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Friday, June 26, 2015

Food Tasting: IPPIN Cafe bar @ Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore

Nestled along the stretch of Mohamed Sultan Road, IPPIN cafe bar serves unpretentious home-cooked Japanese meals along with imported teas and alcoholic drinks. The interior is cozy and home-styled with a touch of industrial design and simplicity, and even house a beautiful sake bar and kitchen. Besides meals, IPPIN is also a small, atas Japanese mama-shop, which you can get your Japanese essentials at one place. 

This cafe bar was first introduced to Singapore by Ayumi Fujishiro with the intentions of helping her father set up IPPIN in October 2014. We had a short chat with the lady herself, and was astonished to find that she actually speaks Singlish despite the short exposure. Uh uh siol, not bad sia.

IPPIN is known for its "better than mom's home-cooked food". It is not surprising, given that the kitchen is helmed by Naomi, a lovely Japanese lady who not only cooks, but teaches the art of crafting Japanese delicacies globally. Prior to this, Naomi was actually teaching in Hong Kong for four years!

Talking about food, commercial Japanese food (such as maki, rolls and sushi) are not their main focus. For starters, try out their Yakisoba set (S$12 nett) - home-styled essential which derives from the Chiba Prefecture. The noodles are stir-fried with savoury sauce, sliced meat and veggies - a light, yet well-balanced comfort food.

To be honest, who in the right mind wouldn't like the classic Oyakudon set (S$15 nett). This is like the preferred choice to break your virginity in trying Japanese food. IPPIN's secret lies with their stock (dashi), which they boil it together with the chicken to make it tender and juicy, and finally topped it up with a slightly runny egg. Oiiiishiiiii neeeee.

Grilled Oyster and Veggies (S$15 nett) is the perfect choice for winter, or rainy days in Singapore. The Hiroshima-imported oysters are thoroughly cleaned, and subsequently grilled in ponzu (yuzu vinegar) butter sauce. It comes with miso soup, Nikujaga pork and potato stew, salad and hojicha pudding.

If you love your oysters fried, have a go at their Deep Fried Oyster Set (S$24 nett). On first sight, we thought they were chicken wings, because their oysters were so plump and lightly battered till they're crisped on the outside. This is highly recommended. Total mouth-gasm.

What is a Japanese meal without sake and beer? Despite being in the early afternoon, we tried their Kanazawa Hyakumangoku dark ale (below; S$9, 5.5% alcohol), a Guinness stout-equavalent, but has a lighter taste. It has a rich roasty aroma, with a hint of smokey and fruity aftertaste. I am not a person who usually drinks stout, however this is light enough for me to handle. The more popular choice with ladies is the Granagri (S$9, 5% alcohol) - a wheat beer with a sweet, fruity aroma accompanied with a creamy texture.

If you prefer something stronger, they serve imported sakes (sake tasting for $15), such as Kirai Junmai (15% alcohol) and Tokugawaw Ieyasu Daiginjo (17% alcohol). We tried the latter and were fascinated that they actually serve it in a shot glass until it overflows into the cypress bowl. According to the friendly sommelier, the cypress wood would infuse a faint fragrance to the sake, making it even more enjoyable than drinking from the cup itself. He added that it is best to drink it at approximately 16 to 17 degrees Celsius (about 2 minutes after it is served) for it to warm up to its optimal flavour. Wah biang, chim stuff sia.

Besides oysters, Rattsu nuts (S$8 per cup) are a perfect complement to the alcohols. They come in three different flavours: coffee, strawberry and matcha. Imagine pocky sticks, just that it's peanuts rather than sticks. Twice the crunch.

Here, we have da lady boss, Ayumi preparing some tea for us, by vigorously shaking till the last drop.

All in all, IPPIN provides unpretentious home-cooked meals at affordable prices. This place is definitely suitable for a casual meet up with your friends, while enjoying some comfort food and beer. Once again, we would like to thank IPPIN, Ayumi, Naomi, and Hazel for the invitation and for hosting us. We will definitely be back for the homely meals someday.

極品 Ippin Cafe Bar

Tel : +65 6733 4794

Opening Hours
 11am to 11pm
Closed on Sundays

18 #01-01 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238967