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 bars are all the rage now, especially among the office crowd and En Sakaba under the Izakaya Japanese Dining Group (which manages En Japanese Dining at Mohd Sultan, En Japanese Dining Bar at Bukit Timah and Z’en Japanese Cuisine) is not a name unheard of.
Now with a total of 4 new outlets—each boasting different concepts—this izakaya slash Japanese restaurant group is a true haven for those in search of tantalising Japanese fare, a chic yet cosy spot to relax at and a solid tipple.
Introducing its new flagship restaurant and the group’s fourth outlet, En Sakaba at Capital Tower is set to enthrall with their stellar shabu shabu offering, visually stunning à la carte items as well as a selection of curated Japanese whiskies and sake for your after-work tippling pleasure.
For a limited period and exclusive only at Capital Tower, En Sakaba is having a hot pot buffet dinner that comes with a selection of appetisers, 3 kinds sashimi platter, wagyu sushi, prawn and vegetables tempura, Häagen-Dazs ice cream as well as a monumental shabu shabu that sees unlimited servings of Japan’s No. 1 of Miyazaki wagyu beef, premium zuwai kani queen crab, ibérico kurobuta pork, assorted vegetables, udon and Japanese porridge—all at only S$78++ per pax (U.P. S$108++ per pax).
We kid you not, from the sweet flesh of the queen crab to the perfectly marbled, melt-in-your-mouth Miyazaki Wagyu, this is a shabu shabu feast that you must try and you’d be a fool if you missed it.
Sushi Jiro is a name that’s appearing here a lot over the last couple of months—and for very good reasons. Home to one of the finest Japanese dining experiences in Singapore, this sushi restaurant located in Marina Mandarin Singapore is one that we find ourselves constantly returning to for a sensorial omakase meal.
After receiving such an overwhelming response towards their dinner omakase last month, Sushi Jiro is now making it available for lunch as well! And the deal of a free upgrade for ladyironchef’s readers remains—you enjoy the 8-course omakase at the 6-course’s price of S$180++, and the 10-course at the 8-course’s price of S$220++. This is yet another wonderful chance to experience Chef Kenji’s famous omakase if you haven’t already.
Under the lunch set, one of the restaurant’s proudest curations is the Sushi Course (S$100++) and the promotion for our readers is extended—quote ‘ladyironchef’ and you pay only S$80++ for this grand platter. These promotions are available from now until 28 February (excluding 14 Feb 2018).
Just a mere mention of grilled unagi (freshwater eels) and most minds would naturally gravitate towards the colossally popular, Michelin Bib Gourmand winner, Man Man Unagi Japanese Restaurant. But that is soon to change especially with the opening of Uya at Wheelock Place.
Striving to keep prices affordable and the quality of their food as true to Japanese traditional unagi cuisine as possible, all of Uya’s eels are meticulously selected to ensure the ideal quality that best matches their house-made tare (sauce) and fresh shipments from both Taiwan and Japan are flown in weekly.
Smoky, sticky and grilled to utmost perfection, grilled unagi is a hard dish to dislike, and we are all extremely stoked to try Uya’s prized dish to see if this new Unagi restaurant truly walks the talk and can prove itself to be a worthy competitor to it’s Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning counterpart.
Nestled within Emporium Shokuhin in Marina Square, Gyuu+ Yakiniku Grill is Japanese beef heaven.
Their all-you-can-eat buffet option is available for lunch but the premium a la carte wagyu dinner buffet is what you should be looking out for. Featuring the best of Japanese beef cuts—including succulent beef aged for 14, 21 and 28 days—and other types of fresh meat, seasonal fish and seafood, this is one Japanese barbecue restaurant that will leave you with happy bellies.
A Japanese gastro bar situated centrally in Suntec City, KURO Izakaya is recognised for their Robatayaki, Kushiyaki, small plates, sake and whisky.
The dual concept dining establishment is a ramen donburi shop by day where you will find working executives there for comforting Japanese food at affordable prices but night time is when you will find the crowd streaming into the modern izakaya for drinks and tapas.
With over 70 dishes features on their comprehensive menu, there is something that will delight everyone at KURO Izakaya. Think premium porcine, succulent wagyu and a curated selection of charcoal grilled seafood.
If you are not enticed yet, what about their exciting Happy Hour promotions when Frozen Kirin Beers are going at only S$5?! READ ON
Set within The Plaza at Beach Road, Uni Gallery—opened by online seafood and sashimi retailer, Oosterbay—is a uni-centric restaurant that is bound to get heads turning—especially if you’re a uni fanatic like us. They serve a range of uni as well as premium sushi that are all air-flown from Japan, the United States and Canada.
The 40-seater restaurant serves ‘uni-fied’ dishes such as their Uni Aglio Olio (S$28++), Uni Oyster Shot (S$25++) and the stellar Uni Bomb (S$99++) that is what this humble restaurant gains the most praise for.
In addition to uni, their menu also includes seasonal sashimi such as kinmedai (golden eye snapper), hirame (flounder) and our favourite, ankimo (monkfish liver). Finding exceptional yet relatively affordable uni in Singapore is a tough feat, however, ever since the opening of Uni Gallery, fans of the beloved sea urchin have stopped searching.
An omakase course is a Japanese dining tradition where diners entrust their dining experience entirely to the chef who will showcase his culinary skills and creativity throughout the meal. To the Japanese, an omakase course is not to be taken lightly—only chefs with many years of culinary experience are able to dazzle you with the season’s best ingredients and exotic delicacies.
Since omakase is serious business, those who are looking for an authentic experience that is similar to what you will find in Japan have to know about Sushi Jiro at Marina Mandarin Singapore. The reputable Japanese restaurant serves fresh fish and seafood that are air-flown from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo four times a week.
Just when we thought that we had tried the best at Sushi Jiro during our last trip, Chef Kenji Nakagawa took our taste buds on another gastronomic journey with their 8-course and 10-course omakase dinners—comprising fresh sashimi, decadent Japanese wagyu beef and top-grade nigiri sushi.
Just for our followers, you can now get a free upgrade of your omakase when you quote ‘ladyironchef’ upon making reservation—the price of a 6-course dinner (S$180) will grant you an 8-course menu with better items; the price of an 8-course dinner (S$220) means an upgrade to the best 10-course dinner! This offer is valid from now until 31 January 2018.