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Vino Kushiaki @ Joo Chiat Road

12:00 PM , , 0 Comments

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I am always up for checking out a new restaurant, concept or anything related to food. I mean, change is the ever constant anyway and the East is definitely in need of a good kushiaki place - all that travelling to Orchard or Mohammad Sultan can get boring sometimes.

The last I raved so much about kushiaki was probably in the days of frenzied Uma dates.

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Reservations are definitely recommended because the restaurant was operating at full capacity on a Friday night and walk ins were constantly streaming in too.

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Bar or not, it probably does not quite matter unless watching the Chef quietly do his thang is your idea of interactive. Kushiaki unlike sushi or even tempura, is almost zero interaction - unless you toast to the Chef.


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Chef in action.

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With the omakase ($88), it comes with a serving of dry sake or Japanese tea,

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Cold cabbage with a mysterious dipping sauce, I've had this way too many times and it's amazing how it always tastes so good. I wonder if it's got to do with the cabbage or sauce.

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2  types of zensai and we start with minced chicken balls with chestnuts. I ended up with sticky collagen glazed lips with this unassuming pale looking dish. Soft meatballs with a delicious crunch.

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Broiled octopus with greens and a tongue tingling acidic broth, I loved the contrast of this appetizer!


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2 types of Tori Kushiyaki ensued and these midwings were so fragrant! Tender to the bone and it was just so easy de-boning this. Slurp.

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Almost like pork, this chicken skewer had a slight char and the layer of fats oozed oiishii. So good!

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4 kinds of Yasai Kushiaki included these spring onions.



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OCD at work when theyre even arranged according to height.

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Peppers topped with bonito flakes.

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Earthy mushrooms when grilled present a completely different taste profile as compared to the other cooking methods and I particularly loved grilled mushrooms - the smoky and the hearty meat like texture!

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Even pumpkin tastes so  good. I've come to a realisation that Japanese vegetables are one level up and I see no reason why Japanese would even hate vegetables - how to?!

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3 types of Kaisen Kushiyaki and there was a showcase of saba, snapper and also shisamo. I love how the grilled fishes came with a cold topping. A very smart way of presenting these with a refreshing topping.

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Larger than usual grilled shisamo.

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One course of "meal" which was rice with miso soup, to which I really was not expecting much - maybe a bowl of rice and side of miso soup? Seaweed topping and baby shrimp made this very appetizing and a meal on its own.

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Size for comparison, the largest shisamo I've ever eaten so far!

Greedy us continued with a couple more orders from the ala carte before declaring ourselves full.

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Grilled Stingray Fin ($18)

I always forget the name of this and this makes the perfect snack with its chewy texture, I would just give up on bak kwa for these nibbles.

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Japan Yam with Cod Fish Roe ($28)

Japanese yam has an acquired taste, starchy and crunchy almost like natto beans and paired with the cod fish roe, we were both lamenting the measly portion. In times like these, sharing is not caring.

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Eggplant ($10)

Normally I'd go for miso eggplant and this was just for curiosity's sake - eggplant was still juicy and nary dry nor overcooked. The grated ginger gave this an oomph and by now, it seems that Chef is one who loves contrasting temperatures of his dishes.

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As much as I'd love to see musk melon, apples and strawberries are good enough to end of the meal.

I get Vino Kushiaki's popularity, for affordable and kushiaki with great value. I would be back to try the rest of the items and until then, I am pumped to know there's a gem in the neighbourhood!

Vino Kushiaki 
325 Joo Chiat Rd

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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