Author: Alex Chua
The owners who introduced Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory and Masizzim to Singapore have started a chic Japanese restaurant, whose name means ‘Golden Mountain’ in Japanese. Kogane Yama is K Food Holdings’ first original dining concept housed at the hip enclave of Bugis Junction. Launched on 4 June 2017, the 44-seater pays homage to the humble yet satisfying tendon bowl. With each serving features a lavish heap of perfectly fried, golden-brown pieces of tempura atop a mound of sweet Japanese rice. I am definitely bowled over by these crisp, battered tempura bowls. For days that call for a plate of fried food, the tempura here unquestionably delivers.
Walking into the interior you would be immediately transported to traditional Japanese eatery, with light wood tables and concrete walls, accented by hints of royal blue mountain-print noren (Japanese curtains) hanging along the walls and from the ceiling. The minimalistic feel gives a touch of modern sophistication with the addition of Japanese-Scandinavian black leather cushioned chairs and banquet seats.
Kogane Yama puts a creative spin on the traditional tendon bowl selection. First, choose the type of tempura you’d like, from signature items such as the Chicken Bowl ($13.80+), a bowl boasting tender Chicken fillets and select vegetable tempura; Prawn Bowl ($13.80+), featuring juicy prawn tempura with select vegetable tempura; Vegetable Bowl ($13.80+), a bowl loaded with an assortment of perfectly battered veggies such as long beans, carrot, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, green bell pepper and more; as well as the highly recommended Mixed Bowl ($15.80, above+), a mixed of EVERYTHING from the above.
Next, pick your base. You can choose to have the classic Japanese short-grain rice or top up a dollar to enjoy it with either Soba or thin Udon – both steeped in a clear and fragrant dashi broth. I personally adore the Udon here which is thinner and flatter.
Finally, choose the level of spiciness for the tentsuyu sauce – from non-spicy to level one to three. When I tried the level 3 I find it is still palatable, although I knew I could take the heat. You could also top up $2 to make a set, which comes with a bowl of chawanmushi and either miso soup or green tea.
Having a couple of refreshers definitely helped to soothe through the large meal. I have a hard time deciding which one is my preferred drink, either the Calpis Soda ($5.50+) or layered Azuki Matcha Latte ($6.80+), as I adore the taste of both drinks. The Calpis soda is a concoction of fizzy soda and vanilla-flavoured yogurt. The Azuki Matcha is sweet and creamy, and its great as a dessert itself.
Overall, this tempura specialty restaurant is a great, convenient premise for casual, value-for-money dining. What makes Kogane Yama different from other tendon restaurants is the many options available to customise your tempura set without overwhelming us with numerous selections.
Address: Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, #02-50, Singapore 188021
Sun – Thu: 11am – 10pm (last orders at 9.30pm)
Fri and Sat: 11am – 11pm (last orders at 10.30pm)
Author: Alex Chua