My friend recommended the two month-old Izakaya Niningashi at Tanjong Pagar, saying that it is “probably one of the best izakayas in Singapore,” as good as or even better than those in Japan. Japanese chatter surrounded us that night–always a good sign in a Japanese restaurant.
The izakaya has many varieties of sakes or if you’re a drunk, there is also a nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) option for $35+++ (90 min) or $55 (150 min).
The nomihodai menu is hilarious: a 2-page RULEBOOK which include ordering one drink at a time, leftover drink charge (extra $50), throwing out drunk customers, vomit charge (extra $100), checking CCTV if there is a dispute on timing.
If you want food and drinks, you may order the izakaya course ($70 90min, $80 150min, $100 150min) consisting of 9 courses and free-flow of alcohol.
We went for a la carte.
The pricing for their raw food is extremely reasonable. I once had two slices of otoro for $30, so this cross-section of bluefin tuna from akami (low fat) to chutoro (mid fat) to otoro (fatty) gives excellent value.
So does the uni at 45g for $29.90. If you buy uni at an online site, one of the cheapest you can get is 100g at $68.
So the pricing here is great and the quality is high. The tuna is especially shiok.
They make one of the best nanban (egg mayo on fried chicken) I have tasted. Usually, I feel that egg mayo and fried chicken don’t mix; are two separate entities. But here, the egg mayo is especially vinegary which serves to undercut the fried chicken. There is also a certain sweetness–honey, maybe?–that ties the chicken to the egg mayo.
The wagyu steak, with fried garlic and green onions, made us go oommpphhh. It’s packed with umami, so rich with oil. Heaven. But remember to take it off the hotplate because the beef goes on cooking.
The pork hotpot comes as spicy, but we told them to hold the spice and make it non-spicy. Didn’t want to spend National Day on the toiletbowl.
It is fantastic. That pork belly is so umami. The chicken ball–homemade, I guess–has a nice texture. Even the tofu is so good, has an intense soy bean taste. The soup, fantastic, very light but so flavourful and addictive.
Although each individual dish is relatively affordable, they add up quickly; we spent $195 for two persons. The food is outstanding and we were content and very happy while eating. Every course is above par and this is indeed one of the best izakayas in Singapore.
2 Craig Road Singapore 089662
tel: +65 6970 0224
M-F 12pm-2.30pm, M-Sat 6pm – 11pm. Closed Sun.
Price / value: 6/10
Decor / ambience: 6/10
You may be interested in…
–Ikki Izakaya, Metropolis @ Buona Vista: Not Authentic Japanese but Hella Great Experience with Live Band
–Kamoshita, Neil Road: Oden Izakaya, Better Than Japan’s Restaurants
–Q-WA Izakaya, Bugis: Casual Izakaya Opens Second Outlet with Japanese Spirits Going For $5
–Kuro Izakaya, Suntec: Ramen by Day, Izakaya by Night Using Kosei Charcoal Grill
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.