Last Updated: January 15, 2018
Nestled within The Sail @ Marina Bay, Kimoto Gastro Bar offers rice bowls with tempura and kushiyaki at affordable prices.
Here’s where you’ll get to enjoy the tranquillity of Marina Bay with comforting traditional Japanese food and drinks.
Diners can choose to sit at the bar counter, especially if they are dining alone or with one or two other friends. There are bigger tables to accommodate larger groups too.
Sake and whisky bottles lined the shelves and part of the counter, and it was interesting to just read off the labels while waiting for the food to be served.
We started our meal with the Avocado Tofu Salad ($9), which was light on the palate but quite filling. I enjoyed the crisp mesclun and baby spinach, which went well with the smooth and soft tofu and avocado.
The mayonnaise and wasabi dressing added more flavour to the greens. I felt that there could have been fewer sliced almonds, as the taste and texture of the almonds tended to overpower the rest of the salad.
We also tried the Kushiyaki Don ($14.90), a rice bowl with a variety of meat and vegetable skewers. I preferred the chicken thigh skewer over the chicken breast, because the thigh meat was juicier.
The zucchini skewer was lightly seasoned, with only the slightest hint of pepper, which allowed its natural flavour to emerge.
But the highlight of the dish was the fried onsen egg, which had a crispy outer layer that was nicely breaded and contrasted the gooey egg yolk!
We wanted to try more skewers and ordered the Hatsu ($3.50 per skewer), or chicken heart. It was springy and smooth, with a gamey flavour. Chewing it slowly also brought out a creamier texture.
The Reba ($3.80 per skewer), or chicken liver, was extremely creamy which I enjoyed. This dense and rich skewer also had a very strong gamey flavour, which may not suit everyone’s taste buds.
The Sunagimo ($3.50 per skewer), or chicken gizzard, was slightly sinewy with a chewy texture. This was the least gamey of the chicken skewers, which will appeal to those who are less fond of innards.
We also had the Uzura Tamago ($4 per skewer), which was a pleasant break from the meaty dishes. The quail eggs were soft-boiled with a slightly runny egg yolk in the centre, and each bite was a delight to my taste buds.
The best skewer was definitely the Buta Buta ($6.50 for two skewers), which was fatty Iberico pork belly on a stick. The fatty layer melted easily in my mouth, leaving behind a slightly smoky flavour.
The meat was also juicy and tender, with a hint of sweetness. This was my absolute favourite!
One of the special dishes served in Kimoto Gastro Bar would be the Unagi Rice Ball ($8). Scorched on the outside with a crispy yet chewy texture, the outer layer tasted just like bottom-of-the-pot rice. The rice ball was generously topped with bonito flakes and served with a side of mayonnaise topped with tobiko.
What I really enjoyed about this dish was that they certainly didn’t skimp on the unagi chunks, and every mouthful was filled with delicious, juicy eel. My only gripe was that the outer layer tended to stick to my teeth.
We decided to wash down the sumptuous spread with their speciality drinks. We had the Kakubin Highball ($12), which was rather refreshing.
The slight musky aftertaste from the whisky was complemented by the light citrus flavour, which made it a lot easier to drink.
We also tried a tasting portion of the Senkin Modern Kimoto ($98 for a 720ml bottle). Smooth and sweet, it’s no wonder that this sake is a popular choice among diners.
Even though I’m a whisky lover, I actually preferred this sake over the highball. The sweet flavour made it the perfect chaser after a filling savoury meal!
If you’re looking for a new dining spot for some after-work drinks, or an affordable Japanese don and skewer fix, head over to Kimoto Gastro Bar. The prices are value-for-money despite being located in the CBD. Itadakimasu!
Expected Damage: $20 – $40 per pax