Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Public Izakaya By Hachi @ Icon Village

Chanced upon this place while we were at Icon Village. Fell in love with its decor which is pretty much izakaya styled. We sat down, ordered a couple of beers and some small bites.

feels like Japan
Suntory Kaoru Premium and Black Draft @$9.80++ each

First visit was more of post-dinner drinks with some light bites. However, we ended up having more than we should but that gave us a rough idea of what the shop could offer and we liked it so much that a second visit was planned.

Ika Ichiyaboshi @18++
Onigiri @$8++
Wagyu Rosu @$28++
The squid was tender and had a light smokeyness to it. The onigiri was rather dry, bland and disappointing but our faith was restored by the wagyu rosu. Wow. The tender medium rare wagyu slices were wonderfully salted but the bunch of spring onions and wasabi helped to balance the taste. Imagine oily, salty slices of beef with ice-cold beer. Yums. Don't forget the small cubes of beef fatty bits. Those were the best!

And, out of the blue, we were presented with a bowl of buta kakuni (braised pork belly). "On the house", the staff chirpily said. And nope, we aren't famous so this must mean that the staff in the shop had the flexibility to provide treats to their customers on their own accord. Nice and must say that I was impressed.

Buta Kakuni @$14++
The pork was well-braised and adequately seasoned. The mustard paste on the side will reduce some 'jelakness' if you think this dish might be too 'heavy'. All good with the alcohol!

Some months later, we revisited and this time with more friends. We over-ordered and usual. Haha!

Kakubin @$10++
My choice of drink was the Suntory Kakubin Highball but requested them to top it with Calpis instead. The staff was rather surprised and said none of her customers drank it this way. Is it? Hmm...but it's nicely sweet this way. A ladies drink, if you may.

Hoppy Original @$9++

Because we raved about the food there to our friends, there were some repeated orders. The wagyu rosu and buta kakuni. And, I've satisfied the curiosity on one of their signature dishes that the staff mentioned previously; the tori karaage. What's so special about tori karaage, you might ask. Isn't that a dime and a dozen at usual Japanese restaurants? Well, the version here is huge! Just slightly smaller than a clenched fist of a lady.

Tori Karaage (5 pieces) @$11++
Ivan warned that if one eats two of these karaage, one gets full. I didn't believe it then but after I ate two of those, I had to agree...but, they were good. Remember to have these when you're super hungry.

One of the most interesting starters would be the cold chicken liver in soy sauce and mirin/sake. It'll probably taste good with chicken hearts too!

reba shoyuzuke @$8++

Other snacks for drinks included fried river prawns (kawa ebi-age), marinated firefly squid and tako wasabi. The hotaru ika okizuke is an extremely salty dish where the firefly squid are marinated in soy and sake. The tako wasabi was both chewy and slimy but so shioks to eat.

kawa ebi-age @$9++
tako wasabi @$6++
hotaru ika okizuke @$7++

Ivan ordered an expensive rice-stick, the kiritanpo misoyaki. It's basically grilled rice stick glazed with miso. This one's better than the onigiri but not value for money though.

Kiritanpo Misoyaki @$6++

Besides the grilled rice-stick, we had some grilled mid-wings too.

tebasaki mikomi (2 orders) @$14++

In the middle of all those merry making, feasting and drinking, we ordered oysters. There's a bigger one at $8++ per piece but I think the $6++ was sufficient to try. Hmm, it was alright. Still can't forget the taste of the seafood in Hokkaido.

Oysters @$6++ each

We wondered how the grilled tuna cheek would taste like, so we ordered one. Takes some 20 minutes to make, so be prepared to wait. Hmm, not as much meat as we thought it'd have. Unfortunately, its skin was not to be eaten since its too tough. The flesh was much firmer than expected.

Maguro Kama Yaki @$25++

Other interesting fried item, was the gyoza croquette. We have eaten gyoza, we have eaten croquette but what's a gyoza croquette?! Well, it was what it was. Exactly a gyoza croquette! Hahaha! It's a croquette that has a filling similar to gyoza. Minced pork, cabbages and onions in a croquette and deep fried.

gyoza croquette @$9++

Expect to spend between $35 to $50 per pax for drinks and small bites. Happy times with fellow foodies.

The Public Izakaya by Hachi


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