With its vaunted high-ceilings and old school charm, the sunlit Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski Singapore has no lack of excellent drinking and dining destinations.
But missing was a solid Japanese concept. So it was with great anticipation that we visited when Ka-EN Grill & Sushi Bar opened. It takes over a location right opposite the historic Capitol Theatre, with both indoor and alfresco seats available, plus a hidden mezzanine area perfect for private gatherings.
The drinks selection here lean towards izakaya-style, easy-drinking options like highballs, ice-cold draft beers, and even some wines and mocktails. But there’s actually a good selection of sakes too, with each bottle’s rice type, SMV, polishing ratio, and origin stated for your consideration.
To start, there’s a Sake Flight (S$29) to go for if you’re looking for tasters. Each paddle comes with three 50ml pours of seasonal sakes as selected by the team. Or go for the Ka-En Otsumami Sake Flight (S$39; see main image) that comes with three appetiser pairings as well.
If not, the house pour sakes here are decent. But we’d recommend splurging a little and getting a bottle of the Tenbu Junmai Ginjo (S$155) for something well-balanced and highly drinkable, especially when paired with the gilled items. Or get the Imayotsukasa IMA Oyster Junmai (S$115) for a sake that pairs supremely well with sashimi (and oysters, of course).
Speaking of food, we find the grilled items to be real standouts. Whether you prefer pork, beef, chicken, or seafood (or all of them), you can get your grill fix sorted here.
Get the Signature Meat Platter (S$55) – comes with premium wagyu, iberico pork cheek, sumibi chicken, and assorted vegetables – if you’re unsure what your cravings are yet.
But we’d highly recommend the Gyutan (S$17) and the DIY Premium Wagyu Sumi Yaki Set (S$35) as well. The former is beef tongue done to tender perfection, while the latter allows you to bincho grill your own slices of prized Miyazaki wagyu at the table, adding to the experience.
As for seafood, the 3 Kinds Grilled Fish Appetiser (S$26) is a must. Seasoned stingray fin, puffer fish, and thread-sail filefish are charcoal grilled and served with a side of mayo. It’s the ideal drink snack. For something larger, the Grilled Hokke (S$16) is a dependable and affordable dish to pick at while you drink.
There are also donburis if you’re there for lunch, or just looking for something more filling. The Premium Buta Kashira Don (S$22) is great for those who enjoy lightly-marbled pork cheeks to go with a bed of rice.
Meanwhile, the Aburi 12 Kinds Kaisen Chirashi Don (S$45) is a decadent bowlful of fresh sashimi on sushi rice and drizzled with flamed-seared mentaiko cheese.
Their menu is, without exaggeration, vast. So there’s lots more to explore even on your second or third visit. But the above recommendations are easily the highlights.
For us, we’re just glad that there’s now a place to scratch that izakaya itch whenever we’re at Capitol Singapore. The substantial sake list and sake flights are just icing on the cake.
Ka-EN Grill & Sushi Bar is located at #01-82 Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski Singapore, 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.