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Food

Kotobuki Yakitori: Overflowing Sashimi Bowls & Fresh Unagi Flown Straight From Japan In Katong

Last Updated: May 23, 2019

Written by Lee Wei Yang

There’s no doubt that Japan is a popular holiday destination for Singaporeans. The glorious sashimi, sushi, ramen and don dishes make it a one-stop destination for all foodies.

So it’s no surprise that Singaporeans often crave for good Japanese food when we’re back in Singapore. Fortunately, I’ve heard about a restaurant in Joo Chiat that’s been serving Japanese fare in Singapore for almost 40 years.

Kotobuki Yakitori 112 Katong Joo Chiat 4

Located within 112 Katong shopping mall, Kotobuki Yakitori is a Japanese restaurant which delivers Kanto cuisine.

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The restaurant is part of the Kotobuki chain, which has been operating in Singapore since 1981.

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This outlet is the only Kotobuki restaurant to specialise in yakitori dishes, or skewered meats.

They also serve up an impressive variety of Japanese classics and just looking through the extensive menu made our mouths water.

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Since they’re famous for their meat skewers, we got a bunch of them to try.

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We started off with the Sasami Mentaiko Mayo (S$3.50++).

They slather the grilled chicken breast meat with mentaiko mayonnaise sauce, giving every bite an absolutely creamy mouthfeel.

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Unfortunately, however, the meat was a bit too dry for our liking. Perhaps it was because it was the breast meat, but it wasn’t as juicy or tender as we were expecting.

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We felt it could have also used more seasoning as it was lacking in flavour. Nonetheless, we appreciated the fact that they use fresh chicken meat for their skewers.

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If you’re a cheese lover, the Tsukune Cheese (S$3.50++) is definitely worth the calories.

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A layer of melted cheese goes on top of the minced chicken skewer, which was satisfyingly juicy. The saltiness of the cheese also complemented the umami flavour of the minced chicken.

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To balance out all the greasy meats we were having, we got the Aspara Maki (S$4++).

The asparaguses were delightfully crunchy and moist, and every piece is wrapped with a thin slice of pork, giving it a bit of saltiness.

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Up next, we had the Unagi Hitsumabushi (S$38++), one of Kotobuki Yakitori’s most popular dishes.

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They serve it in an exquisite-looking bento box, with a variety of condiments to accompany the dish’s main star, the grilled unagi.

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Perfectly grilled on both sides, the unagi had a thick coat of teriyaki sauce when it came.

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We especially loved that the soft meat contrasted its crackly charred skin well.

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Apparently, the restaurant imports live eels all the way from Japan on a weekly basis.

If you don’t believe me, look out for their eel tank when you enter the restaurant. You might even see eels swimming around in it as we did!

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The restaurant actually stops serving the dish once they run out of unagi. So head down early in the week if you want to have a taste of fresh authentic Japanese unagi!

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With the unagi setting the standards so high, we were pretty confident that no other dish would beat it. However, we were proven wrong by our next dish.

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The Buri Kama Yaki (S$28++) blew our minds away with the sheer size of the grilled yellowtail kingfish collar.

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Just poking our chopsticks against the crispy fish skin made the juices ooze out of the meat.

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It goes without saying that the fish was absolutely moist and flaky. It melted in our mouths like butter, spreading its umami flavour across our taste buds.

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We unanimously agreed that this was our favourite dish.

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Kotobuki Yakitori also serves up a range of Bakumori Dons, or “Mega Sushi Rice Bowls”, which intrigued us.

The glorious amount of ingredients which piled the bowls were a sight behold.

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Salmon sashimi lovers will absolutely enjoy the Sake Bakumori Don (S$26++).

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Not only does it contain raw salmon cubes, but the dish also comes with a glorious amount of salmon roe.

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The raw salmon cubes were deliciously juicy and super fresh.

With the occasional bursts of saltiness of the salmon roe, every mouthful was palatably flavourful.

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They use premium grade Japanese pearl rice for their rice bowls, and each individual grain was fragrant and chewy.

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We also gave the Deluxe Bakumori Don (S$40++) a try.

True to its name, the don comes with a heavy price tag, since it’s the most premium of the lot.

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In addition to raw salmon cubes and salmon roe, the dish came with a plethora of other ingredients.

There were raw yellowtail and tuna cubes, minced raw tuna, as well as tamago cubes.

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Topping the don off is the most premium ingredient of them all, uni (sea urchin).

Once again, the quality of the ingredients blew us away.

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Extraordinarily creamy, the uni dissolved in our mouths effortlessly.

We were afraid there would be a pungent briny taste, but to our pleasant surprise, the uni simply tasted fresh.

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The refreshing combination of so many ingredients worked, with their varying flavour profiles in perfect harmony.

Together with the different sashimi and tamago cubes, every mouthful was a flavour bomb.

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In view of the variety of quality ingredients, we concluded that the price of the dish was justifiable after all.


It’s apparent that Kotobuki Yakitori uses the freshest and most premium ingredients for all their dishes. What’s more, with five outlets islandwide, you know they must be doing something right.

So jio all your Japanese food-loving friends here for a meal that’ll have them going “oiishi”!

Expected Damage: S$3.50 – S$40++ per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Kotoburi Yakitori

112 East Coast Road, # 01-14/15, 112 Katong, Singapore 428802

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Kotoburi Yakitori

112 East Coast Road, # 01-14/15, 112 Katong, Singapore 428802

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5.30pm - 10.30pm (Mon - Fri), 11.30am - 10.30pm (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5.30pm - 10.30pm (Mon - Fri), 11.30am - 10.30pm (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)
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