Singapore: Kilo

15 May

Fusion food has the bad rep of being gimmicky and not delivering on what matters most: taste. I know people like my husband and parents who would refuse to dine at a fusion restaurant. Thankfully for Kilo, who in its previous incarnation was the popular Raw Kitchen Bar at Greenwood, its Japanese-Italian cuisine is creative and the food tastes pretty damn good too.

Kilo is housed on the 2nd floor of the still so-hip-it-hurts Ture building, a former warehouse along the Kallang River that also lists Ukelele Movement (my former ukelele school FTW) and Loysel’s Toy (Papa Palheta’s sister outlet) as tenants. It’s not easy to find and I am glad for that. If it were anymore central I’d have to make reservations weeks in advance.

It’s a small open-air space that overlooks verdant jungle-y greenery and whose bare floors and pre-renovation look oozes industrial chic. Before dusk, it looks lovely (got these pictures from a friend who came early), but at night it’s so dark you can’t take any proper pictures (you’ll see later). There’s no air conditioning here so come dressed appropriately or you’ll be covered in sweat patches by your main course. And it gets quite loud in the night so don’t come if you’re on a quiet first date :)

The menu here agrees with me very much. A lot of raw tartares/ceviches/sashimi, seafood, beef, pasta – all of my favourite things! The fusion concept isn’t that clear cut, there are Japanese and Italian/European ingredients and touches but most importantly I guess its whatever that works and tastes good. There are no “starters”/”mains”/”desserts” sections on the menu to dictate your meal, instead it’s the more alternative “to share”/”and then”. I’m a big fan of the small plates concept because I tend to prefer eating appetizers and desserts than heavy mains.

 For a refreshing start, we had the rather genius ahi mango poke on wanton chips ($16) which tantalised my tastebuds very much. The ahi tuna was very fresh and the mango delightfully sweet. But we need more wanton chips holders please!

The fresh figs topped with Danish blue cheese, roasted walnuts and bacon ($18) was another winning dish. You hardly get to eat fresh figs in Singapore and the salty flavours from the cheese and bacon complemented the figs’ and walnuts natural sweetness very well. A must for blue cheese fans!

You know how sometimes you don’t need much seasoning if the meat or cooking method is good? Just a good rub of black pepper and salt? The slowcooked beef short ribs just with (sic) salt and pepper ($19) is one such example. Damn, were those short ribs melt in your mouth.

For our last savoury dish, the angel hair with cream of ebiko ($19) that came with prawns and torched prawn heads was surprisingly good as I thought the sauce would be too rich and the pasta would be too dry but it wasn’t! Very umami flavours and I always love a Japanese twist on a pasta.

With that we were rather full but we still wanted dessert. The chocolate lava cake with an ice cream of your choice ($7) was unfortunately not great. We actually chose apple sorbet but instead they served us vanilla ice cream that tasted out of mass carton so that was a little strange…and when we asked about it they said they ran out and instead gave us a complimentary scoop of basil ice cream that they were experimenting with. It was delish but could have used more emulsifiers. I say skip dessert here and get more drinks.

We washed everything down with a bottle of cold brown sake ($20ish) that was sweet and fruity. They don’t list what are the different brands of sakes they care – they are just colour-coded on the menu so it’s a bit of a lottery there.

Though I had waited pretty long to get my meal at Kilo (missed it the previous trip home), I must say it did live up to my expectations. An original menu, great buzzy vibe and friendly service makes me a happy diner. But its fusion cuisine definitely isn’t for everyone as I knew some other friends who went and didn’t rave about it. And good luck getting a reservation!

Price: $$-$$$
Location: 66 Kampong Bugis, 2/F, S(338987)
Tel: +65 6467 3987
Website: http://www.kilokitchen.com/

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