There’s a very special izakaya in Singapore that only allows drinkers of alcohol to patronise them. Yama-ya and its sister shop, Nobu-ya belong to same owner and he will not serve non-drinkers.
Yama-ya 山や and Nobu-ya 信屋 belong to the same owners. They share a kitchen and serve seasonal produce from Japan. The ingredients are personally selected by Chef-owner Nobukawa Yoshiyuki to ensure best quality. Both Chef Nobukawa and sake sommelier-cum-manager Nobuhiko Sano worked at fine-dining Mikuni for 10 years.
Most of the items on the menu are salt-laden dishes to help you speed up your drinking. And drink you must, and also not the slowly “chibi-chibi” ちびちび sips. If you are drinking too slowly, the manager will stare at the table with his disapproving eyes.
And then there are those which I highly recommend like their oden, which I find to be one of the most authentic in Singapore; the kaki-fry (deep fried oytsers) are outstanding; the beef brisket and tendon stew is not wagyu but it is the homely taste that you get in izakaya in Japan; and of course the drinking must-have of chicken karaage and grilled squid.
The food portions were quite small, but the price was also small too. So be prepared to order between 2-3 dishes per person. But also be prepared to have 2-3 drinks at least per person.
When you make reservation, they will ask if you are drinking. There is only ONE correct answer: YES! If you answer NO, they will reject your reservation. It is a tiny space, they need people who drink to increase the income, and besides this is an izakaya (translation: drinking house). To be fair, the alcohol, like the food, is affordable and very delicious.
The service was considerate and speedy, the food was homely and rather reasonably priced, and the ambience was as close to an izakaya in Japan as can be. And if you don’t drink, please do not come.
Yamaya 山や Nobu-ya 信屋
#01-33 and #01-05 Fortune Centre, 190 Middle Road, Singapore 188979
Tel : +65 6338 3450
Visited Dec 2022
#izakaya_sg #yamaya #nobuya
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