“Kappo” 割烹 which means “to cut and cook”, is used to refer to the traditional way of cooking Japanese cuisine with dedication. We finally have a dedicated Kappo restaurant in Singapore.
Niku Kappo, which originated from Tsukiji and offers the authentic Japanese Kappo cuisine, has opened at B3 of ION Orchard (directly above Jasons, a floor above MUJI).
This is the first Niku Kappo outlet out of Japan, and is brought in by the WATAMI group.
A Kappo restaurant is one where the chef will cook right in front of the guests, for an overall enriching ambience and experience.
It makes the entire meal more interactive and ‘entertaining’ as well, as you can watch the chefs prepare dishes with dedication and meticulous effort.
At Niku Kappo, the focus is on the Niku, 肉, which is the selection of meat.
The food selection is different from other Japanese restaurants, and you get food items such as Meat Sushi, Meat Hot Pot (shaped like Mt Fuji), and an Iron Pot dish of Yaki Tetsu freshly prepared by the table side.
With multiple selections to choose from, here are 7 Signature items from the Niku Kappo menu:
Tokusen Niku Sushi Mori ($36.90, 9 kinds 1 pc each)
Meat Sushi, aka Niku Sushi, is something different from the sushi that we are familiar with.
Instead of using sashimi (raw fish) as a topping, a slice of meat such as wagyu or chicken is used.
The Tokusen Niku Sushi Mori is a selection of 9 pieces of meat sushi out of the 10 offerings here. Suitable for those who cannot decide which one to get, or just want to try everything.
This is a generous platter of Wagyu Rump, Grilled Miso Wagyu, Wagyu Toro Sushi, Wagyu Uni Sushi, Wagyu Uni Gunkan (wrapped by Wagyu), Wagyu Tataki Sushi (seared on the surface), Wagyu Rossini (with foie gras and shaved truffle), Shime Dori (Chicken) and Tori Mentai Gunkan (shredded chicken with mental mayo).
My favourite was the the Wagyu Toro Sushi, enhanced with a soft and fatty bite; and Wagyu Uni Gunkan tasted all-in-all sweet and creamy with a subtle hint of saltiness.
Mt. Fuji Nabe ($18.90)
This is that one dish that is the centre of attraction and hard to miss.
With a tall and huge structure resembling Tokyo’s famed icon Mount Fuji, the dish comes with 200g of meat piled up with assorted vegetables in a hot pot, in a rich pork bone soy sauce broth.
Similar to that of a Sukiyaki where the ingredients are slowly cooked in the Japanese hot pot, there are two options available: the Beef & Pork or Pork Nabe (means “Hot pot” in Japanese).
A substantial portion good for sharing.
As the meat was thinly sliced, the flavour of the broth was easily absorbed into the meat to give it a slightly salty, savoury taste. Oishii!
Yaki Tetsu Edo Style ($18.90 – $31.90)
“Yaki Tetsu” means “cooking on iron” in Japanese. The flat round shape of the pot ensures even distribution of the heat, enhancing absorption of the sauce.
The Yaki Tetsu is available in 3 different types of beef options: AUS Beef ($18.90 per pax), AUS Wagyu ($25.90 per pax) and Akagi Wagyu ($31.90 per pax) and requires a minimum order for 2 pax.
While the dish is made upon order and freshly prepared beside the table, the “Edo Ama Miso” known for its sweetness is first added to the iron pot to cook the meat and served in a tamago (egg) sauce.
The second dish is then prepared by filling the entire pot with beef, vegetables and tofu and slowly simmered over fire.
Niku Tendon ($12.90)
Probably the first in Singapore to serve Pork tempura in a Tendon bowl.
As the name implies, there was only meat (pork and chicken) with fried seaweed and the usual vegetables, without the usual prawn tempura.
Drizzled with a sweetish savoury sauce on the thin, crispy, golden battered crust, I loved the light and airy batter that coated the pieces.
For the price of $12.90, this is probably also one of the cheapest Tendon (aka Tempura Donburi) in Singapore.
Tori Kushi Mori ($18.90)
For the non-beef eaters, there is the option of the traditional Japanese chicken dish – Grilled chicken skewers.
Each skewer is topped with sesame (Rikyu style), yuzu (Yuan style), miso (Saikyo style), teriyaki and vinegar & tartar (Nan Ban style), available at $3.90 each.
Tori Kushi Mori offers a platter of all 5 skewers at $18.90. My favourites were the Yuzu (Yuan style), and Vinegar & Tartar (Nan Ban style) – both citrusy and appetising.
Dancing Caesar Salad ($7.90)
The salad doesn’t dance (literally), but instead, the salad is prepared, stirred and tossed in front of the diners by the (dancing) service crew. How entertaining.
Shirasu & Ikura Pizza ($13.90)
A fusion dish between the Italian and Japanese, resulting in a thin crust pizza with tomato sauce, topped with whitebait and salmon roe.
The salmon roe added some texture to the pizza, that sent a burst with every bite.
Dining at Niku Kappo was an interesting and enriching experience, from the unique dishes that revolved around various meats to the live food preparation by the table side.
ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #B3-23, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10:00pm (Mon-Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape. Photos by @stormscape and @DanielFoodDiary. This entry is brought to you in partnership with Niku Kappo.