Izakayas are traditionally gastropubs that people frequent especially after work. If you are ever in need of a place to drink and more importantly, to enjoy quality food, you will definitely have to check out ShuKuu Izakaya which is located along Stanley Street. For those of us who are not that great with where things are generally, it is pretty close to Telok Ayer MRT Station and where PS.Cafe along Ann Siang Road is.
While my drinking habits are not exactly a secret, I do enjoy good bar bites that go with drinks - I do not usually consider Izakayas as they are generally a lot louder and rowdier but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and the authenticity of atmosphere at ShuKuu Izakaya. Finding this place is not difficult (even if you have a poor sense of direction) - just open Google maps when you get out of the Telok Ayer MRT Station and you will quickly find yourself here in five minutes or less.
As much as possible, opt for a table inside the restaurant. Sure you may leave the restaurant smelling like a yakitori but hey, you are here for a good time and that should not deter you from enjoying the atmosphere - I would highly recommend a table reservation as the restaurant does get extremely crowded especially on a Friday evening.
If you love your drinks, you will be spoilt for choice here at ShuKuu Izakaya. Not only do they stock up a wide selection of sake (including competition grade ones at a premium), you will also find rare Japanese whiskeys and other beverages here. The izakaya has been around for slightly over a year now and it has established a strong reputation for serving up good food and drinks at relatively affordable prices.
Do not be put off by some of the items in the menu - they may sound a little intimidating but these are usually the ones that will surprise you. One of my favourite bar snacks for that evening was this serving of Reba Shoyuzuke (S$6++) which essentially is chicken liver, was fragrant, slightly oily (which helps you hold your alcohol better) and definitely satisfying to eat.
Another starter to watch out for is the Gyu Ponzu which is a lightly-seared and thinly-sliced beef that is cooked and marinated in a sweet ponzu sauce. The serving sizes are not huge so make sure you order enough but they are certainly worth every penny here.
Other notable dishes that I sampled during my dinner at ShuKuu Izakaya include (from the top):
- Aburi Shimesaba - Seasoned and aged in vinegar overnight, the Aburi Shimesaba is a mackerel that as been cured using the acidity of the vinegar before being partially grilled on top (also known as aburi) with a flame, moments before being served to the table.
- Kani Gratin – A delicious crab gratin that is topped with mentaiko before serving in the shell.
- Tori Kara-Age – A popular Japanese snack of deep-fried chicken bites - ShuKuu Izayaka uses a little bit of cheese for that extra punch but what really impressed me was how moist and succulent the chicken was.
- Surume Ika – Grilled Surume squid that is smokey and fragrant but otherwise nothing else worth getting too excited about.
- Assorted Oden - A comforting bowl of Japanese oden that is just brimming with dashi flavours - perfect for that rainy evening out.
- Parmesan Chizu Chips - Essentially paper-thin parmesan crisps that is served with cherry tomatoes and honey on the side.
If you are looking for something extremely comforting, you will not go wrong with the Akita prefecture’s specialty, the Hot Inaniwa Udon from ShuKuu Izakaya. This thin udon in konbu tsuyu soup base is light and refreshing but more importantly, that chunky slice of daikon (Japanese radish) is just brimming with flavours.
Honestly, ShuKuu Izakaya has one of the best kushiyakis that I have ever tasted in Singapore - this is hands down better than some speakeasy gourmet yakitori place that charges a huge premium. A set of charcoal-grilled skewers is priced at just S$23.50++ for an assorted selection of chicken meatball, chicken gizzard, chicken wing, Iberico pork Collar as well as bacon tomato. Seriously, give me a pint of Kirin and a couple of these and you will have yourself a very happy man by the end of the night.
This was an invited Media Tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.
8 Stanley St, Singapore 068727
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 1130AM to 230PM | 530PM to 11PM Sat: 6PM to 1030PM