First came LAVO, the snazzy Italian-American restaurant with rooftop views. Next came MARQUEE, Singapore’s largest nightclub to date, along with its elegant little sister AVENUE, a speakeasy-style lounge. Now, Japanese restaurant and sushi bar KOMA has made its stylish debut, rounding up TAO Group’s fleet of four establishments at Marina Bay Sands.
Sure, Singapore has no shortage of great spots for sashimi or wagyu, but KOMA is perhaps the first to pay equal attention to the food and the ambience – the restaurant is a guaranteed gastronomic and visual treat. Not convinced? Here’s the rundown of all KOMA‘s best features:
A Modern Zen Garden
For starters, the decor alone is worth the visit. Designed by the award-winning, New York-based Rockwell Group, it is a mesmerizing blend of traditional Japanese structures juxtaposed with a chic, modern vibe. The guest experience starts with passing through a dreamy 20-metre long stretch of vermillion torii gates, reminiscent of Kyoto’s iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine. It’s a magical (and Instaworthy) portal.
Inside, more picturesque Japanese elements await. A traditional Japanese foot bridge arches across the lounge, and a 2.5m-tall bell, embossed with twenty gleaming faces, takes pride of place over the bar, giving the space a mystical charm. To complete your ascent into zen, ceilings designed to resemble a tranquil pond surface soar dramatically overhead.
Though clocking in at a grand 230 seats, the restaurant manages to be at once spacious and cosy, with its dim lighting and dark wood paneling creating a sense of intimacy. A mezzanine-floor private dining room perfect for intimate gatherings is also available for bookings.
Contemporary Japanese Bites
Naturally, the food menu is every bit as luscious as the setting – and bold, modern interpretations of Japanese cuisine is the name of the game at KOMA. Behind the 15-seater sushi bar, Executive Chef Kunihiro Moroi serves up snacks like the signature Salmon Pillow (S$14++) – a puff pastry shell filled with smoked avocado, with salmon sashimi and burnt jalapeño peppers resting daintily atop – and the DIY Spicy Tuna (S$18++), which lets you stack your own crisp rice discs with spicy tuna tartare and sweet soy sauce dips.
It wouldn’t be a sushi bar experience without some stellar sushi; so indulge in the Surf & Turf Maki Roll (S$58++), a decadent medley of wagyu beef, Hokkaido uni, and caviar.
For something more filling, Chef Kunihiro sizzles up a fragrant Wild Mushroom Fried Rice (S$28++), packed with nutritious shiitake, enoki, shimeji and maitake mushrooms. The star of the show, however, has to be KOMA’s A5 Snow Aged Niigata Wagyu Beef Ribeye (S$275++). Matured in snow to develop deep umami flavours and melt-in-the-mouth textures, this treatment of this premium beef promises to be worth every penny. Meat lovers can also choose from the Grilled Prime Ribeye Steak (S$98++) or the Crispy Barbecued Chicken (S$32++).
An Innovative Cocktail Program
KOMA offers a small but intriguing cocktail selection, which should be highlighted for their use of Southeast Asian and Japanese ingredients.
Pair your meal with refreshing flavours in the Bellini Kai (S$22++) – made with Yatagarasu peach liqueur from the Nagano prefecture – or the Lake of Kyoto (S$22++), where pear and Pisco go head to head.
For a more savoury tipple, opt for their take on the whisky sour with the bourbon-based Satsuma Imo Sour (S$22++) featuring purple potato purée. To end the meal on a sweet note, there’s the Dust of Stars (S$22++), a concoction of cachaça, Frangelico, lime, Gula Melaka, and pandan earl grey.
Those who prefer more traditional food and alcohol pairings can look to the sprawling sake menu, along with Japanese beer and whisky options.
With droolworthy decor and an alluring menu, KOMA is upping the ante on the Japanese dining experience. We’ll definitely be heading down to get our fill very soon. Especially for the ‘gram.
KOMA Singapore is located at #B1-67, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018972, p. +65 6688 8690. Open Sun-Thurs 5pm – 12am, Fri-Sat 5pm – 2am.
This post is sponsored by Marina Bay Sands.