At last! Kazu - the shrine of all yakitori/kushiyaki in Singapore. Hubby got home early amidst all the earthquake tremors that rocked this little island today, so we were able to make it to Kazu before the crowds descended.
Kicking off the evening was the superb complimentary appetiser of an ice-cold refreshing cabbage salad (is it some miso paste? I can never figure that sauce out). We aren't fans of cabbage but liked this so much we ordered a second round (S$3).
Yes, this is all quite delicious. The bacon and beef wrapped around the various ingredients are sliced so very thin, it's barely perceptible but it's there just enough to lend flavour. However, I think the wagyu around the shimeji was sliced too thin to retain much of its prized fats during grilling.
Kazu does a great job at seasoning and grilling its items - most parts are literally toasted crisp but sometimes certain parts are a little burnt in that big happy charcoal grill fire in the kitchen.
I have to say the chicken skin at Wahiro's Kushiyaki is still superior - that one becomes so crisp and tender at the same time, you can't tell that it's skin anymore. Although well-grilled, Kazu's version (S$1.80) is still recognisably chicken skin. The US short-rib (S$4) is hubby's favourite of the evening - he ordered it three times! Juicy and tender.
This is easily my favourite item there. Big, juicy prawns bursting with intense flavour, and sweet, fresh scallops made all the more aromatic by the grilled leeks (I don't normally eat leeks, but these were beautifully soft and melt-in-your-mouth).
Hubby had his first taste of foie gras (he is normally not that adventurous with livers and innards). "Tastes like butter" was the verdict. Yes, they were not bad but I would prefer these just slightly more charred on the outside, searing in all the buttery goodness.
We needed some carbo to fill us up as the grilled stuff was like bitesize hor d'oeuvres. I had a garlic fried rice (been a sucker for this dish ever since I tasted my first at a teppanyaki joint in Tokyo). I guess Kazu's was decent (although a wee bit pricey at S$6 with nothing but garlic in it). The garlic was charred just to the point of almost turning bitter. Almost. Hubby had a delicious zaru soba (chilled buckwheat noodles, S$8) - very good indeed - springy and delicious! Too bad no pictures. Unfortunately for both, portions were rather small.
I could tell quite a few ingredients went into this trio of meatballs but somehow I prefer Kushigin's version.
Nice combination of flavours but the pork was probably a bit too fatty for my taste. (Yeah, I know, it's kinda strange cos I love pork lard and yet am afraid of fatty pork).
The obligatory vegetables, hehe. A tiny trio of Japanese mini okra (lady's fingers, the size of your pinky!) nicely done. However, at S$3.50, I'd think twice about ordering these again.
Oh this was lovely. Kazu seems to do seafood quite well. Fresh succulent cod (S$4.50) without any fishiness. The flesh was fall-away soft - I just wonder how they manage to grill this so nicely that it stayed in one piece!
I was still not completely full at the end of the meal though, so I got myself a grilled onigiri (soy sauce version, S$3.50). My, it had a lot of additional seasoning within it - you can see shreds of nori (seaweed), sesame and I could taste ume (plum). I still prefer my onigiri plain like at Wahiro's or Aburiya's.
Here's the bamboo tumbler where you toss all your skewers. Think we ate too much? Well, the wallet says so, but my stomach says no. It's way too easy to go overboard here, with the enticing and wide variety in Kazu's menu. You just feel like trying everything (okay, maybe not the grilled whale's tongue or horse sashimi)!
Another plus is that the place doesn't get smoky despite all the heavy-duty indoor grilling, thanks to powerful and well-placed exhaust hoods. Kazu is a nice yakitori place. Tables may be small and cramped but the food makes it worthwhile.
I can't seem to decide which of the three I like better: Kazu, Wahiro's Kushiyaki and Kushigin. Some items are done better at Wahiro's, some at Kazu's. Not sure if my memory serves me right but Wahiro's offerings seem more filling and substantial (also less hard-hitting on the pocket) but it definitely can't beat Kazu's menu variety.
5 Koek Rd Cuppage Plaza, #04-05
Tel: 6734-2492 (reservations essential!)
Open Mon-Sun: 6-10pm