The last time I came to Teppan Kappou Kenji at Tanjong Pagar, I made a mental note to return for their teppanyaki.
Teppan Kappa Kenji opened in one of the conservation shophouse in 2019. Many were in high praise of the Nadaman-trained chefs and the kaiseki course. I came in June to try their Kaiseki course, and it was delicious.
My first encounter of Chef Kenji Okumura 奥村 けん司 culinary skills was at Takumi at Keppel Bay back in 2012. His varied techniques are demonstrated from the many different ingredients he imports from Japan. He enjoys working with the rich array of Japanese produce and presenting them in the best possible method of cooking.
This attention to details even come down to the sake cups. The variety of sake cups available for use was rather astounding, with many I have never seen elsewhere.
Even the cold sake cups were quite surprising and pretty.
葵 / Aoi (Teppan) Course
We ordered the Aoi Course and left it for the chef to decide what we were eating that day.
1/ House-made Sesame Tofu, Mizunasu, Uni, Cherry Tomatoes
The starter scored with the house-made sesame flavoured tofu paired with fresh sea urchin which has been presented in many Japanese omakase. It was the mizunasu (water eggplant) with the seaweed sauce that stole the show because it was very rarely eaten outside of Japan. It was not common for Singaporean to eat vegetable as a fruit.
2/ Sashimi Course – Hiramasa, Tai, Maguro, Hirame
The choice of fish was not that exciting – the previous Kaiseki meal had a better spread. It was the number of sauces for the fish that impressed. We had the traditional soy sauce (for the tuna and Japanese sea bass), a ponzu sauce for the white fish, and then a spicy garlicky sauce for the hirame (flounder).
3/ Mozzarella Cheese, Sakura Ebi, Avocado
This was the dish that attracted us to book this meal. It consisted of teppan grilled mozzarella topped with fried sakura ebi and grilled avocado finished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze. Hidden among those ingredients was a dressing of basil and olive oil. Simple yet satisfying.
4/ Teppan Hokkaido Oyster
These huge Hokkaido oysters were coated with a dusting of flour and pan fried. Topped with spicy grated radish and seasoned with ponzu sauce, I wished there was more than one piece per person.
5/ Tiger Prawn and Salmon
The pan fried salmon and the salsa were quite underwhelming. The tiger prawn was overcooked. Turned out the crispy prawn head and the salmon skin were the highlight.
6/ Premium A5 Miyazaki Wagyu
Japanese Wagyu is incredibly tender with an intense, rich flavour. At a national competition that is held every 5 years and often referred to as the Olympics of Wagyu Beef, Miyazaki beef won the top prize of the Prime Ministers Award 3 times consecutively. This means Miyazaki Beef held the top spot in Japan for 15 years straight.
I could not finish the whole thing. It was so rich and as I grow older, I could handle such richness in food.
7/ Yamaimo Vichyssoise
Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of boiled and pureed leeks, onions and potatoes, though Chef Kenji also added in yamaimo (mountain yam) here.
8/ ガーリックライス Garlic Rice, Red Misoshiru
And to finish the meal, a nice, bowl of garlic fried rice with a nice, hot bowl of red miso soup. I was surprised they did not provide any Japanese pickles for the rice.
9/ Vanilla Ice Cream, Pomegranate
And then the dessert – a scoop of vanilla ice cream decorated with a few jewels of pomegranate. Disappointed for such a sloppy ending.
The Kaiseki meal was great, but I would say the Teppanyaki omakase was just good. I would be better off ordering a la carte as most of the items were available on the menu. I would expect something more surprising and innovative for an omakase.
Teppan Kappou Kenji 鉄板割烹 けん司
99 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-01, Singapore 088520
Tel : +65 9152 3118
Visited in Aug 2022