If you’ve ever been to Japan, you might have seen kappo restaurants around, where chefs would cook in front of diners, creating an entertaining experience. We now have our very first beef-centric kappo restaurant in Singapore, Niku Kappo, located at ION Orchard.
Even though the restaurant focuses on the different cuts of beef, there are other dishes such as tendon bowls, skewers and pizzas. I highly recommend the beef though, why else would you come to this restaurant?
I started off with the Time Bomb Maguro ($9.90), and it was both exhilarating and somewhat scary. A stone slab was placed on the table with a trail of flammable crystals leading to a pile of straw upon which raw chunks of tuna will be set on flames by the waiter.
You have about five seconds to take your photos before the flame reaches the straw, in which you will then use the tongs provided to turn the tuna before it overcooks. The exterior is cooked with a smoky flavour, but the inside of the chunks were still tender and raw, very similar to seared tuna tataki.
Don’t forget to order the Mt.Fuji NABE (Beef & Pork) ($18.90), it’s a huge pot of broth with beef and pork slices wrapped around kang kong vegetables that are supposed to resemble Mount Fuji.
The hearty pork bone soy sauce broth was delicious, with a sweetness from the cabbage and bean sprouts. The crunchy kang kong added a nice contrast to the tender meat slices, that you’re supposed to mix into the broth to cook. I struggled to finish this with my dining companion, so I would suggest for at least three people to share this.
The Tokusen Niku Sushi Mori ($36.90) was a bit of a letdown. I did enjoy the different types of beef sushi, but I felt that some elements could have been better. The sea urchin from the Wagyu Uni Gunkan wasn’t sweet nor clean tasting, and it was mushier than firm, signs that it wasn’t fresh.
I enjoyed all the wagyu sushi though, the beef was nicely marbled and we were informed that we should eat the sushi quickly in order to enjoy the beef at its freshest.
If you’re not a fan of raw beef, no worries. Get the Yaki Tetsu Kobe style, where cubes of wagyu beef will be cooked on a hot plate with a rich sauce comprising of white miso and foie gras.
I chose the Akagi Wagyu ($39.90) and watched in anticipation as the meat and vegetables were all grilled in front of me.
There’s a tamago sauce provided as a dip, and I suggest dipping just the meat in, as the taste really brings out the sweet yet savoury flavour of the miso. Pairing the vegetables with the sauce turned out to be a little too salty, so I would refrain from adding the vegetables in.
Raw beef sushi is definitely an experience that I recommend all beef lovers to try at least once, but there are plenty of other fantastic dishes at Niku Kappo that one can indulge in aside from the beef sushi.
Expected damage: $30 – $40 per pax