Kuro: Identity crisis?

Kanpachi Carpaccio

We had mixed reactions to the food at this new restaurant

Behind Clarke Quay fixture Le Noir is another bar with a similar name, in another language: Kuro. Both mean “black” in their respective languages.

Opened in April, new Japanese restaurant bar Kuro struggles slightly with its identity, even with the menu being directed by famed chef Hide Yamamoto. However, there is almost no mention of Yamamoto’s involvement in any of the restaurant materials, which we found a tad unusual.

Fried Chicken Wings
Fried Chicken Wings

Hits and Misses

The Kuro head chef trained at Hide Yamamoto to add the famed chef’s touch to the humble bar bites menu. However, I felt that some items were over complicated and would have been better off left alone, such as the Shishamo Goma Age ($12) – capelin fish coated in black and white sesame seeds before being fried.

The fish came encrusted in sesame seeds, which overpowered the natural taste of the shishamo.

But, I did like the lighter options such as the Tofu Avocado Salada ($12), a light salad of fresh mesclun leaves, tofu, avocadoes, homemade sesame dressing and horseradish olive oil with truffle oil. However, I’m not sure how many people would go to a bar and order a salad.

The fried chicken wings ($15) are a much better bet as the familiar taste of prawn paste chicken fills your palate, and are always a safe option when paired with beers.

Shishami Goma Age
Shishami Goma Age

Sushi and Beer

If done well, raw fish and beer can actually go together nicely as seen in the case of the Kanpachi Carpaccio ($18) – thin slices of yellow tail with salmon roe and truffle oil. The fish was pristine fresh and palate cleansing, but then it all went wrong when I ordered the Rainbow Roll ($20).

Although the staff told me that both fishes came from the same batch that had just arrived that day, the salmon, tuna and Hamachi was a little fishy and had a dry texture to it. The colours of the purported rainbow roll were missing with the lacklustre colour of
the fish.

Despite the training from Hide Yamamoto, it is odd that the best items on the menu are still local bites such as prawn paste chicken. Perhaps they might improve with the food given time, but it is not too shabby a place to pop in for Japanese whisky.
Just avoid the complicated-sounding bar bites.

Kuro Restaurant + Bar, Block 3C, Clarke Quay, The Cannery, #01-11, Singapore 179022, Tel: 9733 6669. Opens from 5pm daily.