極品 Ippin Cafe Bar at Mohamed Sultan Road is a Japanese store which serves good Japanese comfort food, tea, beer and more; and they sell the ingredients used for the preparation of their food. Going to this quaint little store may be the next best thing to being in Japan yourself. You can drink top quality sencha tea served by Japanese staff, enjoy exotic sake, browse Japanese magazines and eavesdrop on the conversations of Japanese patrons. You can even learn Japanese cooking there. The charming place also sells imported Japanese foodstuff, candies, tableware, bed linen, crafts and even cosmetics.
The decor is a mix of contemporary industrial style with bare concrete floors and Japanese modern minimalism. It has a causal and homely feel. There are rows of display shelves with an interesting mix of merchandise. There is an outdoor area which on a cool evening should be a great space for happy hour and merry-making.
Ippin’s menu is simple and fairly limited. They have appetizers and snack items like smoked oysters, fish with salted rice bran paste, salted squid, vegetables stick with spicy roe dip, French fries with yuzu salt and rice with sour plum flake in hot water – all at $5 per item. There are eight set meals on the menu priced from $12 to $24. There are also special set meals of the day. The sets come with free rice refills. All the prices are net and no additional service charge or GST is added to the bill.
We ordered the Oyakodon Set ($15), Rice Ramen Noodle Set ($15) and Grilled Oysters & Veggie in Ponzu & Butter Sauce Set ($20). The food was served piping hot within about 15 minutes. Iced water was served and topped up without asking while we waited for our food.
The Oyakodon Set came with a bowl of fresh salad. Four bottles of salad dressing – tomato, ponzu vinegar, yuzu salt and wasabi – were brought to the table for us to select. You can mix them to create a personalised concoction. We liked the ponzu vinegar dressing.
The Oyakodon (chicken and egg on rice) was much wetter than we had been used to but it was quite delicious. The secret of the dish is apparently in the Dashi stock (a Japanese seafood stock) used to boil the chicken.
The Ramen Set came with a nicely done egg and generous amount of pork slices. The noodles were cooked just right to retain a firm agreeable texture and the soup was full of flavours. It was a slurping good bowl of noodles.
At $20, the Grilled Oysters & Veggie in Ponzu & Butter Sauce Set was really good value set. Besides salad and rice, there were side dishes of pork stewed in sweet soy sauce and rich savoury miso soup. Various rice seasonings were offered for us to add to the rice. The Hiroshima oysters cooked in the citrus based ponzu and butter sauce had a clean taste with subtle sweetness. The slight tartness of the sauce complemented the oysters very well. The side dishes were good too.
We enjoyed our lunch at Ippin Cafe Bar. It has a pleasant welcoming space with a casual and cosy atmosphere. The staff were friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The food was good and the prices were very reasonable. It should also be a great spot to enjoy a cup of sencha in the afternoon or sake in the evening. A place with an interesting offering of beer and sake and where you can get good unpretentious Japanese meals – Ippin Cafe Bar is a place we can go to again and again.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
極品 Ippin Cafe Bar
18 #01-01 Mohamed Sultan Road
Tel : +65 6733 4794
Opening Hours : 11am to 11pm
Closed on Sundays