Sunday, October 21, 2018

[Invited Tasting] Q-WA Izakaya @ 103 Beach Road

This izakaya is located at the same building as Marrison Bugis Hotel. Nearest MRT would be Bugis MRT and exit via Tan Quee Lan Street. Head southeast on Tan Quee Lan St toward Beach Rd (walk towards Joo Bar and keep left). Once you reached the corner of the road, turn right onto Beach Rd. You would have passed by Kajiken (歌志轩) as well as a self-service laundromat. Q-WA is just right after that. Head towards the Asahi signage there.

Q-WA Izakaya has outdoor seats as well as indoors. The indoor seats are limited hence, reservation is recommended. For our group, we preferred indoor as the interior exuded an izakaya feels.
current promo

Let's check out the decor of the place.

Japanese posters and polaroids of customers (on the left)
Happy Hour - Asahi
Had the privilege to meet with the owner of Q-WA, Ms Rita and she shared with us her passion for food and Japanese sake, which then led to her opening Q-Wa Izakaya. Q-WA at Beach Road is the second outlet and the first Q-WA Izakaya is located at 39 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428756. She travels frequently to Japan to experience the izakaya.

Q-WA at Beach Road offers predominantly yakimono (やきもの) dishes with some light bites, deep fried (揚げ物) and carb dishes (ご飯物 / 麺類) in the menu.


Let's start with the drinks. For teetotallers, there are soft drinks and calpis (カルピス). Calpis is considered an uncarbonated Japanese soft drink and has a milky appearance, somewhat acidic and tasted like flavoured yoghurt. In Japan, I'd order a Calpis Highball (with whiskey).

During Happy Hour (weekdays: 5 pm to 8pm and weekends: whole day), get half pint of Asahi Super Dry draft beer for just $5. One pint for $9. That's a reasonable pricing. For non-happy hour pricing, half pint of Asahi goes for $7 while the housepour sake is priced at $8 per glass.

For myself, I'd go for their current housepour sake, that is the Gekkeikan 月桂冠 brand. It has a smooth profile and slightly sweet. This may be changed soon, so head on to Q-WA to enjoy Gekkeikan at a special price during Happy Hour.

housepour sake 月桂冠
housepour sake @$5 (per glass) or $19 for 300ml
Asahi Super Dry draft (half pint) and Calpis

Now that we have gotten our drinks, let's have some food! Started with some appetisers of deep fried river shrimps. Tiny morsels that's rather addictive.

Hokkaido Kawa Ebi 北海道揚げ川エビ @$8.90
pick me up and pop me in

Then, there was Pork Katsu Cheese ( from the Deep Fried selections), served with a side of shredded cabbages. Cheese fillings in the pork slice, panko'ed and deep fried to a golden brown.

Pork Katsu Cheese  豚カツチーズ @$14.90
cheese fillings
Shime Saba  しめ鯖 @$18.80
Was surprised by the pale looking plate of Shime Saba. Usually, we'd see it deep fried or grilled but here, the fish was marinated in vinegar before seared and served on a bed of marinated raw onions. Loved that it was already sliced up, deboned and ready for diners to just pickup the smaller pieces and enjoy with their drinks. Makes one feel like having sushi.

Tried the Japanese Squid (Surame Ika) and it was a nice soft chewy texture. Sliced into bite-sized and convenient to eat.

Surame Ika (Japanese Squid) @$15.80

For the yakitori, we had assorted sticks from the chicken, pork and beef selections. My group's favourite seemed to be bacon wrapped items especially the quail's egg wrapped with bacon and tomato wrapped in bacon.

tebasaki (chickeng wings @$3.50), enoki maki (@$3.30), uzura maki (@$3.30) and eboki gyu (@$4.80)
tomato maki (@$3.20), butabara miso (@$3.20), butabara (@$2.90) 
torikawa (@$2.80), tsukune (@$3.60), uzura (@$2.90), negima cheese (@$3.30), negima (@$2.90)

At Q-WA Izakaya, I preferred the items from the chicken. The chicken meat in negima and negima cheese was tender. My must order items for yakitori would be the chicken thigh (もも), chicken heart (ハツ) and gizzard (砂肝).

Chicken Heart and Chicken Liver (はつ @$2.60 / きも @$2.60)
If you like the crunchy texture, then the Nankotsu (Chicken Cartilage) could be your favourite item. I prefer the softer crunch of the sunagimo (gizzard).

chicken cartilage (nankotsu なんこつ @$3.60)

At Q-WA Izakaya, I'd add the bonjiri (chicken tail) as the must-order item. It was my favourite item that night. The bonjiri, nankotsu and hatsu are all limited items hence, do order early!

Bonjiri ぼんじり (@$2.80)
Expect strong seasoning at the Izakaya, and one would need a drink to go along with most of the yakimono.

pick your next drink
To end (and in case still hungry), there are carbs dishes such as the garlic fried rice or the fried udon. The garlic fried rice was a miss for me as the garlic taste was a tad too subtle and pretty small portion.

Garlic Yaki Meshi ニンニクやきめし @$11.90
Yaki Udon 焼きうどん @$10.90

Purple Taste recommends the housepour sake (the 300ml tokkuri version) and the draft beer at Happy Hour, the must-eats yakitori are sunagimo, hatsu, bonjiri, uzura maki and negima cheese, and to share the appetisers of the kawa ebi, Surume Ika and Shime Saba.

Thank you Rita and Q-WA Izakaya for hosting the dinner. Attended with Hence and Tracy, Ivan, Shermaine and Tiara.

Q-WA Izakaya @ Beach Road

Q-WA Izakaya

Address: 103 Beach Road, #01-02, Singapore 189704
Contact: 8336 7728
Business Hours:
Daily 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM


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