It started with an Instagram post from Sandrasim about yakitori & Justinfoodprints on chicken sashimi in Singapore. It seems that they rate this place highly, therefore I bookmarked the location for future reference. Out of sudden LD has a craving for yakitori / izakaya, so we decided to visit Kai Yakitori.
Kai Yakitori (‘Kai’) is a small establishment located in Orchard Plaza. The restaurant itself is very small, probably can seat less than 20 pax. We are seated at the bench, directly facing the kitchen where the chefs are working. The place is dimly lit to create a cosy dining atmosphere but not very conducive to take photos. Like a typical yakitori joint in Japan.
The menu is one page and it is obvious chicken is the star attraction here. We start the meal Otoshi ($3) – Small dish. It is light, nicely seasoned, good to tickle your tastebuds.
Toriwasa Shoyu ($14) – Sashimi Chicken with Shoyu Wasabi. This dish is one reason we come. Surprisingly, the chicken tasted like Tuna, with beef tataki sauce. You can see the external part of the meat is white like it is cooked to the equivalent of "rare steak". The mushroom and spring onions gave it earthy and spark to this dish.
|Toriwasa Shoyu – Sashimi Chicken with Shoyu Wasabi.|
Special Fish Cake ($12). Unlike Singapore version of fish cake, the homemade fish cake here is a crisp exterior with mushy tofu like inside. It is light in flavour and the edamame inside adds a crunchy texture to the dish.
|Special Fish Cake|
Sunagimo ($5.50) – Gizzard. One of our favourites. Crisp and crunchy, with a generous sprinkle of salt. Almost have a similar texture with Hatsu ($5.50) – Heart. Except Hatsu is juicier internally.
|Sunagimo – Gizzard|
|Hatsu - Heart|
Bonjiri ($5.50) – Tail / bishop. My favourite part of the chicken. Crisp, juicy with a burst of fattiness. Best of all it does not have a pungent smell that usually comes with the tail. Kawa ($6.50) – Chicken Skin. It is crispy, absent of fat. Taste like chicken crackling.
|Bonjiri – Tail / bishop|
|Kawa - Chicken Skin|
LD’s favourite is Nan Kotsu ($5.50) – Soft Bone. It is crunchy and nice to chew. Meanwhile, the Momo ($5.50) – Thigh is served with the skin on. It is grilled to the point of crispy skin, while the flesh remains juicy and succulent. Amazing.
|Nan Kotsu – Soft Bone.|
|Momo - Thigh|
Moving on from the chicken we ordered off the menu special, Abalone ($18), Wagyu Beef A4 Kushi ($18) and Kurobuta Kushi ($9). Kai uses small abalone, like the one used in Korean stew. It is chewy, juicy with a nice smoky aroma from the grill.
The wagyu beef is good, the charcoal grill manages to seal the juice inside the cubes. It just melts in your mouth. The Kurobuta pork is just superb. Served on a plate, it is crispy, fatty and the meat just melts in your mouth. The chopped spring onion and dipping sauce help to balance the richness from the Oink Oink.
|Wagyu Beef A4 Kushi|
For the finale, we ordered Tori Ramen ($10) and Oyako Don ($10). The ramen broth is made from chicken bones and filled collagen. The ramen is thin and al-dente. The flavour is good to complete your meal here.
The Oyako Don serve here is more of a modern version instead of the traditional version. The pearl rice at the bottom is covered with chicken and scramble egg cooked in chicken stock. It is then partially covered with perfectly poached egg and seaweed. A nice rice dish to end the meal.
The drinks menu here is limited. They only have Asahi Beer ($10), Whiskey Highball ($10), Sake and Ice Tea ($2). For service, the chefs behind the counter are super friendly. However, we find the service staff is a bit stern, especially towards non-regular like us.
Overall, it was indeed an amazing Yakitori experience. The control of fire by the head Yakitori Chef is flawless and the skill to chicken preparation is at Master level. The Toriwasa Shoyu (Chicken Sashimi with Shoyu sauce) is a must try. YOLO. Kanpai!! Cheers!!
Food & Drinks: 9/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 and above.
150 Orchard Road
#03-16 Orchard Plaza
T: +65 6245 7292 / 8836 4546
Mon – Sat: 18.00 – 23.59
Closed on Sunday
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