Shiba | Casual kushiyaki in Kennedy Town
There’s something about Japanese food that reminds me to slow down. Maybe it’s because it often takes so long to prepare. Carefully prepared bites are thus to be savoured not scarfed down. This is just as true for fancy omakase dishes as it is for humble food on a stick. I honestly think I only need one hand to count the number of kushiyaki restaurants I’ve ever been to. There was Toritama in Central (on the recommendation of Celia, Foodie’s Editor-at-Large), Yardbird (of course), and, uh, Tori-Q (the cheapo and delicious takeaway spot in Singapore). And a few weeks ago, I added Shiba to the list.
Shiba is a cozy, casual little restaurant in Kennedy Town. We went there on a rainy evening after googling ‘lighter’ meal options in the ‘hood. The restaurant has a handful of proper tables, but all the patrons were dining at the bar when we walked in. We joined them, enjoying the sounds and smells coming from the grill as we looked over the menu.
While the menu isn’t massive, it has all the crowd pleasers.
The seaweed salad with Sakura shrimp ($68) actually had very little seaweed, but the greens were very fresh and crisp.
We had a variety of meat skewers including beef tongue ($46), smoked pork belly ($78), boneless short rib ($48), and minced chicken with shiso ($34, my favourite). This was balanced out with ginkgo nuts ($32), corn ($28, delicious), and butter pumpkin (a special).
Carb-wise, we also tried the grilled rice ball with pollock roe ($38) and the cheese rice cake ($32, so good with the mild, creamy cheese).
Sometimes I feel like a glutton, but on nights like the one at Shiba, I remember it’s possible to have a nice meal, with lots of variety and flavour, and leave just satisfied enough. Those looking for a late night bite will also enjoy the post 9pm discounts on sake and the overall bill.
11 Smithfield, Kennedy Town, 3568 2425