Why did the Korean chicken cross the room at Bugis? To enjoy Japanese tendon bowls at Kogane Yama. Well, popular South Korean fried chicken restaurant chain Chir Chir opened a new outlet in Bugis Junction last year. Part of what used to be Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory on level 2 of Bugis Junction has been carved out to house a new tendon restaurant, Kogane Yama. Perhaps it is a sign that the popularity of Korean fried chicken has reached a peak in Singapore. Japanese Tempura Donburi, or tendon in short, is now trending.
Kogane Yama in Bugis Junction quite small. After all it is carved out of Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory. There is in fact a passage at the back linking the two eateries and they share the same kitchen. The decor of Kogane Yama is simple and pleasant; inspired by traditional Japanese design in general.
Menu of Kogane Yama
The menu of Kogane Yama is simple but requires you to make a few choices. Essentially, there are 4 one-bowl meals with add-ons such as Chawanmushi and Miso Soup. The menu offers you the choice of rice, udon or soba as the base and the choice to select one of four tentsuya sauces – a sweet and savoury homemade blend of garlic, sesame oil, and premium Japanese shoyu. Below are photos of Kogane Yama’s menu.
Kogane Yama Mixed Bowl Set
I went to Kogane Yama on a weekday for lunch. There was no queue to get in. I ordered the Mixed Bowl Rice Set ($17.90) and hot green tea ($1.50). GST and service charge would be added to the bill, which came up to a total of $22.75. Ordering the set meant that I also got the chawanmushi and miso soup.
The chawanmushi was served almost instantly because it came out of one of those electric pau steamers you would see in coffeeshops. The tendon bowl was served about 10 to 15 minutes later. The miso soup came even later, after I had already spent more than a few minutes posing the tendon bowl for photos.
The miso soup and chawanmushi were not bad. The Mixed Bowl looked impressive with an array of tempura items stacked on top of steamed white rice. There were prawns, vegetables, mushrooms, chicken and a large piece of seaweed. The portion of rice in the bowl was rather small – good if you are trying to cut down on carbohydrates. The quality of the rice was average. There were hits and misses in the assortment of tempura. The batter was slightly thicker than usual. There could to be an issue with consistency in the making of the tempura at Kogane Yama. Some items came with batter that was light yet fluffy and was quite delectable; others had batter that was crunchier than expected. The rather large piece of chicken tempura (much larger than the size of chicken nugget) I had was dry and not tasty. Overall, it was a decent meal but nothing to rave about.
Kogane Yama is a local brand and we like them to do well. They are new so hopefully they will improve. For now, Kogane Yama serves decent tendon bowls but may have issues with consistency; and if we want really good tempura donburi we can think of better options elsewhere. If you like fried chicken, don’t follow the chicken across the room – we think the fried chicken in Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory is much better than the tempura chicken in Kogane Yama.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Bugis Junction 200 Victoria Street #02-50
Opening Hours : 11am–10pm
Nearby MRT Station : Bugis