Last Updated: June 20, 2017
Touted as the first ever Muslim-owned Izakaya to open up in Singapore, Hararu Izakaya is a Japanese restaurant that specialises in charcoal-grilled items and donburi sets.
Located along Bussorah Street, this is probably the only Izakaya bar that has broken out of the mould and doesn’t serve pork items or alcoholic beverages, for that matter.
The restaurant boasts a traditional Japanese-style interior set amidst a family-oriented atmosphere where diners can feel at home in.
Housed in a two-storey shophouse, the eatery’s second floor is even beautifully decked out in wall murals and a traditional Tatami dining set-up.
To start off, we had the Zaru Soba ($8) that came in an adequately portioned out size. While this was nothing out of the ordinary, the soba noodles were indeed freshly chilled and topped with a good amount of nori flakes. My only gripe with this was that the soba sauce tasted a bit too dilute for my liking.
Probably one of my favourites from the evening, the Surume Ika ($16) definitely met my expectations. Sprinkled in a dash of sea salt, the squid itself had a chewy texture but wasn’t too rubbery, making for easy consumption. It also boasted some char-grilled ends that added a deliciously smoky flavour to it.
This dish is accompanied by a small side of thinly sliced radish and kelp, together with lemon wedges that you can use to drizzle over the squid.
Another dish that I highly recommend is the Gyu Nitsuke ($14). The beef is doused in a lovely sweet sauce made of miso and some secret ingredients that can’t be divulged, but whatever it is, this certainly was a great recipe.
I found that the beef was tender and came apart fairly easily as, it had a shredded texture that is quite reminiscent of Rendang.
Be sure to dip this in the spicy spring onion blend, which according to the chef, is the Japanese equivalent of Sambal Belacan and should not be mistaken as Wasabi paste.
Mid-way through the meal, we had the Chicken Tofu Salad ($10) that came with typical salad ingredients such as, tofu, chicken, rocket salad, cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced radish.
The greens added a nice crunch to the bowl and together with the sesame salad dressing, was a rather refreshing addition to the table.
You can’t have Izakaya without having some finger food so we had the Tori Karaage ($8). The crunchy chicken chunks are garnished with nori flakes and accompanied by several dipping sauces including, wasabi mayo, mango mayo and Japanese tartare sauce.
Last but certainly not the least, we had the Kaki Fry ($12) which, was thoroughly enjoyed. Served with a side of spring onions and radish, the breaded oysters are plated atop a bed of the same Japanese tartare sauce that comes with the chicken karaage.
The exterior was evidently crisp and the oysters were plump and juicy, a great way to end the meal.
Concocted from a sweet and fragrant blend of matcha and soy, the Matcha Soy Tea ($6) was seriously the most addictive matcha beverage I’ve had. I opted for the hot version and found that it was super comforting and soothing to sip on. Needless to say, I couldn’t stop at just one cup.
Japanese restaurant by day and Izakaya bar by night, Hararu Izakaya is certainly one of a kind, with it’s indulgent halal offerings that come straight from the grill.
If you’re planning on heading over during dinner time, be sure to make reservations beforehand because it can get pretty packed!
Expected Damage: $25 per pax