Kinki Restaurant + Bar | Review

Strategically located on the second floor of the iconic Customs House, this modern Japanese restaurant is the only Asian player there. While we’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for them to open their alfresco bar area, we decided we just couldn’t wait any longer.

With a brightly-colored floor mural designed by Miami Ink’s Chris Garver, coupled with exposed pipes and light fixtures fashioned from fishing hooks, the design aesthetic is anything but the norm. To complete its funky attitude, loud music blares and servers are dressed in uniforms of black Kinki T-shirts, jeans and kicks.

Although we didn’t make any reservations, we were given a choice spot right by the window. We started our meal with their century egg tofu: The soft organic tofu and finely chopped century egg sit comfortably in a ponzu sauce, topped with snow crab. We would have appreciated a touch more citrus to enhance the flavor of the century egg, but it was a refreshing starter nonetheless. What followed was a serving of anago sushi; the less popular cousin of unagi, this baked saltwater eel was unimpressive.

We decided to live dangerously with some fugu (blowfish), which is potentially lethal if prepared incorrectly. Their blowfish was tender and a tad sweet, offsetting the creamy and spicy sesame togarashi aioli nicely. A double trouble sushi combo of pan-seared foie gras and a raw, plump Hokkaido scallop is a signature here, and with good reason. However, priced at $24 for two pieces, it is a little decadent.

Another highlight was the miso black cod—a succulent piece of grilled black cod in a pomegranate-honey miso sauce is served with braised gobo (burdock). The slightly sour tinge of the crunchy gobo and crisp ginger floss provided a pleasant interplay of textures and flavors with the honeyed fatty fish.

Instead of dessert, we went with a glass of Sutekina momo peach wine to end our meal on a sweet and fruity note. If you don’t mind eating in a boisterous lounge-y environment, they’ve got a fantastic view of the waterfront. The food is also good, albeit prices run on the steep side of things.

Have you tried the Grilled Fugu? It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2010).

Like the view from up top? Check out Singapore’s best rooftop bars.