The dramatic entrance to Kuriya, an established Japanese restaurant at Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, #B1-06/07, Singapore.

It was unexpected that we ended up at Kuriya at Raffles City shopping centre (located next to Raffles Hotel in Singapore), since I had in mind something local food and a more casual setting for a Friday evening dinner with some girl friends.

As with most group meetings, a designated time and meeting place were chosen. But after having decided upon a time and place, in keeping with the Singapore tradition of meeting-up, nobody turned up on time, or at the designated meeting place. A quick call via the mobile phone, and I found the others happily shopping in the mall, as was I. We mapped ourselves terrestrially within the mall in an instant, and they found me a few minutes later, in the Aldo shoe store browsing for a festively sexy stiletto.

To the left of the entrance is a well lit wall of bottles of sakae that lend a splash of exciting colour to the entrance of the restaurant.

We decided on Japanese food and ended up at the dramatically dark entrance of Kuriya Japanese restaurant. The immediate impression of the restaurant was daunting with its black walled entrance, looking quite formal and businesslike. But the dinner crowd had yet to arrive and the staff at the restaurant were friendly, so we decided to settle ourselves there. A glass wall of coloured sakae bottles greeted us as we walked into the restaurant, with its complementing greens and yellows throwing a warm light into the passageway leading up to the dining area.

The long sushi bar or counter is characterisitc of the interior design to Kuriya restaurants in Singapore.

Kuriya means ‘kitchen’ in Japanese and a design feature that is common in the Kuriya chain of restaurants in Singapore is their long counter or sushi bar. In this outlet, I loved how the tables were set following the curved frame of the main long counter. This architectural feature seemed to give the space an elongated dynamic, the eye travelling to the far corners of the room in a single sweep, extending the room lengthwise and giving it a certain fluidity.

The interior of the restaurant is designed to make one relaxed and at ease. The tables that are aligned to the curvature of the bar are an aesthetic eye-candy.

The long bar also serves as a tantalising place of work where customers can observe their dinner being prepared at the long counter and perhaps decide upon new dishes they observe being prepared for others.

A pot of honey lemon tea was served while we were deciding on the menu for the evening.

Honey lemon tea was served while we decided upon the menu for the evening and the menu was vast, with the promise of all sorts of impeccably presented dishes to whet the appetite. On our table were some tiger prawns tempura and sushi rice-balls presented pristine and neat in a bamboo. Assorted raw fish and ramen was also on the table that evening, together with complimentary bowls of specially prepared miso soup.

The food presentation at Kuriya’s is pristine – prawn tempura and sushi rice-balls inlaid in a row, in bamboo.

The evening wore on and by the time we left the restaurant, it was in full swing with the dinner crowd, with a queue outside its doors. I was surprised with this since I hardly noticed the restaurant filling up so quickly. The booth in which we were seated lent a great deal of privacy to our chatters and the customer service at Kuriya was excellent all through the evening with refills of green tea and honey lemon tea. The staff were attentive from beginning to end, and they gave no reason to believe that the restaurant was indeed bustling with customers.

Overall an extremely pleasant visit to Kuriya’s, well worth the pricey menu when you can enjoy your evening in your own time and space, unhurried in the midst of a Friday night buzz.

Kuriya Japanese restaurant can be found at:

Kuriya @ Raffles City
Raffles City #B1-06/07
252 North Bridge Road
Tel: 6883 2020
Daily 12.00pm – 10.00pm
(Lunch Last Order: 2.30pm)
(Dinner Last Order: 9.30pm)

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