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Food

issho izakaya: Hearty Japanese Crab Dishes + Premium Omakase From S$68 At Modern Izakaya In Great World City

Last Updated: January 13, 2020

Written by Deanna Lim

If you’ve been to Japan, or if you’re familiar with the concept of izakaya, you’ll know that these are basically drinking establishments which serve up accompanying bites. Modern izakayas, however, have started to focus more on the food, dishing up increasingly intricate and high-quality meals.

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And one such dining spot is issho izakaya in Great World City. With an older outlet in Kallang Wave Mall, this Japanese crab speciality restaurant brings us kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and even an affordable premium omakase menu.

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More spacious than your usual Japanese izakaya, the 126-seater restaurant is sectioned into cosy wooden booths, an open-concept dining area, and private tatami dining rooms with kotatsu (traditional low wooden table frames).

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There are three private rooms that can accommodate up to 22 pax, and two of which can be combined to form one big private dining room—perfect for parties or even business meetings.

You can opt for either sashimi counter seats, or perch in front of the kushiyaki counter—both provide a good view of the chefs in action, sure to whet your appetite.

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What’s an izakaya without bottles of sake and shochu? A glass-walled room near the entrance holds a marvellous selection of over 70 labels of sake, wine, whisky, and beer. You just might be tempted to order a highball or two, to start off the meal.

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If you’re just here for drinks and bites, then kushiyaki is a good place to start. Ranging between S$2.50 – S$15, the grilled skewers pair perfectly with light and zesty Japanese beer, or a refreshing highball.

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Among the selection of kushiyaki we tried, the Bacon Tomato (S$3.50) was an easy and immediate favourite. Juicy cherry tomatoes came wrapped in smoky, savoury bacon—what’s not to love? The Tsukune (S$3) was also pretty satisfying, but the highlight for me had to be the Foie Gras (S$7).

Soft to the point of slipping off the skewer and melting in my mouth, the foie gras left a creamy mouthfeel, and slight gamey notes with a tinge of smoke from the grill.

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For a truly sensual experience, I’d suggest ordering the Kajiki Steak (S$16.80) from the yakimono section of the menu. This perfectly grilled swordfish steak came topped with chargrilled parmesan cheese and nori mayo sauce.

Hearing ‘steak’ in the dish name, you might expect something chewy with plenty of bite. But I don’t exaggerate when I say this swordfish steak melted in my mouth. Hardly any chewing was required, and the layer of fat under the skin mingled with the sauce for a decadent mouthful.

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If you’re a fan of sashimi, then I recommend getting the seasonal sashimi. We managed to try the Kinmedai, also known as Golden Eye Snapper. One of the distinctive features of this deep-sea fish is its big eyes, so it’s also affectionately nicknamed 大眼妹, or “big-eyed girl”.

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With a high-fat content, the thin, translucent slices left a rather creamy mouthfeel. I found it quite chewy as well and had a nice bite to it.

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Moving on to something a little heartier, you have to try the crab speciality dishes. If you’re adventurous, try the uniquely-presented Crab Duo Special (S$45 – S$69, depending on crab size).

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This dish is presented in two ways: grilled crab served with homemade sauces, and broiled crab mustard doused in Japanese sake and served in its crab shell.

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My favourite part had to be the crab mustard. Mixed in with the crab roe, the sake added zest and fragrance to this briny, creamy dish.

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But my absolute favourite dish at issho izakaya has to be the must-order Crab Nabe (S$45 – S$69, depending on crab size). Silky-smooth, rich broth filled the room with an unmistakably sweet and briny aroma. There’s a whole crab in there, and the size of the bowl makes it suitable for sharing—though with how delectable this dish was, I bet I could’ve easily finished it off on my own.

Seafood lovers, you’ve got to take a crack at this crab. The crabmeat slid effortlessly out of the crab claw, in a single complete piece—that’s how fresh the crab was.

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I wished I had extra tummy space, just so I could order a bowl of fragrant white rice to go with the broth. As it was, I was stuffed from the sumptuous spread, but fluffy Japanese white rice is the way to go.

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If you’re feeling fancy, you can even try out issho izakaya’s new omakase menu. Ranging from S$68 – S$118, you’ll get to enjoy carefully-crafted culinary creations made with the freshest seasonal ingredients.

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My top pick from the S$118 omakase had to be the premium donburi. Small in size, but incredibly decadent, the fluffy Japanese rice came topped with air-flown Japanese ingredients such as anago (river eel), negitoro, uni and a generous portion of ikura.

The anago was smoky, sweet, flaky and soft—just the way it should be. I particularly enjoyed the uni, which was incredibly creamy, and it melted in my mouth with lingering clean, sweet notes.

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Dining at a Japanese restaurant isn’t complete without sake, so browse the sake selection here.

I’d recommend the Izumo Fuji (S$19.80/160ml, S$95/720ml), a medium-bodied sake hand-made using only old-school and traditional methods. This unique sake is best served chilled to savour its delicate and smooth taste.


If you’re constantly on the lookout for exciting new food places to try, issho izakaya should be your next stop. Good food, premium ingredients and you even get to witness the chef’s culinary showmanship—don’t miss out!

Psst, use our code isshogwcsethlui when you’re making an omakase reservation for two pax. You’ll get a free bottle of sake! The code is valid from now until 31 January 2020, but make sure you reserve your spot one day in advance.

Expected Damage: S$40 – S$60 per pax

ChopeDeals: Save 20% at Issho Izakaya (Great World City) >

Chope Reservations

*This post is brought to you in partnership with issho izakaya.

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

issho izakaya

1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City, #01-123, Singapore 237994

Price
Our Rating 5/5

issho izakaya

1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City, #01-123, Singapore 237994

Telephone: +65 6904 6621
Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6904 6621

Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Daily)
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