Zipang is newly opened contemporary Japanese restaurant; which in the ancient Japanese language means Island of Gold. The restaurant is helmed by Executive Chef Tomohiro Kitagawa from Kyoto, who’s claim to fame is a stint at kaiseki restaurant, Arashiyama Rantei in his hometown, and is also known for his sophisticated kappo cuisine. Chef Kitagawa arrived in Singapore in 2013 to oversee kappo restaurant, Wagokoro by Hide Yamamoto.
He’s assisted by Osaka-born sous-chef, Satoshi Hirai who claimed a spot in Gurunavi’s 2011 Top 100 Most Original Chefs in Japan; and Chef Satoshi Ito who cooked at venerable Nadaman Restaurant in Nagoya, and who also represented Aichi Prefecture in Japan’s National Chef Skills Competition in 2013 and 2014, winning the Kantoshoro (“Fighting Spirit”) award. The restaurant also houses a separate Teppanyaki area.
In keeping with the Zipang meaning, the decor is dominated by walls hand-painted with a gold leaf effect. The interior feature a mishmash of granite, marble and wood, punctuated by Rose gold-plated steel bars, crimson arm chairs and sofas with heavy velvet curtains. The lighting could have been more subtle to make it cosier.
The Sashimi of salmon and Tai was chinky and fresh, served with real grated wasabi, none of that powered stuff, which is always a good sign of the quality of the ingredients and authenticity.
The cold Assorted Vegetables are served with warm miso anchovy dip; weird tasting initially but the combination does grow on you.
The Fries with Eggs was unusual and well paired, with the eggs just fluffily scrambled.
The ubiquitous Chawanmushi looks pretty.
Food here is pretty decent, with several interesting items: Fried Potatoes with Eggs, and Crab Kamameshi – rice cooked at your table with a timer.
Decor is a little dated though, but service is brisk. A nice addition to the Cuppage’s Japanese enclave.
Zipang Japanese Dining Bar
28 Cavenagh Road, #01-05
Phone: +65 6737 0788