Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Food-tasting Invite: IPPIN Cafe Bar

Along Mohammed Sultan Road, you can spot a Japanese whitely furnished and modernized cafe which sells Japanese comfort food, tea, beer and other products that are imported from Japan. Whenever I crave for Japanese food, I usually head to huge restaurant chains in shopping mall because of convenience, but it is good for a change once in a while. 

Once I entered the cafe, I was greeted with shelves of Japanese products, in which I couldn't help but take a look. Some of the products look rather interesting, and you can even purchase them.

We were served Japanese tea upon being seated at our table. 

Sencha is the most popular and standard type of green tea that you get when you visit a Japanese restaurant. You probably wouldn't go wrong to order this if you have no idea what to drink. 

If you want to "upgrade" to another level of green tea, you might want to try this. Because the tea is steamed longer causing the tea leaves to split, it has a stronger yet more mellow taste. I personally prefer this as the taste is more prominent. 

Hojicha is also quite a popular roasted brown tea which is suitable for children as well, since it does not contain caffeine. 

Grilled Oyster & Veggies in Ponzu Butter Sauce Set 
$20 NETT
Comes with rice (with barley), Hatcho miso soup, Nikujaga pork and potato stew, salad and houjicha pudding (roasted green tea dessert)

I would say that Ippin Cafe Bar set dishes are really value-for-money! Their oysters are from Hiroshima Prefecture which is the most famous area of oyster in Japan! Just check out the side dishes, the size is as big as the main dish itself. And the bowls are definitely not mini-sizes. The oysters had a light buttery and tangy taste from the Ponzu. It could have been much better if the oysters were not overly grilled though.

For the side dishes, the Nikujaga pork and potato stew was thick and flavorful, definitely quite filling as well! As for the salad, you need to add your own salad dressing. The tomato one is my favourite as it has a sweet and tangy flavor which was a perfect combination with salad in my opinion.

Deep Fried Oyster Set
$24 NETT
Comes with rice (with barley), Hatcho miso soup, Nikujaga pork and potato stew, salad and houjicha pudding (roasted green tea dessert)

Would you have guessed that this is a plate of deep fried chicken wings? Because I actually thought so! (Not kidding). I was so sure of it! But BAM, I was wrong. It is actually deep fried oysters! This was one of my favourite dishes - crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. It's worth every cent. The oysters also come with a wasabi egg mayo dip. Since I can't take too much wasabi, I like how it is not too overwhelming, and it just lightly enhanced the taste of the oysters.

Between the grilled and deep fried oyster, I will definitely pay a little more to have this dish.

Yakisoba Set 
$12 NETT
Comes with Kobachi (small dish) and hojicha pudding (roasted green tea dessert)

Yakisoba is known as a Japanese daily food - something simple and comforting, like home-cooked food with quality standard. This resembles the Chinese fried noodles that you may have tried before, but with their own Ippin's savoury sauce. If you want something light for a meal, I would recommend this dish.

Oyakudon Set
$15 NETT
Comes with Miso soup and hojicha pudding (roasted green tea dessert)

What I look for in a Japanese don is usually the texture of the rice. Some dons that I have tried are really dry which was not at all appetizing. Well, I was pretty impressed with the first bite I took. The chicken was tender and juicy while the egg was soft and smooth. Everything was quite well-balanced with the rice, except that when I started having a few more mouths, I realized that the rice was literally soaking in the sauce. Pretty generous, but probably a little excessive. It would be perfect if they just cut down the sauce by a bit. But overall, it was a great dish and I enjoyed it.

Most likely something I will order again, except that I will ask for a little less sauce.

We had some Rattsu for after-meal snacks and if I am not wrong, it is flavoured peanuts which comes in three different flavours - Chocolate, Strawberry and Matcha. The strawberry tasted a little like Pocky! I think it's quite interesting.

While I am not a fan of sake, some of the other bloggers ordered sake. I was only interested in taking the photos of the pouring process. We were told that after you finish the sake from the glass, you have to drink it from the wooden box-like cup (If I am not wrong, it is called the masu).

This is the Hojicha pudding that is included in most sets. Although the hojicha taste is quite subtle in my opinion, the pudding is silky smooth which I really enjoyed tasting it. 

Thank you IPPIN Cafe Bar for the food-tasting invite!

IPPIN Cafe Bar
18 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238967

Opening Hours
11am to 11pm daily

Facebook: facebook.com/ippincafebar
Instagram: @Ippincafebar

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