Made a reservation for a friend's birthday. We were given the 6pm slot and have to finish dinner by 8pm. We ordered the usual yakitori sticks and when we ordered sashimi, the waitress asked whether we wanted 'mixed'. Thinking it was moriwase, we said yes. Shortly after, a waitress came by and said they will split the sashimi into two plates as there were 6 of us. When sashimi was served, what greeted us were not varieties of sashimi but a whole fish that was sliced and split into two plates. We stared at the two plates but decided not to create a scene as it was our friend's birthday. We thought it was only right for the restaurant to ask beforehand whether we would want a whole fish as sashimi 'moriwase' or 'mixed' sashimi. The fish may be fresh but that doesn't mean every one of us likes that particular fIsh. Other than that, the rest of the food was good, it did take a while for the yakitori to be served after the sashimi. I would visit again but would stick to the items on the menu this time round.
Cuppage Plaza is really one little treasure trove where one can find humble little restaurants that serve quality Japanese food. Kaiho, Nijumaru and Shinjuku (I'm going to check out Marui Sushi sooner or later) are great examples and of course, the famous Kazu is also one of them.
After the renovation, the place looks very modern, though still very crowded. We were literally sharing the table with another couple. So when the staff was nice enough to offer a basket to put my bag, I declined the offer since the walkway is so narrow that the basket with my bag may get kicked around a lot when everyone passed by. Though I still appreciate the thoughful gesture nonetheless. Service is generally good. The senior staff is very helpful in recommendations but tends to be over zealous in doing that, so take note of the number of orders made and whether they fit with one's dietary preferences.
The food is definitely the highlight of this place. A huge variety of sumiyaki available from different kinds of meat paired with an array of vegetables, okonomiyaki ball to foie gras. The freshness and juiciness of the ingredients are evident even when doused with the appetizing flavourful seasonings. The slight charred surface added an extra oomph to the overall taste without too much of it to render the bitter taste.
A must try is the okonomiya ball. In fact, do not share it, get one for each person because even one for each is not enough. The okonomiya ball is loaded with fresh vegetables with only a little dough on the outside to hold everything together—exactly how I like it. The sauce is mildly sweet, salty with a dash of sourness, which is just right to let the delicate taste of the vegetables to shine through.
Though take note that some of the staff like to recommend those specialties which are very expensive but not a lot better than the ones in the menu, in terms of taste. So they are not exactly value for money.
What I like about this place is that a small metal prong is provided, making it very useful to remove the meat from the sticks. The biggest plus is the sleek awesome-looking smoke extractor which really did its job very well. Guarantee not to let a single particle of the smoke lands on the patrons.
While I do not usually dine out for dinner, I will make the exception for Kazu.
This review (with pictures) can be found on my blog: http://morsels-of-delice.blogspot.sg/2014/09/kazu-crowded-little-place-but-food-is.html
The chef is the owner. Food is great. Price is reasonable as most of the item are shipped from overseas on the day itself (from what I heard). So best to be there early to get all the good and highly recommended dishes. Staff is friendly. Recommend according to our budget. Best to do reservation in advance as it is hard to get seats for walk-in. Overall a must try.
For the full post and pictures visit toseetofeeltoeat
If you intend to drop by for yakitori, I would suggest that you make a reservation before doing so. The seating area was small and cozy. Our table was one of three squeezed into a tiny room at the back. It provided some privacy but we were seated so close to the other two tables that I could hear everybody's conversation even though I did not mean to eavesdrop. It was quite a tight fit but I have to say that it was still pretty comfortable.
We ordered a whole bunch of yakitori. We started off the night with Scallop and Bacon which was divine. The scallop was fresh and juicy which went superbly well with the salty crispy bacon. The Pork Belly with Enoki Mushroom (my personal favourite) was good too. Juicy fatty pork with crunchy enoki mushrooms is the best combination ever.
Chicken wings and chicken yakitori next. They were nice and yummy, but not mind-blowing since everything else was just so fantastic.
Chicken skin. Now, I absolutely love crispy oily chicken skin but I am also acutely aware that one piece of chicken skin is going to put my gym routine to waste. I devoured the chicken skin anyway and am now trying to work off the extra calories.
We had Pork Belly with Asparagus which was fantastic with tasty pork belly and fresh asparagus. The stick of grilled leek was pretty good too. However, the best was definitely the onigiri (grilled rice). Who could have guessed that rice would be so delicious! It is so amazing how a stick of grilled rice could be so crispy and yummy.
The Chicken and Ginger Bar was very unique. It was the first time I tasted something so interesting. Minced chicken and chopped ginger grilled with sweet sauce. I would definitely order this again if I return.
You should place your order early if you wish to have baked sweet potatoes because they take a while to prepare these little babies. The sweet potatoes were served when we were done with the yakitori. I smeared a thin layer of butter on my sweet potato and it was so yummy! I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes usually but this was really good.
Black Sesame Ice Cream with Red Bean and Mochi with Ice Cream for dessert. The former was good but not anything spectacular. The latter was mind blowing. I have not tasted any sweet treat that made me as happy as this did. Cold runny ice cream wrapped around chewy mochi. Ahhhh perfect dessert that melts deliciously in your mouth.
When my friend suggested heading to Cuppage Plaza for Japanese, I was the least excited. Although Cuppage Plaza is known for being a treasure trove of Japanese cuisine, all my dining experiences had been bad. At least 3 times, no less.
However, my friend being a regular at Kazu Sumiyaki, assured me that I will enjoy myself. As such, reservation was made for a Friday night.
And reservation is a must. We arrived 15 minutes earlier, and had to wait outside as the table was not ready. We were waiting for a couple to finish their meal before we were to take over their table. And while we were waiting, we saw a group of 3 being turned away as they made no prior reservation and the restaurant was running at full house.
Kazu Sumiyaki underwent renovation in October ’13. My friend said the place has since lost its cosy feel as the restaurant has now become very modernised, with the owner using lots of black in the restaurant’s design.
And from the menu, we ordered:-
1) Nama cabbage & miso, $6 – Fresh cabbage with bean paste. This used to be complimentary. So for regulars, do expect to pay when you request for this. And it’s odd that they charge the raw cabbage and miso paste separately at $3.50 and $3 respectively.
2) Buta ringo, $4.50 per stick – Pork belly with apple. The one on the menu is ‘tontoro ringo’ (fatty pork jaw with apple) at $4.50. But we went with pork belly with apple cause while my friend wanted the pork belly, I wanted to try the apple variation. So while this was okie, it’s a better deal to go with the menu’s item. ‘Fatty pork jaw’ is $4 while it’s an additional $0.50 with apple. We were charged extra $2 for the apple to go with our ‘pork belly’.
3) Buta bara, $2.50 per stick – Pork belly.
Due to the (silly) 3000 characters limit, continue to read my review on other dishes here: PART2
15) Yaki awayuki, $10 – Barbecue ice cream rolled rice cake. For the ice cream, we went with the caramel. And this was interesting. The rice cake is actually a layer (of mochi) wrapping around the ball of ice cream. I liked this, although I will have preferred it without the chocolate balls.
I am glad I finally had an enjoyable dining experience at Cuppage Plaza. Ha. Service wise, I will say the staff (who are mostly aunties) are not that friendly. Even though my friend is a regular, the aunties don’t give a hoot. But with a good sense of humour, we managed to crack them up. We had much fun enjoying the food and joking with the staff, who came very often to our table to check on us.
PS : I am a blogger too! Lifestyle blog, Food Blog