Shukuu Izakaya exudes a very cool and cozy feel that the moment we stepped in, we felt relaxed, refreshed, and right at home. We tried about 20 dishes from the extensive menu and almost all were good. Of course we are not dissecting 20 dishes one by one; let’s talk about the best and worst dishes. We voted for our top 3:
|Chiobu||Mr Fitness||Yan Dao||Wise Guy|
|Kani (crab) gratin||Kani gratin||Kani gratin||Gyu (beef) don|
|Omi wagyu kushiyaki (skewer)||Omi wagyu kushiyaki||Chicken wings||Chicken Wings|
|Beef asparagus||Rosti mentaiko||Rosti mentaiko||Tsukune (chicken balls)|
As how sometimes izakaya (drinking house) incorporates Western ingredients–like how most izakayas have foie gras–the kani (crab) gratin ($7, above) is the most liked dish among us, that comes in an appealing crab shell. It has cheese, mushy macaroni, mentaiko, and crab meat all mixed into one.
Beef-wrapped asparagus ($11)
Gyu Don ($10)
Another Western-influenced dish, also featuring mentaiko, that we liked is the rosti mentaiko ($8), or marinated roe on shredded potato. The mentaiko part is slightly torched to give a smokey aroma.
Shukuu izakaya’s main focus, kushiyaki (charcoal-grilled skewered meat), is done excellently, each skewer with a smoky enticing aroma. The omi wagyu ($9, above) is not cheap for a stick, but it is tender and succulent. The 5-piece Chef’s selection ($18) has fantastic chicken wings, and plump homemade chicken balls with fatty bits that I love a lot.
Negitoro don (minced tuna belly on rice, $10)
Besides Western-inspired dishes, and kushiyaki, Shukuu also serves traditional izakaya dishes like karaage (fried chicken, $10, above), maguro yukke (marinated tuna, $12), and ika shiokara (fermented squid, $5, below). All of which passed muster.
Now the bad part. 50% of us found the aburi shimesaba (torched vinegared mackerel $12) fishy, although it is a good price for that amount of fish. Nobody liked the chikuwa with cheese (Japanese fishcakes). When I picked up the kurobuta pork ribs ($22), the flesh just separated from the bones without any effort. It smelled fragrant, but it tasted s0-so. More marination is required.
Shirasu ponzu capsicum (whitebait with capsicum in ponzu sauce, $6)
Aburi salmon sushi
The dishes here are designed to go with sake. The house sake (300ml $22.80/ 1800ml $138) is karakuchi, which means it gives a dry and shiok feeling like how beer gives you.
Bacon scallop ($7)
Shukuu, on a whole, gives us a very positive vibe. The people running it are upbeat, courteous, and friendly; they enjoy their jobs. The ambience is refreshing and the food is great at a good value. Perfect place for gatherings of large groups. Will definitely return for more kushiyaki awesomeness.
Shukuu Izakaya Singapore
8 Stanley Street, Singapore 068727
T: +65 6327 9240
M-F 11.30am-2.30pm, M-Sat 5.30pm-11pm, closed Sun
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
This is an invited tasting. Thanks Jamie and Mario.