Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Kemuri @ Cuppage Plaza - Chicken-focused Yakitori Omakase in Elusive Japanese Restaurant


Kemuri might slip from your notice if you are not intentionally seeking its space. Nestled on the 4th floor of Cuppage Plaza, its unpretentious entrance is marked only by a modest doorbell. We were promptly ushered into the cosy 18-seater space upon ringing it, settling comfortably at 2 of the 10 counter seats.


Kemuri, the sibling establishment of the esteemed 5-time Michelin Plate recipient Kappo Shunsui, maintains its exclusivity by opening solely for dinner and presenting only an Omakase Menu ($99++/person) that is expertly curated by Chef Michio "Mitchy" Murakami.

The focus on chicken in its Yakitori courses is evident, showcasing top-tier seasonal ingredients imported from Japan. Complementing the Yakitori are appetisers, side dishes, rice and noodle dishes.

Assorted 3 Kinds Appetisers

Our course began with an Assorted 3 Kinds Appetisers consisting of a wedge of sweet fig, a slice of duck and asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon. The standout surprise was the utmost tender slice of duck.

Before starting on the Yakitori courses, we were introduced to 4 types of spice powders we could pair, including Yuzu Chilli, Japanese Black Pepper, Sancho Chilli and Seven Spices.

Tsukune 4.2/5

The Yakitori series kicked off with the Tsukune, delivering a delightful tenderness and well-balanced marinade.

Chicken Heart 4.5/5

Beyond the conventional chicken cuts, you can expect the more unconventional offerings, such as the Chicken Heart, which had a satisfying chew while being tender within.

Chicken Tail 4.8/5

This was one of the best Chicken Tail I've had in recent times. The skin on this was done wonderfully thin and crisp.

Salad of the Day - Chicken Salad 4/5

Before moving on to the next set of Yakitori, we enjoyed a refreshing palate cleanser of Chicken Salad with corn, edamame, chicken and a mildly tangy vinegar jelly.

Chicken Thigh 4.5/5

Grilled to a smoky char, the Chicken Thigh was juicy and tender, albeit a little salty

Lady Finger 4/5

A number of vegetables complement the poultry dishes. The crunchy Lady Finger was the first we had.

Chicken Neck 4.5/5

I’m not usually a fan of Chicken Neck, but Kemuri’s rendition was more than likeable with a light smokiness.

Grated Radish with Salmon Roe 4.2/5

I particularly appreciated the change-ups between the skewers, which kept the whole meal fun with variety. This Grated Radish with Salmon Roe came timely before the third series of Yakitori.

Chicken Gizzard 3.8/5

Of the various chicken parts, the Chicken Gizzard was among my least favourites due to its overly chewy texture.

Shiitake Mushroom 4/5

The simple-looking Shiitake Mushroom was grilled just right, with its juiciness locked in.

Chicken Drumstick 4.2/5

While the glaze was a little salty, like the Chicken Thigh we had, we still enjoyed the juicy Chicken Drumstick.

Uni Chawanmushi 4.2/5

The final non-Yakitori course of the night was the Uni Chawanmushi, smooth and tasty, elevated with fresh uni.

Chicken Soft Bone 4/5

Next was the Chicken Soft Bone, crunchy and seasoned with a generous hand of pepper.

Eggplant 4/5

The final vegetable feature was the Eggplant. I appreciated how lightly seasoned the vegetables were so as not to overpower them.

Chicken Liver 4.8/5

The Chicken Liver skewer claimed the top spot for me that night. The ultra-thin and crispy outer layer encased a melt-in-your-mouth inner texture. If not for how full I was at this point of the meal, I would have requested for another!

Chicken Wing 4.2/5

Our Yakitori course concluded strongly with the Chicken Wing. We thoroughly enjoyed the lightly charred, crisp exterior and similarly tender meat.

Duck Soba 4/5

The Duck Soba, a part of the meal with a choice between noodles and rice, featured soba noodles of decent quality. The standout was the impressively succulent slices of duck.

Minced Chicken and Egg Bowl 4.5/5

Between the 2 choices of mains, I'd definitely recommend the Minced Chicken and Egg Bowl more. The generous topping of minced chicken with the silky raw egg yolk was such a comforting combination. Make sure to give the bowl a good mix before digging in.

Our experience at Kemuri was memorable, particularly considering the price tag. Drop a WhatsApp message to them to make your reservation.

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.

Cuppage Plaza
5 Koek Road
Singapore 228796
Tel: +65 9772 4300
Nearest MRT: Somerset MRT (NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 6pm - 11pm
(Closed on Sun)

1) Alight at Somerset MRT station. Take Exit B, C or D. Walk to Orchard Road. Cross the road and walk to Cuppage Road. Walk down Cuppage Road. Walk to Cuppage Plaza. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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