With a signature cocktail named Issho Champion, perhaps issho izakaya is declaring that it intends to be a winning F&B outlet in the new Singapore Sports Hub. Having visited the restaurant located in Kallang Wave, we think that issho izakaya deserves a place on the podium.
True to the traditional izakaya, being a casual Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food, there is great emphasis on drinks in issho izakaya. Sake barrels are stacked at the main entrance of the restaurant and beyond the glass door is a cooler displaying a variety of sake, shochu, whiskey and other alcoholic beverages. There is an extensive drink list. Mocktails and cocktails have names with a sports theme such as Black Belt, Kick A Goal, Chariot Race and, of course, Issho Champion.
There is an outdoor seating area which is good for diners who want to enjoy a view of the Kallang Basin in the evenings. The interior has a light and airy Japanese modern design. There are private dining areas where you sit on tatami mats.
Executive Chef Takayuki Fukushima, from Saitama Prefecture, Japan, presents an extensive menu. Japanese charcoal grilled skewers, Agemono, Nimono, Nabe, Tempura, Sushi, Sashimi items and interesting desserts are all available. Signature dishes include Buta Kakuni – stewed marinated belly pork (S$12.50), issho don ($50) and Tomato Buta Maki kushiyaki – cherry tomatoes wrapped in sliced grilled pork belly (S$7.00 for 2 skewers). In addition, 8 selection of set lunches are offered on weekdays.
We ordered a Chef’s Tapas Trio ($9) to start. For the set lunch we selected the Saba Set ($11.80) and the issho Ramen Set ($13.80) plus a Chawanmushi ($2.90) as an add on.
The Tapas Trio was an interesting platter of Sashimi bits with a tangy soy sauce dressing. It was a refreshing and delicious starter. The silky smooth Chawanmushi was served hot and was very good.
The Saba Set came with miso soup, rice and salad. The mackerel was very fresh and nicely grilled. The Ramen Set included salmon sashimi which was fresh and delectable. The ramen was fine but not of the standard set by specialty ramen restaurants. We should have anticipated that of the ramen before ordering but the picture of tempting soft boiled eggs clouded our judgment. The next time we must remember to try their pork items.
If we were slightly disappointed with the ramen, that was soon forgotten when we were served sesame ice cream. The dessert, part of the set lunch, came beautifully presented topped with cream and strawberry halves. The house-made black sesame ice cream has a nutty flavour. Bits of crushed sesame added an interesting texture to the delicious ice cream.
On the whole, we had a very enjoyable lunch. We were told that the recently opened izakaya would get crowded in the evenings and we were not surprised. Among the food and beverages outlets in Kallang Wave, we would say issho izakaya is one of the best options. Comprehensive menu, extensive drinks list, friendly and attentive staff plus good food at reasonable prices – we believe that is a winning formula.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Average price per person for lunch : $21
1 Stadium Place #01-13/K5
Kallang Wave @ Sports Hub
Tel: 6702 4708
Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Nearby Stations: Stadium
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog