Tucked away in a second floor shop house on the hip restaurant row that is Telok Ayer Street, Kabuke has carved out a cosy space for itself, decked out in plush couches and trimmings inspired by the classic Japanese theatrical style of kabuki. The 50-seater sake gastrobar — founded by a bunch of buddies who share a common love for Japanese sake — prides itself on spotlighting the art of kabuki, sake, and Japanese cuisine.
Customers can design their own sake flight — basically a selection of three sake pours — or order a number of dishes and their recommended sake options to try the different pairings.
On the menu, created by head chef Rio Neo (formerly from Fat Cow and Kinki Restaurant & Bar), you’ll find small bites, sharing plates, and rice bowls. At lunch, the eatery serves up signature beef bowls ($15-$28) with indulgent add-ons like uni and foie gras, while dinner brings a more extensive line-up of dishes, starting with appetizers like baby corn tossed in Sriracha mayo ($10), deconstructed takoyaki fries with octopus, ikura, ebiko and bonito flakes ($12), and sesame chicken wings served with an egg mayo wasabi yuzu dip ($12).
For something a little heartier, create your own Mini Umami Bombs — these bowls start with a base of Japanese rice, pickles, and seaweed, and can be topped with your choice of smoked salmon, tuna tataki, hotate, or negitoro, with sprinklings of salted egg fish skin or ebiko, and a drizzle of truffle shoyu, honey ponzu, or garlic shoyu to end off.
If you’re feeling the urge to splurge, you can also try the omakase menu or book the private lounge for an exclusive sake pairing experience.
Kabuke is at L2, 200A Telok Ayer St, 8822-5525. Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, Mon-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-midnight.