5 Best Japanese Bars in the City
When work gets tough, it’s best to unwind. Some of do all sorts of activities while others prefer to relax with a few friends at a bar. Well, instead of going to your usual place, why not try Japanese-themed bars which offer more than your usual beer and wine? Here are the best Japanese bars to enjoy sake and all other tipples Japan has to offer. 1. Kinki
Photo courtesy of Kinki
A hot spot for professionals in the CBD area, Kinki is a one-of-a-kind destination with the theme Japan meets urban Singapore. Covering its walls are murals made by Miami Ink’s Chris Garver which give this rooftop bar a funky feel. Step inside—or shall we say outside—and witness how Singapore has modernised over the years. This bar isn’t all about the view for it also has an impressive list of tipples to make the night livelier. Drink up to signature cocktails of Ginger Kumquat Caipirinha, Ume Mojito, and Japanese Pear Martini. Drop by for the: Good lookin’ people who are at Kinki to party like there’s no tomorrow! See them sing along to loud music and dance the night away. Pricing: Leans more on the expensive side with the price of one drink averaging about $16++. Food items also range from really affordable to a bit pricey—so choose your orders wisely! 2. Mariko’s
Photo courtesy of Mariko's
Quite an interesting name for a bar, isn’t it? Mariko’s is named after a female character who lived in Japan in the 50s as a prostitute. As such, the interior give off some kind of sexy feel with the use of warm yellow lights; these only highlight Mariko’s painting propped up against the wall. At the bar, there’s an unmistakable Japanese feel to it with the use of wooden sake masu cups to create the 3D wall. Though it’s one of the newest bars to hit the former red light district, it boasts an impressive array of fine whiskies—ranging from the most popular cocktails to the rarest and vintage whiskies. Drop by for the: Whole Japanese dining experience. Expect to be served by waitresses dressed in traditional kimono style outfits and bartenders dressed in slick black waistcoats and fitted trousers. Pricing: One regular drink can cost you $12 per glass while the most vintage Japanese whiskey (from the defunct Karuizawa distillery) can cost up to $30,000 per bottle. 3. San Sui Sumiyaki & Bar
Photo courtesy of San Sui Sumiyaki & Bar
View, view, view—that’s the first thing you’ll think of when you visit San-Sui Sumiyaki & Bar at One Fullerton. Located opposite the towering Marina Bay Sands, you can get a seat in the al fresco area to witness the shows in the bay area at night. For something more peaceful and quiet, settle for a cosy seat inside the restaurant where the interior is also a sight to see. Lined up on the walls are hundreds of bottles (collected over the years) from various labels. It gives the impression that there’s a wide assortment of beer, sake, wines, and other Japanese inspired cocktails with a modern twist. Well, there are… Drop by for the: 35 different types of sake which pair very well with the wide range of sumiyaki items, yakitori, sushi, and other ala carte dishes. Can you say oishi? Pricing: One glass of sake costs an average of $18. As for the yakitoris, you pay per stick and the average price is about $3. 4. Five Izakaya Bar
Photo courtesy of Five Izakaya Bar
This bar which is modelled after the traditional izakayas in Japan has the concept of ‘stand and drink’. It has quite a number of choices for tipples and all of these are priced at $5 per glass – all day, every day. However, the house specials can cost about $12. Bar snacks are also super affordable and dishes such as the Chicken Karaage and Wedges are priced at $5 each, too! Because of this, the bar can get crowded as soon as it’s open for business. So drop by early to make sure you have a table. Drop by for the: Cheap beer and snacks! ‘Nuff said. Pricing: A glass of its regular drinks only costs you $5 while house specials are served for about $12. 5. Orihara Liquor Shop & Bar
What looks like a hole-in-the-wall Japanese place located at Robertson Quay is actually the famed bar, Orihara Liquor Shop & Bar. Even though the place is tiny (there’s a bar and a few tables inside), it boasts an impressive list of sake, beer, umeshu, and whiskey – all imported from Japan! Looking at the list can be dizzying but the servers are also experts on what they’re selling. So, don’t be afraid to tell them what drink you’re craving for and they recommend something to suit your tastebuds! Pair these up with their signature nibbles which go well with the drinks. Drop by for the: Great service! Despite the busy crowd, especially on a Friday night, the servers make time to explain the drinks on the menu. Pricing: OK, this place isn’t cheap. And an average bottle of sake costs $50 to $60. But you come here for the exceptional sake and service…so it’s pretty worth it. Make it more fun with a drinking game. Don't know how? Then, watch the video below and be an expert on playing the Russian Roulette with liquor!
See Also: Bars and lounges worth checking out Discover the best Japanese food in town
Japanese Bars
San Sui Sumiyaki & Bar
Five Izakaya Bar
Orihara Shoten
OpenRice SG Editor
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