This is quite a unique-to-Singapore Japanese concept found at Level 4 of Jem, Jurong East.
MUSUBI specialises in Japanese Tapas and Seiro Gohan (flavoured steamed rice), also incorporating a café concept for dessert, drinks and specially-concocted cocktails.
The word “Musu” means “to steam” in Japanese, and you would find many of the items steamed here – healthier yet retaining the natural flavours.
One of the highlights is the Wappameshi dishes, such as the flavoured steamed rice “Seiro Gohan” served with various savoury ingredients.
There is also Japanese Otsumami which are generally known as “snacks and simple dishes” eaten alongside alcohol. Over at MUSUBI, you would find a selection of Fried Tapas, Cold Tapas, Steamed Tapas, along with Noodles & Soups.
The ambience is quite Japanese café-style and laidback, using predominantly light-coloured wood, welcoming diners into a space that displays classic Japanese design aesthetics.
Look up and you would find three elegant hanging light fixtures at the restaurant’s core representing the bamboo steaming baskets used for Wappameshi cooking.
Another authentic component noticeably flowing throughout the menu is house-made koji.
A quintessential element in Japanese cuisine. Koji is used to ferment several gastronomic favourites, from miso and soya sauce to mirin and sake.
When dining at MUSUBI, you would likely discover hints and flavour intricacies of koji across the steamed rice, alcoholic beverages, tapas, and even desserts.
Check out some of the highlights from MUSUBI Japanese Tapas & Seiro Gohan:
MUSUBI Komachi Zen ($25.00, available during lunch only)
The MUSUBI Komachi Zen set consists of your choice of Seiro Gohan, complete with six small dishes, mini–Crab Gravy Chawanmushi, and Yuzu Tonjiru Miso Soup.
“Seiro” means “steamer”, and the dish’s cooking process is inspired by Wappameshi wherein chefs use steaming baskets as their primary utensil.
The Seiro Gohan’s steamed fluffy flavoured rice comes with a choice of savoury toppings such as Lemon-koji Chicken, Shoyu-koji Beef, Shio-koji Aomori Salmon, Melty Braised Pork Belly, Shoyu-koji Unagi among others.
I had the Shio-koji Aomori Salmon Seiro Gohan. For it, the chefs marinate the salmon thoroughly in shio koji.
Loved that the salmon fish was buttery with a tender texture, with the shio koji bringing out a deep taste of savouriness in every bite.
You get six other small dishes which you can slowly savour, and makes it more value-for-money.
They include Kazunoko Yuzu Daikon, Steamed Ika Siu Mai, Aormori Hotate, Lemon Koji Karaage, and sweet treat of Yuzu Macaron.
There is even a cup of mildly-sweet Amazake which is rich in vitamins and probiotics that promotes gut health, so leave that for the end.
Melty Braised Pork Belly Seiro Gohan ($16.00 for lunch set, $14.50 for dinner ala carte)
Also known as Buta no Kakuni, this Japanese dish consists of pork belly simmered in a sweet and sour sauce to infuse all the flavours deeply.
The slow cooking results in delectable pork belly meat that is tender and juicy.
It is call “melty” for a reason, as the melt-in-the-mouth meat with luscious fat layer is the perfect accompaniment to fluffy flavoured rice – made more appetising when it absorbs some of the braising sauce.
Served alongside an ajimata egg and Shishito pepper for that mild kick.
Melty Pork Belly Bao ($5.00)
Simple ingredients, when done right, make for a pleasantly enjoyable bite.
The Melty Pork Belly Bao capitalises on the softness of the cottony fluffy steamed bun and the easy-to-chew braised pork belly.
There is also a Shoyu-koji Unagi Bao.
Steamed Ika Siu Mai ($7.80 for 4 pcs)
The Japanese version of the Chinese dim sum item, Steamed Ika Siu Mai consists of shredded steamed squid and fish paste.
The Siu Mai has the natural sweetness of the squid with light seafood aroma and fluffy soft texture.
The ikura garnish adds a bit of briny sweetness and orange colour to the otherwise white creation. There is also an accompanying mustard soy dip.
Steamed Beef or Iberico Pork Shabu Shabu ($15.00 for beef, $13.80 for pork)
Traditionally, Shabu-shabu includes taking thinly cut slices of meat and dipping them in a hot broth.
Changing the format, MUSUBI serves pork or beef slices that have been steamed along with cabbage – a simple dish designed to let the natural flavours of the ingredient shine.
You would be surprised to find that it is not that plain after all. If you need more flavours, there is also a tangy ponzu sauce to dip.
Goma Tofu with Crab Gravy Sauce ($10.00)
This Goma or Sesame Tofu is battered, surrounded with crisp rice and deep-fried.
What you get is a contrast of light crispiness on the outside, and soft custard-like texture on the inside.
It is complete with buttery crab gravy over the Tofu to enrich the dish’s depth of flavour.
Lemon Koji Karaage ($8.00)
Deep-fried chicken with citrus undertones thanks to Lemon Koji, the Karaage is an itty-bitty snack that goes well with the drinks.
Matcha Burnt Cheese Cake ($8.00)
The Japanese version of the classic Burnt Basque Cheesecake was light with a lovely caramelisation on top.
With an unmissable green colour, the matcha left a slightly sweet-meet-bitter aftertaste.
Composition-wise, the cake has a velvety texture that quickly melts away as soon as it hits the tongue.
Homemade Kokuto Pudding ($5.00)
Kokuto is a particular type of brown sugar made for centuries by simmering pure sugar cane from Okinawa for an extended period.
It gives the creamy pudding a delectable roasted flavour along with the sweetness. The pudding is also topped with cacao nibs for some chocolatey crunch.
Along with the food, explore a specially curated selection of refreshing tipples.
These include MUSUBI Lemon-koji Sour ($6.00), SUI Gin Lemon Soda ($8.00), Lemon-koji Premium Malt’s ($6.00), Yuzu Highball ($7.00), Kabukin Highball ($8.50), Chita Whisky ($10.00 per glass) and Sake (from $25.00 for 300ml) for the perfect otsumami pairing.
For non-alcoholic beverages, there are refreshing sips from the recommended Craft Yuzu Cola ($5.80), MUSUBI Nigori Lemonade ($5.80), Coffee ($3.50), Hoji Cha with Ginger ($4), Sen Cha with Basil ($4), Amasake Booster ($7.50) and more.
MUSUBI Japanese Tapas & Seiro Gohan 蒸す美
Jem #04-12/14, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, Singapore 608549
Tel: +65 6334 1084
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Café: 3pm – 5:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with MUSUBI.