Kyoto-inspired, Japanese restaurant and bar at Marina Bay Sands
There’s so much going for Koma in the feels department. Starting from the entrance, a long colonnade reminiscent of the torii gates at Kyoto’s famed Fushimi Inari Shrine sets the atmosphere right as you waltz in. You’ll find a good range of modern Japanese cuisine here, from sashimi to robatayaki, small izakaya-style plates to even a sushi omakase.
The hype: Opened by Tao Group—which also brought us Marquee, Lavo and Avenue—Koma is a standout for being a concept birthed here first, rather than one originally from Las Vegas or New York. It’s part of a trio of establishments at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands also comprising Marquee and Avenue, where you’re encouraged to flit between all three for food, drinks and partying.
The vibe: There’s so much going for Koma in the feels department. Starting from the entrance (a shared one with neighboring Marquee), a long colonnade reminiscent of the torii gates at Kyoto’s famed Fushimi Inari Shrine sets the atmosphere right as you waltz in. You’ll then pass by a plush bar and lounge area before stepping into the main dining area.
It is OTT in the best way possible, what with its grand high ceilings, ample dining space and overhanging features. You get the best view from the mezzanine floor semi-private dining pod, which overlooks an indoor traditional foot bridge and reflecting pool while being at eye level with a 2.5m-high Japanese bell adorned with faces.
The food: Come for the aesthetics, stay for the food. You’ll find a good range of modern Japanese cuisine here, from sashimi to robatayaki, small izakaya-style plates to even a sushi omakase.
If going a la carte, try the Salmon Pillow ($14) to start, which shows off Executive Chef Kunihiro Moroi’s culinary diversity well. The dish is essentially a puff pastry filled with smoked avocado, then topped with a slice of salmon sashimi and burnt jalapeno. The Wagyu Beef Tataki ($45) served with wasabi and ponzu sauce is also a great palate opener.
Then move on to sushi and maki rolls. The latter showcases the venue’s creativity with items like the decadent Surf & Turf ($58) that has wagyu, Hokkaido uni and caviar rolled in, or the Truffle Unagi ($25) that improves upon the usual sweet soy-glazed eel with a dash of fragrant truffle.
For mains, there’s everything from barbequed meats to pasta and wagyu steak, but it’ll be remiss not to order the Scallion Fried Rice ($32). It’s served in a hot stone bowl, and at your table, servers pour a thick broth over it that douses the rice, shrimp, scallops and more in a gooey, yummy coat.
The drinks: The drinks list is vast. There are enough varieties of wines (in magnum bottles even), Champagnes and beers to cater to a range of tastes, but go for the sakes and cocktails to enjoy something more characteristic. The citrusy, gin-based Koma Canary is the photo-friendly option, while the whisky-based Dark Room Honey is a highly quaffable, yet stiff and smoky drink good with food. All cocktails cost $22.
For Japanese alcohol, they’ve got umeshu, sochu, and of course, sake on the menu. You’ll find both the big brands as well as lesser-known labels here. Get them by the bottle, or go for variety and have a few house pour sakes that are available in 200ml carafes.
Why you’ll be back: Going to Koma feels like an event. You’ll want to dress up a little nicer and order something a little fancier than usual—all because you feel like it. And just as well, since hitting the dance floor at Marquee or Avenue after dinner is a great way to continue the night.
|Address:||Koma, #B1-67 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave, Singapore, 018972 Singapore|
|Area:||Central, Marina Bay|
|Price Range:||$$ - $$$|
|Open since:||July, 2019|
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am|
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