Thursday, June 18, 2015
Ippin Cafe Bar @ Mohamed Sultan Road
Nestled in a corner on Mohamed Sultan Road, the relatively young Ippin Cafe Bar has ambition to be a homely restaurant and bar. Serving up classic Japanese home-style dishes, carrying an incredulous selection of sakes and beers and tons of products imported from Japan, patrons are seriously in for a treat here!
We were treated to their Menu Highlights, which were hearty and comforting. When you mention Japanese food in Singapore, most people would gravitate towards the likes of sashimi and sushi. However, at Ippin, unfamiliar native Japanese home-styled food is whats on the menu.
Grilled Oysters & Veggies in Ponzu butter Sauce -$20
The oysters were braised in a Ponzu (Yuzu Vinegar) sauce which helped balance out the richness of the oysters to give it a pleasant, bright and clean-tasting finish.
Yakisoba Set - $12
Albeit looking like a plate of casually fried noodles, the yakisoba actually surprised us with how tasty it was. Comfort food at its best
Oyakudon Set - $15
The oyakudon set was briming with chicken and egg atop a bed of rice. The distinctive Dashi taste from the stock used to flavour the dish really came through
Deep Fried Oyster Set - $24
This was my favourite of the lot. The batter used to coat the oysters was thin and the oysters were plump so there was really no faulting the execution of the dish. The oysters were served with a wasabi mayonnaise which uses natural wasabi! It was really mild, sort of like a tartare sauce, though
All sets are served with Hojicha Pudding, which was pretty delightful and smooth. A larger serving would be very much welcomed!
There were 4 craft beers on offer : Kanazawa Koshihkari, Kanazawa Pale Ale, Kanazawa Dark Ale and Granagri. Being quite the picky beer person, I dislike beers which are too hoppy as they might leave a slight bitterness on your palate.
The Koshikari was recommended to kickstart the night with. This was almost way too light for me but recommended for the ladies who don't usually drink beer. The Granagri is wheat beer, think the likes of your Erdinger, so it was quite smooth and fruity! My favourite, however, was the Dark Ale which was somewhat similar to Guinness but not as bitter.
Ippin really stands out in its selection of alcoholic beverages. They have more than 30 types of sake available!
Sake Tasting ($15) allows you to try out 3 kinds of sake with the help of their friendly Sake Sommelier! Personally, I love their selection. There's something magical about sake in these cypress wood cups. It makes the sake more fragrant and less bitter. I don't know how and why but it's pretty damn amazing. That bottle of Kirai Junmai is really good! It was floral and fruity, yet strong enough to give you that kick! I really detest sake but this was easy on the palate and doesn't leave a burning sensation. And that bottle only costs $34!
There is also a yuzu sake which was AMAZING and you must must must try it! Prices for sake bottles are at least a good 20-30% lower than what you can get out there. Most of the sakes here are directly imported by Ippin and are not available elsewhere. Do look for Alvin when you're there. Alvin's an incredibly friendly sommelier and he really recommended the good stuff which our tastebuds more than agreed with.
The highlight of the alcohol tasting was the Tsutsumi, coming in at a good two-hundred plus per bottle. Production is extremely limited every year. This was the best and strongest out of the lot and tasted a lot like whisky, albeit an extremely smooth and strong one.
In my opinion, Ippin really stands out for the friendliness of its staff and range of alcoholic beverages. There's free WiFi and prices are nett. The peaceful-ness of its own little corner, juxtaposed with the boisterous Clarke Quay area, is very appealing, especially on days where you just want an unpretentious place to relax in.
*This was a media preview
18 Mohamed Sultan Road
Monday - Saturday : 11am - 11pm