Modern Asian fusion plates on the buzzy Amoy Street
The buzz: If you’ve been to the one Michelin-starred Meta on Keong Saik, you’ll know what to expect at Kimme. It’s founded by the same man after all, chef Sun Kim, and he brings with him his culinary expertise that earned Meta its star to this new 48-seat Amoy Street shophouse venture.
The vibe: Kimme is a more casual experience compared to Meta. While Meta now enjoys the fortunes (and baggages) associated with Michelin, new-found Kimme is a fresh slate for the successful chef, allowing him to be inventive and bold without worry.
This is visible even with the interior decor. Upon entering the space, a large marble table serves as both a centerpiece and a communal dining area while an open-concept kitchen lets guests see the amazing culinary team in action. There’s table seating on the second floor, while the third floor houses just one large round table for a more private experience.
The food: South Korean chef Sun, along with his partner-in-crime and head chef Louis Han, offers up a selection of Asian fusion plates with a good dose of influence from their hometowns here. On the menu (divided into small plates, big plates and sweets) are a few dishes fans of Meta will find familiar, alongside mostly new creations by the handsome chefs.
A must-have remains the wagyu tartare. The one Meta served up when it first opened leaned more towards fine dining with the well-seasoned beef layered in complexity thanks to the use of egg jelly, Korean pear kimchi and rice crisps. Kimme's iteration, simply called Korean-style Wagyu Tartare ($23), is quite different, though no less delicious. This dish has diners scooping up the chunks of meat (like a dip) with sago chips that come with it. Another item worthy of mention on the small plates section is the Kampachi Sashimi ($22). It comes wrapped with pickled ginger, pomelo, shiso and homemade gochujang sauce that opens up your palate for the main courses.
For big plates, the BBQ Brittany Pigeon, Onion & Watercress Salad ($32) showcases versatile use of the chefs’ western techniques. The dish is almost reminiscent of Korean soy-glazed chicken, and is a good choice if you’re craving for a light but meaty meal. Still, it is the more Korean-influenced dishes that shine here at Kimme. Their version of the Bossam ($35) is a great blend of tradition and modernity. The pork belly marinated in soybean paste, soy sauce and coffee powder is slow-cooked over 12 hours, resulting in well-seasoned and tender slices of meats. You’re then supposed to eat it with endive leaves, ssamjang sauce and kimchi—like how one does popiah rolls. Instead of regular kimchi, chef Han uses white kimchi (which isn't spicy), inspired by his family’s recipe. This is probably the best dish for sharing.
The drinks: There are cocktails, wines, sakes and spirits on the beverage list. Try the Cosmo’Seoul’itan ($22), a Cosmopolitan with a Korean twist (vodka, pomegranate lime vinegar and ginger liqueur), or some of their organic wines. But since you’re in Amoy, you’re better off slaking your thirst at some of the best cocktail bars in Asia that’s in the vicinity.
Why you’ll be back: Refined, yet casual modern Korean fare are few and far between. While Kimme isn’t strictly speaking a Korean restaurant, there are enough influences from the chefs that check the same boxes and satiate the same cravings.