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Bars and pubs, Izakaya Orchard

Time Out says

Sake retreat

This alcoholic offshoot of the Hakata ramen chain is the first for the global brand in Singapore. The brand has tapped into its black book of Japanese contacts to secure a few exclusives. There’s a flavour map beneath each bottle in the fridge, but look instead to the staff to help you navigate the 70-and-growing selection of bottles. General manager Ryu Fujibe is especially expressive when he details how hard IPPUDO worked to secure bottles of Kagatobi Junmai Ginjo ($70/bottle) from the Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery just for Singapore. He pours us samplers and pulls out a Kagatobi Ai Junmai Daiginjo ($86/bottle) for contrast. ‘Like earth and sky,’ he says, offering us a 100ml carafe. Shared among three, it works out to only $5.80 a small cup of the Junmai Ginjo. Leave yourselves in Fujibe’s hands, and you might get the same educational tour of sake we did.

We’re later offered more free sips to sample before we decide on a Komagura Gen Enjuku Junmai Daiginjo 2009 ($92/bottle). Aged in cedar wood, the sake bears complex characteristics similar to sherry’s nutty oloroso notes.

To accompany the drinks are otsumami bar snacks like a warming bowl of oden ($2/one item, $5.80/three), shoyu-washed cream cheese slices ($6) and pickled celery ($4) for kick. Or if you want a bowl of noodles with your drink, the bar has the same menu as Ippudo's ramen joint next door. 

Sake bars can be intimidating spaces – especially if you don’t read Japanese. At Bar IPPUDO, though, we left having learnt something new, and something to look forward to on the return. That’s always a good sign.

By: Natasha Hong



Address: #04-23 Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Rd
Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-10pm.
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