Having opened it’s doors in October last year, 大 Big Sake Bar has been gaining traction for bringing in a wide variety of curated sakes to the restaurant. Sake connoisseurs who patronise this Izakaya-style bar will certainly be pleased to find that they carry at least 28 different varieties on hand.
Aptly named, their trademark “大” sign represents everything they stand for, which is being big on food, service and most importantly sake.
Outwardly, Big might seem like just another Japanese bar but once you step foot into the space, you will be pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and homey the environment is. Unlike the usual watering holes that are packed to the brim and filled with noisy chatter, this quaint bar boasts a tranquil ambience set amidst some very tasteful decor.
Meticulously prepared by resident Chef Andy, all the dishes served here are guaranteed to whet your appetites. And, the best part is, they go extremely well with whatever sake you might choose to have that night.
For starters, we had the 5 Kind Sashimi ($26) platter that is beautifully plated with fresh cuts including salmon, maguro, hamachi, mekajiki and tamago. Seasonal cuts such as, the lightly seared Kodai (+$15) are also available as an add-on.
Each variety of sashimi came in thick slabs, and when dipped in shoyu sauce, it was simply delectable.
Next, we had the Aburi Hotate ($14), which was so delicious that we polished it off within seconds. Seared to perfection, the scallops are laid out on a ceramic plate and drizzled over with a generous amount of mentaiko sauce that served to enhance the taste even further.
If you’re in need of something more substantial, opt for the Dragon Roll ($25). This sushi dish features seared salmon and fried ebi rolled in seaweed flakes and doused in mayonnaise dressing.
You can really tell that each piece is hand-crafted with impeccable care based on the presentation alone.
We couldn’t get enough of the Wagyu Beef ($50) but then again, who can? 100g worth of beef can go by very quickly but we certainly savoured every slice as we dipped them in the ponzu sauce that came with it.
The citrus-based sauce was a must-have as it provided a tartness that really added a burst of flavour to the Wagyu.
I’m sure most of us are used to having our udon in broth form, but trust me when I say that the Truffle Udon ($20) is best when served as is. Sporting cold Inaniwa Udon noodles that are relatively thinner and easy-to-slurp, we immediately caught a whiff of the truffle as soon as the dish was set down on the table.
It’s also worth mentioning that the ikura added on top also added a nice burst of umami.
As recommended by the bar owners, we sampled three different sakes: Jyoppari ($180 for 720ml), Kitaya Kansansui ($88 for 720ml) and Nabeshima “Pink Label” ($188 for 720ml). Do note that the sakes are only sold by the bottle.
Being a Ginjyo Sake, the Jyoppari had a well-rounded taste with a subtle richness from the robust flavour of the rice. Although it was the driest out of the three, it had a sweet undertone to it that also made it the most flavourful.
Translating to “cold mountain water”, the Kitaya Kansansui from Junmai Dai-Ginjyo was extremely mellow tasting, making it the easiest to down. It was also the sweetest and boasted some delicately aromatic floral notes, giving it a fleeting finish.
If you can’t decide on which Sake to pick, the friendly staff will gladly recommend the bottle that is most suited to your taste, giving you three different labels to try from.
Upon sampling all three, we unanimously settled for the Nabeshima “Pink Label”, which had a cleaner flavour profile, courtesy of it’s light body and subtle aroma.
For those who can’t seem to find a peaceful bar to have after-work drinks at, we would highly recommend giving 大 Big Sake Bar a go. Not only do they carry a wide range of upmarket sakes that are sourced out of Singapore, but they also serve quality Izakaya dishes that are guaranteed to satisfy your late night hunger pangs.
After downing a few shots of sake and interacting with the friendly servers in the ambient setting, I’m sure Big will quickly become one of your go-to bars to frequent for drinking sessions.
Expected Damage: $14 – $188 per table