Japanese food review: Hokkaido Izakaya at 95 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088516

There's a new izakaya in town, and it is offering tapas/food from Hokkaido! I was actually thinking of going to Hokkaido this month so I can fall head first into powdery snow since I have never seen proper snow before, but it was too expensive for me. So it was by a pleasant twist of fate that I got invited to have a taste of Hokkaido with the opening of this little eatery along Tanjong Pagar Road. The decor's pleasant with light coloured wood panels and tables, and seats about 30 pax I think (not too big).

There was also a small launch speech by the owner of the restaurant, who explained to us where the food is from (map behind him). Most of it is from Yakumo town, but there's also food from Furano city, Kamishihoro city and Akkeshi town.

On to the dishes! Everything is in small, tapas portions because they are meant to go with beer or sake! 

We tried:

Cucumber with Salted Konbu Seaweed (S$5): Light and refreshing but not anything spectacular. Still, makes for a good appetizer. 3/5

Cream Cheese Marinated with Miso (S$7): Did not taste any miso in it at all. Just regular soft cream cheese. Can skip. 2/5

Scallop liver with sesame oil (S$9): It's rather weird. Did not know that scallops have liver, and did not expect them to taste so fishy. The sesame oil helped, but the scallop liver is probably too 'Japanese' for me. 3/5

Japanese Omelette Mixed with Hokkaido milk and butter (S$10): One of my favorites of the night, the soft fluffy tamago was smeared with rapidly melting hokkaido butter. You can really taste the creaminess of the milk in the sweet egg. I could have this all for myself! 4/5

Potato Salad (S$9) served warm, made with real Hokkaido Potato: Another favorite that night, the potato was warm and full of rich potato flavour, if you know what I mean. I love carbs too and this one hit the spot. 4/5

Potato Croquette (S$8) made with real Hokkaido Potato: I liked this too, with its crunchy outer crust and soft insides. However it felt less impressive than the potato salad for me. The potato flavour was less strong in the croquette, perhaps. 3/5

Scallop (S$10) from Yakumo Town: It's just one scallop.. for $10 bucks I'd rather have something else, to be honest! I am not really a big fan of shell fish, and the scallops I prefer are usually medallion shaped and not that fishy.

Kakiage Tempura Soba (S$12): The hot soba with kakiage and tempura was good as a soupy noodle dish, though the kakiage/tempura were really soft and mushy. I think they should have just served the noodles with the soup and leave the flavours to the tapas. 3/5

Hokkaido Milk Hotpot with Salmon (S$18): If you don't already know, Hokkaido is famous for its milk, which is used as a soup base for this hotpot. It had a really unique creamy but savory flavour and went surprisingly well with the salmon and tofu. I'd really liked the soup - I could have taken a few more bowls! I'll definitely say come to try this. 4.5/5

Smoked Salmon Belly (S$15): Very normal, average izakaya dish. I rather have salmon belly in sashimi form. 3/5

Chicken Wings (S$6): Dry and flavorless. Unfortunate, since these are usually pretty great as drinking food. 1/5

Seasonal - Hokkaido Wagyu Roast Beef (S$25): One of the best dish of the night. Served chilled, with a light sauce drizzled over the marbled fats and meat. So soft and refreshing. You wouldn't think it is the same meat that's used to make steaks! It's in limited quantities so be sure to go for it soon!

Steamed Potato with Vanilla Ice Cream (S$7): To end of, some more carbs! Actually the potato was really sweet and delicate. Paired with some Hokkaido milk ice cream, it really is a definitive Hokkaido dessert. Unfortunately I think not many people would have this, if they are already drinking beer/sake and ate a lot.

This little new izakaya is definitely worth a visit for those looking to try out some food from Hokkaido that is not soft serve ice cream nor melon, but little things to go with alcohol. Get the wagyu beef and tamago or potato salad for a satisfying experience!

Hokkaido Izakaya
95 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088516
+65 62217118
Mon-Sat: 1130am - 230pm, 6pm - 12midnight
Sun & PH: 11am - 230pm, 6pm - 1030pm

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