Chi Kinjo is a Modern Sushi Bar and Highball Den launched by Coterie Concepts. It is an intimate yet lively Sushi & Izakaya restaurant and basement bar where promises are made and secrets are kept.
This is the third outlet by Coterie Concepts. All their outlets are interconnected by a narrative. At Chi Kinjo, the setting is in Kyoto at a time when chaos was the mandate and danger was foretold.
Chi Kinjo is the daughter of an influential man. Having grown up in a traditional Japanese family who played loyalty to their tribe above all else, Chi always kept her place well and grew up believing in her role as the “first daughter”, commanding allegiance by way of birthright but always having to maintain that birthright by displaying obedience to her father. When she turned 18, she was betrothed to Riku, her childhood friend and son of her father’s ally, an engagement she accepted as her destiny. She took her seat among the women who led the house, established a small restaurant with a basement bar, and went about her life as normally as she could manage, awaiting the next instruction.
One evening, a man stumbled towards her restaurant, holding out a token that she recognised as one her father gave out in exchange for favours. Out of obligation, she beckoned to him, guided him down into the basement bar, poured him a whisky highball, and waited. He exposed his wound, gestured that he was in danger. This man was known as Dai Lo, and he was from Hong Kong. In time, as he hid in her basement bar chatting over highballs & sake, they fell in love. However, she refused to leave Japan with him as she knew that her place was with her family and Riku.
One fateful day, Riku passed away in an unnecessary show of power, leaving Chi widowed. At that time, things started to sour between her father & her-in-laws, causing businesses to collapse & relations to fail. She knew she had to step into Riku’s shoes to reignite the fragile collaboration. Against her better judgment, she flew to Hong Kong. Dai Lo had by now regained his stature with help from Mona, now his Sum Yi Tai (or Third Wife), and was the best person to unite her two families. She asked, he helped, almost too readily. With Dai Lo’s help, rising from the ashes of a broken alliance, Chi took the reins as the new, unprecedented female leader of the most influential faction in Japan.
This new Modern-Sushi Restaurant offers guests contemporary Japanese Cuisine with a carefully curated menu that showcases creativity, ingenuity and sophistication.
“We wanted to bring creative modern sushi and quality ingredients into a casual space. Chi Kinjo, with its informal setting, offers an alternative to fine dining without compromising on culinary standards,” says Coterie Concepts Co-founder Tay Eu-Yen.
The menu is divided into five distinct sections; Starters, Maki, Aburi Nigiri, Hot Small Plates and Hot Big Plates. There is so much you must try. This Japanese cuisine pushes the boundaries between traditional and modern, eastern and western.
A highlight from the Starters is the Ming Dynasty Egg Tofu (S$12++) with homemade tofu, crab and century egg. The silky tofu is coated in a rich century egg sauce, creating a delicate balance of textures and flavours. The Oniontako (S$18++) is a light, zesty and vibrant dish of Spanish grilled octopus (tako) sliced and tossed with asparagus, mushrooms, tangy onion dressing (Tamanegi) and topped with caviar.
Chi Kinjo’s Aburis are the ultimate decadent delight. We recommend you try the Salmon and Foie Gras, which is marinated in miso and milk to further elevate the fattiness while boosting the umami flavour. Your palate will be grateful to you once they have tasted the Buri Cheese with seared Buri fish, the highest grade of Japanese Yellowtail and topped with smooth and rich tobiko cheese.
One of the signatures from the Small Plate section is the Crab Kimchi Mung Bean Pancake (S$16++), which is made of a light pancake batter using ground Japanese rice and Korean mung beans, which are soaked overnight. The pancake is served with roasted nut mayo and pickled daikon for acid and crunch to balance the dish.
Another must-try is the Kaffir Lime Karaage (S$15++). Juicy chicken thigh is marinated in kaffir lime, deep fried and sprinkled with dried nori. A charred red pepper mayo dip is served on the side. This Asian Japanese fusion bar bite is perfect with a pint of beer or a bottle of sake.
In the Big Plates selection, the Smoked Wagyu Steak (S$28++) takes centre stage. Trust me when I say this is one dish you do not want to pass on.
Chi Kinjo is located on 29 Stanley Street, Singapore 068738. It is open Monday to Wednesday, 5 pm – 1 am (10 pm last kitchen orders), Thursday to Saturday, 5 pm – 1 am (10.45 pm last kitchen orders).