|Hokkaido Kawa Ebi with House Pour Sake|
Q-Wa Izakaya is the second outlet from the folks behind Q-Wa Bar and Yakitori at East Coast Road, which opened in September 2015. Inspired by the success of the 1st outlet, Q-Wa Izakaya at Beach Road opened in June 2018.
Like most Izakaya, the focus at Q-Wa is their small bites, sake and beer. Their main promotion for Asahi beer is $35 for 3L tower for happy hour between 5 – 7 PM on Monday to Thursday and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, their house pour sake also comes highly recommend, as it tasted smooth and slightly sweet, according to LD.
|House Pour Sake|
|House Pour Sake|
We started with Pork Katsu Cheese ($14.90) and Hokkaido Kawa Ebi ($8.90). The pork katsu is crispy externally and juicy, succulent with gooey cheese internally. The cheese is not pungent, instead, it is very mild. I just wish the katsu is thicker.
|Pork Katsu Cheese|
Hokkaido Kawa Ebi is delicious. These mini prawns are the perfect companions with your drinks. It is crispy, crunchy, salty and filled with umami flavour from the prawns. It is so good, you will feel that 1 portion won’t be enough.
|Hokkaido Kawa Ebi|
Shime Saba ($18.80) and Surame Ika ($15.80). The saba fish here is marinated with rice vinegar before it is grilled. While most saba fish can be a bit fishy, the vinegar-marinated actually helps to balance the fats and remove the fishiness. A splash of lemon juice helps of spice up the dish. We just can’t stop admiring the knife skills on the saba fish, amazing. Each piece is sliced to almost equal size.
Meanwhile, the squid is nicely grilled and seasoned. The springy, juicy yet succulent with a touch of sweetness from the yakitori sauce.
The chicken parts definitely a must try here. I personally like the chicken skin / Torikawa ($2.80), heart / Hatsu ($2.60), liver / Reba ($2.60) and bishops / Bonjiri ($2.80). Chicken heart has a combination of crunchy and springy texture, slightly chewy but if you like it, it is irresistible.
Chicken liver is always considered as the stepsister of foie gras (goose liver) or even duck liver. Although it is creamy and smooth like foie gras, chicken liver is denser and not as fatty as goose and duck liver. If you like foie gras, you should try “Chi-gras” as well.
|Chicken Liver (2 sticks at the top) - Chi Gras|
Chicken bishops are one of my favourite part of the chicken, while LD like the chicken cartilage / Nankotsu ($3.60). Surprisingly, the quail egg / Uzura ($2.90) is very good, especially when it is basked with yakitori sauce.
|Chicken Tail / Bishop and Chicken Cartilage|
Anything with bacon here will not disappoint as well. We tried their Quail Egg Bacon / Uzura Maki ($3.30), Cherry Tomato Bacon / Tomato Maki ($3.20) and Golden Mushroom Bacon / Enoki Maki ($3.30). The bacon is not overly salty, it helps to season the other ingredients nicely.
|Chicken Wings, Asparagus Bacon, Quail Egg Bacon and Golden Mushroom Bacon|
Normally Pork Belly Shio / Butabarra ($2.90) and Pork Belly Miso / Butabarra Miso ($3.20) are two of the items that I will order. However, the version here is average and does not give me the Oink Oink feel.
|Golden Mushroom Bacon, Cheery Tomato Bacon, Pork Belly Miso & Pork Belly Shio|
For the main staple to end the meal, we tried two item, Garlic Fried Rice / Garlic Yaki Meishi ($11.90) and Pan Fried Udon / Yaki Udon ($10.90). While both dishes are well fried, the springy texture of the udon got my pick. The garlic fried rice can be bolder and more garlic can be added into it.
|Part of our spread and Garlic Fried Rice|
|Pan Fried Udon|
Q-Wa Izakaya has indoor and outdoor seating. For the indoor, the seating of each table is very close, so expect to bump into each other when you are seating. The Japanese décor wallpaper, sake bottles line-up and draft beer raise up the Izakaya feels to the restaurant. The outdoor seating is more spacious, but only limited to 4 tables.
|Part of the Decor|
Overall, Q-Wa Izakaya décor bring back a lot of memories during our venture in the back alley of Tokyo. The close proximity between customers, lots of sake and beer, accompanies with lots of yakitori and small bites are a good combination to wind down and catch up with friends. Luckily the food here is not as salty compare to those in Japan. So, you can enjoy it without drinking too much. Kanpai!! Cheers!!
Thank you very much for Ai Ling and Q-Wa Izakaya team for the tasting invitation.
Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Budget per Person: $26 - $50, $51 - $80,
Q-Wa Bar and Yakitori
39 East Coast Road
T: +65 6348 9938
Mon - Fri: 17.00 - 23.45
Sat - Sun: 11.30 - 14.30; 17.00 - 23.45