Cuppage Plaza is good for two things: sleazy pubs and authentic Japanese restaurants. There are 6 Japanese restaurants here: Kaiho Sushi Restaurant, Kazu Sumiyaki Restaurant, Keria Japanese Restaurant, Izakaya Naniwa, Shinjuku Restaurant, and Izakaya Nijumaru.
Since Izakaya Nijumaru occupies a quarter of the entire second storey, and it was packed on the Sunday night we were there, we entered with assurance, thinking its rental space amounts to good food.
The menu is rather intimidating, thick as a children’s book. Many items are listed in Japanese like ika or hotate. Luckily I’ve been to enough Japanese restaurants to pick up sufficient Japanese nomenclature, but this menu is definitely not friendly to Jap food noobs.
Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes, I was not impressed by their food. It’s okay good, but it’s not great.
The assorted sashimi ($42) is expensive, with about 15 slices of fish. And they are limp, not chewy. The golden deep-fried crust of agedashi tofu separates easily, and does not add any flavors to the tofu. The buta kakuni (braised pork) is competent, very tender and flavorful.
We also had a few sticks of yakitori, bbq meat on sticks: chicken teriyaki, chicken balls, too bitter mushrooms, and too dry chicken liver. They aren’t very good at yakitori items.
The Japanese porridge looks bland but is surprisingly robust. A flavorful dashi stock, tinged wickedly with ginger.
Sometimes size matters, but unfortunately, it doesn’t in this case. I don’t understand how Nijumaru could have expanded to occupy 1/4 of the floor.
We spent $120 for two persons, including a small bottle of sake. The mediocre food at this price means I probably will move on to try other 3 restaurants in Cuppage I haven’t tried. Hopefully, they fare better.
Izakaya Nijumaru 居酒屋二重丸
5 Koek Road, #02-10 Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
T: +65 62356693
M-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, M-Sun 6.30pm-10pm
Overall rating: 3/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.