Recently back from Japan, we longed for a cosy drinking hole similar to the Izakaya bars in Tokyo where we can savour quality Japanese cuisine while sampling sake and engaging in some chit-chats with the bar owner. While on the lookout for Izakaya style bars, we stumbled upon Big Sake Bar Singapore. Located in the Concourse Skyline Building, the bar is co-owned by three young men. Its trademark “大” (Japanese kanji character for “big”) promises to be “big on food, big on service, big on sakes”. Boasting an ever-expanding selection of over 40 different kinds of Japanese sakes and whiskeys, I think we just found the answer to our Izakaya search in the Little Red Dot.
Similar to the Izakaya pubs found along the alleyways of most major Japanese towns, Big Sake Bar exudes a cosy chill vibe and offers diners the chance to sit around the sushi bar where they can see the chef in action. Designed and decorated by the owners themselves, the hip izakaya joint offers a rustic Japanese experience with pre-war Japanese beer posters on its brick walls and vibrantly orange crab shells lining the refrigerated sushi case. For folks who are not used to bar top dining or prefer a more personal drinking session with friends or loved ones can go for the non-counter seats within the restaurant.
To celebrate Big Sake Bar’s 1st year anniversary, they just launched an eight-course omakase menu focuses on premium grade A4 wagyu beef, features only the best and freshest of ingredients. A choice of three diverse sakes is offered to be paired with the new omakase menu. Toyo Bijin (Asian Beauty), a junmai daiginjyo (milled to at least 50% removal of each grain of rice) from the Sumikawa Shuzojo Brewery in the Yamaguchi prefecture, has a clean entry with a slightly sweet finish. Nabeshima “Pink Label” is a tokubetsu honjozo (milled to 30-40% removal of each grain of rice) sake sweet from start to finish, with slight effervescence. Masumi’s Karakuchi Ki-ippon is a delightfully dry junmai ginjyo (milled to 40-50% removal of each grain of rice).
Co-owner Daniel Kwok shared that Big Sake Bar, is at its heart, a place to partake in the wonders of sake in an informal and convivial atmosphere. From crowd favourites Nabeshima “Pink Label” to the precious Juyondai or “14th Generation” and the mythical Kuheji Voyage and Rendez-vous, there is an extensive variety of over 40 Japanese sakes and whiskies for guests to enjoy!
Together with Chef Andy, they allowed us to sample all the three sake options and explained in detail the difference between them. Although I have a sweet tooth, Masumi’s Karakuchi Ki-ippon (Dry Sake) appealed to me more. It is distinctive, refreshing and will probably not distract my taste buds from my delicious omakase meal.
When you are at Big Sake Bar, feel free to approach any of the boys to understand more about the sake that you are drinking.
Big Sake Bar Singapore – 8 Course Omakase Adventure
We began our culinary journey with Century Egg Tofu made with a touch of local flavour reflecting Chef Andy’s attention to detail. Commanding a silky smooth texture, the tofu soaked in the flavours of our familiar century egg very well. The cold dish tasted heavenly for folks who love century egg.
The tofu dish was followed by a chef’s selection of an assorted Sashimi Platter including thick slices of mekajiki (swordfish), salmon, aburi (seared) salmon, and botan ebi, to give a burst of fresh flavours from the sea.
The star of the menu, slices of grade A4 Kagoshima Wagyu Beef Sirloin flown in from a warm sunny tropical island in the south of Japan, is a must-try for beef connoisseurs. This richly marbled and flavourful beef is served simply with a Ponzu sauce complementing its natural flavour. For us, the beef was so good that we skipped the Ponzu sauce after 2 dips.
Another worthy mention is Big Sake Bar’s Negitoro Don made with melt-in-your-mouth tender otoro (tuna under-belly), the most precious part of the fish otherwise known as tuna perfection. Topped with a raw quail egg and crisp green onions sitting atop a bed of premium Japanese rice from the Akita prefecture, the Negitoro Don is a delicate dish that is the perfect follow up to the robust flavours of the prior beef dish.
The meal is completed with a Sushi Platter, Asari Miso Soup and Goma or Yuzu Ice Cream.
Big Sake Bar Singapore – Reserve Your Omakase Experience
>To maintain their philosophy on quality at an affordable price, Big Sake Bar will present its omakase menu at S$88 nett per person for an eight-course meal, and S$108 nett per person for the eight-course meal served with a Tokkuri (carafe) of your choice of sake from the selection of three premium sakes.
To preserve the freshness of the ingredients and to ensure a great experience, Big Sake Bar will only seat six guests at the main sushi counter each night for the new omakase menu. This will ensure guests get to enjoy the full omakase experience as they watch Chef Andy skilfully prepare every dish meticulously. Big Sake Bar’s new omakase menu will be available for a limited time only from now till 31st December 2017.
Big Sake Bar Singapore
Address: 302 Beach Road, Concourse Skyline #01-02, Singapore 199600 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm to 12am (Mon – Fri) & 6pm to 12am (Sat) | Facebook: Big Sake Bar for more information.