One of the regular haunts for our uni crew when we are going out for a catch up is K-UO, situated in Market Square, next to Malaya Corner, which is relatively popular for its inexpensive meals, long opening hours and impressive drinks menu. The thing to note about K-UO though, is that even though it sells Japanese food, the staff seem to be predominantly Taiwanese.
Whilst some of the menu was blocked by reflection, it consists of two sides, split into multiple sections.
One thing that we always get when we go to Ku-O, is their Oden (おでん) which is a traditional Japanese winter dish, which consists of a multitude of different things (such as radish, tofu, fish cake, egg) served in a light dashi broth. In this instance, we opted for our favourites, being money bags (flying fish roe bundled up in a tofu skin). We loved how the broth soaked into the tofu, but the fish roe was still crunchy on the inside.
Next came the soft shell crab. Having 2 for $10 was quite a good deal, although I found it a bit overly toasted. The accompanying sauce (being a mix of what seems to be takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise) did a lot to alleviate the situation though.
The takoyaki was served nice and hot. I found it to be a lot more crispier than other places that I've been to.
The things on the top left look like fried mozarella sticks, but they are actually crab cream croquettes. I found them pretty average to be honest. They didnt have much crab meat, and were mainly very potato-y.
In terms of mains, my usual is aways salmon don. Although salmon by itself doesn't usually have enough taste to be considered a dish on its own, Ku-o's version is quite decent, as they offer generous amounts of Japanese rice seasoning, and seaweed salad with it. I find it extra yummy when doused with light soy sauce. Whilst Ku-o serves its salmon don on cold rice as a default, I usually ask for mine to be served on warm rice.
The udon at Ku-o is also very comforting and tasty. At $4.90 it is an excellent deal, as it uses relatively high quality udon (the frozen ones, not the preserved ones that have a sour aftertaste), and a light broth.
Another good option for a cheap meal, is the Curry Don. Again, it sells for $4.90. Although there are no meats, it does come with bits of carrot, potato and is garnished with rice seasoning and egg.
Despite the food being quite delicious, the main attraction that draws us to Ku-O is actually their drinks. In particular their frappes, which are huge! I usually get the Matcha one, but on that instance, I got the chocolate one. It was cool and refreshing for summer, and delightfully garnished with grass jelly, wafers and maltesers.
What I also particularly like about Ku-o is that it opens really late. Some nights we go there after watching a late night movie, and it's still open when a lot of the other restaurants are closed. The availability of Japanese food late at night is a definite plus.
Price Range: $7 - $25 per person