Haráru Izakaya has indicated that it is the 1st Muslim Owned Izakaya in Singapore, boosting of a modern ‘bar’ with tatami dining experience.
Even though the Japanese word “izakaya” 居酒屋 technically represents a casual gastropub, there is NO ALCOHOL sold at Haráru Izakaya.
Only mocktails, flavoured sodas, dealcoholized wines, fruit juices and Japanese style milkshakes.
Located at 16 Bussorah Street, Haráru Izakaya is in the heart of Kampong Glam, of walking distance from the iconic Sultan Mosque, about 10 minutes away from Bugis MRT.
The counter seating is on the ground floor, while the tatami area is on the 2nd. Reservations are highly encouraged. My friend and I were the 3rd pair in the queue, but waited more than half an hour before we could get in.
During lunch time, you get four donburi sets in the likes of Salmon Teriyaki Don, Unagi Don, Gyuniku Don and Tori Karaage Don, priced at $12 or $13.
The dinner ala-carte menu has a wider variety, serving a spread of starters such as Deep Fried Chicken Skin, Gyoza, Fresh Octopus marinated with wasabi sauce, Salads, Charcoal Grill items, Kushiyaki, Deep Fried Food, Donburi, Noodles and Desserts.
The focus here is on the Charcoal Grill and Kushiyaki sticks, with variety including Mushroom & Leek, Quail Eggs, Diced Wagyu Beef with Capsicum and Shitake Mushroom, Chicken Wings, Chicken Thigh to the less commonly seen Chicken Butt.
The price for 2 sticks is from $3.50 to $14.00.
I had the Momo Chicken Thigh ($5.00) in teriyaki sauce, and Hotate wrapped with Sliced Turkey ($6.00), accompanied by shio seasoning.
The challenge with Kushiyaki is about getting that juiciness with slight smoky taste. I thought that the Turkey sticks were slightly on the dry side, such that you would not fully savour the plumpness of the scallop.
I liked the other dishes of Gyuniku Nira Itame ($14.00) – Teppanyaki style stir fried beef & beansprout, and Gyuniku Soba ($10.00) with simmered beef much better.
The hot and steamy bowl of buckwheat soup was comforting, with the clear broth still flavourful, yet not overly rich.
I would imagine that the Tori Katsu ($14), a piece of deep fried breaded chicken with 3 different sauces could have been a crowd-favourite.
Except that I wondered why such a thick slab wasn’t cut up to make consumption a much easier process, especially if you feel like sharing that piece.
Harāru Izakaya is already off to a promising start. The food and vibes were better than expected.
Perhaps they could next work on the music choice – it was rotating around Japanese pop of the 90s, and instrumental; and waiting times – possibly due to teething issues.
16 Bussorah Street Singapore 199437 (Bugis MRT)
Tel: +65 62915373
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Last Order 9pm (Tues – Thurs, Sun)
12:00pm – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Last Order 10:00pm (Fri, Sat, Eve of PH)