Late-night drinks within the metropolis are one of many prime picks with regards to unwinding with pals, particularly after a troublesome week of labor. And for individuals who need to partake within the Japanese expertise with out being within the Land of the Rising Solar, izakayas — primarily Japanese bars — are those to go to. Effectively, there’s a brand new izakaya known as Saketoshi that has arrange store within the Clarke Quay space just lately in June, however whereas it additionally offers that Japanese expertise, it has its distinctive facets.
Residing on the primary flooring of the UE Sq. Purchasing Mall, Saketoshi was based by Jeff Ong, a person with a lot expertise with izakayas, having beforehand run a series of them throughout Malaysia, Singapore and Australia — this one now being his sole focus in the meanwhile.
What units it aside from different izakayas? Effectively, Saketoshi is an izakaya bar that specialises in Sake however not solely that, you’ll additionally have the ability to pay to your meal with cryptocurrency. In actual fact, Saketoshi’s very identify is a portmanteau on these two sides, with Sake referring to the Japanese alcohol and Toshi referencing Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym for Bitcoin’s creator. For cost, most crypto wallets are accepted right here.
In response to Jeff, Saketoshi was created to be an area for him and his crypto-enthusiast pals to chill out and chill whereas discussing all issues crypto. “Consider it as a protected house to speak about cryptocurrency with no backlash or judgement,” Jeff says.
However whereas it was conceived to be a spot for crypto-enthusiasts to hang around and chat, it additionally extends past that area of interest.
If you enter Saketoshi, you’re greeted with a quaint atmosphere that touches on the look of conventional izakayas; that includes wooden floors and tables (with some accompanied by cozy couches) and subtly lit by overhead lamps — combining to create a comfortable house that invitations all to come back in and unwind. For these eager to soak within the metropolis panorama, the restaurant additionally has an prolonged out of doors eating space for patrons to take pleasure in meals and drinks.
Whereas we’re with reference to meals and drinks, let’s check out what Saketoshi is providing. We tried a number of meals gadgets from their menu, which paired alongside a few selections from their sake choice.
Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 45
And Sake is a superb place to start out. Our first drink was the Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 45 from the Chugoku area. Obtainable in 720ml (S$118) or 1800ml (S$299) portions, the drink is easy to down and offers flowery notes for style.
Contemplating our curated meals choice was a bit of bit on the heavier facet, it was an apt pairing that helped to reset the palette after a few bites.
The primary meals merchandise from the kitchen was the Amaebi Karaage (S$15). These are tiny candy shrimps which have been deep fried to a beautiful orange hue, topped off with a slice of lemon that you may squeeze over it.
It’s a beautiful bar snack that surprisingly will get addictive to eat. Every chew accommodates a deep prawn flavour, however it by no means turns into overpowering and deep frying provides a pleasant crisp chew to the outer shell. Since these are available small sizes, it’s straightforward to take it multi function chew, which makes it extra tempting to seize one other. Suppose prawn crackers with the identical addictiveness however packing in additional umami flavour.
The one actual nitpick is that it chokes simply. After a few shrimps, the bits from the shell tended to get caught in my throat and had me coughing a few instances. It’s not a pleasing feeling, however a glass of water helps. Nonetheless, I might say the Amaebi Karaage is definitely worth the occasional cough.
Ika Geso Karaage
The opposite fried bar snack on supply was the Ika Geso Karaage (S$15). Right here, you get squid that has been battered and deep fried, producing an attractive stack of calamari bites able to be eaten. Likewise, it comes accompanied by a slice of lemon and a few dipping sauce.
It’s most likely probably the most acquainted tasting dish you can see on the menu. The batter offers that good meaty, deep-fried flavour and crunch however inside, the squid is tender and offers a very good quantity of chew. General, an honest possibility as a bar chew.
Coming alongside our fried bar bites is the distinctive Saketoshi Cocktail (S$39). However regardless of the identify and look, this isn’t a drink. Moderately, it’s a meals concoction created from varied seafood elements.
It’s a new menu addition that has recent uni (sea urchin) because the centrepiece. Alongside it, a beneficiant serving of ikura and tobiko sits atop a particular do-it-yourself sauce earlier than it’s completed with a touch of truffle caviar on the prime.
Uni may scare a number of folks off with its peculiar style, however for these hesitant to do that: to not fear! The uni used right here comes recent and has a milder sea style, permitting you to understand the buttery texture higher. In the meantime, the ikura, tobiko, and caviar add completely different ranges of saltiness to the general dish that enhances the creaminess of the uni.
For a style of the Hokkaido area, the Scallop Ikura (S$24) is an choice to attempt. Sourced from the Hokkaido space, the scallops are pan-seared after which topped with a beneficiant dollop of ikura, introduced as a skewer so that you can decide up and eat simply. The scallops themselves are tender and succulent. Nonetheless, whereas the ikura is sweet, it doesn’t essentially add that a lot to the dish itself.
Japanese Oysters Karaage
Our last deep-fried dish comes within the type of the Japanese Oysters Karaage (S$24), which comes introduced properly of their shells, ready to be picked up and eaten.
I’m not a fan of oysters; I discover the style too robust for my liking. This oyster dish, nevertheless, is one which I loved. Deep frying it with batter helped offset many of the robust briny style I disliked, however it nonetheless retained delicate hints of the oyster flavour for me to take pleasure in. The oysters additionally got here out plump and juicy inside, which mixed properly with the crunch from the fried batter.
Whereas I’m nonetheless not transformed, the Japanese Oysters Karaage offers a pleasant compromise for me to take pleasure in if I’m out with pals who love oysters. Should you’re like me, maybe this can be a dish you may take a look at.
A4 Wagyu Steak
If there’s one iconic meals merchandise you hear about on a regular basis in Japanese delicacies, it’s Wagyu. For these craving this luxury beef from Japan, you’ll be blissful to know that Saketoshi is serving them up of their menu providing.
Their A4 Wagyu Steak (S$48) is grilled to medium-rare doneness earlier than being served up in slices with some easy garnishing, a facet of rock salt, and a few dipping sauce. Whereas A4 will not be the best high quality of Wagyu out there, it was specifically chosen for its steadiness of marbling and leanness for patrons to take pleasure in longer.
And an ideal resolution that was. Every slice of the Wagyu Steak is deliciously tender and juicy and dissolves simply in your mouth, however it isn’t too fatty to the purpose that it’s going to make you are feeling sick after consuming a number of. After taking one, one other beckons to be taken and including a contact of the salt or dipping sauce accentuates that beefy flavour.
Going again to seafood, the Uni Tempura (S$24 for 2 items) from Saketoshi is the restaurant’s signature providing. The dish contains seaweed tempura as the bottom with slices of otoro (fatty tuna) and the primary star, the uni, resting atop it. Some truffle caviar is then laid on prime to complete it.
It’s actually probably the most aesthetically pleasing dish we’ve had for the evening, with every serving laid on a wood spoon and plated in a bowl with pebbles and garnish — very zen-like. Fortunately, the style is of the identical high quality as its seems to be.
As with the Saketoshi Cocktail, the uni is equally recent and has that wealthy, buttery texture when taking it in. The seaweed tempura brings delicate saltiness whereas the otoro offers that burst of meaty umami flavour from the tuna fats. If you’re new to uni, this is a superb dish to attempt to your first time.
Scallop Foie Gras
The penultimate dish from Saketoshi is the Scallop Foie Gras (S$48). Right here, we now have two servings of foie gras sitting on a mattress of scallops and mentaiko sauce.
It’s most likely my favorite dish of the lot. I really like the graceful buttery texture and wealthy meaty flavour from foie gras, and it’s all current right here as properly, however mixed with the scallop and mentaiko, it elevates the dish to a different stage — the sweetness from the scallop and the salty, savoury style from the mentaiko additional enrich the foie gras’s umami profile to supply an thrilling kick of flavour with each chew. It’s a must-try for positive.
Aburi Engawa Donburi
Lastly, we now have some rice to finish issues. Saketoshi has a number of donburi choices on its menu, with the Aburi Engawa Donburi (S$28) being one in all them.
The Aburi Engawa Donburi has rice paired alongside a flame-seared halibut fin, ginger, Japanese pickles, ikura, and an onsen egg. When you combine every little thing collectively, the gooey egg clumps properly with bits of every ingredient, offering a mild however refreshing style throughout. It will not be as flavourful as the remainder of the meals we’ve tried, however it’s a good dish to have in-between.
Kotsuzumi Rojoh Hana Ari Tohka Junmai Daiginjyo
The evening ended with sampling the Kotsuzumi Rojoh Hana Ari Tohka Junmai Daiginjyo sake (S$158 for 720ml). Coming from Hyogo Prefecture, this Sake has a mellow however candy style on the palate and is really useful to be paired with meat and fish dishes to spotlight their flavour profile. Contemplating Saketoshi’s menu, this can be a nice sake to have alongside your meal.
Remaining Phrases & Fast Info
Saketoshi could also be small in dimension, however it offers a soothing, cosy ambiance for pals to hang around within the metropolis. In the meantime, the meals on supply here’s a delight for these searching for issues to excite the palate, with a smorgasbord of umami choices and varied sake selections to select from to raise your meal. Simply remember to order a salad or two for the reason that ones we tried leans on the heavy facet.
- Handle: UE Sq. Purchasing Mall, 81 Clemenceau Avenue #01-14, Singapore 239917
- Working Hours: Monday to Friday, Lunch from 12pm – 2.30pm, Dinner: 5.30pm – 10.30pm
- Reservations: Guide through WhatsApp or E-mail
- Social Media: Comply with on Fb and Instagram
Pictures by Sunny Low of the DANAMIC Staff.