Wagyu beef. Kurobuta [which means “Black pork” in Japanese]. Hokkaido scallop.
These expensive delicacies are definitely not what you’d expect to find in your average sandwich bar. And with cuisine from the Land of the Rising Sun gaining popularity, Kimochi, located in VivoCity, offers a Japanese twist to your typical sandwich.
Within the jungle of sushi and kushiyaki restaurants in VivoCity, this quiet deli appears to stand out as a different sort of eatery for Japanese cuisine junkies – which is exactly what Matthew Loh, owner of Kimochi, wishes to achieve. Although he has another Japanese restaurant, Kushi Dining Bar, Kimochi was born from a want to differentiate themselves from the other Japanese restaurants.
The café has a contemporary design, with a spanking clean white interior. As you walk in, you’ll be greeted with a glass display of fresh vegetables and bread. Place your order at the counter, settle yourself comfortably at your seat, and your food will be served by the friendly waitress around 5 minutes later.
Every sandwich comes sitting on a flat plate held together by a long toothpick with sauce dish-sized sides of Japanese seasoned baby octopus, salad, plus a bowl of soup.
(Photo from Kimochi)
A new addition as a side is coloured sushi, a new product of Kimochi. 7 colours are available, with each made from different vegetables like tomatoes and mushrooms, consisting of a different health benefit, for example, lowering cholesterol and aiding weight loss.
From a list of around 20 salads and sandwiches to choose from, you can be sure you’ll be able to find something of your liking here. Choose from any of 3 kinds of bread: focaccia, ciabatta, and white bread.
With a ferocious appetite, UrbanWire attacked the menu and filled our demanding stomachs with salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts. Here’s our verdict:
Soups & Salads
Mushroom Soup ($5.80):
Expectations of this all-time favourite climb higher and higher, but Kimochi’s mushroom soup would definitely satisfy picky taste buds. Served with light, crisp croutons and (surprise!) grated cheese on top, the mushroom soup has the right thickness and colour – not too creamy to make you feel like you’ve just drank a bowl of milk, and not too watery to make you feel like you’ve been cheated with a diluted version.
Stir in the mozarella on top and voila! A spoonful of sliced mushroom, flavourful soup, complete with tempting cheese-strands that you’d have thought you could only find on pizzas.
California Salad ($8.80):
The equation of any food:
Fresh = win.
∴, Fresh iceberg lettuce + fresh red tomatoes + fresh Japanese cucumbers + fresh avocadoes + fresh prawn roe + (okay, maybe not fresh, but still) oh-so-delicious crabsticks + savoury dressing with a dash of tanginess = winner.
The serving of this salad is big enough for women with smaller appetites to wave the white flag before they’re done with the bowl, so share it with a friend or two if you still want to try the sandwiches.
Chicken Katsu Sandwich ($7.80):
The chicken katsu is the Japanese version of the chicken cutlet, and is breaded in Panko breadcrumbs (made from bread without crusts, making it lighter than Western versions). This Chicken Katsu sandwich hits the spot with a light, crisp coating around the juicy chicken, covered with mayonnaise and prawn roe. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers complete the delectable combination.
Unagi Sandwich ($9.80):
If you’re one of us in the WLUC (We-Love-Unagi Club), you’ll definitely love this.
Unagi (Japanese eel) lovers know that no matter how nicely marinated and grilled an unagi is, if it isn’t carefully prepared, instead of a smooth, sweet eel, you’ll find your throat chocked up with irritating cartilages.
No worries with this Unagi Sandwich, though. Its fine bones allow for easy swallowing – your gullet is safe. Add a dollop of homemade mayo + prawn roe and you have a scrumptious meal.
100% Wagyu Beef Sandwich ($19.80):
If there wasn’t a “100% Wagyu Beef” label, we’d think it was meat from any old cow.
The beef patty had a nice pink tinge in the centre, and the beef patty scored an average in juicy standards, but oomph-wise, it was lacking. 2 slices of cheese and a few strips of bacon were thrown into the mix, but all they did was make the dish saltier.
Still, anyone looking for a simple sandwich with an unadorned beef taste would be more than happy to tuck into this item.
Green Tea Cheese Cake ($8.80):
Japanese versions of Western dishes are usually lighter, so if you were expecting a New York cheesecake taste-alike, think again.
Thankfully, however, this dessert is not Mars-bars-sweet, and leaves a gentle green tea aroma in your mouth. It tastes more like Matcha mousse with a tiny hint of cheese, but one can never have too much of the green-tea-and-red-bean pairing in desserts.
A direct translation of ‘kimochi’ in the Japanese language would mean ‘feeling(s)’. And the feeling that Kimochi wants to convey is the sincerity of their food that’s “made from the heart”. Make your way down to this peaceful café and have some sandwiches made with sincerity.
Address: 1 Harbour Front Walk, #01-163 VivoCity
Tel: +65 6376 8380
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm
Kimochi is GST-free, but all prices listed on the menu don’t include service charge.