Saturday, April 02, 2016
Hokkaido Izakaya, Tg Pagar Road
Hokkaido Izakaya (95 Tg Pagar Road, tel : +65 6221 7118) has gotten quite a bit of buzz recently online, so I guess we have gotten intrigued by what they had to offer. What stands them apart from the rest of the izakaya here is that the focus of their food is on Hokkaido produce. Namely what they term as the best imported from the towns Yakumo, Akkeshi, Furano and Kamishihoro.
We tried their lamb. It was nicely grilled, but the meat was over done and was barely salted. Which was strange since this was an izakaya. These grilled lamb have got nothing on those from the King.
Their scallops were also rather unspectacular. One could reasonably expect some salt to bring out the flavours of the shellfish. Salt which was missing. Honestly, I was expecting a bit more sweetness from the meat.
One of the items I found intriguing was their milk nabe with salmon. A hotpot with broth made with milk from Hokkaido.
The hotpot turned out to be good. We liked it. Creamy and salty and tasted like it had bacon in it. But there wasn't of course. I would come back just for this alone.
We were conned into ordering their uni wrapped with wagyu. See the bottom right item. Looked good yeah?
This was reality. The uni looked dark and bruised because it had been torched. To be fair, the uni didn't taste too bad if you ate them alone. With the beef and the onion strips, flavours became muddled. So as they like to put in motivational adages, I paid $35 to learn a lesson and gained from that knowledge. Never again.
There was a special of the day. Wagyu that was charcoal grilled. I wonder what qualified that as a special since it didn't sound quite special. From the flavour profile, appearances and how much they charged, it wasn't highly graded meat. Those salted konbu strips on the side was great with the beef though. And those fried potatoes on the side were nice too.
This was called Japanese omelette mixed with milk. The description mentioned that it had Hokkaido butter melted over. I'm assuming that the milk comes from Hokkaido as well. This was really nicely done. Could taste the sweetness in the tamago but nothing of the butter. Portions were kinda big. Nothing was mentioned of that blob of crumbly cheese which they also put on the side, but I wished that there was more of it.
The izakaya-ing ended with a grilled Hokkaido potato with butter and salted squid guts. This was also nice. Those bits of the salted squid was just the additional flavour that the potato needed with some bit of fishy saltiness. Actually, the potato tasted good on its own as well.
I suppose you could call this hits and misses. While we liked some, we obviously didn't do so much for the others. Would consider coming back though.