Niku Katsumata at Duxton, the grilled meat restaurant originating from Ebisu, Tokyo, is pretty focused in what it wants to do - to serve its customers the absolute flavours lean Japanese beef. The owner Tsuyoshi Katsumata, a Meat Sommelier himself, opened Katsumata in Ebisu in 2012 but was an exclusive membership-based store. Fortunately, this is open to all meat lovers.
Like a typical Japanese setup, 28 seats filled up in every possible spot of this narrow space. Too intimate a layout may not be ideal for a BBQ concept, when the cast iron grilling plates tend to smoke-up your surroundings. But fret not. Special crystal grilling plates are used here due to their ability to retain heat. Only a low heat is required to grill the meats, which in turn helps to seal in the meat juices and produces little or no smoke at all!
The menu is designed around a Wagyu Plate, showcasing its high quality beef imported from Kagoshima and Kumamoto, offering 3 types of set courses at $98++, $128++ and $198++, with a few la carte options - each has a soup, appetizer, sashimi, salad, meat platter, rice/noodle dish and dessert. Depending on availability, the plate features a range of A3 and A4 Wagyu lean cuts and some rare cuts. Kagoshima pork is included as well. Niku Course $98++ was arranged for us.
Prosciutto and Fruit with Vegetable Soup 3.5/5
We started with 2 very light bites - Prosciutto and Fruit with Vegetables Soup. The savoury and meaty prosciutto goes well with the crunchy pear. I like the red onion soup which is surprisingly sweet and comforting to the palate.
Homemade Kimchi and Seasoned Sprout 4/5
Our appetizer - Homemade Kimchi and Seasoned Sprout was more stimulating. If you like Korean Banchan, you might secretly wish that their appetizer is free flow. I would love to have them with the meat!
Chinese Cabbage topped with Umami Seaweed 4/5
Our salad turned out to be more intense than expected - Chinese Cabbage topped with 'UMAMI' Seaweed. The dried seaweed is a taste of condensed umami hence don't underestimate that small doses.
Meat Platter 4/5
Finally, our Meat Platter arrived. A slice of lemon, sea salt and a sweet-sour home-made peach and pineapple dipping sauce were served, which are believed to bring out the best of the meat. To ensure that the meats are grilled to perfection, a staff had been assigned to our table to do the deed. We were also advised which dip to go for when different cut was served. Each cut does have its own characteristic. Although the beef dominates the plate, the Kagoshima pork stands out on its own.
Japanese Beef Curry Rice 3.5/5
To round off the meal, Japanese Beef Curry rice was served. The curry was robust with minced beef and with the right amount of heat to wrap around the plump and shiny grains of rice. If only, the salt dosage can be reduced by half.
Our dessert was rather forgettable. Some Japanese fruits would be perfect!
Tataki Wagyu 4.5/5
From the ala cart menu, we tried the Tataki Wagyu ($20) served 3 ways. 1. Taste the original 2. Sprinkle the condiments over 3. Pour the bonito soup stock over. The third method seems to be everybody's favourite. I prefer the combination of second and third for flavour and texture. For Tataki style, I would prefer something tangy to go along with.
Interestingly when most restaurants serve the more popular highly marbled beef, Niku Katsumata chooses lean Japanese beef, catering to meat lovers who favours the meatier texture. For a unique yakiniku experience, try Niku Katsumata.
Written by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
47 Duxton Road
Tel: +65 91627502
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)
Mon-Sat: 530pm - 11pm
(Closed on Sun)
1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Orchid Hotel. Cross Tanjong Pagar Road and walk to Craig Road. Walk along Craig Road and turn right onto Duxton Road. Walk along Duxton Road to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]