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Food

Kinobe: S$6 Gyūdons For All Those Lunch Cravings Nestled In Amoy Food Street Centre

Last Updated: May 24, 2019

Written by Nicole Lam


Lunchtime at Amoy Street Food Centre is usually a sight to behold. It is a whirlwind of activity; the huddle of businessmen sweating it out in the heat, the gaggle of the OLs (office ladies for the uninitiated) chatting about the latest happenings in the office all interspersed around the maze of never-ending queues.

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As you wade your way through the crowd, you’d realise one of those snaking queues belongs to Kinobe, where you can find steaming bowls of gyudon, butadon and chikindon starting from only S$5.

Kinobe started in November of 2018 by longtime friends Genji and Benjamin. Inspired by all the delicious food they had on their frequent trips to Japan, Kinobe is their homage to all those scrumptious Japanese eats.

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We started off with one of Kinobe’s signature items, the Gyūdon (S$6). This bowl comes with a generous portion of beef strips, a silky onsen egg and a dusting of shichimi togarashi powder (Japanese seven spice powder).

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There is nothing more satisfying breaking a gorgeous runny yolk over savoury beef ribbons.

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These tender slices of beef are first braised in an umami-laden beef bone broth before being placed atop a mound of gleaming short grain rice. As an extra step, Genji and Benjamin spoon a ladle of that beef bone broth to ensure every grain of rice soaks up all that flavour.

The beef slices were well-marinated and addictive, they taste even better when you dip them in that rich and creamy yolk. The subtle heat and citrusy notes from the shichimi togarashi tied everything together quite nicely.

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After giving my bowl a good mix, I had a good spoonful of all the elements of the bowl.

Each component complemented each other quite well. The rice was soft and fluffy and the beef was neither too lean nor too fatty. While the onions were sweet, I felt that they could have been cooked a little longer for better caramelisation. Still, this was still a rather satisfying and sumptuous bowl.

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For lunch-goers who want something a little more extravagant, Kinobe’s new Wagyudon (S$10) will make lunch feel a little more luxe without breaking the bank.

Kinobe first marinates their wagyu beef before they sous vide that luscious slab of meat. For that characteristic char, the wagyu was torched before gracing the steaming rice.

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Each ruby-coloured rectangle was flavourful and melted in my mouth. I broke the wobbly yolk and coated the wagyu slice with liquid gold. If I were to have a rather trying morning at work, this would be the salve. At a wallet-friendly S$10, you can treat yo’ self every day.

My only gripe was that the rice at the bottom tended to get a little dry after tearing through the wagyu slices but otherwise consider this the ultimate lunch option.

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If you are still hankering for a hearty meal, a reliable and popular option would be Chikindon (S$5). For this bowl, you get a generous portion of flame-grilled chicken and Kinobe’s usual suspects.

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A much lighter protein for those who don’t want to fall into the inevitable food coma after lunch. The chicken pieces were juicy and succulent, along with a good hit of teriyaki sauce on top.

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Besides complementing the meat in Kinobe’s donburi‘s, the runny yolk also helped to bind everything together. What I got after I broke the yolk was this beautiful eggy mess of charred chicken pieces and pearly, starchy rice. What could be better?


The hawker trade is no easy feat; besides the long hours, there is, of course, the unpredictable nature of the job. Nevertheless, Genji and Benjamin did it anyway. With not much cooking experience, Genji and Benjamin told us that they started out by looking up donburi recipes online.

It wasn’t always successful. But encouraged and emboldened by their fellow hawkers, Genji and Benjamin preserved and continuously refined their donburis to what it is today. From long lines of that awaits every time lunch hour rolls around, it’s clear that their hard work paid off.

Expected damage: S$6 – S$10 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Kinobe

7 Maxwell Road, MND Building Annexe B, Amoy Street Food Centre, #02-126 , Singapore 069111

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Kinobe

7 Maxwell Road, MND Building Annexe B, Amoy Street Food Centre, #02-126 , Singapore 069111

Operating Hours: 11am - 3pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun

Operating Hours: 11am - 3pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun
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