In WINE & DINE

IZY Dining & Bar – Nouveau Japanese Izakaya

With the saturation of Singapore’s dining scene, one sometimes wonders how new places keep popping up to add to the foray of diversity. All of a sudden, one bursts on to the scene and truly astonishes with their approach to food. Izy Dining & Bar, a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant on Club St, is one such restaurant. It is an elevated take on Japanese comfort food.

Together with its hidden bar, Cache, as a whole it is different to most Japanese dining establishments, but manages to satisfy most palates. Its punchy pop-art murals lend vibrancy to the clean lines of a concrete bar and the crispness of dark wood furnishings. It is contemporary and a little cheeky, yet presents restrained and oh-so-satiating dishes. Head Chef Kazumasa Yazawa, formerly of Waku Ghin, has dreamt up a plethora of small plates great for sharing. Categorised under six sections, it serves as a guide to diners as to how to approach the menu.  At the top of the list is, of course, the Omakase: six courses of the Chef’s choosing ($125/person). For first timers and foodies alike, this is a great option as it consists of a mixture of signature dishes and off-the-menu items. Portions are kept relatively small, so as to be able to stomach all six courses, but diners also have the option to share an Omakase if they are particularly small eaters. The chef and his team will consider dietary restrictions when planning your Omakase menu.

Mackerel“Shime Saba” – seared and cured Hokkaido Mackerel

Omakase may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so ordering à la carte is always an option. For those opting to order from the menu, we present to you some recommendations for your next trip down to foodie heaven. The Shime Saba ($32) is a great traditional way to start your meal. Seared and cured Hokkaido mackerel sits plump atop a plate served with tomato yuzu sauce and wasabi. Cured in-house, it is perfectly seared to give a smokier taste. The manageable portions will surely leave you in anticipation, so give the Lobster to Hotate ($32) a try next. The lobster and scallop dashi combination is served cold, making it a great option between heavier courses. The balance of the sweetness and the sourness of the dashi broth proves to be a great palate cleanser in contrast to the decadence of lobster and scallops. Despite the slight overcooking of the lobster, the pairing with raw scallops and broth was delightful.

Foie Gras “Foie Gras No Saikyou-zuke Josper Yaki” – Josper-grilled Foie Gras

However, when in Izy, do not skip out on these next few items. The Josper-grilled Foie Gras in Lime Balsamico Sauce ($25) will leave you scraping the slate plates for every last bite. The creamy foie gras is marinated in white miso and finished on the grill, giving it a crispy outside with a slightly charred flavour. With lime balsamico and mango-passionfruit sauces, it assumes a tart yet balanced profile that makes the dish delicate. To follow, order their signature Chicken Karaage ($20), a classic at any Japanese izakaya. This will surely please any palate, from the pickiest to the most discerning. Chef Kaz has managed to elevate a street food staple by double-frying this simple dish to non-oily morsels of succulent perfection. Topped with oyster mushroom balsamico mayo and shredded cabbage, we all wish this was in our neighbourhood Japanese joint.

Karaage“Karaage to Balsamico Vinegar No Mayonnaise” – Chicken Karaage

 If you must choose one dish out of the menu, do not leave without trying the Wagyu Truffle Don ($45). Pricey as it may be, it is the true star of the show. A bowl of thinly sliced wagyu beef finished on the josper grill sits on a bed of rice and is enveloped by freshly-shaven autumn truffles. It is fragrant, delicious, and highly addictive. The wagyu beef manages to retain its juiciness while the caramelised onions drizzled in sauce adds to its allure.

Wagyu“Miyazaki Wagyu Don to Aki Truffle to Ryufu” – Wagyu Truffle Don

Be sure to leave some room for dessert, as Izy’s are wonderfully unique and unexpected. For diehard Japanese green tea fans, sample their Green Tea Pudding ($11) that has a creamy mousse-like texture, but is authentically bitter, much like true Japanese matcha. The Banana Caramel Ice Cream with Rosemary ($12) is much more Western-influenced but delicious nonetheless. It is savoury, bitter, and is enriched by the caramelisation of the bananas and cream. Nonetheless, the standout dessert item is their Strawberry-Chilli Sorbet with Hokkaido Condensed Milk ($12). Take a leap of faith and be surprised at how something spicy is offset by the balancing sweetness of strawberries and milk.

DessertStrawberry-Chilli Sorbet with Hokkaido Condensed Milk

When your night of indulgence is wrapped up, have a nightcap at their dedicated bar tucked away at the end of the restaurant. Cache is home to a selection of fine whiskies and artisanal spirits, but most importantly, great cocktails made by head bartender, Kley Dhillon. With the beat of pumping music, order yourself a sweet and fruity drink courtesy of Athena, or a more bitter and innovative take on classic cocktails by Dhillon himself. Cocktails range from $16 – $30, depending on the type of spirit used if asking for a bespoke drink. The Mezcal Gimlet is a personal favourite for Singapore’s notoriously hot weather: Mezcal is shaken with lime juice, agave nectar, and cayenne pepper for extra zing. Izy Dining & Bar is truly an establishment that lives up to its hype.

Reservations are recommended, as it gets busy with the after-work and weekend crowd.
(They also have a special Valentine’s Day Menu for those interested in wooing their significant other!)

Find Izy at 27 Club Street.
PH: 6220 3327
https://www.facebook.com/IzySingapore
HOURS:
Lunch: Mon – Fri noon to 2.30pm
Dinner: Mon-Sat 6pm to late

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