The rising popularity of izakayas in Singapore is no surprise, especially with Singapore’s growing bar scene that sees drinking holes in all forms and themes.
An Izakaya is essentially Japan’s equivalent to a Spanish tapas bar where you get to dine and drink under one roof. The answer to the woes of the Japanese working class, Izakayas are seen as a haven where people can go to after work to enjoy a tipple, snack on some food and unwind with their mates.
Whether it is an ice-cold beer you crave or something a little more punchy, here are 10 Izakaya bars in Singapore for you to unwind, get fed or simply to drown out your sorrows.
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.
It’s amusing to watch the rate at which restaurants in Singapore open and close, so it was partly out of curiosity that we decided to visit Tamon Izakaya (214 East Coast Road) which has survived the test of time and influx of competitors to stay in operation for 18 years.
This Japanese eatery sits no more than 30 people, but we liked that tables were spaced sufficiently far apart to allow privacy of conversation. The restaurant was fully packed on a Saturday evening despite the horrors of parking along East Coast road, but we hear that business is quiet during lunch.
If you are like me, always craving for Japanese food, you need to make a trip down to Shunjuu Izakaya – a restaurant that is known for its sumiyaki (Japanese charcoal grill).
It is easy to walk past Shunjuu Izakaya, located along in Robertson Quay, an area packed with good restaurants and eateries. But once you have been there, chances are, you will be a regular.
Satsuma Shochu Dining Bar is a Shochu speciality izakaya at The Gallery Hotel that is known for serving yummy charcoal-grill skewers.
If you are searching for a great after work spot for food and drinks with friends, check out Satsuma at Robertson Quay. It is certainly a place I can see myself frequently whenever I feel like having Japanese food.
One of the best parts of my job is discovering new hidden gems. After having a good meal at Yakitori Emmau, I am happy to introduce it to you as I feel that it is one of the few restaurants in Orchard that is worth checking out.
Yakitori Emmau at level four of ION Orchard is the second franchise of the Japan’s No. 1 Izakaya restaurant.
For Mother’s Day 2012, it is offering a special Collagen Tori Nabe set menu for 4 pax at only $120. The set comes with Caesar Salad; assorted Sashimi platter; Kushiyaki (skewers) platter; Tori Nabe soup which has a generous serving of ingredients; and the Enmaru Roll.
Like mentioned in my Guide to Mother’s Day Dinner, the set menu definitely has more than enough food for a family of four, and at just $30/pax, I think it is a fantastic deal.
Ciki and I were bar-hopping after our dinner at Ippudo Ramen, and before going to our second stop at Orgo Bar, we decided to have some snacks at Tomo Izakaya, Esplanade Mall.
The Japanese casual dining restaurant has an original outlet at Clarke Quay, and they serve a variety of small dishes together with Japanese beers and sake.
Izakaya is a term referring to a Japanese drinking establishment that’s focused on drinks, but like many bars, serves food so that you will not drink on an empty stomach.
Update: Taira Izakaya is now closed
Izakaya is a casual Japanese bar where you can enjoy food with drinks. It reminds me of Spanish Tapas Bars, and one of the best things about such dining concepts is that you get to try so many different food.
Located at Holiday inn Singapore Orchard City Centre in Cavenagh Road, Taira Izakaya is the perfect place to go after a long day of work for some light snacks and drinks.