New Dining Experiences For April 2023 (Part I)

By Anton D. Javier

iKKAGOYO is a new kaiseki restaurant hidden in plain sight along Amoy Street, which is helmed by Chef-Owner Mitsutaka Sakamoto. It’s no surprise that the restaurant presents dishes that feature the finest ingredients from Japan, but what diners should watch out for is the one-of-a-kind experience through moments of kando (a term that describes the moment when one’s expectations are exceeded) in action.

The meal starts with Chef Sakamoto presenting diners with a box that holds a variety of chopsticks, allowing guests to choose one that catches their attention. The meal then starts with a parade of artistically plated small dishes, featuring an assortment of seasonal ingredients like vegetables, seafood, and citrus fruits. Meanwhile, fresh sea bream steeped in a perfectly balanced dashi is presented in an elegant lacquer bowl. 

But before it’s served, it’s lightly spritzed with water to signify freshness. Then there’s the traditional hassun course, a tableau of prized seasonal specialties (for the spring menu, expect ankimo, spear squid, and spinach with miso), that’s revealed rather dramatically: A large tray covered in parchment paper is brought to the counter and is then set on fire to reveal the meticulously plated dishes within.

And as with most kaiseki dinners, the meal ends with a rice bowl and miso soup. At iKKAGOYO, Chef Sakamoto gives diners a choice of toppings – a rich beef tendon and brisket stew or something light like maguro sashimi or katsuobushi with a raw egg – to go with the specialty organic rice from the Hyogo prefecture.

Visit iKKAGOYO at 115 Amoy Street, #01-04, Tel: 8457 8732