Koma won't put you in food coma, but will knock you out with decor
Koma, the latest star at Marina Bay Sands, is so stunning that you should dine there at least once just to take a look inside.
It is glitzy, classy and instantly Instagrammable.
The entryway to the Japanese restaurant is inspired by the torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
Once inside, you will be struck by the 2.5m Japanese bell.
This display lords it over the other touches - panels in the shape of lily pads, Japanese foot bridge and an artistic interpretation of a reflecting pool.
Right opposite the bell is a sushi bar with a beautiful display of the fish available.
The high ceilings add more drama, and I needed a moment to take it all in.
It is important to be blown away by the optics because the food was underwhelming, especially in light of the decor.
Koma is a collaboration between Tao Group and Marina Bay Sands and features a menu of sushi, robata and izakaya-style dining, created by executive chef Kunihiro Moroi.
To be clear, the food at Koma is far from being inedible.
It is just that the place is so visually pleasing you will want everything to be incredible. Eat without expectations and it will be the highlight of your week.
If possible, head straight for desserts because that is where all the stunners are.
Bonzai ($17) made of molten dark chocolate and a crunchy praline. While it appears gimmicky, the praline is actually addictive and the chocolate is a pleasing blend of bitter and rich.
With most desserts, it is all about visual appeal anyway. So in that aspect, this is a winner.
The Lemon Yuzu ($16) is artfully assembled, and when you bite in, the brightness of the citrus and chill of the ice make an enjoyably tart combination.
Of the savouries, I like the dishes in the "Da" (big in Chinese) menu most.
I am especially fond of the Scallion Fried Rice in Sizzling Pot ($32), with pork, chicken, shrimp, scallops and mushrooms. In essence it is porridge, but the umami and freshness of the seafood lifts the dish.
There is also the drama of a table side pour, which makes for a good video.
While the Wagyu Fried Rice ($48) is less successful, the vegetables add crisp and bite. And it is always easy to impress with wagyu.
To be even more impressive, consider ordering the Snow Aged Niigata Wagyu Beef ($275), aged in a traditional 200-year-old Japanese method of natural preservation.
The Crispy Tokyo Gyoza ($12) does not do much. It is unremarkable, except for the heft of the gyoza skin.
There are better versions in many other eateries and kiosks.
For now, Koma may not have enough worthy eats to induce a food coma, but going by the interior and service, it is still a knockout.
#B1-67, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Opens Sunday to Thursday, 5pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday,
5pm to 2am