Sake Bars Allow You To Have Your Rice And Drink It Too
Instead of asking the cai png auntie for extra rice, why not save the calorie count for nightfall? Indulge in a delicious bottle of sake and allow its refreshing flavour to wash away your work stress.
We’ve curated a list of fairly priced sake bars and izakayas in Singapore, so if you ever want your rice in a bottle, this list will be a handy guide.
1. Big Sake Bar
Despite its name, this sake bar is small and cosy. The dim lighting and walls plastered with Japanese vintage posters might help you forget you are in Singapore. The staff are helpful and recommend you off-menu bottles because many varieties are chosen seasonally. Pair your sake with crispy dried stingray for some crunch when you down your choice bottle.
Sake prices start at $88 per bottle.
Address: 302 Beach Road, #01-02, The Concourse Skyline, Singapore 199600
Opening hours: 5pm to 12am (Mondays to Saturdays) | Closed on Sundays and public holidays
2. Shukuu Izakaya
Located on the first level of a shophouse, the quaint joint offers both in-bar and al fresco seating for rice wine sampling in a cosy atmosphere. Its menu specialises in small plates—dishes such as crab gratin with mentaiko ($8) and charcoal-grilled surume squid ($16) are delicious with sake.
Enjoy a sake grand sampler at $18.
Address: 8 Stanley Street, Singapore 068727
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2pm, 5.30pm to 11pm (Mondays to Fridays) | 6pm to 10.30pm (Saturdays) | Closed on Sundays
This double-storey establishment has a casual tapas bar on the first storey and a walk-in vault on the second storey. The building used to be a bank and its vault has been converted to store premium sake that can be viewed and purchased by customers.
Besides sake, Bōruto also specialises in Yamaguchi craft beer as well as premium Japanese whisky beginning at $70 per bottle.
Sake prices start at $78 per bottle.
Address: 80 South Bridge Road, #01-01, Golden Castle Building, Singapore 058710
Opening hours: 4.30pm to 12am (daily)
4. Donpachi Japanese Dining & Sake Bar
If you desire a no-frills experience, Donpachi Japanese Dining & Sake Bar located at Cuppage Plaza, near Somerset MRT Station, might be a good choice.
Simply decorated with red walls, this humble establishment with a long counter table serves Japanese favourites. Plates are usually under $10, such as Jakonegi Tofu ($8) and Grilled Saba Fish ($9).
Ladies’ nights are every Tuesday and Saturday, with 20% off your bill for groups with ladies. A minimum spend of $50 per person is required for the discount.
Sake prices start at $21 for a bottle of about 300ml.
Address: 5 Koek Road, #B1-23, Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
Opening hours: 8pm to 4am (Mondays to Saturdays) | Closed on Sundays
5. Bar Ippudo
Bar Ippudo is the spot for you if you want to flex your tastebuds. It curates more than 80 brands of sake from 20 well-reviewed Japanese distilleries. The resident sommelier tastes the sake in each brewery before bringing it into Bar Ippudo, a great place for budding sake connoisseurs to sample a huge range. Enjoy sake with the popular tonkotsu ramen from this joint.
Sake prices start at $70 and up per bottle.
Address: 1 Scotts Road, #04-23, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
Opening hours: 11.30am to 10pm (daily)
Head chef Pepe Moncayo was inspired by how sake brings out umami notes in food on his visits to Japanese breweries, which he tries to recreate at his industrial-chic restaurant. This place will give you a designer experience, the type Monocle or Kinfolk magazine would rave about. So if you are all about that “aesthetic life”, this joint will be the perfect backdrop for your sake-tasting adventures.
Add sake pairing to a 4-course omakase ($98) for $58.
Address: 38-40 Tras Street, Singapore 078977
Opening hours: 12pm to 2pm (Tuesdays to Fridays) | 6pm to 10.30pm, last seating at 9.45pm (Mondays to Thurdays) | 6pm to 11.30pm (Fridays & Saturdays) | Closed on Sundays
Located in a shophouse on Neil Road, the intimate izakaya often gets packed with Japanese expats. Its claypot steamed rice with sea bream ($29) is widely recommended.
As for the sake selection, the management brings in individually picked bottles from Japan. So if you like the chef to make a decision for you, and subsequently watch him cook over the counter, this is the place.
Sake tasting sets start at $10.
Address: 5 Neil Road, Singapore 088806
Opening hours: 6pm to 12am (daily)
8. Ishinomaki Grill & Sake
Ishinomaki Grill & Sake prides itself on gathering seasonal produce from Japan, then whipping them up into a dish or omakase set. Food prices are on the high side, but the drinks are fairly reasonable for a restaurant located in town and the CBD.
Sake prices start at $75 per bottle.
Address: 390 Orchard Rd, #B1-02-02A/03, Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871 |
50 Tras Street, Singapore 078989
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm (daily)
How to read labels on sake bottles
Here’s a little guide to understand the kanji (Chinese characters) on sake labels, so you know what you are getting drunk to.
Daiginjo (大吟醸)—The most premium sake, made with rice that has been polished away 50% or more. It has a tiny amount of distilled alcohol added to enhance its flavour. Best served chilled.
Ginjo (吟醸)—Premium sake made with rice that has been polished away 40% or more. A tiny amount of distilled alcohol is added to enhance its taste. It has a delicate and complex flavour, and is often fruity and flowery. Best served chilled.
Honjouzo (本醸造)—Light, mildly fragrant sake made with rice that has been polished away about 30%. A small amount of distilled alcohol is added to enhance its aroma. Serve warm or chilled.
Junmai (純米)—Sake made with only rice, water, yeast and koji (a type of mould for fermentation). There is no minimum polishing ratio and no added alcohol. Serve warm or chilled.
Sake Bars In Singapore
We hope you find this list of sake bars in Singapore helpful in giving your TGIF nights an additional cultural-exchange factor. Kanpai!