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Food

Charcoal-Grill & Salad Bar Keisuke: Delicious Sumiyaki And Free-Flow Salad Bar From Just S$9.90++ At Paya Lebar

Last Updated: April 17, 2019

Written by Calida Soh

I’m sure all of us are familiar with Keisuke. After all, he is the man behind the many innovative Japanese cuisines located across Singapore. I have been to most of his outlets at least once, and by far my favourites have been Lobster King and Hamburg Steak Keisuke.

When I heard the news that his 19th restaurant was launching, I was intrigued as to what new creations he had come up with this time. Charcoal-Grill & Salad Bar Keisuke at Paya Lebar Square focuses on traditional fish dishes, and I was excited to have an authentic Japanese meal.

Charcoal Grill Keisuke 1

The outlet had a simple design like all other Keisuke restaurants. There was not much decoration adorning the walls, although there were many seats arranged within the restaurant as possible while maintaining a comfortable dining layout. Do note that there might be a short waiting time as the meats are prepared upon order.

However, if you get a bar seat, you can watch the process of the chefs grilling away!

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The charcoal grilling process is done only with white charcoal imported from Japan, which burns with at a high, yet steady heat. This not only seals in the flavours and aroma of the meats, but it also neutralises harmful acids that may occur during cooking as well.

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There’s a free-flow salad bar too, with over 30 different side dishes and fresh vegetables. Picking up a little bit of everything, these were the favourites that I feel are worth a mention.

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The Chasoba Salad was well coated in olive oil, garnished with cherry tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms. The soba noodles itself were refreshing with just a hint of green tea flavour. It was very appetising and honestly could very well be a main on its own.

Charcoal Grill Keisuke 4

The Macaroni, on the other hand, was creamy with a tangy aftertaste.  It wasn’t too jelak on the palate as the black pepper helped to cut through the slight heaviness. I really liked this although it can fill you up quite a bit if you have a huge serving as I did. Oops.

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The Kanikama Coleslaw was one that surprised me. I’m not a huge fan of coleslaw due to the dominant flavour of mayonnaise. However, this was relatively light and the chunks of crabmeat added a touch of sweetness. The crunch from the cabbage gave a nice varying texture too.

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For those who prefer lighter options of fresh vegetables, there are six different special dressings for you to elevate the taste of your salad too.

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Finally, my Charcoal Grilled Miso Marinated Black Cod (S$21.90++) arrived and I saw it glistening from afar even before it arrived at my table. It looked so good I could barely wait to dive into it.

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As I picked up a piece of the flesh, I was amazed at how silky smooth and soft it was. It held together very tenderly between the grip of my chopstick and the velvety layers flaked off easily.

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I was delighted that the buttery cod tasted as good as it looked. It was extremely fresh and evenly grilled with a nice bite to it. Its high-fat content helped to absorb all the marinade, making it flavourful with no fishiness. The miso was a good balance of savoury and sweet, without overpowering the fish too much but rather brought out its unique texture.

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The set also came with traditional Japanese rice that was cooked in individual iron pots. This allowed the rice to remain fresh until we wanted to dig into it. The pearly white grains had a firmer and chewier texture, which complemented the cod well.

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As the set also came with miso soup and an onsen egg, I was recommended to mix the egg into the rice. Indeed, it elevated the taste of the otherwise slightly one-dimensional rice. As I burst the oozy yolk and mixed it with the rice, it became a delicious creamy concoction which made it such a comforting meal.

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The second dish I had was the Charcoal Grilled Dried Atka Mackerel (S$14.90) as it was one of the signature dishes. I did not have high hopes for this fish as mackerel tends to be more distinctly fishy in its flavour profile.

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However, I was pleasantly surprised that its flesh was sweet and flaky, with no overly fishy taste. It was slightly firmer than the cod but still tender enough with a nice fragrance to it. The only downside to this is the insane amount of bones.

If you are an impatient eater and do not wish to struggle with picking out tiny pieces of bones, this fish may not be for you. However, with a fish this good, it’s definitely worth the bone-picking effort in my books.

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While it was good, the cod was great and I was glad the last set we had was the Charcoal Grilled Teriyaki Black Cod (S$21.90). It was the same delicious fish glazed with teriyaki sauce during its grilling process instead of a miso marinade. Although the sauce was predominantly sweet, I felt the natural taste of the flesh stood out more in this.

To round up my meal, they offered citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits which were refreshing after a heavy meal. They also had their signature coffee jelly and cream which was a perfect combination as the bitterness of the jelly was downplayed by the sweet cream. I’m always up for dessert and this was a good one.


With its affordable price point and amazing quality, I can forsee Charcoal-Grill & Salad Bar Keisuke being a crowd lover. This may have just overtaken my favourite Keisuke restaurant. Easties, you are in luck!

Expected Damage: S$9.90++ – S$21.90++ per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Charcoal-Grill and Salad Bar Keisuke

60 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Square, #B1-16 , Singapore 409051

Price
Our Rating 5/5

Charcoal-Grill and Salad Bar Keisuke

60 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Square, #B1-16 , Singapore 409051

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 10pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 10pm (Daily)
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