Seated on the second floor of a heritage shophouse in Telok Ayer, lies a cosy and intimate sake gastrobar. Promising an exciting curation of top quality Japanese sake and surprise pairings with contemporary Japanese cuisine, Kabuke marries the art of kabuki, sake, and good food.
Baby Corn ($10)
Kabuke jokes, “If you don’t like corn, our baby corn will turn you into a corn-vert.”
The humble baby corn gets matched with a generous drizzle of homemade siracha mayo and topped with furikake and pork floss. True enough, the combination of flavours will leave you cleaning every last bit off the plate.
Takoyaki Fries ($12)
Apparently, the mound of shoestring fries is inspired by the flavours of takoyaki. With the gooey melted cheese, teriyaki sauce, kewpie mayo and grilled octopus, the dish gets elevated tremendously, you will be asking for seconds in no time.
Both the Baby Corn and Takoyaki Fries pair well with the Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai sake. The slight floral notes are clean yet gentle on the creamy dishes, allowing a drier finishing on the palate.
Shiso Tempura with Hotate Tartare ($15)
Although a little pricey for an appetiser, this dish features diced scallops tossed in Kabuke’s signature truffle shoyu, atop of a crispy battered Shiso leaf and dressed with ikura and black caviar, in a very exquisite presentation. This bite-sized portion has a crisp texture, along with distinctly fresh seafood flavours. The savoury scallops pack a nice flavourful burst with the ikura popping in your mouth
This bite-size portion goes well with the Yuki no Bosha Hiden Yamahai Junmai Ginjo sake. A smooth drink with slight acidity, the pronounced notes of pineapples, peaches and apples offer a very fruity fragrance.
Wagyu Bowl ($28)
Laid out with very tender beef striploin cooked to a perfect medium rare, the dish promises succulent flavour and tenderness, with the beef melting in your mouth. Complementing the beef slices is an onsen egg sprinkled with garlic chips and truffle shoyu, adding a tinge of saltiness with a subtle aroma to it.
This hearty bowl pairs well with the Nabeshima Tokubetsu Honjozo sake. Balanced but slightly rich, the sake complements the heavy meal.
Cheese Platter ($25) + Sake pairing ($18)
Curated in partnership with The Cheese Artisans, the platter offers three different types of cheese and crackers, to be paired with a different type of sake each in hopes of encouraging Sake drinkers to venture out of their comfort zones.
While the cheese was a little too sour for me, the sake did help to cleanse the palate off the musty aftertaste.
In all, sake gastrobars remains one of our favourite places to visit – another great one is Neon Pigeon. Kabuke is definitely one not to miss, with its cosy and unpretentious space for you and your friends to gather, and a private lounge that caters up to 12 is also available to tailor sake pairing experiences.
Kabuke is located at 200A Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068638