Saturday, July 23, 2016
Sabar, Japan Food Town @ Wisma Atria
There has been some buzz lately regarding the newly opened Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria that features 16 Japanese eateries. The event has no doubt revitalized Wisma as a still relevant destination in a food obsessed country with a non abating appetite for Japanese food. And since this was a new opening, every shop was crowded.
Sabar (#04-50 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road, tel : +65 262 3453) is a shop from Osaka. They didn't have as much of a queue as the others when we were there. Which was a stroke of good fortune since they were one of those that I wanted to try. A self professed mackerel bar that brings in the fish from the Aomori Prefecture along the North Pacific coast of Japan. The atmosphere was oddly subdued for a new and crowded shop. No hearty hails of "Irasshaimase!". No music being piped in the shop as well. Place looked understaffed and the menu looked like it only had lunch teishokus going on.
There's Kirin on the tap at Sabar.
We ordered a half portion of their saba shioyaki since these guys specialized in the fish which appeared to be flying off their grills in a non stop manner. The half portion came without the spine - which was a good thing I guess. Less bones to work with. The meat was moist and delicious while the skin was a good crisp. I wonder what happened to the other half.
This came off their sushi teishoku. Their teishoku portion was simply an additional bowl of senbei-jiru (rice cracker soup), a cube of cold tofu and a bit of pickled cabbage. These mackerel sushi didn't taste like the usual sabazushi - there didn't seem to be much of vinegar in the fish. Two of the pieces were aburi-ed and another two which had ginger were roasted. If I didn't recall wrongly, they were toro saba. I rather liked these.
There was higawari teishoku as well. A daily special. Today's special was a non marinated saba donburi. There appeared to be a marinated version (with shoyu I think) on the lunch menu so I guess that made this one higawari. Anyway, I'm also guessing that that's toro saba slices there since the meat was fatty tasting and filled with flavour from the fish.