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Review: Ippin Cafe Bar @ Mohamed Sultan Road

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Photo 30-5-15 12 48 47 pmIppin Cafe Bar prides themselves as the first home concept Japanese Cafe Bar in Singapore. Being in the close proximity of “Little Japan” of Singapore, i.e. Liang Court, Ippin aims to serve the Japanese living in Singapore, comfort food that they usually have back at home. I hear that they’ve just managed to do that for the Japanese who have visited them!Photo 30-5-15 12 50 08 pmThey not only serve authentic Japanese food, there are also shelves of authentic Japanese merchandise on sale, like Curetex Washi fiber items hailed from Fukui, tea leaves, wasabi, nuts etc. Photo 30-5-15 1 22 08 pm

The wooden furniture used at Ippin and of course FREE WIFI, indeed exudes a very homely experience, but how did their food fare?

The Food
Providing mostly set meals, which comes with your preferred choice of main, small dishes and dessert, it is sure to provide a wholesome and complete meal for everyone, just like what we would get when we are at home! What’s more, they are all at NETT prices.

1. Miso Udon Noodle with Oyster Set ($15)
Being the soul for of Aichi Prefecture, Ippin serves up Miso Udon by using red miso by placing koji (soybeans) in a wooden barrel for 2 summers and 2 winters. You’ll be assured of smooth tasting and flavorful noodles, which would leave you wanting for more. This set is served together with kobachi (small dish) and hojicha pudding (roasted green tea dessert). Photo 30-5-15 2 14 40 pmTrust me, you would want second helpings of this hojicha pudding. Oh, so smooth and delicious, even a non green tea lover like me loved it.

2. Grilled Oyster and Veggies in Ponzu Butter Sauce Set ($20)Photo 30-5-15 1 23 53 pmI don’t know about you, but I shriek at the word Oyster, because I LOVE OYSTERS. Hailing from the most famous area for oyster in Japan, Hiroshima Prefecture, Ippin is sure to serve you ridiculously fresh and plump oysters! Besides, they taste amazingly clean as well! Wow. I’m hungry just thinking about it! Photo 30-5-15 1 47 21 pmThis set comes with the oysters grilled in ponzu (yuzu vinegar) butter sauce, which gives it a more aromatic punch and refreshing taste, together with rice (with barley) as a perfect accompaniment. Side dishes like the miso soup, Nikujaga pork and potato stew, as well as the salad are also served. This meal then ends lightly with the very delicious hojicha pudding!
Photo 30-5-15 1 02 19 pm The stew and side salad!

Note: The actual serving portions of the stew and salad will be smaller, as these are served for large group tasting purposes. The Nikujaga stew is so packed with ingredients and flavors, I could not stop picking at the pork and potato pieces!

3. Deep Fried Oyster Set ($24) Photo 30-5-15 1 09 53 pmBreaded and battered on the outside, these oysters were crisp on the outside, with the plump juicy oysters bursting with juices when you bite into its interior. However, I much preferred the grilled oysters to the deep fried ones though, as I thought the textures and taste of the oyster was much more prominent when they are grilled, rather than fried. These fried oysters are also served with wasabi mayo dip, rice, miso soup, stew, salad and the hojicha pudding!

4. Oyakudon Set ($15)
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CHICKEN AND EGG on rice! I can’t imagine anything tasting more comforting than this. The warm fluffy egg wrapped together with rice, and that chicken, was so tender and delicious! You could expect chunks of chicken meat that are boiled with dashi (stock), to give it its moist texture and addictive flavors! This set comes with miso soup and hojicha pudding!

5. Yakisoba Set ($12)
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Yakisoba is a daily food for the Japanese! Tossed in its secret savory sauce, this plate of noodles was sure a winner, and captured all of our hearts! A simple, yet very comforting dish, that tastes close to home. Like what Ippin describes this dish as, a taste of Dad’s cooking, but sure better than Dad’s! And I concur.

Beverages

Congratulations green tea lovers, Ippin must be a green tea haven for you. This is set up by one of Japan’s top 2 Tea Appraisers – Mr Nobuko Mori! They pride the quality of their green teas to that of Shizuoka, Japan’s best tea garden!Photo 30-5-15 12 55 14 pmBut sorry I don’t know how to appreciate hor. Just in case, you want to know what are the types of green teas they serve, here’s a rundown, with a brief description of how each of them tastes like!

1. Sencha – $6
Sencha is the most popular green tea, which has the balance of refreshing aroma, delicate sweetness and mild bitterness

2. Genmaicha – $6
This is steamed longer than Sencha, causing tea leaves to split. Hence it gives a stronger yet more mellow taste, as well as bring more nutritious than the other green teas!

3. Hojicha – $6
This is the roasted green tea, which is ironically brown in color. High in catechin and low in caffeine, this makes a perfect tea for children!Photo 30-5-15 1 51 36 pmLastly, Ippin also specializes in serving Sake and craft beers, originating from Japan! Craft beers are priced at $9 each, while the Sake, gives you a list of 3 types of Sake to taste at just $15. The Sake goes perfectly well with the oyster set. Be sure to order them together, because having oysters without sake will be an incomplete experience eh?

Closing Remarks

I really enjoyed the food at Ippin Café Bar, as the dishes they served were sincere and really homely. They have indeed lived up to their own standards of serving down to earth and humble dishes, with elevated flavors.

However, I thought that the prices could be a little steep for students like me. I guess the quantity and variety of the set meals makes up for it! Besides, the prices are NETT too!

How to get there?
18 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238967

Opening Hours
11am to 11pm daily

Contact
Facebook: facebook.com/ippincafebar
Instagram: @Ippincafebar

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