Hararu Izakaya Gives Muslims A Taste Of Izakaya Culture For The First Time In S’pore

Muslims have it a little harder when it comes to finding halal grub here in Singapore. That’s probably why your Muslim mates love crossing the border: so they can dig into halal versions of Tony Romas, Subway, etc., that aren’t certified Halal here on our little red dot.

Lucky for us Muslims, things are changing, with more and more halal options opening up on our shores. From Working Title to Afterwit, Muslims now have a wider array of cuisines to sample from.

The newest addition to this list is Hararu Izakaya. Located at the heart of Kampong Glam, this eatery is Singapore’s 1st Muslim-owned Izakaya.

Hararu Izakaya

[caption id="attachment_26154" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image Credit: Hararu Izakaya[/caption]

Hararu Izakaya offers up different seating arrangements, depending on the size of your party and personal preference. Grab a seat at the regular table-and-chair seating, the counter, or our personal favourite, the tatami area.

What’s Cooking?

While the à la carte menu at Hararu Izakya is only available during dinnertime, Hararu Izakaya offers up affordable donburi sets for the hungry lunch crowd. All priced under $15, dig into bowls of Salmon Teriyaki or Tori Karaage that will delight your taste buds!

[caption id="attachment_26155" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image Credit: Hararu Izakaya[/caption]

If you’re looking to indulge in all the dishes Hararu Izakaya has to offer, head down for dinner. The specialties at this halal Japanese spot are the Charcoal Grill and Kushiyaki Skewers.

Pick from a selection of grilled meats like the Unagi Kabyaki and the Hotate Turkey. The sticks are priced from $3.50 to $14.00 and they come in a set of 2–perfect for sharing!

If you’re looking for something a tad more filling, opt for the Beef Nabemono, a Japanese hotpot filled to the brim with beef and vegetables.

[caption id="attachment_26156" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image Credit: Hararu Izakaya[/caption]

If you’re looking to indulge in some delicious Japanese eats, head to Hararu Izakaya. We recommend making a reservation so you won’t have to fight the dinner crowd to get a table!

Hararu Izakaya
Address: 16 Bussorah Street S199437
Contact no.: 6291 5373
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5pm – 10pm

Also read, DBS Marina Regatta Is Bringing The Beach To The Bay, With lululemon Workouts, Potato Head’s Coconut Bar & More!

(Top Image Credit: Hararu Izakaya)

Wisma Atria Brings Japan To S’pore – Tsukiji Sushi To Wagyu Beef!

It’s not cheap to fly all the way to Japan for a food adventure. Don’t even get us started on the language barrier! But guess what? Japan Food Town will officially open its doors at Wisma Atria, Orchard on the 16th of July 2016! It’s about curating and bringing the best of Japanese food to our sunny shores!

We Singaporeans loveeeeee Japanese food. From takeaway sushi rolls, cook-it-yourself curry rice or the ‘I saved for moths for this piece of Kobe beef’, there’s always an occasion for Japanese food.

Image source: Japan Food Town

Image source: Japan Food Town

But how about authentic Japanese food? How many of us actually had proper artisanal sushi (not machine pressed rice with corn and mayonnaise)?

What is Japan Food Town?

[caption id="attachment_10981" align="alignnone" width="760"]Image source: Mothership Image source: Image source: Straits Times Image source: Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

Known for their deep fried pork cutlet (specifically Japanese black-haired pork, also known as kurobuta) served with homemade sauce, you sure can count on Anzu for your Katsu cravings. Everything is prepared from fresh Kyushu produce. They even grow the vegetables themselves!

2. Onigiri @ Bonta Bonta

[caption id="attachment_10966" align="alignnone" width="800"]Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

Do not underestimate the Rice Balls (onigiri) at Bonta Bonta. Every grain of rice is carefully selected by a ‘Rice Sommelier’ and processed to the highest standards to qualify as Kinmemai – low-calorie brown rice with high nutritional value. Certainly a humble dish prepared with lots of effort and love.

3. Sake @ Dassai Bar

[caption id="attachment_10967" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image source: Gastrology Image source: Image source: Hokkaido Izakaya Image source: Hokkaido Izakaya[/caption]

Hokkaido’s unique geographical location means access to the best flavours of both worlds – the sea and the land. You’ve heard people rave about their seafood (Hokkaido crab!!) and soba from the Tanjong Pagar branch. How about trying it for yourself at Japan Food Town?

5. Handmade Udon @ Inaniwa Yosuke

[caption id="attachment_10972" align="alignnone" width="1181"]Image source: r.gnavi Image source: Image source: shomao.h Image source: shomao.h[/caption]

Ramen Ramen Ramen! Need we say more?? We’d love to let the broth do the talking but what makes Machida Shoten really special is their “Iekei” concept, which translates to noodles that are cooked to the diner’s specified softness or hardness. Personalised Ramen, bring it on!

7. 2 Michelin Star Hotpot @ Nabe Seizan

[caption id="attachment_10971" align="alignnone" width="567"]Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

Feeling under the weather? Maybe a 2 Michelin Star hotpot (nabe) will pick you up. Helmed by Tokyo-born chef, Haruhiko Yamamoto, Seizan strives to bring out the true flavours of each ingredient rather than rely on sauces. Be blown away by this nabe.

8. Premium Teppanyaki & Wagyu @ Osaka Kitchen

[caption id="attachment_10973" align="alignnone" width="780"]Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

Ever wonder what a ‘premium Teppanyaki’ experience is like? Just head to Osaka Kitchen for the finest wagyu on hot stove. While you’re at it, order Okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) and Yakisoba (fried noodle) for a true blue Kansai dining experience.

9. Fried Chicken @ Rang Mang Shokudo

[caption id="attachment_10974" align="alignnone" width="932"]Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

This isn’t just ANY fried chicken. Tokyo’s Rang Mang Shokudo’s fried chicken is marinated in buttermilk for 6 hours. It is then double fried in low heat to bring out the umami, that desirable Japanese flavour. Pair it with their signature frozen lemon cocktail…that’s definitely finger licking good!

10. Mackerel @ Sabar

[caption id="attachment_10975" align="alignnone" width="780"]Image source: Straits Times Image source: Image source: Japan luxury guide Image source: Japan luxury guide[/caption]

Started in 1997, this eatery operated on a simple motto – “good quality food with reasonable price”. Try their beef and vegetable buffet Shabu Shabu or Sukiyaki and you’ll understand the true definition of amazing quality food and reasonable price.

12. Sushi Takewaka from Tsukiji Market

[caption id="attachment_10977" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Image source: SG Now Image source: Originally from Tsukiji (the super famous fish market), this 28 years old Edo style sushi place only uses good quality fish and seafood, prepared by their skilful chef.

13. Tempura Tsukiji Tenka

[caption id="attachment_10978" align="alignnone" width="700"]
Image source: Women's Weekly Image source: Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

At Yakiniku Heijyoen, their beef is treated like fine wine – only top quality black haired wagyu beef from Japan is used. Before the beef even sees the kitchen, it is first aged for tenderness to bring out a deeper concentration of beef taste. Beef lovers, this is a treat you don’t wanna miss.

15. Yomoda Soba

[caption id="attachment_10980" align="alignnone" width="960"]Image source: Japan Food Town Image source: Japan Food Town[/caption]

“Yomoda” means many things – carefree, fun, easy going, but most of all, it’s a word used for friends to see things on the lighter side of life. Boasting freshly made soba served with “Yomoda” hospitality at a surprisingly affordable price, this is the kind of place you’d want to visit with your family and friends.

With such a wide range of authentic Japanese food to choose from, which eatery would you like to try out first? You can bet that we’ll be heading down with friends & family. Let’s pen this new food town in our food bucket list!

Japan Food Town
Official opening date: 16 July 2016
Location: 4th Floor, Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 435 Orchard Rd, 238877
Operating Hours: 11am-11pm daily
Website: Japan Food Town

Header image source: Pexels

For more Japanese food in Singapore, click here.
Also, read A Rundown Of What’s Cooking At Food Opera – 8 Stalls You Must Check Out!

Chill Like The Japanese! 6 Izakayas To Wind Down Your Work Week

Looking to unwind over a large variety of sakes or whiskies while indulging in some tapas, yakitori or some good Japanese food? With Izakayas growing in popularity as a spot for after-work drinks and chill out, we have hunted down the best bars and restaurants for your top-notch sake, cocktails and Japanese-inspired bar bites.

Pop by our list of recommended hidden izakayas in Singapore, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the relaxing, chill-out vibes while you hit the bottles.

1. Hokkaido Izakaya

[caption id="attachment_9645" align="alignnone" width="1000"]hokkaido izakaya Image credit: 95 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088516
65 6221 7118
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm; 6pm-12am, Sun/PH 11.30am-2.30pm; 6pm-10.30pm

2. Bar Ippudo

[caption id="attachment_9626" align="alignnone" width="851"]
Bar Ippudo Image credit: Bar Ippudo Facebook Page[/caption]

This recently opened bar by the famed Ippudo ramen brand specialises in over 80 Japanese sake labels. These sake labels are from more than 20 sake breweries from Japan. With such a large variety, Bar Ippudo caters to both retail and dine-in customers. With tons of Japanese bar bites to everyone’s favourite Hakata-style ramen, you’ll always have something to pair with your sakes.

This minimalist 12-seater bar is the place to go if you’re looking for a cosy yet intimate sake dining experience.

9 Bras Basah Road, RendezVous Hotel Gallery, #02-02A, Singapore 189559
65 6235 2547
Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu 11.30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-11pm

3. Bam! Tapas-Sake Bar

[caption id="attachment_9628" align="alignnone" width="626"]
Bam! Tapas-sake bar Image credit: 38 Tras St, Singapore 078977
65 6235 2547
Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu 11.30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-11pm

4. JINzakaya

[caption id="attachment_9659" align="alignnone" width="1024"]
JINzakaya Image credit: JINzakaya Facebook page[/caption]

Tucked at a backstreet off Rangoon Road beside its sister concept restaurant Sushi Jin, lies the new retro-chic JINzakaya. JINzakaya is a small quaint restaurant refurnished as an old Tokyo train station with Japanese commercials playing in the background. The restaurant displays retro posters on dark walls and uses rustic wooden furniture. Choose to dine at the main dining area or simply sit at the counter seat to watch chefs prepare your food.

JINzakaya offers a wide range of yakimono (grilled items), bar bites, and noodles in its cosy small restaurant. For drinks to go along, try their Shichi Hon Yari Junmai Ginjo Tamasakae for a refreshing and slightly tangy taste. If you appreciate a good Japanese meal with a dose of sake, this intimate restaurant is highly recommend! Do book before coming as space at JINzakaya is limited.

1 Farrer Park Station Road, #01-08/10 Owen Link, Singapore 217562
65 62443 1173
Opening Hours: 
Daily 12pm-3pm; 7pm-11pm

5. Neon Pigeon

[caption id="attachment_9643" align="alignnone" width="700"]
neon pigeon Image credit: chope[/caption]

Located at the hip enclave of Keong Saik Road lies Neon Pigeon. Serving up Japanese small plates to go along with its lists of craft sakes and other liqueurs, this restaurant is fit for both after-work drinks and intimate dates. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere. Its interior has a funky vibe as its decor is a mix of industrial concrete and wood. Huge graffiti murals adorn the walls.

Their artistic cocktails are to die for. Try their house signature “Throw a Kyuri-ken” which is a refreshing mix of vodka tossed with cucumber. If you prefer sticking to sake, the bar’s special in-house junmai daiginjo sake features a lighter taste that pairs well with food. With a huge crowd flocking to this well-loved restaurant, do make a reservation to secure the best seats! What’s more, what we love about Neon Pigeon is their no-service-charge policy!

1 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089109
65 6222 3623
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 6pm-12am, Closed on Sun

6. Izakaya 95

[caption id="attachment_9660" align="alignnone" width="650"]
izakaya95 Image credit: danielfooddiary[/caption]

Looking for a no-frills, relaxing place to enjoy good Japanese dishes with perfectly matched Japanese beers, whiskies, sakes and shochus? This hidden gem at Punggol settlement has it all! At Izakaya 95, wind down to a relaxing seafront view and enjoy bar food and traditional charcoal grill dishes paired with premium beers and a wide selection of alcohol. Try their Hakurakusei Tokubetsu Junmai Sake for a smooth, clean and crisp light body with unami.

Though this location is quite inaccessible, it is certainly well-worth the trip! Do note that driving to Izakaya 95 would be the best way to get there.

Izakaya 95
3 Punggol Point Road, #02-05 The Punggol Settlement
65 6384 1132
Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu 5pm-12am, Fri/PH eve 5pm-1am, Sat 1.30pm-1am, Sun/PH 12.30am-12am

There’s so much more to look forward to after a hard day of work. Call your friends, book a reservation at one of these spots and unwind to great food and drinks!

(Header Image by JINzakaya Facebook Page, edited by writer)

Also read: Wind Down Your Week – 6 Whisky Bars All Whisky Lovers Must Visit