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The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Japanese Sake Bar, where presently food is ancillary.

The must-orders (if any): Sake Aragato Flight, Baby Corn

Summary: Kabuke is a second-storey Japanese sake bar situated along Telok Ayer Street, offering a selection of sake and very attractively priced sake flights (wherein you get a fixed combination of 3 x 50ml sample portions of different sake). The Aragato flight offers aggression (Ichino Kura), subservient sweetness (Tatenokawa) and a happy in-between of the two (Nabeshima) flight portions at a happily priced $24. The accompanying food selection currently comes across as ancillary and incidental to the sake focus, being fairly limited with even its most tempting crowd-pleasing offerings (sample: Takoyaki Fries, Crispy Goma Goma Wings, Shiso Tempura with Hotate Tartare) not sounding strong enough to anchor the seemingly Orchard Central-esque proceedings. The Mini Umami Bomb concept – a pick and mix rice bowl affair with items such as onsen tamago, iberico jamon and hotate, with a choice of toppings like salted egg fish skin and sauces – has potential if the selectables are vastly expanded.

For those who like their Japanese vegetables, though, the selections here will please. The Nasu Dengaku – oven baked baby eggplant glazed with sake-infused miso and yuzu – are gloriously warm and mushy stems of miso love, whilst elsewhere the seasonal sriracha sauce-slathered baby corn with furikake and pork floss – indisputably the highlight of the meal – are crunchy, savoury and wonderfully addictive seasoning-furry corn rods.

The people at Kabuke shared that they have plans to expand the menu as well as provide more seasonal offerings, which may make the Kabuke proposition more appealing in time to come.

Sake Flight Aragato - KabukeSake Flight Aragato ($24).

Baby Corn - KabukeBaby Corn with sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, pork floss and furikake (seasonal item).

Nasu Dengaku - KabukeNasu Dengaku – oven baked baby eggplant glazed with sake-infused miso and yuzu ($9).

Mini Umami Bomb - KabukeMini Umami Bomb (Pick and Mix): Hotate ($6), Goma Goma Wing ($3), Ikura ($4), Salted Egg Fish Skin ($2).

Crispy Goma Goma Wing - KabukeCrispy Goma Goma Wing – deep fried sesame flavoured chicken wings  served with a chunky egg mayo wasabi yuzu dip ($3 as an item on the Mini Umami Bomb, $12 for an a la carte serving).

Grade: High B4 to mid B3.

200A Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068638


Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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