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 ($24).
Baby Corn with sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, pork floss and furikake (seasonal item).
Nasu Dengaku – oven baked baby eggplant glazed with sake-infused miso and yuzu ($9).
Mini Umami Bomb (Pick and Mix): Hotate ($6), Goma Goma Wing ($3), Ikura ($4), Salted Egg Fish Skin ($2).
Crispy 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