You might not think much when you first arrive at Keong Saik Road’s latest food spot, Kyuu by Shunsui. Its façade of a plain black wall doesn’t give much away, and its starkness is softened only by the glow of a simple lightbox bearing the restaurant logo. Beyond those nondescript white curtains blowing at the door, however, lies an exceptional robatayaki dining experience that you won’t forget.
Established just this month, Kyuu by Shunsui is the sister restaurant to Five Nines and Kappo Shunsui at Cuppage Plaza. The newcomer specializes in sashimi and robatayaki, but carries the same philosophy as Five Nines: delivering a gold standard in food and service.
It’s a promise that Kyuu is fulfilling in its first month already, mostly thanks to the stewardship of Head Chef Issey Araki. Do not be fooled by the Japanese chef’s youthful appearance; on top of mastering the art of Kappo and Kaiseki cuisine, the 27-year-old also has work experience at Tokyo’s one Michelin-starred restaurant, Akasaka Tantei, under his belt.
Chef Araki’s knife and charcoal grilling skills are all the more evident as he prepares the restaurant’s omakase course, which boasts some of the freshest ingredients sourced from Japan. You’ll be able to taste their exceptional quality from just one bite of their seasonal sashimi selection that currently includes tuna fatty belly, red snapper, salmon, sea urchin, yellow tail and more.
Robatayaki is where Kyuu really shines. Each ingredient is carefully grilled over hot charcoal a la minute, before being served with a special homemade sauce — Kyuu’s unique touch. There’s an array of them too: grilled egg plant comes with a delectable sweet red miso sauce, while the mouth-watering tuna belly is complimented by truffle ponzu sauce. One of Kyuu’s best robatayaki offerings is the Kagoshima A4 Wagyu beef aitchbone, complete with a heavenly red miso fond de veau.
The ending of the omakase course is not any less a grand affair. The chefs’ ritual of chanting “yoisho, yoisho” while pouring salmon roe over your Hokkaido Rice Nanatsuboshi is sure to bring a smile on your face, even before you dig in and taste the specially prepared ikura.
The omakase menu is only available from 6pm to 9pm, but late night diners have until midnight to pick from Kyuu’s ala carte menu, which features an array of sashimi and other cold and hot appetisers, as well as charcoal grilled and deep fried dishes. These can be enjoyed alongside an extensive list of craft beers, umeshu, shochu, highballs, wines (red, white and sparkling), champagne and close to 40 different labels of sake.
Kyuu by Shunsui is located at 29 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089136.