This year, I’ve been to Wisma Atria a few times for various reasons – eat teppanyaki, fix my Sony camera etc. And each time I pass by Koh Grill & Sushi Bar, the casual Japanese place within the mall food court, there’s always an insane queue. So of course that got me curious about it (we Singaporeans like to queue for the good stuff and I thought this could be another Saveur).
Hence one day, on a pseudo public holiday when we thought the queue may be shorter (the Monday after Deepavali), I decided to try having lunch there with my mum and sis.
And voila, there was STILL a queue, but thankfully it didn’t take us forever to get a seat. Maybe around 20 minutes or so.
Before our visit, I did my usual preliminary Google/Foursquare check and found out that a popular recommendation for this place is the Shiok Maki (S$16.80).
So we ordered this, another maki, an unagi egg hotplate dish (S$12.80), a chicken teriyaki skewer (S$2) for my mum and a mini cha soba (S$5) for my sis. Halfway through, we decided more food was needed and so added on a Sashimi Salad ($10.80) as well.
Not sure if my expectations were too high or something, but the Shiok Maki wasn’t as ‘shiok’ (Singlish for immensely satisfying) as I thought it would be. It was pretty yummy – it’s quite difficult to go wrong with a combination of ingredients such as seared salmon, avocado, eel and mayonnaise. And also, topped with a (rather generous, I must say) dollop of roe.
Don’t get me wrong, it was good. I loved the creamy avocado and tender fish along with the crunchy delightful roe and mayonnaise. Guess I just expected more, like softer, moister rice and a stronger flavour from the sauce. Also wished there was more of the avocado.
Maybe I just prefer oiler and richer tasting ones, like my favourite Salmon Sakura from Ichiban Sushi and Phoenix Roll from Sushi Tei (king prawn tempura inside, topped with generous slices of eel and avocado) or fresh and moist ones like the Rainbow Roll from Kaz Japanese Fusion Sushi at Rochester Mal
The Unagi Egg in Hotplate was tasty too, though a little on the small side for the portion I felt. Not much to comment about this dish really.
Seriously, what kind of a name is Crappy Maki?! I know there’s soft shell crab inside, but still… Anyway, this Crappy Maki (S$18.80) consisted of crispy soft shell crab and seaweed wrapped up in a maki and adorned with seared swordfish and again, lots of roe.
And I felt the same way about this as I did about the Shiok Maki – fairly delicious but not fantastic. The combination was a quirky one and the flavours seemed to kind of work togehether, though the rolls could have been moister/juicer, I felt.
Overall, I thought Koh Grill & Sushi Bar was fairly good, but not great. Service can be a bit patchy as well as it gets crowded.
But it’s reasonably priced and the food is not bad, so I guess could be nice to take a break from the chain establishments (Sushi Tei, Sakae, Itacho etc) at times and have something a bit different! If you don’t mind the queue, of course…
Koh Grill & Sushi Bar
#04-21, Wisma Atria Shopping Centre
435 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 9180 3805
Open daily from 11.30am to 10.30pm.