New to the Les Amis Group, Yujin Izakaya is a lively haunt along Zion Road. The sake-focused bar is run by a husband-and-wife duo and furnished in industrial chic trimmings, with an open kitchen in its black and copper space. Framed scenes from Japanese manga (comics or graphic novels) hang from the walls, a show of chef-owner Freddie Lee’s keen interest in the art.
The place takes inspiration from a traditional Japanese izakaya and runs like a no-frills watering hole, except the food here is well thought out (you won’t find basic truffle fries on the menu). Think grilled skewers, meat dishes, and udon bowls. You can start off with a cold platter of Nama Yasai ($7), made with shaved raw asparagus and cauliflower in a vinegar-based seaweed dressing, or nibble on truffle chawanmushi ($15) and Katsu Sando ($16), a mustard sandwich with thick-cut beef katsu.
As you savor more of the joint’s stiff sakes, keep lining your stomach with grilled meats such as Iberico pork jowl ($15), Gyutan ($12, ox tongue), Gyu Kalbi ($18, beef short rib), Tebasaki ($5, chicken wing), and Tsukune meatball ($6, made with minced chicken meat and cartilage chunks).
For a more carb-heavy dish, try the Inaniwa Udon ($18), which swims in a prawn broth and comes topped with prawn tempura. Besides the shochu drinks and Highballs, you can also choose to sip on the bar’s concoctions like shochu mojito ($13) or a yuzu sour ($15). And if you happen to be there between 5pm and 7pm, you’re just in time for happy hour.
Yujin Izakaya is at 56 Zion Rd.
6235-0429. Mon-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-midnight.
MRT: Tiong Bahru