Izakaya Nijumaru is one hidden gem (literally) in Cuppage Plaza.
It is tucked at a corner on the second level of Cuppage Plaza and you wouldn’t otherwise walk past it unless you were particularly looking out for it. The nondescript outlet has been around for three decades. We actually only discovered it about seven years ago but it has since remained as a favourite of ours whenever we want a simple, affordable Japanese meal in Orchard Road.
But if you find it, we say you walk right in and treat yourselves to a good Japanese meal. You’d be pleased to know that the prices are very reasonable and the menu is comprehensive.
Izakaya Nijumaru will have you reminiscing your times in Japan. Its traditional setting—complete with dim lights, counter seats, seasonal menu handwritten in Japanese and plastered over the chef’s counter, fortune cats and beer taps—instantly made us feel like we have stepped into a Japanese izakaya. No frills, no pretense; Izakaya Nijumaru’s ambience hits all the right spots.
Then, there is the huge menu with many Japanese favourites that will spoil you silly. Set lunches start as low as S$9 for an Omelette Egg Rice to S$25 for a Unagi Bento Box complete with sashimi and miso soup.
For the in-betweens, go for the Buta Shioyaki Set (S$13), Deep Fried Pork Filet (S$13) or Tendon (S$13). We are crazy about tempura bowls and the Tendon here didn’t disappoint. An assortment of prawns and vegetables served atop Japanese rice, this hearty bowl is something we’d return to Izakaya Nijumaru for.
The most value-for-money set and the one we loved most is the Nijumaru Bento Box (S$21) that comprises sashimi, grilled saba, pork belly, tempura and miso soup. The pork belly, in particular, was super flavourful and the grilled saba was fresh and sweet.
There is a concise sashimi moriawase selection, a series of simmered dishes such as Chawan Mushi (S$5.50) and Oden (S$9), and whole page of grilled items (think xxx and xxx).
Japanese food wouldn’t be complete without a good beer or whisky and over at Izakaya Nijumaru, the beverage list is pretty well curated in their own rights, too.
5 Koek Rd, #02- 228796, 10 Cuppage Rd
Tel: +65 6235 6693
Mon to Sat: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm
Sun: 6pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Somerset