Situated next to Chir Chir at Bugis Junction is Kogane Yama, a new Tempura speciality restaurant that sits on a part of the space previously belonging to Chir Chir.
Kogane Yama is yet another concept brought in by the folks behind Chir Chir/Massizim. The space is furnished pretty simply, with functional furnishings featuring wood accents and the smart use of black elements along with concrete walls and floors that provide a simple, minimal look without being pretentious. Kogane Yama currently carries one of the most flexible menus for Tempura/Tendon — patrons would first choose a bowl (Mixed/Prawn/Chicken/Vegetables) before opting for a base (Rice/Soba/Udon) and then the sauce (Non-Spicy, Spicy Level 1/2/3). Those who wish to go for Chawanmushi and Miso Soup/Green Tea could choose to opt for a set at an additional $2++ as well.
The Chawanmushi that comes as part of the set that we ordered was slippery, silken and smooth. It comes with a good portion of other condiments such as mushroom, fish cake and crab stick while the stock at the bottom gives it ample flavour. Pretty good for an item on the side!
We ordered the Mixed Bowl with Rice at Spicy Level 2 as an ala-carte item. Each Mixed Bowl comes with a variety of Tempura items — included in the bowl are two pieces of Prawn, Chicken, Long Bean, two slices of Carrot, a large piece of Seaweed, Shiso Leaf, Enoki Mushroom and Shiitake Mushroom. All pieces were encased in a light and crisp batter; the chicken was especially tender and moist, while the Shiso Leaf was probably the crispest of the lot. We found the seaweed (which itself felt rather similar to the Tao Kae Noi type of seaweed) being a little bit hard to chew after a while, and especially so around the saucy bits — probably something one might want to consider going for first in the entire bowl. At Spicy Level 2, the sauce was rather punchy, giving a moderately fiery kick at parts with the sauce drizzled.
(Prawn Bowl with Udon; Spicy Level 1)
Our dining partner ordered the Prawn Bowl with Udon at Spicy Level 1 — the Tempura pieces are served separately from the Udon in order to maintain the crispness of the Tempura pieces. A thinner Udon is being served here; something which we were appreciated as this was less filling, especially with the serving of the Tempura pieces that comes with every bowl. The Udon were slurpy and comes served in a clear, clean-tasting broth. Pretty similar to the Mixed Bowl, the Prawn Bowls comes with all the Tempura pieces except for the Tempura Chicken Breast. It is also noted that the Soy Tentsuya Sauce was also significantly saltier at Spicy Level 1 than at Level 2.
Overall, the food at Kogane Yama is pretty decent with crisp Tempura pieces and generous portions at an affordable price range similar to other Tempura/Tendon speciality shops around. That being said, it is recommended that one comes with an appetite for fried food and a really empty stomach, for the portions are pretty generous here (this also pretty much applies to most Tendon speciality shops out there; it’s probably something got to do with that amount of fried food in general). That being said, if you are into trying Tendon/Tempura around, Kogane Yama is a spot that is worth checking out.
200 Victoria Street
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/koganeyamasingapore