to try it wholly first in a single bite, and thereafter, slowly peel back at the layers of sea urchin for that luxurious goodness.

IMG_6911

Assorted Sashimi of Sharkskin flounder, anago, yellow jack and chutoro. While the fatty tuna might be the most appealing at first sight, I was equally impressed with the portion of flounder and anago. The flounder was crunchy, sweet and firm while the anago carried a slightly smoky flavour in a savoury setting.

IMG_6918As a special treat, Chef grilled some Ootoro for us. The fattiest part of the tuna is lightly grilled over charcoal and served to guests immediately. No further preparation is required. The fish simply melts in the mouth with a distinct sweet savouriness that possibly encapsulates the dining experience of the entire night.

IMG_6924

I saw the Kyoto Oden with Taraba and Hokkaido Daikon as a clear break before the next part of the meal. The broth was clear and lightly scented with soy, with sweetness from the king crab and abalone. The Hokkaido daikon was surprisingly fragrant with a touch of freshness emanating from it. I was pleasantly enthralled by the sesame tofu which I mistakenly thought was a piece of regular tofu. Lo and behold, the texture was slightly rough with its flavours mellow and smoky – reminding you of a portion of freshly prepared dough.

IMG_6941I am with full praise for the Jyoshu Wagyu Sukiyaki. The wagyu, a gorgeous grade A5 +11, epitomizes luxury. Its combination with egg yolk and a lightly sweet sauce base complements the marbled fattiness of the meat, leaving you craving for more. And as a side note, I found the sweet scent from the dish simply alluring and tantaslizing.

IMG_6898

Chef slicing a piece of the Jyoshu Wagyu A5 +11.IMG_6949

Blackthroat Seaperch Sushi

The second last course for the night was the Assorted Nigiri Sushi. In the night’s selection, chef prepared a little more so that everyone can see what varieties Ki-Sho has to offer.

IMG_6950

Kinmedai (Golden Snapper) – Distinct and crispy, with a flavour that is smooth and savoury. The kinmedai will always be one of my favourites.

IMG_6952

Sea Urchin – This needs little introduction. Velvety and creamy with the tender sweetness of nectar and honey straight from the sea. I loved this.

IMG_6954

Fish fin muscle – Chef was telling me how the fish fin is actually one of the most prized parts of the fish. Brimming with fat, yet textured with muscle, the result is one that is both creamy and crunch. Served warm, this was simply satisfying.

IMG_6955

Chutoro (Medium fatty tuna)

IMG_6956

Chopped tuna with soya sauce marinated egg yolk – I was puzzled by this serving and enquired what it was. However, chef told me to try it first and was I amazed by the freshness from the chopped tuna combined with a yolky rich savoury creamy topping. It was impressive to see the egg yolk firm yet a little runny, carved out in a little pyramid shape just to act as a topping. And as I was told, the eggs were naturally from Japan.

IMG_6958

Ootoro

IMG_6960

The piece de resistance for the night was the Wagyu and Uni. Buttery smooth sea urchin is topped on a roll of luxurious fatty beef. Imagine the contrast in flavours from the sea sweetness to the grounded tenderness, only to be complemented with a little serving of freshly grated wasabi stuffed within the warm vinegared sushi rice. Heaven.

IMG_6962

Miso Soup

IMG_6965

Dessert of Sato nishiki Cherry Jelly, Japanese Strawberry, Warabimochi, Matcha Chocolate. Look out for the freshly prepared jellies with seasonal fruits from Japan.

IMG_6879

IMG_6876

IMG_6972Me and Chef Hamamoto

The dining experience at Ki-Sho is easily summed up with the word – divine. The more rustic presentations leaves one to discover the beauty of each ingredient that when fresh, adds a copious amount of unique flavours to the dish. Chef Hamamoto’s choices in preparing the Summer Omakase menu definitely left me pleasantly surprised with each dish easily surpassing the previous creation. Still, there were clear favourites for me like the Summer Vegetable Salad and the Jyoshu Wagyu Sukiyaki which left memorable impressions that make me look forward to even more creations from Chef’s repertoire. To those who would love to have an Omakase to remember, with the freshest of ingredients to go with it, think Ki-Sho as it truly stands out from the crowd in both price and quality.

Thank you Ki-Sho for the invitation

Ki-Sho
29 Scotts Road
Singapore 228224
www.scotts29.com
Opens from:Mon to Sat 6.30pm – 1am
Last order Midnight
Closed on Sundays and Public HolidaysA La Carte Menu is available from 10.30pm to Midnight
Omakase:
Tachi Aoi – $300++
Ki-Sho – $450++