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Monday, June 27, 2022

Ku-Kai Izakaya

While I always thought that I can only find relaxing places facing the sea in Malaysia, Ku-Kai Ikazaya had given me a different perspective. The place is not easily accessible and far-flung. One has to travel deep into the roads to reach it. 

Ku-Kai Ikazaya

 However, if you are looking for some instagrammable spots that are Japan-lookalike, the trip may be worth travelling especially if you are able to catch the sunset or blue hours timing. The alfresco dining area was adorned with Japanese red lanterns and just right behind this Torii Gate, the place is opposite Johor Bahru. 

Sea View 

No doubt that the place was quite remote, we were surprised that it was fully booked and leaving no room for walk-in customers. We were quite lucky to have a table but with limited dining timing before the reservation slot kicks in.

Along the straits of Malaysia

Torii Gate

Mentai Tamago was served with a dollop of dashi by the side. The vibrant yellow-looking egg layers were cold and sweet-tasting filled with Mentai in the middle. 

Mentai Tamago - $9.80

Having this as our first dish is kind of "opening up" the stomach for more Japanese food along the way.


Seafood Okonomiyaki was served on a wooden board. We do not often get to see Okonomiyaki served in Japanese dining places and I thought this tasted quite decent with a handful of bonito flakes topped over the ingredients of this "Japanese Pancake" that is decked up with cabbages, carrots, seafood (Tako and prawn) and mayonnaise.

Okonomiyaki Seafood - $19

If you prefer chicken or pork to seafood, they have these options available for the Okonomiyaki too. 

Closer Look at Okonomiyaki

I had the Suntory Premium Draught to accompany my meal for the evening. 

Suntory Premium Draught - $9.30

The can of Melon Soda was rather small. Nonetheless, this soda drink has a fragrant Melon taste and was refreshing.

Melon Soda - $5

This Japanese Gratin was made with macaroni giving a firm and chewy texture. Together with the sweetness from the bits of crab and fish the saltiness from the bacon bits strike a good balance in taste. The cheese also gives the gratin a creaminess while the aburi added a thin layer of charred texture.

Kani Tama Gratin - $13

While we saw some fish nuggets on the other table and thought it was this. These fried items smell fishy but still edible. Squeeze some lemon juice over them and enjoy the bite. It goes well with the Japanese beer too. 

Ishikawa no Buri Tatsu-age - $15

It's hard to go to an Izakaya without ordering skewers. We opted for the Omakase Skewer Set of 7 pcs. It consists of Shitake Mushroom, Pork Belly, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Chicken Thigh with leek, Meatballs and Chicken Thigh.

Omakase - $30 (7 pcs)

As I sit near the ordering counter, I got to see the staff grilling the skewers over the charcoal fire. Each and every piece of skewer has a tinge of smoky flavours. The chicken thighs were tender and juicy while the pork belly was slightly salty. The meatballs on the other hand had sweet sauce slathering over and complemented well.  

Chicken Thigh

The large squid took a long time before it was placed on the table. Apparently, this dish was very popular among the diners and was served with a dollop of mayonnaise and the squid was showered with some chilli powder. The charred squid is tender and springy. 

Ika Ichiyaboshi (Large) - $30

Ku-Kai Izakaya is definitely a hidden gem not only for special occasions but also for a normal family meal or an evening date. It will be recommended to do a reservation before heading down to avoid disappointment. I will very much want to be back with some companies over skewers and beer again.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Ku-Kai Izakaya
  SAF Yacht Club, 43 Admiralty Rd West Singapore 759962
Nearest Station: Sembawang (NS11)

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