Aimed to bring the best of Hokkaido to Singapore, Hokkaido Izakaya has big shoes to fill with so many up and coming Japanese restaurants in Singapore. But, when you see Japanese sararimen filling up the cosy restaurant, you know you’re at the right Izakaya. Certified by the Hokkaido City Council to promote Hokkaido produce in Singapore, Hokkaido Izakaya gets its produce from just four cities, namely Yakumo Town for its amazing seafood, Furano City for Hokkaido’s famed vegetables, cheeses, and wines, Kamishihoro City for beef, where cows outnumber people and Akkeshi Town for oysters. Seasonal ingredients from each of the four towns will be brought in whenever available too. Helmed by Head Chef Katsuyuki Sekiya, who has 14 years of experience of being a Head Chef at various Izakayas in Japan before moving to Singapore, I must say that we are very lucky to have him!
Such a homely, authentic feeling here! The lunch and dinner menus here are different and more items are available for dinner. The lunch menu comprises of their signature soba, handmade in the restaurant using 100% buckwheat flour imported from Hokkaido, and small dons. All below $15! In this post, I’ll be reviewing on their dinner menu… so read on!
Cream Cheese Marinated with Miso ($7) – For starters, we had some small bites which admittedly go well with beer. The cream cheese was dense and the miso lent a saltier taste to it. Really unique but it’s one of those that you either love it or hate it.
Seasonal Scallop Liver – This was yummy and extremely fresh, with no fishy taste to it. Sliced very thinly, you dip it in a special sauce and in it slides down your throat.
Cucumber with Salted Konbu Seaweed ($5) – This was my favourite of the lot for starters. Nothing complicated but it refreshes your palate at the end of a long work day and whets your appetite for a night of Japanese treats.
Seasonal – Hokkaido Wagyu Roast Beef ($25) – Look how generous the portion is! The slices of beef were too indulgent. Lightly seared, it was so tender you may forget the fact that you’re eating beef. I’d highly recommend that you do not miss this (read: seasonal) and they also come in half portions at only $12 too!
Potato Salad ($9) – We’ve had too much of cold potato salads that are run-of-the-mill, don’t you agree? I’m so glad that Hokkaido Izakaya has come up with their rendition of the forgetten favourite, to remind us of our first love. Served warm, the potato salad is made with real Hokkaido Potato and mixed right at the table. Every single ingredient was fresh and crunchy. The egg and the mayo are combined together into one, lathering all the vegetables like a thickening glue. It’s really hard to stop at just one mouthful let me tell you.
Japanese Omelette Mixed with Milk ($10) – The highlight of the night was this really awesome tamago dish. While it’s hot, butter is being spread across the egg before slicing. There’s cottage cheese at the side to go with the tamago. It’s extremely soft, fluffy, moist and fragrant. Ultimate #eggporn. I can finish the whole portion by myself! A MUST-ORDER. Indeed, it’s always the tamago dish that determines the standard of a Japanese izakaya/restaurant.
Potato Croquette ($8) – Made with real Hokkaido Potato, the croquette is packed to the brim with yummy goodness. The batter coating the potato ball was thin and crispy while the complementing potato is light and smooth in texture.
Smoked Salmon Belly ($15) – I found the salmon belly rather dry and I’ve definitely had better ones.
Scallop ($10) – Grilled off its shell, this huge and fresh scallop from Yakumo Town. Each quarter was rather substantial, so you could definitely share this between 2 people. Seasoning was minimal, hence I could taste the real essence and sweetness of the scallop without an overpowering saltiness of the gravy.
Milk Hotpot with Salmon ($18) – Hokkaido is famous for its best quality milk, which I religiously drink packets after packets from the supermarket. Here’s the savoury version of it! The broth seemingly blended well with the ingredients, especially tofu, and it definitely made a difference with the fresh produce too.
Kakiage Tempura Soba ($12) – Soba with a mammoth tempura – the dish which I was looking forward to the whole night! We were probably taking too long to photograph this, but it was no longer crispy when I ate it. 😦 Will want to give this another chance though as the soba was great. Handmade soba will never go wrong.
Steamed Potato with Vanilla Ice Cream ($7) – It’s all about potatoes here as you can see… you can even have potatoes for dessert. Just imagine the ice cream as sour cream and red bean as bacon, but in a dessert form.
Hokkaido Izakaya offers a large array of dishes which are all crowd-pleasers. It was bustling on a Tuesday night, even before its official opening night and I can only imagine how busy it’s gonna get with the reasonable prices and real tasty food they are offering. I’ll be back for more tamago and soba for sure. *peace*
95 Tanjong Pagar Road