While we have an abundance of yakitori bars in Singapore, one serving Szechuan flavoured skewers is certainly a first. Brought to you by the same team behind Sum Yi Tai, Chikin as the name suggests, grills any sort of chicken part you could possibly crave for.
Paired with a plethora of cocktail infusions and Japanese bar bites, these delightful sticks are guaranteed to satisfy lovers of all things that come with a spicy kick.
Set within a three-storey shophouse in the Bukit Pasoh district, the bar might have an unassuming exterior but its interior is filled with imagery of Japanese pop-culture motifs plastered across the walls. In fact, every floor is decked out with vibrant graphics and neon lights strategically installed to set the mood in the lounge area.
A bulk of their menu consists of yakitori sticks which includes everything from Chicken Thigh ($3), Chicken Skin ($3), Mid Joint Wing ($4), Chicken Meatballs ($4.50) alongside innards like Chicken Gizzard ($3), Chicken Tail ($3) and even Chicken Cartilage ($4).
Instead of the commonly used Japanese tare sauce, these skewers are all dusted over with Szechuan spices before being grilled to perfection. If you can’t take spice all that well, don’t fret because you can always request for the less spicy alternatives!
While these can be ordered as a la carte items, I’d advise those coming in big groups to get the recommended Big Platters for sharing — you can either get 10 sticks at $30 for 15 at $40.
Of course, there are plenty of other classic Japanese bites available too. If you can’t get enough of that Szechuan goodness, go for the Chilled Japanese Sea Snails ($14) that’s doused in a saucier version of the same spices. The chewy snails are refreshing as is and were enough to get me hooked.
There was a general consensus around the table that the “Asahi” Clams In Spicy Garlic Butter Dashi ($14) were absolutely addictive. They were certainly generous with the amount of Asahi in the broth because the taste of the alcohol was super distinctive and paired perfectly with the brininess of the succulent clams.
The Chikin Karaage ($9) is always a great bar bite because it’s simple yet satisfying at the same time. Drizzle some lemon over and sink the fried chicken in the dipping sauce and you really can’t go wrong with this side dish.
For something more substantial, try the Unagi Garlic Fried Rice ($12) with fish roe garnished on top. I must say that the fried rice was so flavourful that it could’ve worked just as well as a stand-alone dish. But of course, the unagi slices and fish roe contributed to the umami factor as well.
The Plentiful Ikura Garlic Rice ($12) is another rice bowl you can get if you’re in need of even more carbs. While this is literally just fried rice with tobiko on top, this was just as indulgent as the previous bowl and was packed with even more bursts of umami.
Dining at a Japanese bar means enjoying the different sake renditions that the bartender concocts, so before you leave be sure to get a drink or two! If you’re a fan of the sweeter cocktails, the Sake Sangria ($19 or $15 during happy hour) would be perfect for you.
A blend of white liquors like sake and gin, this infusion comes with the ultimate fruity combination with everything from pineapple and honeydew to grapes, lemon and watermelon.
Another refreshing cocktail to get would be the Boba Kori ($19 or $15 during happy hour), which is essentially named after Japanese bubble tea. Blended with ice, this gin slushie is filled with fresh fruits, including apple, orange and pomegranate as well as some lime peels and lemons for a citrusy flavour.
If you’re looking for another bar to patronise when scouring for after-work drinks, look no further because Chikin would be a great place to chill out at.
From the delicious array of yakitori skewers to comforting small plates and carefully curated cocktails from an award-winning bartender, this hip joint has certainly got everything you could possibly need for the perfect evening.
Expected Damage: $30++ per pax