One of the best places to head for the best of Japanese food in a single place is at Japan Food Town, Wisma Atria.
TAKI Kyoto Grill is its latest addition, branded as the 1st ever Kyoto-style kushiyaki restaurant in Singapore for you to experience “Kuzushi-Kappo” – to bring out the best and natural flavours out from premium ingredients.
Can’t deny that kushiyaki and yakitori restaurants are getting popular in Singapore, where grilled meat or vegetables on a skewer pair well with sake. (Both yakitori and kushiyaki are used interchangeably in Japan to refer to skewered meat collectively.)
The restaurant was relocated from Boat Quay and continues to dish out authentic Japanese cuisine, offering sake appetisers, skewers, grills, rice bowls, udon and desserts.
Chef Kazuyoshi Takubo with 10 years of culinary experience helms the kitchen.
Don’t make the same mistake as me by walking all the way inside Japan Food Town to look for the restaurant. TAKI is actually located right at the entrance.
I was initially curious at “Kyoto-style yakitori”.
The meats are said to be seasoned with a signature Kuro Shichimi (Black Seven Spices), a blend consisting of white sesame, chili pepper, dried sea weed, poppy seeds, black sesame and hempseeds for a distinctive aroma and taste.
The selection offered is comprehensive, from Tamagoyaki ($1.90+), Chicken Miso-Marinated ($3.50+), Yakitori Negima Kyoto Spice ($3.80+), Mushroom Pork Roll ($3.80+), Chicken Wing ($3.50+), Beef Cube Steak and Onion ($6.80+), Bacon with Mozzarella Cheese and Black Pepper ($5.80+), Shrimp ($4.50) and Unagi Kabayaki Skewer ($4.80).
I would suggest coming in a group to get an Omakase 6 Assorted Skewers ($15.80+) which would provide more value for its money.
Of the lot, I liked the sweet and chunky Shrimp, fluffy and soft Tamagoyaki, and juicy Mushroom Pork Roll Skewers best.
You can also pair the sticks with the Japanese master chef’s specially created dare sauce, and freshly in-house made ponzu, which complements well with the seafood and chicken.
Happy to see that many of the grill items are considered inexpensive, especially for a restaurant at downtown Orchard.
The offerings include Australian Beef Striploin Steak ($13.80+ for 100g), Australian Beef Skirt Aburi ($13.80+), Grilled Hokke Fish ($11.80+), Grilled Miso-Marinated Flat Fish ($19.80+), Unagi Kabayaki ($18.80+, $36.80+), Grill Clams with Garlic ($8.80+), Grilled Squid with Squid Guts ($14.80+) and Dashimaki Egg with Mentaiko ($9.80+).
For a more filling meal, you can choose to have the Australian Beef Steak on Rice ($16.80+) or choose a Unagi Mini Rice Bowl ($13.80+).
Glazed with sweet caramelized unagi sauce, the eel was fresh-tasting, and thankfully not fishy and without tiny bones to pick out.
While the portion is not the largest, I found that it helped to ‘pave way’ to try out other starters and skewers.
Another interesting item was the Kyoto Style Udon Noodles with Tofu Skin ($11.80+).
The bowl was presented simply with silky noodles and savoury broth, fragrant with fried flaked bonito.
The characteristics of these noodles was that the texture moderately hard and chewy on the first few bites, and slippery smooth as you slurp them down.
Yakitori and sake can be a match made in heaven.
Taki carries many award-winning sakes from Kyoto, many of which are exclusive to the restaurant.
One of which is the Saito Sake ($14 for glass, $23 for 180ml, $88 for bottle), a brand fully imported from Kyoto prefecture in Japan with a clean and smooth finish, perfect for pairing with oishii grills.
If you prefer something more refreshing and fruity, the Saito Yuzu Hikari ($35 for bottle) with semi-sweet and citrusy clean finish should be a suitable choice, especially if you pair with richer-tasting food items.
Taki Kyoto Grill & Sake
Japan Food Town #04-39/54 Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 435 Orchard Road, Singapore 238877 (Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6262 3465
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11:00pm (Mon – Fri), 11:00am – 11:00pm (Sat – Sun)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Taki Kyoto Grill & Sake.