With Mikawa Yakitori Bar’s (not to be confused with Mikawa Sake Bar at Changi Business Park) presence at Siglap, now I don’t have to leave my hood to get my izakaya fix.
This godforsaken corner of Upper East Coast Road (usually just referred to as Siglap) has seen many an ill-fated restaurant come and go – there was Poppies, which I thought was rather promising but they closed down, then there was Culinam, an “Asian fusion” place which I did not think was promising, and well, they closed down too.
And honestly, I don’t even know if there were any other restaurants that squatted at that spot because it became somewhat of a blind spot for me.
“No restaurant that is located there can be good,” said that stupid judgy voice in my head.
And that is why, even though I have walked past that stretch a thousand times in the past 2 years, I had never noticed Mikawa Yakitori Bar.
Till now. Hubby and I decided to enter the joint, which on a Friday evening was packed and we were told we could have a table but just for an hour.
We wanted a quick dinner anyway, so that worked fine for us. And Mikawa Yakitori Bar certainly made a great first impression! So much so, we visited them a couple of weeks later – also so that I can take more pictures and give a more complete review.
A good izakaya joint needs to be buzzing – lots of salarymen cramped into a hole, drowning in sake while sticking sticks down their throats and laughing their heads off at the silliest things.
And while Mikawa wasn’t infested with said salarymen, it was filled with a diverse range of peeps all happily munching away on the many kushiyaki (charcoal grilled skewers) available.
Delectable-sounding items like Shitake Pork Belly Maki with Cheese, Scallop wrapped with Bacon, and Asparagus wrapped with Pork Belly Slice (all at $2.90 per skewer) sit next to the classic chicken yakitori items, which run the gamut from gizzard, tail, liver, heart and of course, the regular “normal” parts like thigh and breast meat.
Whatever I tried was full of charcoal-grilled flavour and my favourite Tsukune (chicken meat balls; $3.50) came slathered with creamy, spicy mentaiko sauce (pollock or cod fish roe).
If you’d like to carb-up your grill fest, the Yaki Onigiri (rice ball; $3.90) is just the thing you need. It’s burnt just where it needs to be.
It isn’t all kushiyaki at Mikawa – there are appetizers like Fugu Mirin (puffer fish; $7.90), Tako Wasabi (raw octopus; $5.90) and Tatami Iwashi (grilled sardines; $6.90).
I loved the fluffy, moist Tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette; $4.90) and Goma Tofu Ikura (tofu with sesame sauce and salmon roe; $4.90).
And despite thinking the Kaki Furai (deep-fried oyster; $5.90) was on the small side, it had that crisp outer coating that yielded to a smooth, creamy oyster.
Now this dish I absolutely must mention. The Yaki Somen Whisky ($9.90) does not lie – it’s fried with whisky all right and I can still taste the whisky as I write this!
The sushi and sashimi is fresh too, and well prepared – my favourites, the scallop and prawn sushi ($3 per piece) were silky and sweet.
The next time I visit, I will go over lunch to try some of their rice bowls – there’s a Bara Chirashi don ($13.90) and Unagi don ($18) that looks really tempting!
Mikawa Yakitori Bar:
Address: 53 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455214
Contact: 6444 8484 or firstname.lastname@example.org