We had lunch at Izakaya Nijumaru at Cuppage Plaza recently. It brought back memories of the roaring 80s when the big spenders in Singapore were Japanese tourists and company executives with generous expense accounts.
A Retro Japanese Restaurant at Cuppage Plaza
Activities may be quieter now as compared to the late 80s, but Cuppage Plaza is still known as a hub for Japanese restaurants, some old and some new ones. There were quite a number of restaurants to choose from when we were there recently. We were initially attracted to Izakaya Nijumaru by its very long frontage along the corridor on level 2. When we peeked in, we knew immediately that we should eat there. The old fashioned restaurant looks like an old restaurant in a quiet alleyway in Osaka.
The decor and furniture look like they have been there for decades. The most impressive things were the air conditioners. Big, bulky and thoroughly yellowed with age, they were still functioning.
Izakaya Nijumaru Menu
The Izakaya Nijumaru restaurant menu is an extensive one. There are the usual Japanese staples like tempura, grilled items and sushi. We were there for lunch just before last order so we decided to simply go for some set meal selections and some side dishes. Here are pictures of some sample pages from the menu.
Izakaya Nijumaru Set Meals
We tried two of the set meals available. The Nijumaru bento ($23) bears the name of the restaurant so we assumed that it would be good. It was indeed a comprehensive bento with compartments containing grilled mackerel, mixed tempura, sashimi and braised pork to go with the rice and miso soup. Everything was nice and the outstanding item was the braised pork which tasted like Teochew style pork – ‘loh bak’. It was cooked till extremely soft and the gravy was very rich.
The other bento set was Unajyu Set (picture below). In this case there was less variety with the grilled eel being the main event. It was however quite average and paled in comparison to the Nijumaru bento.
Our other dishes that day were tempura soba ($14.50, picture above) and shishamo, two orders of chicken teriyaki ($10.80 each) and some mixed tempura. We were not very impressed with these dishes and they were very average. The shishamo in particular were the skinniest we have ever seen.
For us, the food was not the main appeal of Izakaya Nijumaru, but the interesting atmosphere of this restaurant in Cuppage Plaza.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
5 Koek Rd, Cuppage Plaza #02-10/12
Mon- Sat: 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-9:30pm
Nearby MRT Station: Somerset
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog