Over the weekend, my Husband and I took the family to our favourite Japanese restaurant, Kura No Naka (which translates to “in a traditional godown”). It is situated at Clarke Quay’s The Foundry, facing River Valley Road. I first came here in 2007, when my sister gave me a treat for my birthday. I loved the food and the place so much that I have returned ever so often.
I always enjoy sitting and peering through the bamboo blinds as we sip our drinks and watch the world go by. I love quiet, laid-back moments like these, distanced from the madding crowd and shielded from the searing sun. That is my little girl in the photo, by the way 😉 … enjoying her apple juice while we adults had iced teas.
The restaurant serves izakaya food – kinda like the equivalent of Spanish tapas – which you enjoy with alcohol. However, it’s their bento meals that I normally go for. Hearty and homely fare, which fills the tummy and warms the heart. I always have a thing for food which has a taste of home 😉 Over here, I can almost imagine an obaasan cooking up a storm in the kitchen. One day, I might just go check! ;P
When you first step into the restaurant, you’re immediately transported back to the Edo period. The decor is authentic and quaint, and very charming … so different from the run-of-the-mill Japanese eateries. The lighting is perhaps deliberately kept dark and dim, because of the strong natural light which streams in from the large windows. The use of bamboo blinds cleverly filters the glare to a lovely glow.
Starters: (Left) Cold salad in tangy sesame, miso dressing; (Right) Chawanmushi (the smoothest I have ever tasted).
More starters: (Left) Cold tofu; (Right) Stewed lotus root with Japanese fish cake.
Pretty lacquered container for condiments. I like the “treatment” of their table – see how it’s well-worn and aged? Little things like that add to the total look and feel of a place.
Gindara Teriyaki set. From the looks of this photo, my daughter already took a bite of the cod!
Inarizushi. Love the plating. So simple, pretty and unassuming.
The Inarizushi came as part of a Zaru Soba set.
Yasai Tempura. Very well done. Light and crisp.
This is their House Bento. Very good value-for-money, and chock full of yummy stuff! The combo changes daily but today, it was Tori Karaage, Sashimi Moriawase, Tempura Moriawase and Gindara Teriyaki. All for 20 bucks!
To round off the meal, it was coffee for the adults, ice-cream for the kids.
Afterward, I grabbed some Japanese fashion magazines from the bookshelves and browsed at leisure. My kids did the same, even though none of us understand the language! It’s no trouble though, for Japanese magazines have such gorgeous, detailed photos, there is no need for words. You’ve got to hand it to the Japanese. Their attention to detail is incomparable.
It being a Sunday, the restaurant was well patronised by Japanese families, which speaks volumes for its cooking. I am guessing like me, it’s the allure of eating unpretentious food at an beautiful, unpretentious setting that draws us all to this place.