If you are looking for a restaurant with great ambience for a romantic dinner for Valentine’s day and wonderful spots for endless photo opportunities, Koma might just be the right place for you. Koma is a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar conceptualized by Tao Group Hospitality and offers modernised Japanese cuisine.
Koma is highly popular and an early reservation is always recommended. We had to book 2 weeks in advance for a post Christmas dinner and was glad to finally get a slot available. One of the most impressive thing to note about the restaurant is the opulent interiors and this imposing entrance of red gates which is modeled after the famous Tori gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
Walk through the gates to feel yourself get transported to another Japanese fantasy world. These gates are highly popular with diners taking photos so either arrive early to get pictures without crowd or simply just wait as the staff would actually help you hold the crowd for a photo.
Emerge from the gates to be greeted by the restaurant’s centerpiece which is a giant bell almost 3m tall hanging strikingly from the wall which separates the bar from the sit down restaurant. The bar operates till a later timing compared to the restaurant but there has been some changes to the operating hours due to covid. Many visit the bar just to sample the wide variety of cocktails and sakes from all over Japan.
The ostentatious decor of black and gold tones are extended to the restaurant dining hall with a view of the other side of the giant bell overseeing a Japanese traditional bridge over a small man made pond.
Red lanterns are hung up around the circumference of the dining hall in a grandiose fashion with great contrast against the black and gold interiors. The dining area is made up of the open floor area with generic tables and circled with more private circular booths as well as fully private rooms on the 2nd level overseeing the entire restaurant floor.
Right at the back of the restaurant, you can find the 15 seater sushi bar with open interaction with the chef.
We were lucky to get one of the semi private circular booth tables which has a pretty decent view of the restaurant in entirety. There were moments throughout my dinner where I forgot if I was in a high class swanky club having a whiskey or outdoor with the bridge and gates or simply just a Japanese restaurant. The entire duration that I was there, they were playing contemporary lounge music which is why I felt that I was at a club more than a restaurant. Something that caught my eye was this prettily folded crane used as our chop sticks holder which could be brought home if you liked as they will not be reusing it.
At first glance, the menu looks decent but somewhat pricey for some of the items. For the dinner menu, you can check here . For starters, we ordered the yellowtail ginger jalepeno for SGD 24. The dish came in this pretty display of flowers formed by the raw fish and ginger which is decently fresh and savoury with the light soy and lime sauce.
Next we had the ginger salmon tartar with crispy taro and ikura for SGD 21. I found the serving size quite small for the price although the tartar was generally nice tasting with the crispy taro providing an added crunch.
The last item we had which is the lobster salad was extremely disappointing with an extremely hefty price tag of SGD 48. I’m not even sure is this can qualify as a salad as I hardly saw any greenery in it except for the dressing. There were a couple of pieces of lobster and small chunks of scallops and very little bits of caviar and I can only say that it hardly left an impression as the creamy sauce overpowered all the expensive fresh ingredients.
Next, we definitely had to order their sashimi and we had the assorted platter at SGD 78. The price definitely included this fancy show of smoke as the platter was really disappointing for me. While the fish was very fresh, the serving was extremely pathetic and the selection of fish was also very mediocre. I could accept this price range for a platter if I was served very unique or uncommon fish slices. Instead, there was prawns, 1 cooked and 1 raw, 1 sea bream, 1 tuna, 2 salmon and 1 scallop and some Ikura which is so commonly found in many other Japanese restaurants at the same quality and much more pocket friendly price.
With the disappointing platter, we ordered another 2 servings of scallops and uni each to satisfy our cravings. At SGD 10 for the scallop and SGD 24 for the uni per serving, we were expecting some very sweet and heavenly scallops and uni but as usual it was the same grade as the ones you would get in a regular Japanese restaurant for the scallop. The uni was much better then most places but I have tasted much better ones as well.
We moved on to the sushi section and ordered california maki at SGD 20 and the salmon avocado maki at SGD 21 which was also pricey since we ordered pretty normal selections. The maki tasted ok but very general with nothing outstanding in particular.
We moved on to some of the cooked food and ordered this wafu carbonara with uni at SGD 38 and was pleasantly surprised by its light and savoury notes. The noodles served were udon drenched in a light carbonara sauce which was not heavy but creamy enough to give it the milky flavour. The semi cooked eggs on top also provided an additional eggy taste when mixed with the noodles. The bulk of the cost probably went to the uni and in this case was totally overwhelmed and wasted in this case as I could not taste the uni at all after mixing the noodles. I would eat this again but at a lower price range.
Our last hot food was this wild mushroom fried rice which came humbly in this plate. By now I was not expecting the world even though the rice was priced at SGD 25 but we were quite surprised by the balanced earthy flavours of the mushroom infused nicely into the rice. We felt it was a nice finish to the meal as it had a down to earth woody and savoury taste. It would have been perfect if it was a tad less salty and oily.
For desserts, this lemon yuzu came highly recommended as a lemon mousse shaped like a lemon sitting on yuzu jam and cacao crumble made to look like soil. The desserts were mostly less than SGD 20 so I thought they were priced reasonably. The mousse had a light tangy flavour and was basically very pretty to look at and eat. It is probably one of the better dishes.
In comparison, the next dessert bonsai, as recommended by the staff was horrid. Its dark chocolate with praline and the entire pot and plant can be eaten as they are made of sponge cake and chocolate. I did not find the dessert plating appealing and the chocolates were also very normal so we left a big portion of this untouched.
Overall, KOMA is a very pretty restaurant and for those who love an atmospheric dining experience more than the taste of the actual food would find KOMA as just the place for your. Not forgetting that you need pretty deep pockets for a meal here as well. If you are here just for the atmosphere, keep to ordering simple dishes or even for their set lunch which is less than SGD 50. A side note, complimentary parking is provided for each table with minimum spent of SGD 150.
Address: Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave, #B1-67, 018972
Operating hours: 11.30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 12am ( there might be changes in timing due to Covid, please call to confirm)