Had good experiences with Jap F&B outlets in recent times. Here’s three of them…
JiBiru Japanese Craft Beer Bar – Been wanting to try this Japanese bar at 313 Somerset. It claims to be the first bar to totally serve pure Japanese brews and there certainly seem to be a lot judging by their thick beer menu which boasts a wide selection of brews of all kinds (with funny names) including the well-known Sapporo and a variety of sakes. It’s Friday evening and I just wanted a cold beer but couldn’t decide between the Hitachino Nest White Ale or Pale Ale. The helpful Eurasian waitress solved my problem in seconds – she offered me tester shots of both beers and soon I was sipping them from two very cute shot glasses. Both were good but the White Ale was smoother and lighter so I got me a pint of that at the Happy Hours price of $8 (UP: $10). Happy Hours here is whole day till 8pm, even cheaper before 6pm. As beer food. I ordered a plate of deep fried small prawns which were tasty but alas isn’t super crispy enough that you could just crunch, chew and swallow them. Some of the shell was hard to swallow! Maybe I should have tried a couple of their yakitori instead (only from 6pm). Never mind, there’s always next time!
Umisushi – This is a quick dining-cum-takeaway chain that you will usually find at MRT stations. Whenever I just want a quick bite to kill the hunger pangs, I will eat at their Holland Village MRT outlet, even though there’s probably better Japanese offerings such as Sushi Tei above ground. Their bento sets and udons are passable, and sushi, sashimi and salads are decent, and most of all, they cost less than what you would pay at sushi conveyor belt chains. The cool thing about it is on days when they come out with gems like the item above – Grilled Salmon Cheeks for just $5.70! The pieces were so tenderly grilled that the scales part were crispy to eat while the flesh, though less than your typical fillet, was very tasty. Just wish their usual crumpy sushi rice was better though. Oh well, still good to have exotic choices here every now and then!
Keyaki Japanese Restaurant – Located at the Pan Pacific, this classic Japanese restaurant been around as long as the hotel, some 25 years me thinks. And seriously, with hundreds of Jap outlets popping up every now and then, people who love Japanese cuisine swear Keyaki never lost their standard. Was recently there for a business lunch and I’m glad to say that is still so true. From the service to the food presentation, to the quality of the ingredients, everything was absolutely top-notch. My bento set, priced at $60++ came with a pickle starter, a sashimi platter and a boxed set filled with goodies – tempura, fried fish with sliced garnishings, tasty vegetables in sweet sauce, and a selection of fruity-flavoured condiments. Oh there was also a fruit platter, before we round off the meal with a delicious cup of cappuccino. It was truly an enjoyable experience and just glad that there are still places like Keyaki where quality of food can still be depended on. Yokatta!