Kinou brought me to the Basque Country… in spirit, at least. If not for Covid19, we would have been driving through Spanish and French Basque Country last year, visiting places such as San Sebastian and Bayonne.
Alas, it was not meant to be, but Kinou to the rescue, instead. Nestled in a shophouse, located in the Keong Saik vicinity, specifically Teck Lim road, you’re warmly greeted by the staff as you enter. The chef and team are front and centre and you cannot help but feel as though you’re walking into their home.
For dinner 2 weeks’ ago, we had the tasting menu, either 5-course at $58 or 6-course at $78. We aren’t massive eaters, so the 5-course served us fine, especially since the dessert was a pain perdu (French toast).
(Just been told that they do not serve the tasting menu anymore, but you will get a feel for the dishes from the review below. Their new a la carte menu below).
A nod to Basque Country bar-hopping, pintxos are served while you enjoy your aperitif. We had the Pancetta/Padron and the Beef Tartare/Uni/Ponzu combos. Great start.
Appetizer was Xipiron (grilled baby squid), with a refreshing chimichurri sauce, black garlic and the chilli of the Basque – espelette (also another town in the Basque Country that we would have visited last year).
Then comes the crowd favourite:
As the next dish was laid down, the waiter informed us that it was a favourite amongst Kinou regulars, and I can see why. The creamy Egg dish, with bayonne ham and chorizo, is totally slurp-worthy, each spoonful a burst of silky, salty goodness. As I write this, I’m thinking how wonderful that both the French and Spanish sides of the Basque are represented in the cured meat area.
Then on to the Pulpo – a dish I almost always order in Spanish restaurants. Again, the octopus was prepared to perfection, very tender. The leg itself was not the grandiose version that I see elsewhere, I suppose whether that is a good or bad thing depends on how hungry you are. For me, it was enough.
Is that duck or beef?
Looking at the picture, at a quick glance, you might think this is beef but it’s not.
For mains, we could have chosen the Duck Magret or the Tournedos Rossini, but simply because I was fondly remembering all the amazing duck that I had on my last trip to France, I chose the former.
Again, absolutely well done, Kinou – each bite coated with the rich jus and puree, delicious!
Finally, came the “lost bread” or pain perdu – essentially the French way of saying French toast. A little strange for dessert, or maybe this is typical in Basque, I don’t know. But it was good and tipped me over happily into a full state.
We are hoping to make it to the Basque country in 2023, doubt we will want to travel next year, but till then, Kinou, I’ll be back!
P.S: I had dined at another Basque restaurant last year, Basque Kitchen by Aitor. A place where I had a great experience the first time, years back, and not-too-great one when I revisited last year. Decide for yourself but I know which one I’ll be returning to!
Kinou – Basque Bistro in Singapore:
Address: 2 Teck Lim Rd, Singapore 088380
Contact: +65 8453 4519 or email@example.com