Kudos to the HGW team for organizing & inviting me for the review session
Myself, being quite a fan of sushi & sashimi, as well as a self professed meatarian couldn’t be more pleased to be seated at KUMO to try out their signature Kaiseki menus.
1st & foremost, we were ushered to our private room that seats at least 12pax, where the staff, I’d prefer to call her the concierge for her extremely informative introductory & services rendered. We learnt that KUMO (Chef Nobu) holds the exclusive distribution rights to the produces from Saga Prefecture. Hence, almost everything on the menu originates from Saga, safe for the seasonal fresh catches & perhaps minute ingredients. They also pack a comprehensive alcohol list that they endeavor to maintain unique, where most on the list are rare finds on our island.
Presented to us were the 2 Signature Kaiseiki menus; Saga Wagyu Kaiseiki & Kumo Kaiseiki. All in all 8 courses each, lined up in specific sequence designed by the Chef to intrigue our palates. I could go on forever given the long list of assortments, but I’d make special highlights for the following:
From the Kumo Kaiseiki:
The Appetizer; a very interesting presentation; seasonal vegetables & braised prawn in Daishi (some sort of silver fish stock) Jelly.
Sashimi; Hamachi & Tai served with ground wasabe & pickled chrysanthemum petals & peppery sprouts, while the soya sauce was a concoction brewed & mixed by the chef, to achieve balance in the flavors that enter the mouth,
Yakimono; grilled US ribeye, I believe would have been rare, since I could savor the flavors & juices from the meat on each bite. The artistic flare inclusive of a tiny baked crab, crafted as part of the décor was a crunchy little snack on the side.
Takiawase; scallop & wintermelon in tofu thick soup, a timely dish to lighten up the palates
Noodle; Soumen - chilled Japanese thin wheat noodle, bears striking resemblance to our the Chinese rice noodles/ vermicelli, but packs a nice fragrance in the aftertaste.
From the Saga Wagyu Kaiseiki:
Soup; Braised Saga Wagyu & wintermelon in Bonito, relatively light colored yet flavorful soup, while the chunks of beef were tender to the bite.
Sashimi; Trevally & Tuna, also served with ground wasabe & pickled chrysanthemum petals & peppery sprouts, concocted soya sauce by the chef.
Yakimono; grilled Saga Wagyu on a miniature coal stove, juicy & succulent, tasted real good on its own.
Takiawase; Saga Wagyu Sukiyaki w/ soft boiled egg left the tongue craving for a little more, before the Saga Wagyu rice was served up to top the meal off.
Be reminded that the Kaiseiki is designed based on the ingredients in season, and subject to the catch of the day. Hence, what one experiences today is subject to minor changes on the next visit, or season menus.
A very delightful & fulfilling session I’d call it. Definitely a joint to consider should you decide to feed your oriental guests.
For whiskey lovers, this joint has a few award winners on the menu, and the Chef has also designed a menu that pairs with the whiskey variety.