It is been a couple of years that Koji Sushi Bar had been around, with their very first shop situated at Nankin Row, Pickering Street with its subsequent expansion at The Arcade; Koji Sushi Bar had since already became a familiar name in the F&B scene especially amongst the office crowd of the Central Business District.
Opening their latest outlet at Raffles City Shopping Centre, Koji Sushi Bar’s newest space is tucked in a rather obscure corner in the mall, slightly past an aisle that leads to Swissotel cutting through the shopping arcade near Szechuan Court and Mikuni. Formerly being Cedele, the space had went through a massive transformation to take on its look as a sushi bar; much of its space is dedicated to its sushi counter, where patrons are able to sit around the bar to enjoy views of the open concept sushi bar where the chef prepares the raw seafood behind the bar. For patrons who wish to dine at proper tables with a bit more personal space, dining tables are also available to pick from. Just like other Koji Sushi Bar outlets, the menu revolves around sushi and sashimi items, though it also carries a variety of Donburi, salad, appetizers and even Omakase menu as well.
(Beancurd with Century Egg)
Going for one of the items of the Ippin Ryori section of the menu, we went for the Beancurd with Century Egg. Being very much the local classic but with their unique twist, the beancurd is served in a form almost akin to a smooth pudding at the bottom in a small espresso cup; all of that topped with century egg mousse that adds a savoury note along with the subtle sweetness of the beancurd beneath. Being an umami bomb of its own, it comes with tobiko over the top, providing a bursting sensation with every spoonful. A great item that opens up the tastebuds before the meal.
(Top: Pork Cheek Rice Bowl, Bottom: Complimentary Miso Soup and Salad)
Being an item available on the menu since their inception, the Pork Cheek Rice Bowl is probably one of the most popular items on the menu; all Donburi items also comes with soup and salad on the side. The salad is pretty refreshing, considering how it carries a light crunch and was well dressed in a Goma dressing that carried roasty, nutty notes that gives the greens a creamier texture and flavour; the soup being a Miso Soup that comes loaded with seaweed and small cubes of tofu for something to chew. The Pork Cheek Rice Bowl was everything we remembered it to be; a pretty well-sized bowl, there was enough slices of pork cheek to go around. Carrying a firm bite, the Pork Cheek was tender without being too fatty nor gelatinous, whilst being meaty yet not particularly porky. Sitting atop the short-grained rice, it also comes with pickles for a zippy crunch that cuts through all that meatiness, whilst also coming with sous-vide egg that was everything runny and gives the entire bowl a silkier texture.
(Tokubetsu Chirashi Don)
An item exclusively available at the Raffles City outlet, the Tokubetsu Chirashi Don is an item which is limited only to 20 portions daily. Coming with premium cuts of sashimi, the Tokubetsu Chirashi Don also comes with Nagaimo Tororo (Japanese Mountain Yam paste) and wobbly egg yolk. Served with the same soup and salad that came with the Pork Cheek Rice Bowl, the service staff would also provide a serving of shoyu on the side with a brush on the side for patrons who would wish to brush on some of the shoyu on the sashimi for some flavour Going straight for the sashimi, the various seafood were all thickly cut to ensure that its freshness and flavour could be tasted together with the room temperature short-grained rice that sits beneath. While the sashimi were all pretty fresh, we were most impressed by the Uni in particular; none of that fishy, funky flavour, but rather a buttery sweetness that melts-in-the-mouth. The Nagaimo Tororo beneath helps to add a little moisture to the bowl, yet also provided a slight sweetness and earthiness to be mixed with the egg yolk for a silkier touch. Overall, an item that is certainly worth its price tag; while S$29.00++ is a price that some may I think twice about on any item, the addition of Uni and the quality of the sashimi does make felt like a good steal.
Having started off as a humble hole-in-the-wall eatery up at Nankin Row, it is heartening to see how Koji Sushi Bars had expanded silently over the years slowly, providing the masses with quality Japanese cuisine at wallet-friendly prices. No doubt the fare at Koji may not be quite as hip or accessible as other more notable names such as Omote or Teppei Syokudo, but its laid-back vibes and un-pretentiousness had seemingly formed a character and soul behind the brand name itself, positioning it just nice to grab the hearts of office workers and yuppies alike looking for authentic Japanese fare without having to spend a bomb on fine-dining establishments; ane example being the Tokubetsu Chirashi Don which takes it away from their usual offerings that are seemingly more positioned for the mass market. A place where quality and price strikes a good balance, Koji Sushi Bar would certainly be a spot we would revisit again, especially with its slightly more convenient location at Raffles City Shopping Centre.
Koji Sushi Bar
Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
Web Page: https://www.kojisushi.com.sg/