Helmed by executive chef Kunihiro Moroi, the restaurant offers a breadth of modern Japanese fare in a boldly gorgeous setting

Singaporeans’ appetite for Japanese cuisine will never be satiated, evident in the number of restaurants that continue to flood the market—from traditional sushi-ya and izakaya places to ramen joints.

One of the latest, which opened its doors to much fanfare in July, is restaurant Koma at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, a lavish modern concept by the Tao Group, which also opened restaurant Lavo and nightclub Marquee at the integrated resort.

Guests enter the restaurant via a dramatically lit 20-metre passageway inspired by the torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. This leads them to a cavernous and elegant 230-seater restaurant and bar designed by American design firm, Rockwell Group.

In typical Tao Group fashion, the space has a lounge-y—almost club-esque—vibe (similar to Lavo), with its dark wood panelling, dim lighting and easy-listening tunes. However, you’d still feel like you’re in a Japanese restaurant with discernible references smartly incorporated into the design, the most obvious being a traditional Japanese footbridge and reflecting pool that separates the restaurant from the bar. There are also decorative acoustic panels shaped like lily pads on the seven-metre high ceiling, and a 15-seat sushi bar displaying the freshest catch of the day.

The real attention grabber though is the 2.5 metres customised Japanese bell and its 20 different faces that also represent the many facets of Japanese cuisine served at Koma. Helming the kitchen is veteran executive chef Kunihiro Moroi, who boasts close to 30 years of experience working at the Wynn Palace in Macau and Shiro's Sushi in Seattle, USA, among others. 

Aside from the quintessential sushi and sashimi, Moroi presents an extensive menu that includes robatayaki, tempura and donburi dishes—all rooted in tradition but presented in modern ways.

For instance, the D.I.Y. Spicy Tuna (Do It Yourself) comprises thin, crisp and golden-brown rice cakes served on a wooden mannequin hand, alongside dips of spicy tuna tartare and sweet soy. From the sushi bar comes the Surf & Turf Roll, an indulgent bite of Hokkaido uni, Wagyu beef and caviar wrapped in soy paper and crowned with shimmering gold flakes and black truffle shavings.

Good for sharing is the snow-aged Niigata Wagyu, which is arguably one of the best dishes on the menu. Moroi uses the coveted A5 Wagyu, known for its beefy flavours and rich marbling, which has been snow-aged for 30 days to deepen the umami notes. After a filling meal, you’re always welcome to hang out at the bar for creative concoctions and more bar bites—in case you have space for more.

Koma | B1-67 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, S(018972) | 6688 8690 | koma.info@marinabaysands.com

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