Sunday, July 9, 2023

IKKOTEN @ Telok Ayer - Kyoto Kaiseki-style Omakase in Intimate 10-Seater Japanese Restaurant by Chef Brandon Low


Brand new along Telok Ayer Street is IKKOTEN, a Japanese Omakase restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Brandon Low. Chef Brandon has nearly 10 years of experience in Japanese cuisine and is now venturing into offering traditional Kyoto Kaiseki-style omakase.


IKKOTEN translates to "Paradise on Earth", and Chef Brandon hopes to bring the best quality of ingredients and flavours to his diners.


The 10-seater intimate restaurant space was intentionally designed to be clean and minimalistic, with carefully curated Japanese elements. I particularly value how diners can focus on the food in this space.


There is a lunch Omaksae from $88 catering to the working lunch crowd in the area. As for dinner, there is a 9-course Omakase ($198) and a 11-course Hana Dinner Omakase ($298). I had the opportunity to try the latter.

Sakizuke (Chef’s Appetiser): Sesame Tofu with Uni & Dashi Sauce 4/5

Our first course featured Sesame Tofu with Uni & Dashi Sauce, which uses homemade goma tofu. The seasonal Hokkaido sea urchin sits atop and adds a lovely briny creaminess.

Hassun (Seasonal Appetiser): Baby Sweet Fish Tempura 4/5

The seasonal appetiser, which featured Baby Sweet Fish Tempura, was a delight. Chef Brandon shared that he decided on this assortment of items to showcase a variety of flavours.

The sweet fish carried a slight bitterness, the summer fruit fig with egg miso and yuzu had a fun tangy sweetness, while the deep-fried broad bean stuffed with homemade fish cake and pickled vegetables topped with shredded bonito flakes had pleasing nuttiness, sharper tangy notes and savoury bites.

Suimono (Seasonal Clear Soup): Kyoto Clear Dashi Broth 3.8/5

Before moving into the sashimi, we were served a lighter course of greenling fish cooked in Kyoto Clear Dashi Broth.

Tsukuri (Seasonal Sashimi): Threeline Grunt Fish 4/5

Our first sashimi course was the Threeline Grunt Fish. Carefully grilled over binchotan charcoal, these slices were fresh and boasted appetising sour plum notes.

Tsukuri (Seasonal Sashimi): Otoro with Bubble Shoyu Sauce 4.2/5

Our next sashimi course was lightly aburi-ed slices of Nagasaki Otoro topped with a jiggly bubble shoyu sauce. The fatty cut of Otoro had a lovely smokiness infused within. It was a bit saltier than I'd liked with the unique shoyu, but I enjoyed how it was bursting with umami notes.

Chef’s Signature: Negitoro Crystal Waffle 4.2/5

Chef's Special was the Negitoro Crystal Waffle, a reimagined rendition of the classic negitoro and uni hand roll with elevated elements. It was topped with chopped bluefin tuna, Hokkaido uni and seaweed soy sauce on a piece of crunchy translucent rice cracker.

Yakimono (Seasonal Grilled Fish): Grilled Japanese Spanish Mackerel 4/5

The highlight here in the Grilled Japanese Spanish Mackerel dish was definitely its accompanying burnt egg sauce. It was such a unique touch which complemented well. Served on the side was pickled ginger flower, which served to clean your palette.

Takiawase (Seasonal Simmered Dish): Homemade Egg Tofu with Sea Eel 4/5

Next, we were served with the Homemade Egg Tofu with Sea Eel. This dish features in-season Anago topped on smooth egg tofu and a thickened dashi sauce made of kombu bonito. The additional touch of yuzu zest kept the savoury sauce more appealing.

Baby Abalone with Vinegar Jelly 4.2/5

While my dining companions had their beef course: Hay Smoked Charcoal A5 Wagyu Beef with Sesame Ponzu Sauce, Chef Brandon kindly helped replace mine with the Baby Abalone with Vinegar Jelly. The tender slices of baby abalone resulted from stewing for 6 hours. I enjoyed the gentle sourness in the vinegar jelly, combined with fresh yuzu zest and sweet micro tomatoes, which made this a refreshing palate cleanser before the donabe course.

Signature Donabe: Umami Cherry Blossom Shrimp Collagen Claypot Rice 4.5/5

The impressive Signature Donabe was one of my favourite courses. The claypot rice has Niigata rice cooked in a fish collagen dashi stock made from simmering fish bones for almost four hours. It was then plated with a spoonful of truffle caviar and a luxurious touch of 24K gold. Accompanying it was burnt miso soup and homemade pickles.

Mizugashi: Seasonal Fruits

Desserts were the classic Japanese Seasonal Fruits - Shizuoka Crown Melon, Kyoho Grape and Muscat Grape.

Matcha Pudding, Hojicha Tea

We also had a bittersweet Matcha Pudding and hot Hojicha Tea to complement the sweet fruits.


I especially appreciated how we ended our meal with a hot cup of Matcha freshly whisked right before us.

Donabe Onigiri

Chef Brandon also carefully shaped the leftover claypot rice into Onigiri for my fellow diners and me to bring home. It was wrapped in bamboo leaves, and we were taught how to best reheat them to enjoy the next day. It was such a lovely thought!

I found their omakase's price tag steeper, but IKKOTEN is one to consider if you are looking for a traditional omakase with modern elements incorporated.

Photos and words by Jo. A girl who loves her Mala (麻辣) at Da La (大辣), discovering hidden food gems and a good cup of matcha latte. Note: This is an invited tasting.

86 Telok Ayer
Singapore 048469
Tel: +65 8666 9924
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer MRT (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 230pm, 7pm - 1030pm
(Closed on Sun)

1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit B. Cross the street and walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

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