Last Updated: January 2, 2018
If you love meaty fried katsus, and you love the convenience of meat skewers, then Ginza Rokukakutei at Odeon Tower should be on your must-try list.
Combining both katsus and skewers in the Japanese art of kushikatsu, this one-Michelin-starred restaurant brings Osaka soul food to Singapore.
Located in Odeon Tower, Ginza Rokukakutei has an intimate seating space which gives you the option of perching in front of the chef’s station, or relaxing at tables for larger groups. Wood furnishings also add to the sleek yet welcoming feel of the restaurant.
Five different omakase menus are available, two of which feature wine pairings in addition to the skewers. The Roku Omakase ($98++) with 10 skewers is great for a lighter meal, while the Kaku Omakase ($125++) with 15 skewers and the Tei Omakase ($148++) with 20 skewers cater to those with heartier appetites.
The Iku Omakase ($210++) starts diners off with champagne, and pairs its 12 skewers with white and red wines. And the Ken Omakase ($255++) pairs its 12 skewers with white, rose, red and sticky wine from the Kenzo estate.
One of the unique things about Ginza Rokukakutei is the sauce tray in front of you. I thought that choosing among lemon mustard, shoyu, sesame mustard, red wine sauce, sanshio and Okinawan salt would be confusing. But they actually indicate which condiment pairs well with the skewers, by pointing the stick towards the sauce.
We started with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne, a light gold bubbly with a fruity nose and a slightly creamy flavour, which opened my appetite and made it a good start to the meal.
Each Omakase set comes with a seasonal vegetable bowl, with superbly light and fresh vegetables. I loved how sweet and refreshing the cabbage was, and the cucumber was light on the palate without a hint of bitterness.
The first skewer we had was the Angel Prawn. The sweet, juicy prawn was wrapped in fragrant crispy batter. This was best enjoyed with the Okinawan salt or sanshio, which added some savoury flavour to the skewer.
Skewer number two was the Wagyu Beef. With a crispy batter exterior, this skewer isn’t how you’d expect wagyu beef to be served. Biting into it revealed soft and fatty marbled beef, which went well with the red wine sauce.
The next skewer was the Scallop, which was matched with the shoyu. Light on the palate, the juicy scallop was given the slightest savoury flavour by the shoyu, which helped to undercut the fried batter.
Skewer number four was the surprisingly good Green Pea Croquette. Mushy and a little sweet, the contrasting texture of the mushy centre and the crunchy batter made for an interesting experience. Eating this with the salt also added more savoury flavour too.
Next up, we tried the Chicken with Tonburi and Perilla Leaves. Tonburi is also known as mountain caviar, and it’s actually the seeds of a herb. Popping the little granules released a pleasant woodsy flavour, which complemented the subtly sweet flavour of the chicken. The lemon-mustard mingled with the batter to ground the flavour of this skewer.
Number six was a skewer with Ginko Nuts and Snap Peas. The creamy gingko nut mingled with the refreshing crunch of the snap peas for a blend of textures. A light sprinkling of salt helped to lift the taste and separate the two ingredients more distinctly.
After that, we had the Shirobuta Pork with Onions, which went well with either the red wine sauce or sesame mustard. Chewy but fatty, the meaty flavour was punctuated with the taste of the onion. I preferred the sesame mustard which gave the meat skewer more kick.
Next came the Pike Conger and Matsutake, topped with Japanese lime jelly, which melted quickly into the batter and infused it with lime fragrance. The simple, light flavour of the eel lingered while the woodsy mushroom flavour took centre stage.
Skewer number nine was Salmon with Pickled Chrysanthemum, paired with the lemon mustard. Soft to the point of falling apart in my mouth, the salmon gained extra zest from the lemon mustard.
At the halfway mark, we switched to a white wine, the Feudi del Pisciotto Carolina Marengo Grillo (2011). A light brioche fragrance was accompanied by a smooth sip with a buttery finish, making this a good pairing for the remaining skewers.
Skewer number 10 was Moroccan Green Beans with Grilled Pork. Best enjoyed with the red wine sauce, this was big on flavour. The crunchy beans added a cleaner taste to the skewer which reduced the richness.
Next was the Yam Wrapped In Codfish Fishcake, which paired with the shoyu. Crunchy and crisp, the yam was light on the palate. The codfish was also soft, falling apart easily when I bit into it.
Next up, we had the Cuttlefish and Herring Roe on Kelp Topped with Salmon Roe, which went well with shoyu. The tender and juicy cuttlefish filled my mouth with flavour as I chewed on. I enjoyed how the salmon and herring roe popped in my mouth as well, and the kelp added a smoother texture to the skewer.
Skewer number 13 was the Lotus Root with Curry Stuffed Beef, paired with red wine sauce. Rich in flavour, the strong fragrance and taste of the curry dominated the skewer. Unfortunately, the more delicate taste of the crunchy lotus root was buried under the richer and stronger flavour of the curry beef.
We also tried the Homemade Tofu, which was wrapped around a shrimp centre. Surprisingly savoury, dipping it in shoyu added even more flavour. I’d say that this smooth and soft skewer is good enough on its own!
The final wine pairing was with the Feudi del Pisciotto Versace Nero D’Avola 2013. A deep, ruby-red wine, which had a complex nose combining berries and spice.
Moving on to the next skewer, we tried the Pumpkin and Soft Chicken Bones Croquette, which went well with a sprinkling of salt. The slightly crunchy soft bones and the creamy pumpkin created an interesting mix of textures and flavours.
Skewer number 16 was the Duck and Welsh Onion, a less gamey duck skewer that paired well with the red wine sauce. The onion added a deeper flavour and a bit of crunch to this mostly chewy skewer.
Next up, we had the Octopus skewer, a fresh and chewy skewer that was a good jaw workout. Flavourful and juicy, this skewer left a lingering taste of the sea underneath the light savoury taste of shoyu.
Skewer number 18 was Japanese Sweet Potato with Honey Brandy, a subtly sweet skewer that had a fragrant honey flavour. Smooth and mushy, the sweet potato was light on the palate with a sweet finish.
Number 19 was the Sticky Rice with Small Shrimp skewer, paired with shoyu. The sticky and chewy rice combined with the crunchy shrimps within, creating a blend of textures in my mouth. The starchy rice also went well with the slightly sweet and briny flavour of the shrimps.
Finally, we had our last skewer, the Cheese skewer consisting of emmental, gruyere, cheddar and mozzarella. This rich and creamy skewer went well with the sanshio, which lifted the individual cheese flavours. Savoury but mild, this chewy cheese skewer was a good finish to a satisfying meal.
Ginza Rokukakutei delivered on the promise of a feast for the senses. If you happen to be in the area, head down for some deep-fried skewers that’s bound to keep you coming back.
Expected Damage: $19.90++ – $235++