Exciting your tummy with a glass or so of your favourite beverages, along with some bits of snacks, from time to time is an unwritten law for a healthy living, because dulling the senses helps you deal with life in a lesser intensity. As such, multiple bars and pubs inspired by different cultures and styles are popping out on every corner near office buildings and places of entertainment. One of them is Japan’s Izakaya, an informal bar, that encourages guests to embrace the Japanese way of utilising leisure time and mostly promotes its exotically soothing signature alcoholic drink, sake. And, over time, it has become a worldwide phenomena, spreading Japan’s enduring beverage qualities all over the world like a wildfire and combining with some other cultures, especially in Singapore. Being said so, the following are some of Singapore’s finest Izakayas for you to venture into.
Shukuu Izakaya & Sake Bar
A product of four reckless friends who shares the same taste for beverage excitement, Shukuu represents much of the modern generation’s concept of entertainment and wildness, portrayed directly through one of Singapore’s best Izakaya restaurants. Just by the feel of it, the dedication and passion of the bar’s owners can already be clarified, from its intricate wooden tables, sophisticated menu curation, to the sommeliers’ apparent excellence, the impression of relaxation is observed deeply. Some of their iconic dishes include the charcoal grilled Surume squid, slow-cooked Iberico pork jowl, and some pork jowl and Akaebi nigiri. And on top of that lies a prime selection of alcoholic beverages, some of which are the premium and blended whisky; standard sweet and dry sake; and some beers, bottle and draft, which smoothly concludes a delightful food sitting and a tiring day.
Address: 8 Stanley Street, Singapore 068727
Phone: +65 6327 9240
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 10:30pm (Daily)
A melangé of seafood, vegetable, and meat dishes alongside its prime array of authentic Japanese sakes that gives exaggerating emphasis of Japanese cuisine in Singapore, allowing its diners to have a first-hand experience of Japanese delicacies. A chain of Katanashi, Katanashi An can often be confused as the main branch, for its wide variety of selection is too much to handle. With tapas options of boiled green soybeans Edamame, the Tako Wasabi in Wasabi flavoured sauce, the shark cartilage Ume Suisho with Umeboshi sauce, and a lot more. Also worth trying from their main choices are the grilled marinated chicken Ichiya Dori with Yuzu pepper, the simmered pork belly Pork Kakuni in special gravy, and the stone grilled Beef Loin Ishiyaki with spicy garlic sauce. Then, you can wash it all down smoothly with their refreshing, aromatic, and rich sakes such as the Fuyu No Tsuki, Yonetsuru, and the Daishichi.
Address: 1 Boon Tat Street, #01-01 Singapore, Singapore 069611
Phone: +65 6221 5101
11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:30pm (Monday to Friday),
5:00pm – 10:30pm (Saturday),
Among the few Izakayas to be influenced by another culture, BAM! restaurant is a combination of Spanish and Japanese cuisine that serves authentic dishes and drinks, making one of Singapore’s best Izakaya. Also with the insight and vision of the owners and chef, Pepe Moncayo, and his taste for theatrical culinary arts, the warm and welcoming ambience of the restaurant isn’t just suitable for after-work entertainment, but for any events. Their expertly organised menu consists of dishes such as the Jamon croquette with red pepper mayo, the beef lasagna, and cold capellini with sakura Ebi and Kizami nori. While some of their refreshments include an array of selection: premium and sparkling sake, white and red wine, and beer, for which the Inaba Stella Junmai Daiginjo (Ibaraki) is the most preferred if you are looking for that kicking taste of exotic sake, putting an immediate funny signal to your senses. They also serve desserts, one being the fancy petit four.
Address: Tras Street, 38/40, Singapore, 078977 Phone: +65 6226 0500
Opening Hours: 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Monday),
12:00pm – 2:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Tuesday to Friday),
6:00pm – 10:30pm (Saturday)
The Sushi Bar
Also, another tale of a bar created by a band of friends and colleagues, which happens to be on the same page despite their differing circumstances, The Sushi Bar, now, reflects their eagerness to contribute to the restaurant regardless of being unknowledgeable and unexperienced. With its casual environment, dynamic food menu, and vast selection of Japanese sake and other supplementary beverages, it is a place worthy to be recognised as a regular hub for countless people. Primarily, they serve four main classifications of beverage choices: the Premium Sake Selection, such as the Juyondai Hakutsurushiki, Juyondai Honmaru, and Dassai Beyond; the Sparkling Sake Selection and its Takesuru, aged for 12 to 25 years; the Suntory Whiskey, which is similar to Takesuru, boasting the Hakushu, aged for 12 to 25 years; and a spoiling barrage of beers. They also offer a variety of sashimi, sushi, Makimono, and any sort of such dishes.
Address: Ngee Ann City, 391A Orchard Rd, Singapore 238873
Phone: +65 8818 3535
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:45pm (Daily)
Located alongside the river and offering the widest set of seafood and meat menu among all Izakayas in Singapore, Tomo Izakaya is an environment of relaxing ambience that is complemented by its authentic Japanese inspiration, seeking to satisfy regular customers and fascinate visitors. Serving a bunch of grilled and skewered menus, diners often find themselves spoilt, not allowing them to enjoy all the delicacies it can offer in a single sitting, which loops them to enjoy it over and over again. Trying some of their grilled options are the first things you want to do, some of which includes the grilled salmon head Salmon Kabuto, grilled Japanese mackerel Saba Shioyaki, and the grilled smelt fish Shishamo Yaki. As well as delicious skewered choices such as the diced Wagyu beef Gyu Oroshi Ponzu, the bacon-wrapped scallops Hotate Bacon, and the Buta Shiso Maki, pork belly wrapped with perilla leaf.
Address: 3A River Valley Road, #01-04 Clarke Quay, Singapore, 179020
Phone: +65 6333 0100
Opening Hours: 12:00pm–3:00pm, 5:00pm–12:00am (Daily)
The Horse’s Mouth
Driven by a hilariously burning passion, this fawn-coloured den and authentic wooden architecture of outstanding Japanese bars is a hidden gem worthy of all your time and effort. With its artful representation of beverages, inspired and sourced from Japan’s multiple breweries, and outstanding Japanese snacks, made from fresh ingredients flown from Japan twice in a week for every week, The Horse’s Mouth still lives up to its name as one of the best Izakayas in Singapore up to date. Some of its exceptional alcohol selection includes the Japanese whiskey Yamasaki; the Joseph Drouhin Puligny Montrachet burgundy; and the Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill champagne. And on its delicate food menu lies the classic favourites Wagyu Beef Sandwiches, Spicy Salmon, and Tuna Tartare with crispy Gyoza skin and grilled stingray fins, fine choices as ideal pairs for its endless refreshments and a fulfilling set of light snacks.
Address: 583 Orchard Road, Forum the Shopping Mall, #B1-39, Singapore 238884
Phone: +65 8188 0900
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 9:00pm (Daily)
A devotee of sake’s smooth fineness and anything that complements it, Kabuke may have discovered everything about what makes a great sake great, and all small bites and dishes that bring out the best of its flavours. Sourcing sakes imported from almost all of Japan’s prefectures, one can genuinely taste one of the best authentic alcoholic beverages of the world directly from its origin. Choices worth opting from its selection of satisfying sakes are the light textured Atago no matsu; the silky and fruity Toyo Bijin; and the sweet Raifuku J.Daiginjo Aiyama. And a couple solid stuffing that works out excellently in combination with these refreshments or to be lavished alone includes the Japanese A4 steak cut, the sea urchin uni sashimi, and the snow crab and uni don, providing you an exemplary of unforgettable sake experience and a mouthful of Japanese delicacy.
Address: 200A Telok Ayer Street, Level 2, Singapore 068638
Phone: +65 8822 5525
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:00pm (Monday to Friday),
11:30am – 2:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Themed in accordance to the flashing lights of Tokyo and the pigeon’s ubiquitous presence among urban places, Neon Pigeon is a bar of sophistication inspired by Japan’s exquisite symbolism of fine drinking, and, now, brought to Singapore, making it a discernible choice among the country’s best Izakayas. Also, one of the best things about Neon Pigeon is its advocacy towards a sustainable water filtration system and encouragement in using biodegradable straws and packaging, aimed to contribute in making a healthier environment. Even more tantalising about this bar is its wide range of fine food and beverages, from where the dishes fried octopus, with marinated spinach and pea crème; the Goma-crusted snapper, with salsa verde; the smoked baby back ribs, with sake barbecue sauce; and the charcoal-fired rump can be seen. And an endless options for drinks; negroni, Japanese Shiso shrub, frizzante, margarita, mojito, tequila, and many more.
Address: 1 Keong Saik Road, #01-03, Singapore, SG 089109
Phone: +65 6222 3623
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 9:30pm (Daily)
Branched out from the main Japanese Ippudo branch that has grew to multiple chains across the globe, serving their pride, the Nagahama-style ramen. However, Bar Ippudo differs a little different from the rest of them, instead of offering just their traditional signature ramen and some other condiments exactly like what the rest of their chains are doing, this Singaporean branch provides a vast range of refreshments with over 80 brands sourced from 20 renowned Japanese distilleries, as well as the finest sake you will ever taste. Some drinks they offer includes the Gensen Karakuchi Yoshinogawa, the Hiramatsu Jyunmaidaiginjyo, the Kireiumesyu, the Komagura Shin, and some of the most authentic sake selection the Komagura Gen Enjuku Junmai Daiginjo 2009, the Kahougura Jyunmaidaiginjyo, the Kagatobi Yamahai Chokarakuchi, and the Junmai Ginjo. And, of course, an assortment of deliciously slurpy ramens, including the Shiromaru Motoaji, the Akamaru Shinaji, and the Karaka-men.
Address: 1 Scotts Road #04-22 /23 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
Phone: +65 6235 2547
Opening Hours: 11:30 – 10:00pm (Daily)
Divided into two parts, the tapas bar at the first level and the walk-in vault with three customised chillers at the second, from where the diners can freely enjoy the magnificence of each, and watch, with utter amazement, the bar’s intricately elegant aesthetics and the ingenuity of the vault’s utility as a storage for some of the best alcohols in Singapore. Generally, the floors complement what’s known to be one of the best Izakayas in the country, providing delicious Japanese cuisine, enlivening beverages, and comforting dining space. A couple choices for delicate mains are the braised Kurobuta Pork Belly, seared Hokkaido Scallops, and A4 Wagyu Rib Eye. While notable beverages includes the Japanese Suntora and Nikka Whiskey Yamakazi 25 years, the Hakushu 25 years and the Hibiki 30 years, together with a dazzling set of sakes Katsuyama Lei Sapphire, the Fudoh Junmai Daiginjo, and the Born Gold Junmai Daiginjo.
Address: 80 South Bridge Road #01-01, Golden Castle Building, Singapore 058710
Phone: +65 6532 0418
Opening Hours: 4:30pm 12:00mid (Daily)
Be it an occasional or regular thing everyone deserves to taste the best, for dining and relaxing among the most luxurious and authentic Izakaya restaurants across Singapore are some of the little pleasures of life we are privileged to enjoy. Irrefutably, Izakaya is a dynamic concept that can be moulded into anything, evident from the preceding list of outstanding bars and restaurants’ diverse yet delectable feats, setting them apart from one another, and making them the best at their own respective fields.