Koh Grill & Sushi Bar closes after 15 years

Koh Grill & Sushi Bar closes after 15 years

by Edmund O'Connell on Jan 14 2024

I'll be honest. Your reporter was somewhat devastated to discover today after brining his family to our favourite Japanese eatery Koh Grill & Sushi Bar In Wisma Atria that it has permanently closed. 

The usual bustling atmosphere, the clatter of dishes, and the aroma of fresh sushi were conspicuously absent replaced by a cornered off store. The signage and interior fittings remain but the chairs, tables and anything not bolted down had all vanished.

This eatery wasn't just another restaurant; it was a culinary haven renowned for its exceptional Japanese fare at prices that didn't break the bank. The constant crowd and inevitable wait times a testament to its popularity. Koh Grill & Sushi Bar had become a staple part of our families dining routine and despite the number of alternative Japanese restaurants on or around Orchard Rd, it will be difficult to replace.

In a city where the food and beverage scene is fiercely competitive, surviving for 17 years is no small feat. This longevity speaks volumes about the love and support Koh Grill & Sushi Bar enjoyed from its patrons. Its closure is not just the end of a restaurant, but the fading of a chapter in Singapore's gastronomic story.

food-republic.webpSource: Food Republic Singapore on Facebook

Bit it does raise questions however, how can a restaurant seemingly full to the rafters close down? Did the combination of rising rents on prime Orchard Rd locations plus the inevitable tight margins of their reasonable prices combine to deal a devastating blow? Either way it is sad to see a restaurant survive Covid only to close down when the good times return.

However, like any restaurant, Koh Grill & Sushi Bar had its ups and downs. Some visitors noted inconsistencies, particularly with the Shiok!!! Maki Gen 2. But for many, including myself, it was the Shiok!!! Maki Gen 1 that left an indelible mark on our palates. This iconic sushi roll, with its perfect blend of eel, avocado, seared salmon, and a unique house sauce, was the staple of our weekend lunchtime orders.

During our visits, we often explored beyond their signature dishes, trying offerings like Tofu Hotplate, Sake Sashimi, and Nasu Miso Yaki. Each dish was a journey always underscored by the restaurant's commitment to providing a diverse Japanese dining experience.

The closure of Koh Grill & Sushi Bar is more than just the loss of a restaurant; it's the end of an era for the Singaporean Japanese food scene. Its departure leaves a void that will be hard to fill. As a patron who's seen it thrive over the years, I hold onto the hope that perhaps, in some form, Koh Grill & Sushi Bar will make a comeback. If it does, perhaps at another location, we will be certain to let you know.

Until then, its legacy of delicious, affordable Japanese cuisine will linger in our memories.