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Kappo Shunsui is Ready for its Close-up

Returning with a makeover, Kappo Shunsui is all about the lights, camera and dramatic omakase presentation.

Chef Shim preparing the dessert course (Image courtesy of Kappo Shunsui)

Formerly a hole-in-the-wall restaurant at Cuppage Plaza, Kappo Shunsui reopens with a more formal look and new head chef, Shimuta ‘Shim’ Kunihiko. Open only for one dinner seating that starts at 7pm on the dot, its angled counter can sit 13 guests who all face a raised island countertop in the middle. Behind the latter is a small kamidana (a Shinto shrine) that is flanked by two large screens; features that catch our eye in the otherwise dark interior.

The draw here is the theatrics achieved by strategically placed spotlights, wait staff dressed in traditional kimono garb, a little bit of liquid nitrogen smoke and the pièce de résistance—a camera above that livestreams Shim’s every move.

It doesn’t really make up for the added distance between chef and guests (food is served to us by the wait staff and not chef as with a typical omakase restaurant), but curious diners might find the experience to be somewhat educational as well. The gadget seems unfamiliar to Shim too, as he awkwardly raises dishes to the camera for close-ups that never come into focus.

Saizuke course - White Shrimp, Bafun Uni and Caviar in a monaka (Image courtesy of Lu Yawen)

It doesn’t really make up for the added distance between chef and guests (food is served to us by the wait staff and not chef as with a typical omakase restaurant), but curious diners might find the experience to be somewhat educational as well. The gadget seems unfamiliar to Shim too, as he awkwardly raises dishes to the camera for close-ups that never come into focus.

All of that feels secondary when most of the 11 courses are thespians in their own right, be it in the preparation techniques used or the 200-year-old ceramic ware they are served in. We get to watch him shave bonito flakes that are infused into dashi soup in a glass siphon, flambé A5 Miyazaki beef steak and smoke belt fish over Sakura wood chips. This all happens, unfortunately, just right out of frame of the lens above.

Shinogi course - Aburi Golden Eyed Snapper, Murasaki Uni and Koshihikari Rice (Image courtesy of Lu Yawen)

In one of the most unique ways we’ve eaten raw fish, he presents slices of red sea bream (hyogo) sashimi on paper and underneath a slice of halfbeak (miyagi) that’s pressed between two thin slices of kombu. A dish inspired by his former sensei, chef Hirata Tasaku, the kombujime accentuates the miyagi with a touch of salinity and umami.

Kappo Shunsui also has a wide range of sake available by carafe, including the highly sought-after Juyondai Daiginjo Sakemirai and Juyondai Daiginjo Banshu-Yamadanishiki from the Yamagata prefecture. A sake pairing to go with the dinner will get let you try five different types, each increasing in flavour intensity as the meal reaches its crescendo.

Although the novelty of the lights and action is what first catches our attention, we’re glad to know that once the glitz and glamour fade away, the restaurant’s food and sake can hold their own.

Kappo Shunsui is located at 17 Hongkong Street, 01-01, Singapore 059660.

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Lu Yawen

Editor in chief

A free-spirited creature, she enjoys both the shiny and gritty things in life. She envisions a home by the ocean with weekly dive expeditions and art exhibitions.

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