Ikura Japanese has 3 outlets on the island, Fook Hai Building, East Village and Thomson Plaza. The menu & concept of each outlet is designed to suit the clientele within proximity. Hence, you will expect some differences.
At FHB, the concept is very apt, as Izakaya befits after office tie-loosening booze & bite; they offer outdoors & indoor seating at the 1st level and a mezzanine above. The mezzanine offers a little more privacy, and I think is ideal for enjoying quiet appreciation for Japanese whisky or sake.
In 2017, Ikura Japanese at Fook Hai Building was the first of several new outlets to follow in the years after. Ikura Japanese offers Izakaya style dining and a little more. Apart from grills & munches fit for bar bites, they also offer food ranging from a hot bowl of ramen to a platter of cold sushi or sashimi, that go well with Japanese sake, whisky and beer.
For starters, we experienced the array of Gyoza, Fugumirin (Sundried Puffer Fish), Tatami Iwashi (Dried Baby Sardines) and Wakasaki Karaage (Deep Fried Shishamo). I find the Fugumirin & Wakasaki Karaage to go pretty well with Japanese dry beers, whisky and/or Sake.
There are light selections for individual or sharing…
Unagi Maki needs no introduction, but I must say the flavor gradient of the seared miso of the Aburi Miso Maki varies from outside in, causes a flavor rich slush as you munch in, and there’s the delightful savory popping of tobiko. Don’t be too eager to rinse off, and behold a mild smoky sweet after taste.
Gyu Tataki Carpaccio and Maguro Tataki Carpaccio both presented nicely chilled with generous dressing. The acidity in the sauce scalds the edges of the raw meats, but I have no qualms polishing these 2 off.
Sashimi Salad is pretty impressive. Comprises of a mix of tuna, salmon & swordfish belly slices, topped with tobiko & deep fried silver fish. Colors, tastes & textures makes me want more.
Stir fries are staples that are sometimes under appreciated. But the renditions here raised some our brows.
Sakura Ebi Chahan in my opinion is not easy to replicate at home. There’s a rich smoky presence in the aroma, and the ensemble of peppered & seasoned egg bits with al-dente rice grains, topped with fine chopped spring onions on crispy umami sakura ebi. Humble looking but captivating.
Buta Shogayaki sliced pork belly stir fried in a savory sweet sauce that springs the fragrance of ginger, topped with fine chopped spring onions with leaves of salad on the side. You will need some plain rice to go with this.
Gyu Suji Yaki Udon has a good balance in ratio of udon to beef, stir fried in an aromatic peppery savory sauce, served on a sheet of omelet skin. This yaki udon is well received, so much so, the Beef Udon (soup version) was overlooked haha.
Negi Toro Don is a meal in a bowl that suits my love for protein. A patty of minced fatty tuna (shaped with a crater in the middle) blanketing the bowl of Uruchimai, topped with raw egg in the middle, and sprinkled fine chopped spring onions on top. Although I think they minced the toro a little too thorough.
Hokkaido Chirashi is a bowl of goodness fresh from the sea (ok, air flown to be precise) served chilled in a bowl of Uruchimai. This bowl needs no introduction, the freshness & sweetness of the ingredients speak for themselves.
Ramen is also another variant of meal in a bowl. The noodles are scalded enough to a borderline al-dente, served immersed in piping hot rich flavorful stock. In escalating order for flavor & taste, Shabu Shabu Ramen, Black Tonkatsu Ramen and Mala Tonkatsu Ramen.
The think I appreciate about the Shabu Shabu Ramen is not only the thin sliced pork strips, but also the rich stock that’s double or triple boiled for a calcium rich taste.
The Black Tonkatsu Ramen, screams of rich caramelized garlic. Some say, garlic is 1 of nature’s own antibiotic. So I perhaps with what’s ongoing today, could help with enhancing immunity.
The Mala Tonkatsu Ramen is possibly the 1st of its kind. And as the name suggests, prepare your minds to lose sensation of your lips & tongue for a bit. To be fair, it’s not as fiery as you will get it in some Sichuan themed joints.
To cap things off, the Japanese Tofu Cheese Cake is a delightful crowd pleaser. But before you indulge, best to cleanse your palates though in order to enjoy it proper. Served chilled & dusted with icing sugar, the texture lives up to the name; dig the dessert spoon in and the texture is tofu-like. The light hue of cheese emerges as you sink your bite in is really something. Don’t miss it.
All in all, I’d the variety on the menu is really quite overwhelming, considering the size of the kitchen. There’s sure to be more than 1 dish that suits a different palate. And I’d imagine, patrons will find it difficult to grow bored, since there’s plenty to choose from.
Kudos to the kind folks at Ikura Japanese for hosting us.
IKURA Japanese – Fook Hai
150 South Bridge Rd #01-14,
T: +65 6532 6656
IG: @ikura_sg , @ikurajapanese or @ikurajapthomson
Opens Mon-Sat: 1130~1430hrs, 1700~0000hrs
Closed on Sundays
During this time of Covid-19 pandemic, let’s all play our part & exercise Social Distancing – order take-away; so as not to be disappointed with the bottle neck situation, with most mainstream food delivery services.