Big Sake Bar feels exactly like the kind of izakaya you’d find wandering the streets of Tokyo. Characterized by a gigantic red “大” kanji symbol on a white wall along the Concourse Skyline Building, it’s hard to miss, and curious onlookers will be rewarded with a fantastic dining experience. What’s more, located right in the heart of the city, it’s close by to some of the most prominent theatre venues such as the Drama Centre, making for a great place to chill out after a fantastic show there.
Co-owned by ex-NDU NS mates Jeremy Goh, Daniel Kwok and Head Chef Andy Quek, we were impressed by the keen attention to detail from the moment we stepped into the restaurant. They weren’t wrong when they claimed the ‘big’ in their name referred to how they aimed to be “big on food, big on service, big on sakes”. Greeted by Wesley from Right Hook Communications (Big Sake Bar’s PR), we felt immediately settled when we took our seats at the bar, as Daniel offered us a choice of sake to go with our omakase (we picked the aromatic and fragrant Nabeshima sake from Saga prefecture). With our cup in hand and a big appetite, we were ready to begin our omakase.
Our lunch started with one of our favourite starters – Century Egg Tofu. But this was no ordinary store bought tofu – Chef Andy actually freshly prepares the tofu each day by hand, and from the silky and consistent texture of the tofu, you can really tell that he’s taken a lot of care in creating it. In addition, the century egg used was well seasoned and complemented the tofu very well, while it was a stroke of genius to include crumbs of tempura batter to add a new texture to the dish.
Next up was the Sashimi Platter. Consisting of hamachi, hotate, swordfish and an aburi salmon belly. The ingredients were so fresh, you could practically still taste the sea as we consumed them, delectable and melts in your mouth.
We then had an ‘egg dish’ – a platter consisting of slices of tamago, hotate with uni, a golden tobiko sushi and a spoonful of ikura. Just as the Sashimi Platter used fresh ingredients, so did this plate, doing wonders in particular for the uni and hotate. Not to mention, the tamago is of course, hand-made by Chef Andy as well!
We were then presented with two dishes utilizing wagyu beef. The first was the Wagyu Beef Sirloin, cooked medium rare with a blowtorch so it kept its integrity and unique taste, proving why it still remains such a highly sought after meat.
The second wagyu dish of the day was the Wagyu Beef Hand Roll. Chef Andy picked the perfect slice of wagyu, lined with a little fat that was well rendered under the heat, and proved to be to the advantage of this dish. Having previously worked at numerous restaurants, Chef Andy found that Singaporeans prefer their rice with an extra kick of vinegar and it was apparent in this roll where the vinegar rice paired with the fatty slice of wagyu perfectly. Fun fact: the hand roll may look big, but it actually only holds one and half portions of sushi rice!
Following the beef dishes, we returned to seafood with the Negitoro Don – a sushi rice bowl topped with a generous portion of finely chopped toro, garnished with fresh spring onions. This was a sumptuous dish and served with raw quail egg, providing an extra layer of silkiness to the dish that really brought out the spectrum of tastes and textures in it.
Finally, the last savoury dish of the omakase menu was served – the Asari Miso. We were pleasantly surprised at how light the miso soup was, refreshing and a good mark of the good quality of the miso used. Meanwhile, this was paired with a large helping of fresh asari clams, providing a great layer of flavour that also made us feel incredibly calm.
In addition, we ended up enjoying the food so much, we decided to order an extra dish – the Spicy Tuna Roll, one of the chef’s specials. This was a very healthy portion of sushi, and as with their other dishes, the tuna was ocean fresh, using just the right amount of seasoning to give it a real kick, and pairs very well with any sake.
Of the many Japanese places that’ve popped up in Singapore over the years, Big Sake Bar feels especially authentic and with plenty of promise. What’s more, as a local enterprise, we’re more than happy to support them, given the amazing service and incredible food they’ve shown us. Its name is perfect, and everything on the menu is paired especially well with sake, so don’t be afraid of asking staff for recommendations on the best ones to pair with your meal. With a cozy atmosphere you’d be happy to spend time at with friends doubling down on fresh, quality Japanese cuisine and countless varieties of affordable sake, Big Sake Bar is the perfect place to chill out any day and let your worries wash away in the heart of Singapore.
Part of our ongoing Food and Theatre Series, where we introduce food places close to theatre venues. Big Sake Bar is only 1km away from the Drama Centre, and a 10 minute bus ride away to campuses like SOTA and NAFA.
Big Sake Bar
Where: The Concourse Skyline, 302 Beach Road #01-02, 199600
When: Mon-Fri, 12pm-2.30pm and Mon-Sat, 6pm-12am [Hours will change to Mon-Sat, 5pm – 12am only From Dec 1], Closed on Sun and PH
Book Now or call +65 62912700 / 96567105