Friday, May 30, 2014

Kyo by Sakae @ JCube

West-dwelling Singaporeans would be familiar with the recent flourish of brand new shopping malls at Jurong East. As a result, merchants operating in the "oldest" new mall JCube are finding it hard to survive under immense pressure from their newer neighbours. This, however, has not stopped Sakae from taking over a recently-emptied shop space at JCube to house their latest concept store, Kyo by Sakae.

Mixed Salmon Ju with spicy salmon, ebiko, salmon mayo and salmon sashimi

Kyo by Sakae is marketed as a teppanyaki concept store (according to their website), using boring vocabulary like "fresh ingredients", "tantalising", "traditional" and other cringe-worthy comparables. Perhaps we shall skip the cheesy cover and just delve into the menu proper.

Kyo by Sakae, like any other upgraded Sakae restaurants, boasts an electronic menu on a tablet mounted on every table for ordering of items without troubling the service staff. It is upon the realisation that items added to the "checkout" panel cannot be deleted/refreshed/removed that the skepticism sets in. So I ignored the stupid tablet menu and flipped through the heavy menu.
I spot Hokkaido Hotate Carpaccio. Something must be wrong with my eyes.
I truly believed that when they said "traditional" until I spotted Carpaccio in the menu. Naaaaaaahhh.

Interior seating
I was still pretty impressed with the interior - simple with the characteristic kaiten belt and practical enough to squeeze just enough customers into the restaurant space to maximise spending/earnings/capacity.

So now to our food:

We'll have to admit that the most attractive items in the menu were the ju (rice boxes with toppings of meat/fish), since they're reasonably priced and probably can't go too wrong.

Chicken Katsu Ju

The Chicken Katsu Ju was tasted and issued a pass by the Husband (to the Husband, it's either passable or unpalatable). The katsu's breading was just right, so that you don't get a mouthful of flour with each bite.

Curry Chicken Katsu Ju

Mum loves Japanese curry to the extent that she would pester me to cook her some whenever the craving hits. The katsu+potato+carrot combo never fails, though I felt that it would have been more thoughtful if the restaurant had used sweet potato or pumpkin for a sweeter aftertaste. No complaints from Mum is a good indication that this was satiating.

Black Pepper Chicken Ju

No complaints from Dad either, so his black pepper ju probably wasn't too bad. This was the first indication that the restaurant did any teppanyaki at all. Maybe.

The mixed salmon ju (main picture) on the menu caught my eye with its unique concept - spicy chopped salmon+salmon mayo+fresh salmon slices+ebiko lying in neat rows atop warm rice. Mmmmm, that's how you should be selling food even it doesn't taste as good as it looks, I thought as the staff served me my order. The sliced fresh salmon was passable, but the spicy salmon was omgly spicy (too much layu) and the salmon mayo could easily be mistaken as tuna mayo because it's cooked minced salmon. *rolls eyes*

My Second Sis arrived last, after everyone's order has been manually taken by the duty manager. So she tried using the electronic menu to place her order, and some other orders that Dad wanted to add on. You know what? Her teriyaki chicken udon arrived even before some of ours did! *grumbles* Their efficiency is astounding, I mocked. THEN we realised my Small Sis was sulking because everyone was tucking into their food and she's still waiting for hers even though we ordered our food with the duty manager.

"We'll check for you", "we'll help check", "5 more minutes". EXCUSES. Because we checked the order receipt on our table and realised that they duty manager LEFT OUT HER ORDER. Even when we were the first few customers and the restaurant wasn't even filled to 1/4 of its capacity (that's how I managed to get a photo of the interior). Apparently, kimchi dumpling udon is on the back page of the manual order chit, and apparently the duty manager ignores everything on the back. Despite the various reminders, the duty manager never once took a second look at the manual order chit that he had marked out himself. COME I CLAP FOR YOU.

So her order finally arrived, after the other 5 of us have finished our meal. The lady service staff who served it to my Sis apologised for the delay. Not the duty manager who made the mistake, but an ordinary service staff. HELLO SAKAE WHY ISN'T SHE THE MANAGER INSTEAD?

Then it turned out that the gyoza used had PRAWNS. It was lucky that my sis spotted it quickly on first bite and didn't have a major reaction to prawns so much so as to itch. But seriously?! So my sister's dining experience was thoroughly ruined. She was sure that was her first and last time there.

Their Age Tofu has prawn on the side as well, just for noting.

Agedashi Tofu
They had an in-store promotion for selected prawn dishes for OCBC members, so we picked out the prawn roll (akin to Sushi Tei's dragon roll) as a complimentary item. Verdict? It was good because it was free - I wouldn't pay anything for it.

I believe the store manager sets an exemplary role for all staff working under him/her. In my opinion, Sakae should rethink about their staff training and service recovery. If your duty manager is unable to hold the fort and manage the customers before they become displeased, then it's high time you re-assess that person's leadership capabilities.

This review is not a recommendation; I'm just being fair to fellow consumers to manage their expectations during their visit to Kyo by Sakae.

Eat where:
Kyo by Sakae @JCube
2 Jurong East Central 1

1 comment:

  1. Was thinking of going to that restaurant until I read your review. Might as well look for better eateries at Jcube.