Kampong Glam is seeing quite a switch up with the F&B tenants in the area lately; with the closure of a few spots, a wave of new players are now entering the scene.
Makan Koryouri is one of the few new places that had recently sprouted up along Kandahar Street — serving Japanese cuisine, the interior follows pretty closely to a simple Japanese drinking hole without looking particularly cluttered. The menu is pretty extensive here, ranging from sushi, sashimi and Donburi all the way to Rice, Noodles, Yakitori and even Gozen items. Beverages include tea, as well as a selection of alcoholic beverages.
(Complimentary Appetiser – Yam Paste with Ladyfinger)
Before starting off, we were served with an appetizer — a dish that sees yam paste coming together with aburi-ed ladyfinger, the smokiness of the ladyfingers complimented with the sticky and gloopy yam paste well which was almost similar to the egg white of soft-boiled eggs in terms of texture; itself being savoury, as though flavoured by soy sauce.
Going for one of the Yakitori items, an item that was recommended by the staff was the Torikawa. Essentially chicken skin that is glazed with a sweet-savoury sauce, the Torikawa seemed to carry a slight chewiness while still being crisp at the same time; the sauce helped to amplify the flavours of the dish further.
The head-turning dish of the night would possibly be the Nasu Dengaku; essentially Eggplant with Miso Sauce. The eggplant had been cooked to softness here; barely needing a bite — the otherwise bland eggplant is well paired with a savoury-sweet miso sauce that gives it an umami flavour that tingles the taste buds at the start, but grows on after a couple of bites. No doubt, one of our favorite dishes from their menu.
(Bara Chirashi Don)
We were contemplating between the Tendon and the Bara Chirashi Don — we ended up with the latter. Not a variant that we were particularly impressed; while the rice was aptly sweetened, the rice was served warm, causing the fish to be warmed up to room temperature pretty quickly. The fish also felt a little mushy; just lacked the firmness and bite that most other Bara Chirashi Dons come with. While the other condiments felt rather generous, with cubes of avocado included as well as well-sized chunks of daikon and a knob of wasabi that provided a kick with a numbing sensation; immensely shiok on its own. That being said, the entire bowl fell short with its odd temperature contrast and quality of fish in general; perhaps something that could be looked into in order to improve the overall experience for the dish. The Bara Chirashi Don, as with other Donburi from the Sushi and Sashimi section of the menu, comes with a bowl of Miso Soup on the side; that, itself, was pretty delicious with evident Miso flavour whilst coming with tofu and seaweed. A soup that is comforting and refreshing to have.
Off the Gohan section of the menu was the Menchi Katsu Set; the Gohan sets come with quite a number of accompaniments, including Chawanmushi, Salad, Rice and Miso Soup (the same soup that came with Bara Chirashi Don). The Garden Salad came with fresh greens and a tangy dressing, while the Chawanmushi came all smooth and custardy with a savoury hint of flavours from the dashi broth whilst coming with a gingko nut, fish cake, and mushroom. The Menchi Katsu itself is a fried minced pork patty, drizzled with mayonnaise and Tonkatsu sauce. Overall, the dish is pretty decent; the golden brown fried patty being all crusty on the exterior, encasing the tender minced pork patty within. That being said, we thought the patty could do with a little more flavour from the pork itself, while the meat also could have been juicier though the sauces helped to somewhat curb that issue. A saucer of Tonkatsu sauce is also being served on the side; helps to add a tangy sweetness to the minced pork patty.
(Rockmelon – Complimentary Dessert)
There are no desserts being listed on Makan Koryouri’s menu, but patrons are served a complimentary slice of rockmelon during our visit as dessert. The rockmelon is nothing much to shout about; the slice could have been more ripe for how it still carried a crunch and could have been a little sweeter.
Overall, our experience at Makan Koryouri is a little bit of a hit and miss; some dishes were good, but there are quite a couple which have some room for improvement. While we only had the Bara Chirashi Don from the raw food menu, it seems that their strengths are towards their cooked items — we most certainly enjoyed the Nasu Dengaku the most; a dish that is rarely found elsewhere. Service was good; the staff were enthusiastic in introducing and giving recommendations to the various items available, while constantly checking out on our experience with the food and refilling our cups of tea very promptly. It is still very early days for Makan Koryouri; it would certainly benefit Makan Koryouri to actively collect feedback on their food and tweak their recipes as time goes along to refine their offerings in the long run.
32 Kandahar Street
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/makankoryouri/